For more than 100 years, some of the world's finest creative minds have called Sarasota home. One was John Ringling, noted art collector, real estate developer, and circus impresario, who founded Ringling College of Art and Design in 1931. He recognized Sarasota as an ideal place for young artists to study and be inspired. Today, you can stay in touch with art history at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Wander through its galleries of internationally recognized paintings, or take in one of its changing eclectic exhibitions. Thanks in large part to the Ringling legacy, the greater Sarasota area has earned its reputation as Florida's Cultural Coast.
The area has cultural resources that exceed many larger cities. In fact, the March 2004 issue of Inc. Magazine included an article by Joel Kotkin, with rankings by David Friedman, which rated Sarasota as number three of the top 25 cities in medium metro areas for doing business in America.
The article stated "This may well be Florida's 'next big thing,' an affordable coastal region that attracts many skilled, middle-class emigrants from the north. A sizable tech force has made this among the fastest-growing areas for information-based industries. And there's always the beach."
Sarasota has a resort lifestyle that lures people from all over the world. It's the kind of place where you can catch a fish in the morning, view an obscure foreign film in the afternoon, and listen to cutting-edge jazz at night. It's a vibrant cultural landscape with the feeling of a small town. Go to the beach or to the ballet. Sketch pelicans or palm trees. Hear a live opera, orchestra, or a chorus of seabirds. Let the sunlight brighten your palette and illuminate your mind. It's all here.
Here's lots of information on where to go and what to do in and around Sarasota.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
http://www.4sarasota.com site lists attractions in Sarasota exclusively.
J.P Igloo Ice-Inline Fitness Complex
5309 29th St E
Ellenton, FL 34222-4116
Sarasota Lanes Bowling
2250 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34237
NATURE AND WILDLIFE
Parks of Sarasota include:
Jelks Park, Lemon Bay Park, Myakkahatchee Park, Arlington Park, and many others see http://www.co.sarasota.fl.us/ for more and links.
Siesta Beach - voted world's finest sand. Multiple other beaches within an hour drive both north and south of Sarasota.
Myakka State Park - Canoeing, boating, fishing, hiking, canopy walk, nature trails available; can rent bikes for the day.
ARTS AND CULTURAL
St. Armand's Circle - Fourth Friday of the Month Jazz- Free live music.
Sarasota Arts Council - good web site for a listing of upcoming art festivals and craft fairs and visiting artists in the community.
Sarasota Square Mall - AMC theatre
Burns Court Cinema - Foreign film theater and film festival venue
Cobb Parkway 8 (Dollar Theater)
6300 North Lockwood Ridge
Sarasota, FL 34243
Goodwill Locations: http://www.goodwillindustries.org/gw/shop/stores.html (multiple locations around for those who LOVE to vintage/thrift store shop!)
Encore and More - Women's Exchange - 1439 Main St Sarasota 941.953.4222
The Salvation Army - 2280 17th St. 941.954.4549
Twice's Nice - 1480 Fruitville Road. 941.366.2188
Over 30 thrift stores within a 20-mile radius and Tampa is less than an hour away with tons of vintage clothing stores as well. Vintage clothing is very easy to find down here for those people who enjoy the eclectic clothing look.
Westfield Shopping Center
http://www.westfield.com/us/centres/florida/sarasota for store directory.
Southgate Mall on Siesta Drive is also a Westfield Mall but they are not listed on their site yet for store listings.
International Plaza and Bay Street
West Shore & Boy Scout Blvd.
