Sarasota’s cultural scene offers a vast array of arts and attractions.

Featuring classical and modern dance, the Sarasota Ballet performs throughout the year while the Asolo Theatre’s theatrical company unveils their lineup November through June.

In October, the John and Mable Ringling Museum hosts an International Arts Festival. This six-day cultural event with music, dance, theater and visual arts is presented on Ringling’s beautiful 66-acre grounds along Sarasota Bay!

If art is your passion, the Ringling Museum houses fine baroque period paintings including the oversized works of Rubens and numerous sculptures from John and Mable Ringling’s collection. Stroll the bay-front grounds and tour the rose gardens on your way to Ringling’s waterfront home, the Ca d’Zan. This is the last of America’s Gilded Age mansions. Constructed in 1924-1925, at a cost of $1.5 million dollars, this home is 36,000 square feet with 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms. Then see memorabilia and artifacts at the nearby circus museum where visitors at any age are able to experience the magic of the center ring. Tickets are discounted on Thursdays after 5:00pm.

Head to Sarasota’s Season of Sculpture, an International Invitational Exhibit. The shaded walkway offers a series of large pieces along Sarasota’s Bayfront where large installations are on display for only six months. This non-profit organization reviews and selects new artists every fall.

Sarasota and Bradenton house two artist communities called Towles Court and the Village of the Arts. Both “Old Florida” style bungalow locations feature a colorful collection of galleries, studios and cafes. In neighborly fashion, these artists live, work and feed off the enthusiasm of their counterparts, in pursuit of their own technique and style.

Towles Court has an evening art walk the third Friday of every month while the first Friday and Saturday of each month is assigned to the Village of the Arts. Check their sites for details.

Take a look at more offerings in this comprehensive Vacation Planner.

Meanwhile, Sarasota’s Film Festival and Van Wezel attract top rated actors, concerts and international performances.

Housed in an exceptional structure along the bayfront of St. Petersburg is the Surreal Artistry of Salvador Dali. High-profile architect Yann Weymouth (who worked with I.M. Pei on the Louvre’s glass pyramid) created the design to pay homage to Dalí’s free-flowing imagination. Of the 18 so-called Masterworks produced by Dali, eight are located in St. Pete’s Dali Museum.

Also in St. Petersburg is the Morean Arts Center with a fine collection of Dale Chihuly. Make sure to plan a visit to the nearby hot shop where the art of glass blowing is demonstrated.


Discounted Museum admissions on…Thursdays

Enjoy the Museum’s entire Art Collection and Exhibits… with cocktails in the loggia every Thursday from 5:00 – 8:00pm. Bring the family and explore the Circus Museum’s miniature circus and Wisconsin railroad car.

Please refer to our Culture/ Vacation Planner for additional Performances, Museums and all the Arts in the area.