BE ENTERTAINED

Beyond the pristine beaches and gorgeous sunsets exists a world of celebrated arts and culture. Once named the “Best Small City in America,” Sarasota and it's surrounding area are brimming with an array of performance art, cultural and leisure attractions to satisfy the most discerning art-lover.

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Performing Arts

Asolo Theatre Company The Asolo provides new artists a vehicle to produce their latest works, in addition to the classic revivals and perennial favorites performed throughout each season.

Sarasota Orchestra: Formerly known as the Florida West Coast Symphony, this is the oldest continually operating professional orchestra in the State of Florida.

Sarasota Ballet: A dance company in operation for over a decade, Sarasota Ballet presents a wide array of dance in different styles.

Sarasota Opera: Recognized by the State of Florida for its high caliber of artistry and fine performances, the Sarasota Opera Association features four operas in February and March.

The Jazz Club of Sarasota: The organization offers approximately 100 events per year including monthly concerts, jazz jams, free concerts, a film/lecture series and educational and community outreach programs.

Van Wezel: The curtain is always going up to resounding applause as patrons enjoy opera, ballet or any of its 140 performances annually, providing an mixture of theater, music and dance.

The Players Theatre: A non-professional community theatre that takes advantage of an incredible talent pool of past professional performers who retire or are drawn to the area.

West Coast Black Theatre Troupe: A celebrated group of African American artists giving voice to their mission of diversifying Sarasota’s cultural landscape with exciting theatre and musicals.

Museums and Attractions

The Ringling: In 1911, John and Mable Ringling purchased 20 acres of waterfront property in Sarasota. The Ringling’s brought much more than the circus to Sarasota – they engendered a sense of appreciation for the arts and the philosophy of preservation for paintings, sculpture, architecture, performance and much more. The Ringling is home to one of the preeminent art collections in the United States, the Ca’ d’ Zan bayfront mansion, circus museum and historic Asolo Theatre.

South Florida Museum: The museum’s exhibitions cover local heritage and the planetarium offers laser-light shows and star gazing.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: Best known for its living collection of more than 6,000 orchids, the gardens offer an intimate look into tropical flora an fauna from around the world. The Children’s Rainforest Garden offers a safe, natural place for young children and their families to develop a life-long appreciation for the living world through outdoor play, discovery and learning.

Mote Marine Aquarium: Explore the mysteries of the sea through educational exhibits that capture the interests of all ages. The aquarium is the Nation’s only Congressionally designated center for shark research.

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Endless Events

  • Cine World Film Festival
  • Classic Corvettes on the Circle
  • Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival
  • DeSoto Heritage Festival
  • Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade
  • Florida Winefest and Auction
  • Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival
  • Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival
  • Longboat Key Fine Art Festival
  • Longboat Key Triathlon
  • Ringling International Arts Festival
  • Run for the Turtles 5K
  • Sandy Claws 5K Run
  • Sarasota Boat Show
  • Sarasota Film Festival
  • Sarasota Half Marathon
  • Sarasota Open Tennis Tournament
  • Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival
  • Siesta Key Crystal Classic
  • Siesta Key Summer Beach Runs
  • St. Armands Craft Festival
  • St. Armands Holiday Night of Lights
  • Suncoast Food & Wine Festival
  • Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix
  • Taste of St. Armands
  • Venice Chalk Festival
  • Venice Shark’s Tooth Festival
  • Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights