It's one of those places that no matter how many highlights you hit, you always miss some. Nonetheless, I'll offer a few don't-miss suggestions.
Tip: Levelers, Sarasota is blissfully flat. You'll find steps and stairs - humankind does have this compunction to elevate itself - but no hills.
What to see in Sarasota
Start with the house, art and circus collections of the man whose name was synonymous with exciting entertainment, John Ringling and his wife, Mabel. It's all wonderfully over the top in one of the prettiest settings you can imagine. You'll need most of a day to do it justice.
|The Ringling Museum at night.|
Tip: There are a few steps up to the museum but to the right there is also a ramp. Take trams between the museums and C'a d'Zan and save your walking for what's inside.
|Ca'd'Zan from the bay front terrace.|
|Ca' d'Zan interior.|
|Me horsing around in the Circus Museum.|
|Historic Asolo theater. Photo courtesy Ringling Museum of Art.|
|The Van Wezel as seen from Sarasota Bay.|
|Paul Rudolph's 1953 Umbrella House, Lido Shores.|
Sarasota has more than 90 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, many from the Addison Mizner school of Spanish Mediterranean constructed during the boom days. Today Sarasota is known for its own School of Architecture, buildings constructed between 1940 and 1970.
|Hiss and Associates, 1955, Lido Shores.|
|The Don Chappell House, 2000, Lido Shores.|
|Paul Rudolph, 1957, Lido Shores.|
Next: Sarasota's wild side.