The Cultural Coast // White Quartz Sand Beaches // Circus Heritage // Ringling Museum // 350k people...

The 8 mile long Siesta Key Beach on The Gulf of Mexico was voted the Number One beach in America in May 2011 by Stephen P. Leatherman (Dr. Beach).

The white sandy beach is 99 percent pure quartz and in contrast to normal sand, stays cool even in high temperatures, making it a delight to walk on.

Sarasota and her eight islands (Sarasota County) are located along the Southwest coast of Florida between Tampa in the north and Ft. Myers in the south and consist of Sarasota, Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Manasota Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Englewood, Nokomis, North Port, Osprey and Venice.  Longboat Key is the largest key.

Perhaps the most famous resident of Sarasota was John Ringling of The Ringling Circus fame, who invested in land and property and had a huge influence on developing Sarasota in the early 1900s. Ringling Boulevard was named for him leading to his winter circus headquarters.  Their fabulous bay front retreat was built in the early 1920s and is well worth a visit along with the Ringling Museum.

The closest airport is Sarasota Bradenton International (SRQ), which is just 5 miles from downtown Sarasota.   Tampa International (TPA) is about an hour and a quarter to the north and Southwest Florida International (RSW) in Ft. Myers is a good hour and a half to the south.

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