On any vacation to Anna Maria Island you’ll probably want to explore the many local attractions, from isolated and picturesque Bean Point to other white sand beaches, dolphin cruises, sightseeing tours, art events, amazing restaurants and more.
There are many things to do on Anna Maria island, but you can’t help but take a look at the nearby city of Sarasota. Sarasota is big, bold, and filled with many fantastic family friendly activities.
Below are five things you can enjoy in Sarasota on your next vacation to the area, but you’ll find plenty of other options to fill your schedule!
Explore the Ringling Grounds
Location: 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL
The Ringing Grounds are a main spectacle of Sarasota. You can explore the three incredible open museums showcasing Ringling Circus and family history.
The options include the Museum of Art with a classic sculpture park and, of course, the Ringling Circus Museum. Venture to the end of the grounds to find a jaw-dropping castle/museum on the water – the iconic Ca d’Zan mansion.
It’s a celebration of the Ringling Circus’ decades of beautiful and influential history. For information about any of the museums and exhibits at the Ringling, contact (941)-359-5700. The museum grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (8 p.m. close on Thursdays).
Walk St. Armands Circle
Location: 300 Madison Dr #201, Sarasota, FL 34236
At St. Armands Circle you will find a haven of specialty boutiques, fantastic Sarasota-inspired restaurants, and local gift and trinket shops for your exploring pleasure.
The shops primarily focus on fashion, jewelry, and clothing. You can find Spanish cafes (the Columbia Restaurant) next to Italian eateries (Le Colonne Risotrante). There’s also fine gelato at Settimi’s or famous gourmet popcorn of innumerable flavors at Tropical Shores.
Most of the businesses in St. Armands Circle are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. There are approximately 130 different merchants in the circle, offering bountiful shopping a block from the water in Sarasota.
Take a Quiet Excursion Through Bayfront Park
Location: Ringling Blvd. & Bayfront Dr., Sarasota, FL 34236
If you absolutely love hiking and biking trails, you may want to explore the pathways of Bayfront Park, one of Sarasota’s most popular outdoor recreation spots. You can find bikers, walkers, and joggers heading down the wide paths here, with space for all.
Well-maintained and full of amenities including picnic facilities, playground, restrooms and wildlife viewing areas, it is an excellent first park to visit, and it also offers incredible views of the bay and the city. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
Jump Aboard a Restaurant-Themed Trip with Key Culinary Tours
Can’t decide where to eat in the city? Schedule a spot with Key Culinary Tours (301 John Ringling Blvd). It is possibly your best dining introduction to Sarasota.
Try local key lime pie, specialty foods, Cuban sandwiches, Spanish dishes, and other items as you venture to four different Sarasota restaurants over roughly three hours.
Tours usually consist of about 10 people, and children are welcomed. Different tours have different themes and selections, including the Happy Hour Tour focused on local drinks and the Italian Culinary Tour around the best Italian dining in Sarasota. Call to book your tour at (941) 893-4664).
Let us help you find your ideal accommodations
Whether you spend the bulk of your time in the quiet beaches of Anna Maria Island or in the exuberant shopping districts and attractions of Sarasota, there’s always a place to stay with us.
Our Anna Maria Island vacation homes are just a hop and a skip away from beautiful Gulf beaches. And when you just want to head into Sarasota for some city-bound adventures, you are only an hour or two away!
No matter what experience you want during your next vacation here, we’ll help. Reach out to our team at (941)-782-8152 for all information on our pet-friendly Anna Maria Island vacation homes, a range of welcoming amenities, and options for short or long-term stays.