There are so many things to do in Sarasota and now that you have reached retirement age you can get out there and enjoy them. Along with all the free time you have, you can now take advantage of senior discounts and visit these places at a lower cost. So get out there and explore your city!
This is the state art museum of Florida and it has a little bit of something for everyone. There are over 20 galleries that showcase European paintings, Cypriot antiquities, and Asian, American, and contemporary art. In addition to the art museum you can visit the Ca d’Zan, the circus museum, or the Ringling’s mansion. Take a guided tour, watch a show, or visit the art library to learn more about the Ringlings and their contributions.
Want to get up close and personal with sharks? The 135,000-gallon shark tank at the Mote Aquarium will help you do that. You can learn more about marine life at the aquarium from the scientists who work here as well as get a glimpse into some of their research. There are over 100 species of marine life including sea turtles and manatees.
This is one of Florida’s oldest attractions and it gives you a view of the Florida from the past. It is full of flora, fauna, and education. There are 10 acres of different types of plantings to view as well as bird and animal shows to watch. While there are plenty of native species to view, the jungle gardens are also home to some exotic plants from Australia and Peru. Along with the gardens, there is a petting zoo, jungle trails, playgrounds and more to explore.
If you love cars, especially the classics, you’re going to want to check out the Classic Car Museum. This is the second oldest operating car museum in the nation and offers you a chance to step back and look at the beginning of the automobile. You can see cars that belonged to John Lennon and Paul McCartney as well as collections of some of the most renowned carmakers in the country. There are over 70 automobiles to look at and you can learn about the history of cars and how they’re made.
This museum also includes a planetarium and aquarium all dedicated to the history and life of the gulf of Florida. The museum is home to some of the oldest fossils in the region while the planet teaches you all about the wonders of space. The aquarium is home to some of the regions manatees and you can watch them swim or even take part in feeding them. There is something for everyone to enjoy at the South Florida Museum.
The Botanical Gardens are a great way to get out and see a variety of plant life all in one spot. They have various gardens including a fern garden, butterfly garden, bamboo garden, banyan grove, and the largest epiphyte garden in the world. You can take a guided tour of the facility or come and wander among the plants on your own.
You can’t be in Florida without visiting a beach! Siesta beach is one of the five beaches located in Sarasota County and has the beautiful white sand people come from all over to enjoy. The beach is free but you can rent equipment if wanted. There are volleyball courts, lifeguards on duty, concession stands, and there are even free beach wheelchairs available to make your transport easier.
Every Monday during opera season, there are guided tours of the opera house. You can learn the history of the building and get a behind the scenes look at what happens backstage. You’ll get to hear stories about previous performers and learn why the opera house is one of the main cultural draws to Sarasota.
If swimming in the ocean isn’t your thing, then you can take advantage of the Lido Beach pool. It’s located on the beach so you can get a view of the ocean all while enjoying the 5 lanes of lap swimming and concession stands.
Get out and enjoy nature on the trails of Bayonne. There is one trail loop on the 11.2 acres of land that is home to gopher tortoises and other endangered species. This park is free of charge and open year round.
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