Key Culinary Tours For Foodies & Art Lovers

Strolling around Sarasota’s hotspots learning about the area’s history, arts, and stopping to sample local delights is most people’s idea of foodie heaven. Led by experienced tour guides, these innovative tours weave historic snippets and culinary facts into a good story as participants explore some the highlights around St. Armands Circle and beyond.

This #1 lunchtime tour introduces guests to a selection of restaurants in the area where you can take part in some gourmet tastings as part of this memorable hands-on tour. It starts in the heart of St. Armands Circle, next to the bronze statue of John Ringling, with a little history about this upscale retail success story on Sarasota Bay. | Join one of the guided tours around Sarasota and enjoy food and drink samples as you learn about the area’s history, art, and restaurant scene.

Photo courtesy Key Culinary Tours

St. Armands has become known for its high-end restaurants and fine dining experiences. Taking a culinary tour gives visitors and residents the chance to look inside four of these top restaurants, sample specially prepared treats, check out the ambience, and earmark possible dining venues to return to later.

Key Culinary Tours take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout the year except in late August and September. Tours take about three hours and require comfortable shoes suitable for walking about a mile in total. Tasty morsels and water are provided at each stop on the route, but you can purchase alternative drinks to enhance the tour and tasting if you wish. | Key Culinary Tours enjoy food and drink samples as you learn about Sarasota, Florida history, art, and restaurant scene.

Photo courtesy Key Culinary Tours

Art Gallery Tours

If your taste is more art than food, Key Culinary Tours also offers guided tours around Sarasota’s art galleries and studios in the company of expert guides. These art themed tours also include a selection of tasting as you stroll around the area’s artsy hubs. The Art Gallery tours take place on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. weekly excluding late August and September. Be prepared to walk about a mile as part of the leisurely 3½ hour art stroll.

First stop is the State of the Arts Gallery in Downtown Sarasota and it then proceeds around Palm Avenue and the immediate vicinity where you meet gallery owners and learn more about the local arts scene. In addition, this fun tour starts with a glass of proscecco and includes wine and light bites at select venues along the way. It ends in style, sipping craft cocktails and enjoying early evening appetizers with like-minded art lovers.

Happy Place Tours in Sarasota

Another tempting tour on the menu is the Happy Place Tour. This popular tour is offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 4 p.m. and last for around 2½ hours. Meet up with your well-informed guide near the Neptune statue in front of the Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle, and come prepared to socialize and have fun! | Join one of Key Culinary Tours' guided tours around St. Armands Circle and enjoy food and drink samples as you learn about the area’s history, art, and restaurant scene.

Photo courtesy Key Culinary Tours

Guests must be over 21 and should be appropriately dressed with comfortable walking shoes for this Happy Hour extravaganza. Each stop includes a craft cocktail or locally brewed beer, and a specially created snack as your guide drops information about local history, personalities and stories relating to Sarasota’s drinking history. Learn about the smuggling during Prohibition and the fight between the “wets” and “drys”. This tour will help you find your favorite Happy Place!

With new themed tours constantly being added to the portfolio, check out the website for more details about strolling around Sarasota on a Key Culinary Tour. Reservations are required for all tours and should be made ahead of time online or by calling 941-893-4664.

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Nita Ettinger is Co-publisher for Siesta Publications Inc. and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed magazines and the website Must Do magazines are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County Chamber of Commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications can be found.

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