You probably know that Sarasota is famous for its beautiful beaches, but did you know it is also famous for its Ringling Circus heritage?
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was a world-renowned show that traveled across the United States, and had its winter headquarters settled in Sarasota. One of the brothers, John Ringling, was a great deal of importance in the modern development in Sarasota. He also bought water front land, which he then built a mansion on and later built a museum to hold him and his wife, Mable’s, collection of Baroque art. It wasn’t long before John became extremely wealthy and bought the American Circus Corporation, thus owning every traveling circus in America. During this time he traveled Europe while adding to his art collection, which is now the couples growing legacy: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; a unique gem of Sarasota.
Today The Ringling’s beautiful property includes the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, Ca’D’Zan, Historic Asolo Theater and the Bayfront Gardens.
Open 7 days a week
10:00am – 5:00pm Daily
Thursdays open until 8:00pm; The Museum of Art and & Circus Museum are open after 5:00pm
The Bayfront Gardens are open from 9:30am until 6:00pm
Senior 65+: $20
Students 18+ w/ID: $5
Child 6-17: $5
Active US Military: $10
Children under 6: No Charge
The Circus Museum was created to celebrate the history of the American Circus. When John Ringling made Sarasota the Winter Quarters of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a great deal of the performers moved to the area. Due to this The Ringling Museum of the American Circus was able to document their history with collections of wardrobes and circus memorabilia, which vastly grew over the years. Today the museum is a family favorite that includes performing props, equipment, circus railroad cars, the film The Life and Times of John and Mable Ringling, and even interactive galleries where you can walk the wire, squeeze into a clown car and have your picture take with a faux tiger.
The Ca’ d’Zan is the breathtaking mansion that was built for John and Mable Ringling. It is open to the public 10am-5pm, but if you would like to delve deeper into the palace there is also a summer tour special now through Labor Day, September 1, 2014 where you will receive a FREE Guided Tour of Ca’ d’Zan first and second floors when you purchase a Ca’ d’Zan Private Places Tour. Tickets are $20.
If you would like to see an affordable show that will make the whole family laugh while visiting Sarasota, then be sure to experience the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Historic Asolo Theater. Experience comedy by Chris Allison, award-winning hand-balancer Christian Stoinev and his canine cohort Scooby, the quick-change magical transformation act of Olga & Vladimir Smirnov, the magnificent “Queen of the Air,” Dolly Jacobs, and more!
Performances are Tuesday – Friday @ 11:00am and 2:00pm
Saturdays @ 2:00pm and 5:00pm
$15 Adults/$12 Children
Jun 17, 2014 – Aug 2, 2014
PLUS admission to the Circus Museum is just an additional $5 with your Summer Circus performance ticket! Tickets can be purchased in the Visitors Pavillion the day of your show.
The staff at Tropical Beach Resorts is happy to answer any questions you might have on The Ringling or your trip to Sarasota.
Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Sarasota, Fl 34242
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Siesta Key makes the Top 10 list for TripAdvisor’s Breathtaking Beaches
Siesta Key takes another top accolade delivered by TripAdvisor for being one of the Top10 Breathtaking Beaches!
Among the other top destinations include international, tropical hotspots like the Caribbean, Australia, Thailand, Greece. Siesta Key Public Beach and LaniKai Beach in Hawaii are the only two US destinations to make the list. This is a huge recognition for Siesta Key to receive. This is just one of many different accolades for the Siesta Key Beach to receive just in 2014. It was awarded the #1 Beach by Dr. Beach last year.
The Siesta Key Public Beach was also awarded as a Traveler’s Choice Winner by TripAdvisor in 2014. For more information on Tripadvisor’s traveler reviews on the island, Click here!
If you haven’t visited Siesta Key yet, you are missing out! Call to make your reservation in our breathtaking paradise! Our local, knowledgeable staff at Tropical Beach Resorts is ready to help you find the best accommodation for your traveling pleasure! With 70 updated units, just steps from the pristine, white sands, you are sure to feel comfortable while enjoying the Siesta Key sun and fun!
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Sarasota Bike Tours is a unique way to experience Siesta Key and beyond. They are the first and only bike company in Sarasota and they plan for everything you could need! Bikes, helmets, kayaks, snacks or picnic lunch and a local guide are all provided for you. Taking one of their trips allows you to enjoy the more hidden beauty of Sarasota while being active with friends or family. The owner of the tour company is a Sarasota native, so he knows all the best back roads, nature and architecture to explore from the seat of a bike or kayak through Sarasota, Siesta key and Lido Key.
