Hidden Gems of Sarasota

Discover the Hidden Gems of Sarasota: Uncovering the Best Kept Secrets

Sarasota is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the country, but there’s more to Sarasota than just its sandy shores. It is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

From the Celery Fields to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, there’s no shortage of unique experiences to be had in Sarasota. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or art enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Cultural Treasures and Artistic Flair

Selby Public Library

If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax and soak up some culture, look no further than the Selby Public Library. This beautiful library is home to a wide variety of books, including rare and unique volumes, as well as art exhibits and other cultural events. You can spend hours browsing the stacks or simply enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

Sarasota’s Diverse Galleries and Boutiques

Sarasota is home to a diverse array of galleries and boutiques, each with its own unique style and flair. Whether you’re looking for contemporary art, antique treasures, or handmade crafts, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste. Some of the most popular galleries and boutiques in the city include Art Uptown, Made By Gallery, and The Artful Giraffe.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall: Entertainment Hub

For a night of entertainment, head to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, a state-of-the-art venue that hosts a wide variety of performances, from Broadway shows to classical music concerts. The hall is known for its excellent acoustics and comfortable seating, making it the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Botanical Beauty and Serene Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: A Floral Escape

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, look no further than the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This hidden gem boasts a collection of over 20,000 plants and is a sanctuary for nature lovers. The gardens are particularly known for their stunning collection of bromeliads, which are sure to take your breath away.

As you wander through the gardens, you’ll be surrounded by vibrant blooms and lush greenery. The gardens also offer educational programs on conservation and sustainability, making it a great destination for families with children.

Historic Spanish Point: Exploring the Past

For a glimpse into the history of Sarasota, head to Historic Spanish Point. This fascinating archaeological site offers a glimpse into the lives of the early settlers of Sarasota, with discoveries dating back over 5,000 years.

The gardens at Historic Spanish Point are also a must-see, with a variety of plant species that are native to the area. You’ll be surrounded by the beauty of the natural landscape as you explore the gardens and learn about the history of the area.

Myakka Elephant Ranch

For a truly unique experience, head to the Myakka Elephant Ranch. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures and learn about their behavior and habitat.

The ranch also offers guided tours of the surrounding landscape, which is home to a variety of plant species and wildlife. It’s a great way to experience the beauty of Sarasota’s natural landscape while also learning about the local ecosystem.

Celery Fields: Wetlands and Birding

If you’re a bird lover, you simply cannot miss the Celery Fields. This wetland area is home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers.

The Celery Fields also boast a variety of plant species, including native grasses and wildflowers. It’s a great destination for a peaceful walk or picnic, and the views of the surrounding landscape are simply breathtaking.

Adventure and Outdoor Activities

Hunsader Farms

If you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, Hunsader Farms is a must-visit. This 400-acre farm offers a variety of activities, including a petting zoo, hayrides, pony rides, and a playground. You can also pick your own produce, including strawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes. During the fall, the farm hosts a pumpkin festival that includes a corn maze, live music, and plenty of food.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens: Family Adventures

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a great place to take the family for an outdoor adventure. This 10-acre botanical garden is home to a variety of animals, including flamingos, parrots, and alligators. You can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, or participate in one of the daily animal shows. Don’t miss the opportunity to feed the flamingos!

Sarasota Bay Explorations: Dolphin Sightings

If you want to get up close and personal with dolphins, Sarasota Bay Explorations is the way to go. This tour company offers a variety of boat tours that take you through the mangrove tunnels and out into the bay. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to see dolphins, manatees, and other sea life. The guides are knowledgeable and friendly, and will make sure you have a great experience. Don’t forget your camera!

Off the Beaten Path: Sarasota’s Secret Spots

Pinecraft Amish Community

Step back in time and visit the Pinecraft Amish Community. This quaint neighborhood is home to a large Amish and Mennonite population, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a simpler time. Take a stroll down the streets and admire the beautiful gardens and unique architecture. Don’t forget to try some of the delicious Amish delicacies, like homemade pies and fresh baked bread.

Point of Rocks: Snorkeling and Marine Life

Looking for an adventure? Head to Point of Rocks, a hidden gem on Siesta Key. This spot is perfect for snorkeling and exploring the beautiful marine life that calls Sarasota home. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins!

Sarasota Architectural Salvage

Love antiques and unique finds? You won’t want to miss Sarasota Architectural Salvage. This hidden gem is full of treasures, from vintage lighting fixtures to antique furniture. You never know what you’ll find, so take your time and explore every nook and cranny.

Sarasota Classic Car Museum: Vintage Charm

Are you a car enthusiast? Don’t miss the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, where you’ll find an impressive collection of vintage cars and memorabilia. Admire classic models like the 1927 Ford Model T and the 1962 Shelby Cobra, and learn about the history of cars in America.