Non Beach Activities!
Sarasota is much more than the beach to enjoy. We actually have a great number of fun things to do. I've put together a few of my favorites.
Trip 1: NATURE TOUR out EAST:
The Celery Fields (Sarasota Audubon Society) is a fantastic place to see a diverse spectrum of wildlife over 360+ acres of land east of I75. You'll see a lot of people exercising and training but personally, we bring the dog and walk up the gravel paths to the top, offering a wide view of Sarasota. If you get there early enough, you can hear the Lions, yes, that's right, the Lions waking up. That brings you to the next stop...but not before a little nourishment at just down the road at the locally adored Buttermilk Handcrafted Food for some delicious bites of biscuits, savories and sweets. Also some of the best Cold Brew coffee I've ever had! Big Cat Habitat is just down the road from the Celery Fields and offers a great way to experience big cats, bears and primates (among other animals), all of which have been given permanent homes after being rescued.
Trip 2: JUNKING and BEER:
When I travel, I try to find the local salvage shops and pick around for something to remember the trip by. In the Rosemary District of Downtown Sarasota there are two salvage shops with very different personalities. Architectural Salvage has a staff that travels the world looking for unique items ( when I was there last they had an entire bar from Ireland for sale in the store...) but they also have a lot of the salvaged 'junk' from local homes that have been razed for development as well as a HUGE outdoor space with sculpture, signs, etc. They also have local furniture makers that turn salvaged homes and even boats into furniture. Quite a few of the Interior design trade make there way here too. Circus City Salvage is a fun place to go as well with more of a 'Circus Theme' to it. Either place is a feast for the eyes. A few blocks a way is the Mandeville Beer Garden where you, your dogs, your kids are welcome. The Burgers are out of this world and there are a nice selection of craft beers to enjoy. Great time sipping a double IPA and watching the kids play cornhole!
Trip 3: Culture and Lunch:
To miss the Ringling Museum is a shame because it's not JUST the museum. There's a theatre (Historica Asolo), the classic Museum of Art (seriously, 'big city grade'), the Circus Museum (outstanding miniatures) and the Ca d' Z'an (John and Mable's home). There are lots of photo opps in the expansive gardens and on the bayfront and some terrific eats at Muse. Here's a little tip...go on a Monday, when admission is FREE!