Siesta Key Sunset Tour
Want to explore the number one beach in the U.S.A? With this tour you can experience a leisurely ride on the roads and on Siesta’s white sand beach. Take in the renowned Siesta Key sun set while enjoying a glass of wine or beer with your snack at the end of your trip, which is all provided by Sarasota Bike Tours. The tour starts and finishes in the Siesta Key Public Beach parking lot, and if you are staying on Siesta Key they can usually begin and end at your condo, hotel or beach house.
Duration 2 hours
Distance 5-7 miles
Price $49 (This tour includes a snack and beverage.)
Siesta Key Ride & Kayak Tour
This tour also starts at Siesta Key Public beach, and then continues down Midnight Pass Rd to Turtle beach, where you will be prepped for a kayak trip through old Midnight Pass, the Jim Neville Marine Preservation and turtle lagoon . You will conclude with a short ride back to the Siesta public beach, or your condo, hotel or beach house.
Duration 4 hours
Distance 8 miles
Price $99 (This tour includes a box lunch.)
Why not enjoy an adventure off of Siesta Key on your vacation? Sarasota Bike Tours also has excursion to explore Lido Key and our beautiful downtown area:
Downtown Historic Tour
Lido Beach Sunset Tour
Lido Key Bike & Kayak Tour
Ringling Mansion & Sarasota Bay Front Tour
Taste of Sarasota Tour
Sarasota Bike Tours offers a 20% discount for guests who bring their own bike.
Prices include bikes, helmets, and all equipment. Sarasota Bike Tours accept requests for any tour on days not previously booked. Feel free to call if you have any questions or special requests.
The knowledgeable staff at Tropical Beach Resorts are happy to suggest a wide variety of activities during your visit to Siesta Key, Florida. Let us help you plan the island get-a-way of your dreams!
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Have you ever seen the ‘Green Flash’ at sunset or even sunrise on Siesta Key?
There’s an old Florida legend that says if you are watching sunset at just the right time, you just may see a green flash. But as it happens, the green flash is a natural phemonemon!
Here’s what Wikipedia says: “Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that sometimes occur right after sunset or right before sunrise. When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The green appearance usually lasts for no more than a second or two. Sometimes (rarely) the green flash can resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset (or sunrise) point. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors. Green flashes are a group of phenomena which stem from slightly different causes, and therefore some types of green flashes are more common than others.
Lots of people will claim that they have seen the green flash at sunset, but they are tricky to find and don’t happen all the time. While there is no optimal condition that will guarantee a green flash sighting, a green flash is best observed with a clear view of the horizon and in an area that is free of pollution. It is more likely to see a green flash when there is visibility of several miles, almost to the point of the curvature of the earth, and the sky is cloudless.
Green flash sightings frequently occur at the ocean, where more of the atmosphere is visible and the line of sight is virtually parallel to the horizon. Prairies also have the appropriate conditions for a green flash sighting. One popular but inaccurate explanation attributes green flashes to the sun shining through the waves on the ocean. However, the light entering a wave is bent downward, into the water and cannot escape.
Another common misconception is that a green flash is afterimage, a result of the saturation of the red cones in the human retina or that it was an enduring image that remained after the sun had set. But sightings of the green flash at sunrise made both of these ideas implausible.
Siesta Key has some of the most brilliantly colored sunsets, expansive rays of glowing reds, golds, oranges, pinks, purples, and blues, and also reflecting clouds with clear skies. Sunsets are quite the event on Siesta Key with crowds of people flocking to the beach to see the sunset every evening. After the sun sets, you’ll hear a variety of celebrations occur. Some people clap, cheer, some play music, while others sound off an airhorn. Whatever the celebration, it is an event not to be missed while visiting this special island. Don’t forget your camera and your own type of celebration!
What’s the best thing to do for sunset viewing? Walk to the beach from Tropical Beach Resorts!! With just a short walk from the hotel, the cool, white sand is waiting for your enjoyment! The hotel provides beach chairs and beach towels for you to take to the beach, so you can spend time enjoying the beautiful views!
