Hotel at a Glance: Ramada Sarasota
At the Ramada Sarasota, you can enjoy a cool, tropical drink at a waterfront restaurant and tiki bar while watching the boats float by. The eatery also hosts daily live entertainment, which you can enjoy alongside an order of seafood nachos and coconut-fried shrimp, or while doggie-paddling through the outdoor pool.
- Free breakfast with coffee, fresh baked goods, fruit, cereal, and yogurt
- Tropical decor spices up spacious rooms outfitted with fridges and free WiFi. Water-view king rooms look out on the inlet.
- Watch the sunset while you dine at the onsite restaurant.
- Fit in a workout at the hotel’s gym.
Sarasota, Florida: Pristine Gulf Coast Beaches and Colorful Artist Colonies
Bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s western coast, Sarasota offers easy access to more than 40 miles of pristine beachfront. One of the most popular stretches of sand is Siesta Beach on the barrier island of Siesta Key, known for its exceptionally white and powdery shore made almost entirely of quartz and confectioners’ sugar.
Artists and entertainers have flocked to Sarasota since the 1920s, when John Ringling made the sleepy resort town the winter headquarters of his traveling circus. Ringling, who was one of the wealthiest men in the country at the time, poured his resources into the city, even putting circus elephants to work hoisting large stones and logs for construction projects.
See the impresario’s extensive personal collection of old masters at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, or see his influence still at work at Towles Court. Comprised of wooden bungalows and brightly painted cabins, this artist colony houses dozens of galleries and studios. Exhibits held throughout the week range from mixed-media installations to traditional watercolors, with mossy oak trees and tranquil sculpture gardens providing a scenic backdrop.
Head to the waterfront St. Armands Circle—located on Lido Key—for some scenic shopping amid swaying palms. Besides the boutiques, you’ll find spas, galleries, and restaurants situated along the Circus Ring of Fame, which pays homage to some of the circus’s greatest performers, both past and present.