Thirty-five miles of silken beachfront wrap around Sarasota, a city rich
with cultural history, sun-drenched
islands, natural treasures and unlimited discoveries. Sarasota offers big-city
amenities with a small-town way of life,
filled with vibrant recreational and cultural activities for every taste and budget. The city is a tropical paradise on
the Gulf of Mexico offering abundant
natural beauty, cultural tradition, and
a superb quality of life. Tourism is the
city’s chief industry, and CNN/Money
Magazine chose Sarasota as America’s
best small city and one of the nation’s
top eight best places to retire.
Sarasota’s official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between
the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. These
islands separating Sarasota Bay from the
gulf include Lido Key and Siesta Key.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum
& Bailey Circus had winter quarters here
from 1927 to 1960. Even though the circus left town, Sarasota still has the John
and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art and
its Circus Galleries, where the rich history of the Circus resides, including the
world’s smallest big-top circus display.
It is also home to the world’s largest
Sarasota has more than a dozen theaters, 30 art galleries and several active
artist communities, including the Sarasota Opera with its own orchestra. The
Florida West Coast Symphony and New
College String Quartet are also located
here. The Jungle Gardens is one of the
country’s oldest zoological gardens.
Since 1998, the city has hosted the Sarasota Film Festival, which attracts independent films from around the world
and has become one of Florida’s largest
film festivals. The Festival is recognized