Tropical Beach Resorts
Siesta Key, FL 34242
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The sugar white sand of Siesta Key explained:
I have to tell you that growing up as a Sarasota local with countless hours spent on the beautiful beaches of Siesta Key I took the sugar white sands a bit for granted.
My search for the truth behind our perfect sand came while visiting cousins up north one summer when I was shocked to find out I needed to run from the shore to my towel because the sand was so hot!
Ok, it was obvious that the sand was made of larger, rougher grains and not at
any where near as pretty as the beaches of Siesta Key but who would have
guessed it would scorch my feet! All of my beach experiences on Siesta Key
did not require shoes until you hit the parking lot, in fact we would often
leave our flip flops at the edge of the sand, a pretty common practice for locals.
Most other beaches are made mostly of coral, but Siesta Key’s sand is 99%
quartz crushed into a pure white fine powder. Because quartz is a crystal it
actually disperses the heat from the sun and leaves Siesta Key beaches cool
to the touch. Harvard University¹s geology department discovered that
through millenniums, quartz from the southern Appalachian Mountains down the
rivers until it was eventually deposited into the Gulf of Mexico and then
onto the coast of Florida. No one can tell exactly how long this process
takes, but because the grains of sand are so fine we know it to be eons in
Siesta Key is widely recognized for having the BEST sand in the world! It’s
fine, white and feels almost like powdered sugar in between your toes while you walk across the beautiful beach. In 1987 at the Great International White Sand Beach Challenge, it was scientifically proven that Siesta Key obviously has the whitest, softest sand beach in the world. And since sand like ours takes eons to create, Siesta ended any future challenges for this title.
If you want to experience the best beach with the whitest sand in the world,
Tropical Beach Resorts is the perfect place! It is located just steps from the pristine
beach with beautiful rooms, lush tropical gardens, sparkling pools and
the friendliest staff on the island!
For hotel reservations or surrounding area information please visit us
online at www.tropicalbeachresorts.com or call us toll-free at
6717 Sara Sea Circle Siesta Key, Sarasota FL 34242
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Wind down your Sunday Fun-Day on Siesta Key with the rhythm of the local drum circle!
When you’re vacationing on Siesta Key don’t hurry off the gorgeous beach on Sunday afternoon, stay for one of the most eclectic gatherings of people you’ll ever see!
After a fun-filled day of sun bathing, swimming and building sand castles with the kids stay and relax for a while, you won’t want to miss out on the local marvel that starts up one hour before sunset. The Siesta Key Drum Circle takes place every Sunday just south of the main pavilion – follow the music, you can’t miss it! Catch the festival-like ambience in the beautiful setting of a Siesta Key sunset with a unique Sarasota tradition that started with just with a few local musicians and has grown into a weekly event. Widely known by all Sarasotans, the drum circle is open to the public and is free-form drum group that anyone can join. You can enjoy drummers, hula hoopers, belly dancers, fire jugglers and various other types of street performers. You will feel a true beachy vibe with the music and the little ones will love to jam out with the dancers and drummers. There’s no better way to end your week, or vacation on Siesta Key than in the care free atmosphere of local musicians and performers while watching the sun set on the beautiful white sand! Bring a blanket and the family to the beach on Sunday evenings during your next visit to Sarasota! If you are thinking about vacationing on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida. Watching the ebb and flow of several hundred residents and tourists, it’s hard to imagine the humble handful that started the drum circle more than a decade ago. These days, the crowd of weekly regulars and occasional visitors has made this unofficial Sarasota spectacle one of the largest drum circles in the nation! An open invitation to all is one of the reasons for the circle’s success – everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in the fun.So, for a truly unique Sarasota vacation experience, be sure to pack your tambourine or maracas and head over to the Siesta Key public beach. Held on Sunday evenings, the fun starts about an hour before sundown but plan on arriving a little early as parking fills up quickly. Whether you’re planning to join the jam or just hang out with the crowd, bring your blanket and bongos and enjoy the carefree rhythms and performers of the amazing Siesta Key Drum Circle!
If you are thinking that the Sunday night drum circle on Siesta Key sounds a fun event to you….. take advantage of this fun event and stay at Tropical Beach Resorts on Siesta Key. It is only a quick 10 -15 minute walk up the beach to the Public Beach!
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Okay… the family trip is planned! You are headed to Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida! The kids are excited and you have extra sunscreen packed already! You know the kids are going to want to to swim and play at the beach as much as possible…
But are we going to do to entertain them when they have had enough surf and sand?
