Sarasota, Fla. is a town of many contradictions. It has all the laid back charms of small town America, yet its downtown center is a cosmopolitan showcase of historic and modern structures. Its business core consists of multinational corporations as well as home-grown entrepreneurs. It is a bustling metropolis that becomes more so at the height of the tourist season, but it can be a sleepy little town during the summer.
Sarasota boasts of luxurious waterfront living along its sweeping shoreline, yet inland developments can be just as lavish with sprawling ranch homes and matching equestrian facilities. Real estate for sale in Sarasota varies from opulent to affordable and everything in between.
Sugar sand beaches and various water adventures including fishing, diving and kayaking are among the main attractions for visitors and residents alike. However, outdoor enthusiasts who prefer non-aquatic recreation can choose from golf, tennis, horseback riding, gallery-hopping and shopping.
Steeped in history, Sarasota is the seat of art and culture in southwest Florida. The streets may not be lined with gold, but public art is ever-present in streetscapes and landscape designs. While it takes historic preservation seriously, the city also embraces the whimsical with a large dose of humor. Witness the 6,000 pound, 25-foot “Unconditional Surrender” sculpture that graced Bayfront Park until an unfortunate vehicular accident. This iconic art piece is suggestive of Sarasota’s eclectic appeal as an art and culture haven.
The Ringling Museum of Art is home to masterpieces by van Dyck, Rubens, Titian and El Greco among other American, European and Asian artists. The museum buildings are anchored by a manicured courtyard guarded by some of the most recognizable Renaissance, Classical and Baroque sculptures. However, in this museum complex, high art meets carnival attractions as an interactive circus museum is located on the other end of the 66-acre complex. The circus museum chronicles the triumph and the magic of circus entertainment during the heyday of the Ringling brothers and other circus kings.
Sarasota is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cultural offerings. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall recently topped “Venue Today” magazine’s list of best performing arts centers in North America. A variety of live shows abound in Sarasota’s numerous performance centers. Ballet, opera, pop concerts and theatrical presentations are part of the Sarasota lifestyle, but so are walking barefoot in the sand and watching the awe-inspiring sunsets and sunrises.
Sarasota is a playground that suits both young and old. It is a town that calls to lovers seeking a place to build memories, but it is also family centered in many ways, encouraging families to put down roots. It is a multicultural region where Old Floridians coexist with transplants from countries all over the world. It is the melding of many cultures, many dreams and many great ideas. It is a small town with a big heart and even bigger dreams. Own a piece of Sarasota and be part of the adventure.
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