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Sarasota Arts and Cultural Amenities
There is much more to Sarasota than award-winning, white-sand beaches. This sophisticated European-style city has perfected the art of living well.

View the renowned collection of Baroque paintings at the Ringling Museum of Art, the state museum of Florida. See rare exotic orchids at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, or watch the dolphins cavort in Sarasota Bay aboard a sunset dinner cruise. From world-class shopping and dining, to boating, golf and tennis... Sarasota has it all.

The cultural capital of Florida, Sarasota is a mecca for artists, musicians, writers and patrons of the arts. The county’s cultural attractions put those of much larger cities to shame with live performance -- symphony, opera, ballet and numerous playhouses.

John and Mable Ringling bequeathed to Sarasota, among other things, one of the most beautiful museums in the United States, with a collection recognized internationally for its Baroque paintings, including John Paul Rubens’ Triumph of the Eucharist series. When the state took over the Museum in 1948, it added the exquisite 18th century Asolo Theater from Asolo, Italy, and the Ringling Museum of the Circus.

Part of the Ringlings’ generous gift was an impressive array of objects d'art, circus memorabilia, and the palace Ca’d’Zan (House of John), their winter residence, whose garden and extensive grounds overlook Sarasota Bay. When the state took over the gift in 1948, it added the exquisite 18th century Asolo Theater from Asolo, Italy, and the Ringling Museum of the Circus, establishing an arts infrastructure that attracts artists and art lovers from around the world.

Now Sarasota is home to performing artists and visual artists, the Ringling College of Art and Design, the Annual Sarasota Film Festival and the Ringling International Arts Festival.