Thirty-five miles of silken beachfront wrap around Sarasota—a city rich with cultural history, sun-drenched islands, natural treasures and unlimited discoveries. Sarasota offers big-city amenities with a small-town way of life, filled with vibrant recreational and cultural activities for every taste and budget. The city is a tropical paradise on the Gulf of Mexico offering abundant natural beauty, cultural tradition and a superb quality of life.
Sarasota’s official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. These islands separating Sarasota Bay from the gulf include Lido Key and Siesta Key, just a few reasons to retire there.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus had winter quarters here from 1927 to 1960. Even though the circus left town, Sarasota still has the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art and its Circus Galleries, where the rich history of the Circus resides, including the world’s smallest big-top circus display. It is also home to the world’s largest Rubens collection.
Sarasota has more than a dozen theaters, 30 art galleries and several active artist communities, including the Sarasota Opera with its own orchestra. The Florida West Coast Symphony and New College String Quartet are also located here. The Jungle Gardens is one of the country’s oldest zoological gardens. Since 1998, the city has hosted the Sarasota Film Festival, which attracts independent films from around the world and has become one of Florida’s largest film festivals. The Festival is recognized internationally and attracts both renowned teachers and the finest students of chamber music. The region is a golfer’s paradise, boasting over 50 golf courses both public and private.
Lifelong Learning Opportunities
Sarasota has campuses of the University of South Florida (a full fledged university), the Ringling School of Art and Design (a school of visual art and design), and The Monte Marine Laboratory, which conducts marine science research. Also in Sarasota are the New College of Florida, a public liberal arts college and the Keiser College of Sarasota, a private college.
Moving forward with green initiatives is one of the City Commission’s top five critical priorities. The Environmental Management Task Force, comprised of city employees, oversees sustainability issues within city government. The city has demonstrated to the public that serious environmental issues, such as stormwater runoff, water shortages and disappearing wildlife habitats, can be addressed.