The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art#2 in Best Things To Do in Sarasota
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which features thousands of Medieval, Renaissance, Greek, Roman and Cypriot antiquities and works of art, is the main attraction on The Ringling museum campus. Numerous galleries showcase pieces from Ringling Bros. Circus co-founder John Ringling's personal collection, including paintings by Velázquez, Rubens and Veronese. And in the museum's courtyard, 20th-century bronze and stone casts of iconic works like Michelangelo's "David" are on display.
According to recent visitors, everyone from art enthusiasts to architecture and nature buffs will love exploring this museum. The attraction's art collection offers all sorts of masterpieces to ogle, while the pink building's unique U-shaped design impresses with its Renaissance-inspired facade. Additionally, travelers rave about the property's courtyard and gardens, which feature fountains, statues, various flowers and picturesque views of Sarasota Bay. Although photography is not permitted in the museum's special exhibits, visitors are more than welcome to snap some photos of permanent collection pieces and the property's gardens and exterior, so be sure to bring your camera.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (with extended hours on Thursdays) every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The property is situated approximately 5 miles northwest of downtown Sarasota alongside stops for the Nos. 30 and 99 SCAT bus routes. What's more, free bicycle racks and outdoor parking are both available on-site.
After paying an entrance fee of $25 for adults, $23 for seniors or $5 for college students (with a valid ID) and children ages 6 to 17, visitors have access to all of the museum's exhibits, plus those offered at the nearby Circus Museum. Restrooms, cafes, picnic areas, two gift shops and complimentary shuttle service to other Ringling-affiliated attractions are also available on The Ringling museum campus, and free 40-minute art museum tours are provided every day except Mondays (when complimentary admission is offered). For travelers interested in seeing the Museum of Art and Ca' d'Zan, combo tickets that include entry into the former and limited or full tours of the latter cost an additional $10 or $20. Reduced rates are available as well between 5 and 8 p.m. on Thursdays. To learn more about The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, check out the property's website.
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#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.
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