Local Attractions

Arts and Entertainment

DiningShoppingSpa & WellnessHobbies & Watersports
alt Ringling Museum website

Circus Sarasota website

(941) 355-9335

The circus is an important part of Sarasota’s legacy, so a performance by the city’s resident big-top is a definite must see. The European-style show offers non-stop entertainment with unique acts, including the Russian Cossack Riders, Roman Rings and aerial act.


John & Mable Ringling Museum Complex website

5401 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 359-5700

Circus magnate John Ringling helped transform Sarasota into a cultural capital in the 1920s. Today his influence is still evident in the John and Mable Ringling Museum complex, affiliated with Florida State University. Stunning architecture and an expansive collection of works by baroque masters and American artists delight serious art aficionados. Innovative installations and object art help showcase the wall pieces by giving the viewer a sense of time and place. In addition, the estate encompasses Cà d'Zan (the recently restored 32-room Ringling mansion), the Circus Museum, Original Asolo Theater, Rose Garden and beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay.


Longboat Key Center for the Arts website

6860 Longboat Drive South
Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 383-2345

Budding artists young and old can test their skills with a brush at The Longboat Key Center for the Arts. Established in 1952, the center has become one of the state’s premier facilities, providing studios for instruction and continually changing exhibits in three art galleries. The center also sponsors regular outdoor concerts featuring local musicians.


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens website

(941) 355-9335

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the perfect place for gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers to check out orchids, ferns, bromeliads and heliconias. The garden's biggest claim to fame is that it has more epiphytes than any other exhibit or display in the nation. What’s an epiphyte--you ask? A breed of flower that seems to grow out of thin air. Not excited by obscure horticulture? No worries - nine acres of walking paths guide you through scenic gardens full of hibiscus, wildflowers, banyans, and tropical fruit trees.


Mote Aquarium/Sarasota Bay Explorers Cruise website

600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 388-4441

Mote Aquarium’s informative exhibits portray underwater life in grass flats, rivers and artificial reefs. The popular “touch tank” allows little visitors to get up close and personal with a variety of marine life while three working laboratories give budding scientists insight into the world of Mote's research projects. The brand new Sea Cinema allows theater-goers to experience life as a hungry shark, thanks to surround sound, a big screen and 3D objects. The Sarasota Bay Explorers Cruise, a fascinating extension of the aquarium, travels through the bay with a marine biologist on board to help passengers spot dolphins and manatees. A brief stop on an island rookery allows glimpses of pelicans, herons, ibises and egrets.


Myakka River State Park website

13207 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL 34241
(941) 361-6511

Florida’s largest state park gives visitors a sense of what the state was like a hundred years ago. 29,000 acres of primal wilderness surrounding the Myakka River teem with alligators, vultures and wild boars. Guided tours by foot, canoe and kayak offer nature lovers an interesting look at wild cypress swamp, mangrove forest and marshland.



St. Armand's Circlewebsite

300 Madison Drive Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 383-1554

The brainchild of circus magnate John Ringling, St. Armand’s Circle resembles an elegant European market, with Italian statuary, lush landscaping, and glittering outdoor lights in the evenings. Shoppers come from all over the world to browse the collection of over 130 upscale boutiques, unique galleries, and outdoor cafes.


Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall website

777 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34236

Arguably the crown jewel of Sarasota’s contemporary arts scene, the landmark Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall welcomes a broad range of performers. Set along the waterfront, the stately venue hosts world-class symphonies, premier dance companies, jazz artists, pop legends and Broadway shows.

Dining

ShoppingSpa & WellnessFishing & WatersportsArts & Entertainment

Blue Dolphin Café website

5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive
941-383-3787

With two convenient locations on Longboat Key and St. Armand’s Circle, the Blue Dolphin Café offers an intimate atmosphere serving breakfast and lunch daily. The menu consists of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch fare with daily specials prepared by our Culinary Institute graduates.


The Dry Dock Waterfront Grill website

412 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 383-0102

Renowned by locals as having the tastiest grouper sandwich and hamburgers in town, this casual waterfront dining haven’s view is just as good as the food. Choose between outdoor dining, where the warm Sarasota Bay breezes add ambiance or opt for the interior sections, where you can enjoy the view only obstructed by a few shady coconut palm branches.


Euphemia Haye Restaurant & The Haye Loft Lounge & Dessert Room website

5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 383-3633

Adored by critics and locals alike, the stellar Euphemia Haye Restaurant is famous for its crispy roast duck and prime cracked-pepper strip steak. Romantic candlelit tables and an extensive wine selection make it a favorite upper-crust date destination. Upstairs, the slightly more casual Haye Loft specializes in tantalizing desserts, pastries and top-shelf liqueurs.


