Whether you live in Sarasota or are just visiting, we have some fun facts to share about this beautiful city in Southwest Florida. See how many of these surprising facts about Sarasota you already know. We bet you’ll learn something fun and new!
- Money magazine called Sarasota “the best small city in the US”.
- Did you know that Sarasota is the only place in the world where you can walk through the treetops of a subtropical forest? Myakka Canopy Walkway is an 85-foot long boardwalk which is 25 feet above the ground. It allows visitors to spot wildlife and birds from this elevated position.
- The city of Sarasota has several nicknames including “Circus City” as a nod to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circuses that used the city as their winter headquarters.
- Sarasota has its own Artist Colony at Towles Court near downtown. An area of galleries, art studios, restaurants and gift shops, this delightful area of Old Florida hosts the Third Friday Art Walks.
- Sarasota has its own official type of period architecture known as Sarasota Modern. It embraces the iconic architecture by Paul Rudolph who was an influencer of mid-20th century design.
- Incorporated in 1902, Sarasota’s history dates back to prehistoric times. Spanish Point is the site of a 15-foot high shell midden dating back over 1000 years. The area was the first site in Sarasota County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The Myakka River which is located within Myakka River State Park is a recreational resource which provides 58 miles of water for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
- Do you know who Mary Thaxton is? Her name was given to the Memorial Preserve next to Oscar Sherer Buffer Park. She was the mother of John Thaxton, the County Commissioner responsible for bringing the conservation park into being.
- The name “Sarasota” is derived from the 1700s map name of Zara Zota which means “a place of dancing”.
- Burns Court Cinema often hosts films by the Sarasota Film Society. Nestled in the heart of downtown Sarasota this local landmark takes its name from its Burns Lane location. It opened as a cinema in 1993 and is hard to miss with its raspberry painted façade. It is the best place to enjoy screenings of foreign movies and art films.
- The original creator of Barbie doll wardrobes was Mae Hansen Prodie, owner of the Mae Marie Company and the second owner of the historic Edson Keith Mansion in the Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota.
- Guess how many tourists come to Sarasota every year. One million? 2 million? Actually, the answer is over 4 million visitors enjoying our beaches, sunshine, golf, and shopping!
- In 1885, Sarasota was a mecca for Scottish settlers. They arrived expecting a thriving tropical town but at that time Sarasota was a simple community with no streets or shops! Some hardy Scots decided to stay and built Sarasota’s first golf course in 1886. The DeSoto Hotel opened in 1887 and the first newspaper was published in 1899.
- Love to dine out? Sarasota has a higher concentration of Zagat-rated restaurants than any other city in Florida. Look for the Zagat symbol and you know that you’ll be getting a quality meal at a fair price.
- Many people know that Siesta Key Beach is considered one of the top beaches in the US, but did you know that altogether Sarasota County has 13 public beaches and 35 miles of soft white sand?
- Golf is a top attraction in Sarasota. There are over 1,000 public, private and semi-private golf courses to choose from in Sarasota County!
Now you know even more about beautiful Sarasota, its history and its attractions!
Discover more things to do on your visit to the Sarasota, Florida area at MustDo.com!