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Exterior view of the Ringling Museum of Art



When vacationing somewhere new, touring museums is often one of the first activities we consider. So why do so many people fail to take advantage of local museums? 

This winter, stop saying, “I should go there someday,” and make a point of checking out these four impressive museums in Sarasota.

The Ringling Museum

Within the 66-acre John and Mable Ringling Estate, explore the memorabilia-filled Ringling Circus Museum and the 21-gallery Museum of Art. This month, featured exhibitions include Ya Levy La’ford’s metaphysical-inspired geometric pattern work and choreographer Rhodnie Désir’s study of dance as a means of surviving enslavement, among several others.

Don’t leave the grounds without strolling the picturesque Bayfront Gardens for some Insta-worthy pics to prove you were there. The Ringling is located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota and is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. Tour the Circus Museum, Museum of Art, and Bayfront Gardens for $25.

Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy

Here’s what one visitor had to say about the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy on TripAdvisor: “This venue more than lives up to its name. Beautiful artwork in a whimsical, unexpected setting. One cannot help but be filled with awe and child-like wonder.”

Marietta’s colorful collection is guaranteed to put a smile on your face – and so will the price of admission. The suggested donation is just $5. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 1 to 4 PM and is located at 2121 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. 

Sarasota Classic Car Museum

Get a close-up look at over 100 pristinely preserved rare cars at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum. The impressive collection includes vehicles from elite manufacturers like Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Cadillac, Edsel, and Ferrari.

The museum is located at 5500 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota and is open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 6 PM. Entry is $14.85.

Sarasota Art Museum

Situated on the Ringling College Museum Campus where Sarasota High School once stood, the Sarasota Art Museum is a mecca for contemporary art fans. With 15,000 square feet of space, the museum regularly hosts half a dozen rotating exhibits, plus a couple of permanent installations. Stop by in February to check out “Happiness in ROYGBIV” by Samo Davis, candy art by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and a mixed media exhibition curated by Judith Linhares.

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM and is located at 1001 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Tickets are $15.
For more activities and events in and around Sarasota, visit The Loop at 2800’s blog.