Harry’s Continental Kitchens website

525 St. Judes Drive
Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 383-0777

Harry’s relaxed tropical dining room offers delicious lunch and dinner menus of seafood, pasta and salads. Next door, the restaurant’s gourmet deli and takeout offers irresistible sandwiches, desserts, espresso drinks and a wide selection of fine wines.


Pattigeorge's website

4120 Gulf of Mexico Drive
941-383-5111

Pattigeorge’s draws it culinary inspiration from coastlines around the globe, bringing together American regional favorites, Italian traditions, exotic Asian flavors and exciting Caribbean and Latin American nuances.


Shopping

DiningSpa & WellnessFishing & WatersportsArts & Entertainment
alt St. Armands Circle website

Avenue of the Flowers

5525 Bay Isle Parkway
Longboat Key, FL 34228

The island’s most beautifully landscaped shopping area is also its most convenient, with a grocery store, Post Office and pharmacy. Stores include: Publix Supermarket, Network Video, Brightwater Boutique, Lifestyles, Philips Menswear, Susan Stribling’s New Traditions and Zodiac Fine Jewelry & Collectibles.


The Centre Shops

5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 387-8298

A collection of specialty boutiques, galleries and restaurants make this mid-island plaza a popular stop for shoppers.


Ellenton Premium Outlets website

5461 Factory Shops Blvd.
Ellenton, FL 34222
(941) 723-1150

Forty minutes from Longboat Key, the huge Ellenton PremiumOutlets shopping plaza lures fashion addicts with the largest assortment of outlets in the area. Make sure you take plenty of cash and plastic, as you’re sure to leave with bags of goodies from Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Mikasa and Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue.


St. Armand's Circlewebsite

300 Madison Drive Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 383-1554

The brainchild of circus magnate John Ringling, St. Armand’s Circle resembles an elegant European market, with Italian statuary, lush landscaping, and glittering outdoor lights in the evenings. Shoppers come from all over the world to browse the collection of over 130 upscale boutiques, unique galleries, and outdoor cafes.


Westfield Southgate Plaza website

3501 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34239
(941) 955-0900

For traditional mall shopping with an upscale twist, Southgate Plaza offers chic apparel stores and the home furnishing chains: Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and Home Resource. For frocks and such, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s, Banana Republic and MAC keep fashionistas satisfied.


Spa and Wellness

DiningShoppingFishing & WatersportsArts & Entertainment

Ana Molinari Salon and Spa website

52 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 365-1415

The Ana Molinari Salon and Spa is popular with the scores of bridal parties that flock to Longboat Key for beach weddings. Manicures, pedicures and a full menu of hair cuts and colors help brides and their supporting casts get glammed up for the big day.


The Met Day Spa & Salon website

35 S. Boulevard of the Presidents
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 388-3991

The Met doesn’t mess around when it comes to its spa packages: stressed-out visitors can relax for seven-and-a-half hours straight, starting with a eucalyptus bath and ending with a Vichy shower. Too busy vacationing to spend that much time being pampered? Just pop in for a quick cut and style at the salon before heading off for more shopping and dining on St. Armand’s Circle.

Longboat Massage website

4134 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 387-0857

At Longboat Massage you will find that the run-of-the-mill approach is never taken with customers. Each session is customized to suit the individual patient's needs and desires, being sure to weave together certain relaxation and medically beneficial techniquies for a soothing, yet healing experience that addresses all levels of mind, body and soul.

Hobbies & Watersports

DiningShoppingSpa & WellnessArts & Entertainment

AutoXotic website

1626 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34236
(855) GOXOTIC

AutoXotic your source for all of your exotic and luxury vehicle necessities - specializing in daily rentals, innovative ownership and vehicle sales.

Economy Tackle & Dolphin Dive Center

(941) 922-9671

Economy Tackle and Dolphin Dive Center is the area's foremost watersport store, offering live bait, kayak tours and rentals along with scuba and snorkel gear.


Enterprise Sailing Charters website

2 Marina Plaza
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 951-1833

See celebrity homes and dolphins while stretched out aboard a comfortable, safe, 41-foot tall masted vessel with three sails. Romantic sunset cruises make an affordable and unforgettable date night activity.


Longboat Key Fishing Charters website

601 St. Judes Drive
Longboat Key, FL 34228
(941) 387-0136

Captain Clive Burgess’ custom built 24ft. center console fishing boat offers a clean, dry, comfortable ride for up to four people. Fishing license, bait, tackle and ice are provided. Child-friendly backwater tours for fledging anglers are available.