Lives in San Francisco, California
Since Jul 2007
Award-winning travel writer. Part-time traveler who believes in the balance of and connection between home and travel.
History Museums, Speciality Museums, Gardens, Art Museums
Historic Walking Areas, Gardens
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Scenic Drives, State Parks
Bridges, Observation Decks & Towers
Perhaps the premier attraction in Sarasota, The Ringling is a sprawling estate, home to beautiful architecture, gardens, history, and an impressive collection of Baroque art.
Set on the waterfront of Sarasota Bay, a trip to these lush botanical gardens means strolling under expansive banyan trees to admire flora and fauna from Florida and around the globe.
If shopping is your bag, you won't want to miss this collection of more than 100 specialty shops. There are both large high end stores as well as local boutiques, with a fun atmosphere and little cafes dotted throughout.
Modeled after the Doge's Palace in Venice, the Ca d'Zan (Venetian for 'House of John') is the former residence of circus magnate John Ringling. Situated on the waterfront of Sarasota Bay, a stroll beside and through the intricately designed mansion is a must.
Serving local flavors and seasonal produce, Indigenous is representative of everything that is great about Florida dining. The fresh seafood is a particular highlight, though generally everything they serve is excellent.
Love manatees? Who doesn't! Mote Aquarium is home to two of these giant beauties, alongside sea turtles, sharks, and a variety of local and international displays of sea life.
When you think of wild Florida, chances are you're thinking of something exactly like Myakka. Dense forests, wide waterways, and river banks complete with gators and birds, a stroll through the park will give you an excellent sense of the natural beauty of the state.
Standing tall at nearly 80 feet above the ground, this walkway is a rare chance to stand in awe at the sprawling natural landscape below. After a series of steps and a walk across the bridge, you'll have one of the best views in Florida.
Siesta Key Beach has repeatedly been called 'the top beach in America.' Its crystal clear waters and powdery white sand feel just slightly nicer than the other beaches in the area.
On the southern end of Siesta Key, Turtle Beach has slightly courser sand than its neighboring beaches, but offers a great place to launch a kayak and perhaps spot some sea turtles.
Of all the beach options in the Sarasota area, Lido Key is often a favorite for its wide sands, great public facilities, and natural beauty.
Time for a refreshment break? Come refuel in the middle of a 'busy' day at the beach at this little coffee oasis, which serves up the best espresso drinks in town. They've got delicious baked goods, a friendly staff, and free WiFi as well.
For a low key, low fuss meal, it's hard to beat this Puerto Rican spot that is a local favorite. Home-style Latin comfort food at its best.