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Why Visit Greater Sarasota?

When some people visit Sarasota, Florida they are more than content with getting away from it all and relaxing with a Pina Colada on a glorious beach. Doing absolutely nothing for a week or two is their dream. Greater Sarasota includes Bradenton, communities like Osprey, Nokomis, and Lakewood Ranch, and, of course, the islands and keys such as Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island, Lido Key, and Casey Key. Off these keys sit several of the most picturesque shorelines—beaches such as Siesta Beach and Lido Beach—ranked among the top ten in the U.S.

Others who visit want activity and greater Sarasota offers exactly that. The art scene includes the Towles Court art district, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Ca D’Zan Mansion, the Ringling Circus Museum, and a nationally recognized opera house, balletcompany, symphony orchestra, as well as many theaters.

Bradenton alone offers many attractions, including People at Play and the Robinson Nature Preserve.  People at Play offers visitors the rare, fun opportunity to actually operate heavy earth-moving machinery.  Also in Bradenton are the Hunsader Farms where there’s a terrific Fall Festival featuring animals, fun for the kids, and fresh u-pick fruits and vegetables.  Continuing with outdoor attractions, Sarasota offers the Legacy Biking Trail which traverses from Sarasota south to Venice. The Myakka River State Park is nine miles out and covers 57 square miles of wild and natural land. If you want to see rare flowers, plants and trees in a tamer setting, you’ll want to visit the 8.5 acre Marie Selby Botanical Gardens—a spot both interesting and romantic.

Attractions the kids will love include the eye-grabbing G.Wiz Science Museum, the Big Cat Habitat with lions and tigers, Jungle Gardens, and Mote Marine, a massive terrarium for all varieties of sea life. Sarasota young people perform in the Sailor Circus. They train year round for acts that are much like the old Big Top Circus acts.

If you’re the shopping or sportsman types, St. Armand’s Circle offers over one hundred specialty shops and restaurants. Some of the finest golf courses in Florida are also in this area. For auto lovers, the Classic Car Museum exhibits incredibly rare cars in mint condition.

Sarasota also offers a wonderful taste of the quaint. There is a thriving Amish community known as Pinecraft.  There, Mennonites dress in traditional Plain clothing, wear prayer coverings, and ride large-wheel adult tricycles with large baskets in back.  While here you must go eat in an Amish restaurant—two of the most familiar are Yoder’s, and Dutch Heritage. For example, Yoder’s bakes more than twenty-five varieties of pie every day, including the famously decadent Peanut Butter cream pie. Then if you like you can shop at Dutch Heritage for locally made jams and jellies, toys, dolls, quilts, etc. If you want to go big-item, you can also find the top quality wood furniture made by the Amish.

Why come to Greater Sarasota?  We have it all!

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