ideal-LIVING.com ideal-LIVING • fall 2015
ideal towns >>> sarasota, fl
If world-class culture, calm pristine beaches and swanky settings are your scene, Sarasota is that perfect paradise. It is renowned for its great restaurants, as well as some of the state’s best barrier islands
and beaches. Sarasota’s Armand’s Circle is the heartbeat of Sarasota,
with more than 140 upscale boutiques, specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and 33 historic statues, 16 of which were purchased by John
Ringling in his desire to bring art and culture to the city.
Sarasota owes its arts legacy to Ringling, who brought in the circus arts and the incredible art collection now housed at the Ringling
Museum of Art.
Sarasota plays host to a world-class ballet company, symphony and
opera company, as well as a number of internationally-acclaimed professional troupes on level with large Northern cities.
Discover The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, an idyllic Gulf Coast retreat
with easy access to the city as well. Have a view of the city or Gulf
Coast while you enjoy access to The Beach Club at Lido Key.
by Scott Kauffman
• Blue Dolphin Café, on the northern end
of Longboat Key, is an old-school diner serving
delicious pancakes inside and the occasional
peacock sighting outside.
• The Broken Egg attracts guests from out
of town just to eat at this popular breakfast joint.
• The Chart House sits adjacent to the AAA
Four-Diamond Resort at Longboat Key Club, and
this Bayfront institution serves legendary seafood
and an award-winning wine list.
• Columbia Restaurant has been serving
Florida since 1905. The Spanish alfresco
restaurant is perfectly situated in the heart
of Sarasota’s landmark St. Armands Circle and
is known as the “Gem of Spanish Restaurants.”
• Dry Dock Waterfront Grill invites you
to pull up in your boat for a casual seafood
experience at this newly expanded family-friendly restaurant and marina.
TOP THINGS TO DO
• John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Ca d’Zan, the circus king’s 32-room Venetian-Gothic mansion on
the bay, is home to one of the finest collections of art in Florida.
The secret gardens guarded by dwarves is a sight alone.
• Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Kids can freely explore rope bridges, caves and a 12-foot waterfall
in this tropical jungle and rainforest environment.
• Mote Marine Aquarium
This fabulous facility features more than 100 species of marine life,
touch pools, a 135,000-gallon shark habitat and dolphin, manatee
and sea turtle exhibits that are sure to please the whole family.
• Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Hand feed free-roaming flamingos at this tropical 10-acre garden
and zoological sanctuary that’s been entertaining visitors since
1939, one of the few zoos in America that allows this.
• Visit Venice Beach
Just south of Sarasota, this is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital
of the World.”