Sarasota: The Hub of Florida’s Cultural Coast

Sarasota: The Hub of Florida’s Cultural Coast

  • Wendy Egan
  • 01/13/22

Sarasota: The Hub of Florida’s Cultural Coast

Beyond the sun and sand, Sarasota is a cultural oasis of art and entertainment

Sarasota is known as Florida's Cultural Coast, providing many performing art venues, cultural attractions, museums, art galleries, and many more activities. There is always something new to see or a fun event to explore.

Ringling Museum

Visit the sprawling 66-acre estate of John and Mable Ringling at The Ringling, a State Art Museum boasting one of the country's most esteemed art and cultural collections. 

Examine the classical sculptures by strolling through the courtyard in the Museum of Art or witness dazzling displays of innovation in the Circus Museum. Ca'd'Zan is the magnificent home of the famed entrepreneur and his wife, a stunning feat of architecture in Venetian Gothic Style. Also located at the Ringling Estate are the Bayfront Gardens and the Historic Asolo Theater.

Selby Gardens

Marie Selby Gardens is a lush oasis comprising 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries. Selby Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to studying gesneriads, ferns, epiphytic orchids, and bromeliads. Stretching across the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the Historic Spanish Point campus, Selby Gardens is a stunning achievement dedicated to education, environment, horticulture, and historical preservation. 

Performing Arts 

Audience members, creatives, and performers alike will appreciate the multitude of performing arts venues, community theaters, and professional theater companies scattered throughout Sarasota. 

Perched directly on Sarasota Bay is the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The Van Wezel maintains a prestigious reputation for hosting the top national and international performers, including world-class symphony orchestras, dancers from across the globe, and Broadway musicals. 

The Sarasota Ballet is the Florida Gulf Coast's first and only professional ballet company. Founded in 1987, the company has received international recognition for its integrity and diverse range of performed ballets. 

The country's third-largest community theater, Venice Theatre, is located here, as is the Asolo Repertory Theatre, one of the largest professional theaters in the Southeastern United States.  

Sarasota Opera House

The Sarasota Opera House is internationally acclaimed and hosts everything from opera, symphony and classical ballet to music concerts and film festivals. 

Sarasota also has a thriving music scene led by the highly regarded Sarasota Orchestra.

Sarasota also hosts yearly Artist Series Concerts from October to June and an annual chamber music festival known as the La Musica di Asolo. The Venice Symphony offers performances at the Venice Performing Arts Center from internationally-acclaimed artists, and the Sarasota Jazz Club features a festival every April. 

Visual Art Scene 

Sarasota is characterized by some of the best workshops, colleges, art studios, and galleries in the state. Ringling College of Art + Design is one of the paramount colleges for animation in the country, while Englewood Art Center and Art Center Sarasota provide access to classes and workshops to visitors. 

Towles Court is a local artist colony with boutique galleries, fine dining and interior designer studios.

The Sarasota Film Festival is held each April featuring more than 200 national and international films along with interactive panels, special events, and educational programs.

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