2223 N. West Shore Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607
Prime Outlet Mall
461 Factory Shops Blvd.
Ellenton, FL 34222
Local Phone: 941.723.1150
Toll Free U.S.: 888.260.7608
27001 US Hwy. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon - 6 p.m.
Pinellas Square Mall
7200 U. S. 19 N.
Pinellas Park, FL 33781
Tyrone Square Mall
6901 22nd Ave N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Club Envy, 18+, 1927 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941.951.0335
Fandangos, 21+, 1266 Old Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, 941.346.1711
Daiquiri Deck, 21+, 5250 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota [Siesta Key], 941.359.8697
Gilligan's, 18+, 5253 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota [Siesta Key], 941.346.8122
The Beach Club, 21+, 5150 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota [Siesta Key], 941.349.6311
Gator Club, 21+, 1490 Main Street, Sarasota, 941.366.5969
JD Ford's 21+, 1925 S. Osprey Avenue S., Sarasota, 941.362.9463
Joyland, 21+, 6424 14th Street West, Sarasota, 941.756.6060
Howl at the Moon Night Club, 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa, 813.226.2261
Club Hedo 18+, 1510 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, 813.248.4336
Amphitheater, 21+, 1609 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, 813.248.2331
Full Moon Saloon, 21+, 1613 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, 813.248.3309
Ybor City, Tampa, Entertainment district, 60+ clubs, restaurants, bars
Channel Side, Tampa, Waterfront entertainment district
Cantina Latina - 3800 Tamiami Trail South, 941.954.1330
Burritos - 2700 Stickney Point Road, 941.922.3888
Tijuana Flats - 1635 S. Tamiami Trail, 941.330.0989
Main Bar Sandwich Shop - 1944 Main Street, 941.955.8733
El Adobe Mexican Restaurant - 4023 S. Tamiami Trail, 921.7476
Il Panificio - 1730 Main St., 941.366.5570
Quizno's Subs - 1507 S. Tamiami Trail, 941.952.5113
Sahara Café & Mediterranean Food - 1121 S. Tamiami Trail, 941.954.1423
Two Señoritas – 1355 Main St., 941.366.1618
Tropical Thai Restaurant - 1420 Main St., 941.364.5775
Bangkok Restaurant - 4791 Swift Road, 941.922.0703
Starbuck's - Multiple locations around town
Sarasota News and Books - 1341 Main St., 941.365.6332
Barnie's Coffee House - St. Armand's Circle, 941.388.1195
http://www.srqelections.com - website to register to vote in Sarasota county
http://www.co.sarasota.fl.us - website for Sarasota county government pages, this will get you information about almost everything you could need in Sarasota county.
The Tax Collector's Office can process driver's license renewals, address changes and out-of-state license transfers only. There is an additional $5.25 convenience fee for licenses issued at this office.
Corner of U. S. 301 [Washington Blvd.] & Ringling Blvd.
101 S. Washington Blvd., Sarasota 941.861.8300
The office is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Florida Driver's License Offices: Sarasota
This Driver's License Office is closed every Monday and open Tuesday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
601 Pompano Ave.
[Off Fruitville Road, near Sarasota County Fairgrounds/Robarts Arena]
941.361.6222 [For Appointments Only]
Just moved to Florida and need to get a driver license and your car registered? Here's what to do:
If you have an out-of-state license, and it has not expired beyond 30 days, you may be able to convert your license without taking a written or road test. You will need to have a vision screening. Please call your local driver license office and schedule an appointment.
Obtain vehicle insurance from a company licensed to do business in Florida -in other words, visit a Florida insurance agent.
Take your proof of Florida insurance and your original out of state title and verification of the motor vehicle's *vehicle identification number[(VIN], completed on form HSMV 82040 or HSMV 82042, to your local Florida county tax collector's office.
VIN verification is required for all USED motor vehicles not currently titled in Florida, including trailers with a weight of 2,000 pounds or more.
*The VIN must be verified by one of the following:
- A law enforcement officer from any state.
- A licensed Florida or out of state motor vehicle dealer. If the VIN is verified by an out of state motor vehicle dealer, the verification must be submitted on their letterhead stationary.
- A Florida DMV Compliance Examiner/Inspector, DMV or tax collector employee.
- A notary public commissioned by the state of Florida.
- Provost Marshal [an officer who supervises the military police of a command] or a commissioned officer in active military service, with a rank of 2nd lieutenant or higher or an LNC, "Legalman, Chief Petty Officer, E-7".
If the out of state title is currently in the possession of an out of state lienholder, the tax collector's office will assist you in contacting the lienholder to obtain the title. The lien will be recorded on the Florida title when issued and will be mailed to the lienholder.