Fortunately, Sarasota has more than our beautiful beaches to entertain the kids!
Planning a vacation on sunny Siesta Key and wondering…. is there something else to do if my little ones get bored with splashing in the gentle waves and building sandcastles in the sugar white sand? Not likely to happen… but the answer is an emphatic YES! When you take a short ride off Siesta Key just over the the bridge you will find that Sarasota offers lots of one-of-a-kind kid fun! Sure we have malls and movies and all the stuff you would find back home – but my suggestion is to take your kids to at least one of the unique fun spots that those of us from Sarasota grew up loving!
Mote Marine Aquarium
Mote Marine Aquarium is a world-renowned show case of research and over 100 marine species including manatees, dolphins, sharks and sea turtles. This is a great hands on learning environment for the whole family while visiting Sarasota! There are touch pools, interactive exhibits and working labs. They also have some new exhibits such as a narrated training session with sharks, a marine paleontologist attraction where kids can dig for fossils, and the seahorse conservation laboratory.
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays
Tickets: Adults (13 & older): $19.75
Seniors (65 & older): $18.75
Youth (age 4-12): $14.75
Children (age 0-3): Free
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
This is one of Florida’s first attractions and is still a huge hit today. Jungle Gardens is full of beautiful flora, fauna and over 150 native and exotic animals! During your visit you can see birds, primates, small animals, alligators, snakes and Florida’s notorious pink flamingo. This fun spot reels in visitors of all ages.
Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
3701 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34234
Big Cat Habitat
Lions, tigers, bears oh my! Come see a plethora of exotic animals at a somewhat hidden gem of Sarasota. You and the kids can watch thrilling educational demonstrations and maybe even watch the trainers head inside of a lion’s mouth! And the little ones will love the petting zoo.
Hours: Wed-Sun 12:30 PM to 4 PM
Sarasota’s Bay front Park
This island park is right on the beautiful waters of Sarasota Bay. Sidewalks wrap all around the waterfront with benches and swings and picturesque scenery. You can roller blade, picnic or dine at one of the two restaurants on property. The best part is the water fountain area for kids to play which was my personal favorite place to go growing up, not to mention its free! Dogs are also welcome in this park.
Water Fountain Hours: Summer hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day) 10 AM to 7 PM
Winter Hours: (Labor Day to Oct 31 and April 1 to Memorial Day) 10 AM to 5 PM
For more information about family friendly resorts on Siesta Key contact:Tropical Beach Resorts 6717 Sara Sea Circle Siesta Key, Sarasota FL 34242 Reservations 800-235-3493 www.tropicalbeachresorts.com
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What is the Best Beach in Sarasota?
Not only is Siesta Key the best beach in Sarasota, it’s quite possibly the best beach in the nation!
Siesta Key Beach is constantly winning accolades from big news publications and travel companies worldwide! The incredible characteristics of the sand and surrounding environment makes Siesta Key a consistent contender for the top beaches to visit in the country.
The sand is 99% pure quartz, soft and cool on the feet.
Siesta Beach is located on Beach Road on Siesta Key. Siesta Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the world. At the “Great International White Sand Beach Challenge” held in 1987, it was recognized as having the “whitest and finest sand in the world.”
Unlike beaches elsewhere that are made up mostly of pulverized coral, Siesta Beach’s sand is 99% quartz. Even on the hottest days, the sand is so reflective that it feels cool underfoot. It’s estimated that the sand on Siesta Beach and Crescent Beach on Siesta Key is millions of years old, having its origin in the Appalachians and flowing down the rivers from the mountains until it eventually was deposited on the shores of Siesta Key.
Shallow water depth in the near shore area together with year round lifeguard protection, makes this one of the safest beaches in the county and great for small children. Siesta Key, Crescent Beach, Siesta Beach and Turtle Beach are accessible from the North Bridge at Siesta Drive or the South Bridge at Stickney Point Road. Siesta Key is an eight mile barrier island graced with two more beaches, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach… as well as exotic flowers, magnificent banyan trees and preserved mangrove shores where ibis, snowy egrets and herons claim refuge for their young.
Just a few of the honors Siesta Key has received:
- “The whitest and finest sand in the world” (The Great International Beach Challenge, 1987),
- “The Best Sand Beach in America” (The Travel Channel, 2004),
- “The Best Beach in America” (Dr. Beach, 2011).
