Sarasota is truly the jewel of the Gulf Coast of Florida. Popular for its beautiful beaches, superb golf courses, ideal climate, sports and outdoor activities, Sarasota is also known for its diverse entertainment, gourmet restaurants, art museums and multiple entertainment opportunities. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center hosts many Broadway performances and world-class performances. The Ringling Museum of Art houses 21 galleries and the theater district of Sarasota includes many theater, ballet and opera opportunities. Tampa and Saint Petersburg, neighboring towns, also offer world-class entertainment options.
The city of Sarasota from a bird’s viewpoint. Discover the beaches of Siesta Key and Lido Key, the downtown area of Sarasota, the golf courses of Sarasota, and the rest of the landscapes that represent the paradise city of Sarasota in Florida.
John and Charles Ringling, of the famous circus family, invested in Sarasota property two years later, just a year before Sarasota was incorporated as a city on May 13, 1913.
Tourists were now coming in a steady stream. This new influx of tourism, and the extensive Palmer and Ringling investments, stirred new interests among the residents and thus began the drive to separate from Manatee County and establish a distinct identity as a whole new county. Sarasota County was established in 1923, through a special act of the State Legislature. The City of Sarasota was then designated as the county seat in an election held November 18, 1924.
Work on the Manatee-Sarasota Airport was started in 1938. The airport became a military airfield during World War II, with 3,000 servicemen stationed there. The end of the war served to open the area even further through an ever expanding tourism industry.
Spectacular growth during the “Stunning Sixties” carried through well into the seventies. The recession in the late ’70s resulted in tough times for some area businesses. Sarasota’s Downtown was hit hardest with many of the existing stores closing their doors. However, in the late ’80s and especially the early ’90s the economy shifted and the Downtown began to prosper again. Sarasota now boasts one the finest Downtowns in the State of Florida.