Ca' d'Zan picture
Marje/Getty Images

Key Info

5401 Bay Shore Road

Details

Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 2.5Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Though not as stately as the adjacent John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Ca' d'Zan woos visitors with its Venetian Gothic-style architecture and elegant interior. The property – which was once the home of Ringling Bros. Circus co-founder John Ringling and his wife, Mable – sits five stories tall and features details like a roof made of 16th-century Spanish tiles, a marble terrace overlooking Sarasota Bay, servants' quarters, a game room and an 82-foot-high tower with a domed ceiling. Many of John and Mable Ringling's personal belongings, plus unique furnishings, such as an Aeolian organ and a crystal chandelier that once hung in the original Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, are also on display in the building.

Visitors praise this historic attraction's lavish design and breathtaking views of Sarasota Bay. Though some past travelers lamented the extra charges incurred to explore the entire property, others highly recommend purchasing an upgraded ticket with access to all floors. However, visitors with mobility issues may want to pass on tours of the upper floors due to the home's lack of a working elevator.

Several ticket options are available for Ca' d'Zan, the most affordable of which costs $30 per person and includes a 45-minute guided tour of the building's upper floors. For a complete tour of the property, a $40 per person charge applies. Travelers can also add on tours of Ca' d'Zan's first floor or first and second floors when purchasing tickets for the Museum of Art. All visitors (including non-ticket holders), have access to The Ringling museum campus amenities, which include restrooms, picnic areas, two cafes, free parking and bicycle racks, two gift shops and complimentary tram service around the property.

Ca' d'Zan is located 5 miles northwest of downtown Sarasota by the airport. To get to the property, visitors can drive, bike or take the No. 30 or 99 SCAT bus. Besides Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, it is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. More information about Ca' d'Zan's history, tours and special events can be found on the attraction's website.

See all Hotels in Sarasota »

More Best Things To Do in Sarasota

Myakka River State Park
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 8
#1 Myakka River State Park

Considered one of Florida's oldest and largest state parks, Myakka River State Park stretches across 58 square miles of wetlands, hammocks, pinelands and prairies. The area also features a river and two lakes, making it a prime place to enjoy water activities like canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Or, visitors can tour the lakes via one of the attraction's airboats, which are the largest in the world. Land-based tours are offered seasonally as well.

Though some travelers caution that finding the park's entrance and parking near the lake's main activities can be a bit of a challenge, many agree that this scenic spot is a must-visit for nature lovers. All sorts of animals – including alligators, roseate spoonbills and armadillos – are known to frequent the area. What's more, the park offers nearly 40 miles of hiking trails – including one walkway suspended 25 feet above the ground – and several biking paths.

Read more
The Photography Factory/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Sarasota »

Explore More of Sarasota

Recommended

The World's 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20

Using reader input and expert analysis, U.S. News identified the latest can't-miss vacations.

Tilly PeckerJune 25, 2019

The 16 Best San Diego Tours

Take advantage of the adventures this coastal city has to offer with a guided trip.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

12 Top Napa Valley Wineries to Visit

Set your sights on these can't-miss wineries during your next visit to California's wine country.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

The 6 Best Denver Brewery Tours

Discover the buzz about Denver's craft beer scene with these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 21, 2019

The 10 Best Charleston Walking Tours

Experience true southern hospitality as you explore Charleston on one of these strolls.

Claire LawtonJune 20, 2019

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019