- “10 Beaches that should be on your bucket List” (Yahoo Travel, 2014)
- “The Best Beach” in the State of Florida (Florida Trend Magazine)
“Florida’s Top White Sand Beach” (Conde Nast Travel, 2014)
Siesta Key is a destination for travelers worldwide and should be on the top of your list of beaches to visit! Surrounding this incredible beach is a beautiful island of small condos and hotels. There are also the two small villages packed with lively entertainment, fine dining, beachy restaurants and excellent shopping. It is a tourist and local favorite for sure.
Check with our friendly, local staff for recommendations on activities, dining, and other information. Rooms are available for daily rentals. Call today for specials and room information at 800-235-3493Tropical Beach Resorts 6717 Sarasea Circle Sarasota, FL 34242 www.tropicalbeachresorts.com 941-349-3330
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Trying to decide on the location for your next family vacation? Looking for the perfect spot to spend your hard-earned money and well-deserved time off?
With so many different choices, it can be an overwhelming and sometimes exhausting experience planning your trip.
Let us introduce you to the little piece of paradise called Siesta Key located in Sarasota, Florida.Â Â This gorgeous barrier island is perfect for relaxing and enjoying some real quality time!Â We would like to share some tips, ideas and suggestions that may help make your decision much easier!
Siesta Key is one of Sarasota’s barrier islands. The 8-mile long island is alive with tropical atmosphere, blessed with the world’s finest, whitest beaches, filled with charming hideaways, and always offering plenty to do – but it is also a place to relax, and let the warm breezes, cool water and soft sand transport you to your personal paradise!
There are two drawbridges that connect Siesta Key to the Sarasota mainland, allowing it to remain an uncomplicated natural paradise without sacrificing the amenities of contemporary life. The north bridge, Siesta Drive, is within the City of Sarasota and provides convenient access to the city, its business and arts districts, and to the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport via US Highway 41. The south bridge, Stickney Point Road, provides access to south Sarasota County and a direct route to Interstate 75.
There are two main shopping districts right on Siesta Key, each with a wide variety of shops that carry merchandise ranging from seashells, and T-shirts to the upscale clothing, to ice cream. The Village on Siesta Key is located on the northwest side of the Key about one block from the Gulf. The Siesta South Shopping area begins at the Stickney Point Bridge and goes south along Midnight Pass Road. There are free shuttle services that run til 2am on the island that will pick you up at your vacation residence and deliver you to wherever you want to visit, these services run on gratuities, and are a great way to explore the hidden coves and real estate on the island! Check out SunRide Pedicab, for example.
The beaches of Siesta Key are world-renowned. The pure quartz, pulverized to a fine white powder, has a magical quality. There is no sand quite like Siesta’s anywhere and there are multiple awards to prove this point! In 2011, Siesta Beach was rated as the #1 beach in the United States by “Dr. Beach”, a.k.a. Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s highly respected Laboratory for Coastal Research. With limited parking, along Beach Road, expansive Crescent Beach has been rated as one of the â€œTop 10 Beaches in the Worldâ€. Smack-dab- in the center of Crescent Beach isâ€¦ the â€œpublic beachâ€ known as Siesta Beach where Dr. Steve Leatherman, a.k.a. â€œDr. Beachâ€ awarded itâ€¦ The #1 Rankingâ€¦ above all other beaches in the U.Sâ€¦. including Hawaii!Â In 2004 the Travel Channel named it “The Best Sand Beach in America” because of its 99% pure quartz sand that stays cool under your feet.Â Siesta Key even won an award from the International Sand Contest in 1987 for having the best overall sand anywhere! That means that Siesta Key has the best sand in the WORLD! Even the Travel Channel agrees. In 2004, the Travel Channelâ€™s Best Beaches in America show featured Siesta Key as the Best Sand Beachâ€¦on the planet!Â Even Florida Trend Magazine has named Siesta Beach â€œThe Best Beachâ€ in the State of Florida!
We hope that these few tidbits have helped you in your vacation hunting! Siesta Key is the place to be right now and the sun is shining! So, pack your flip flops and casual beach attire, because on this island, it’s very easy to lose yourself and track of time!
Call one of our Siesta Key destination specialists today to help you with any other questions and to choose the perfect room for your Siesta Key vacation! 800-235-3493
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