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Local Area Attractions

Explore a world of quiet elegance, sun, sand and laid-back lifestyles. Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches rival those found anywhere in the world. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is the perfect place to discover all the beauty and recreation Central Florida has to offer.

"This Week in Sarasota" is the most comprehensive spot to find the most interesting events in town. The website is 100% locally operated. In addition to actively promoting the creative arts in Sarasota and surrounding areas, they also have a dedication to supporting small and local businesses.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

Set along Sarasota's beautiful bayfront, the landmark Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been entertaining audiences with a variety of music, dance, theater and comedy for more than 35 years.  The Van Wezel's educational and outreach programs have also touched the community, reaching out to everyone from toddlers to senior citizens.

A true pioneer in the cultural development of Sarasota, the Van Wezel, (pronounced Van Wayzull), presents a broad spectrum of the world's finest performers representing the diverse tastes of Southwest Florida residents and visitors. This season, with more than 100 events, the Van Wezel has carried on the long tradition of presenting spectacular Broadway musicals, top national and international performers, popular comedians, world-class symphony orchestras and a compelling mix of classical, modern and ethnic dance. The Van Wezel also hosts more than 50 performances and events presented by the Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Concert Association and the Ringling Library Town Hall Lecture Series.

  • Dazzling performing artists from every genre
  • Delightful family events
  • Frank Lloyd Wright architecture
  • Views of the picturesque Sarasota Bay

Contact: (800) 826-9303 | Distance: .59 miles | Website

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Recognized as the official State Art Museum of Florida, The Ringling Museum of Art offers 21 galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot antiquities, Asian Art, American paintings, and contemporary art. The estate features the spectacular Cà d'Zan ("House of John"), a waterfront mansion that was restored in 2002. The Circus Museums, including the Tibbals Learning Center, display the world's largest miniature circus, costumes, wagons, performance equipment, and other artifacts chronicling the history of the Circus. The estate also features Mable Ringling’s Rose Garden, completed in 1913, and beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay. 

  • Cultural and educational programs
  • Traveling exhibitions throughout the year
  • Courtyard concerts
  • Lectures, workshops, training sessions, public tours
  • Children's programs

Contact: (941) 359-5700 | Distance: 3.51 miles | Website

Asolo Repertory Theatre

A world-renowned acting company known for producing the highest quality professional theatre in true rotating repertory. Once a shared dream of many regional theatres, rotating repertory is a now rare method of performance that challenges everyone involved, especially the artists. 

  • As many as four different plays performed in a single weekend
  • Presenting classic and new works
  • The Asolo Theatre Festival is the only winter theatre destination in the country
  • Performs primarily in the Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre

Contact: (800) 361-8388 | Distance: 3.4 miles | Website

Florida Studio Theatre

Florida Studio Theater (FST) operates three theatres: the 173-seat Keating Mainstage Theatre, the 160-seat Gompertz Theatre and the 109-seat Goldstein Cabaret Theatre.  FST produces world premieres and contemporary works which have been produced on or off-Broadway within the last five years.  By focusing on the works of contemporary writers, FST has been able to offer plays to its audiences that are not normally produced by other area theatres.

  • The Mainstage presents the finest in contemporary theater
  • The Cabaret offers fine dining and a one-of-a-kind theater experience
  • Host to the Sarasota Festival of New Plays, held each May
  • Historic architecture located downtown

Contact: (941) 366-9000 | Distance: .26 mile | Website

Sarasota Ballet of Florida

The Ballet boasts a repertoire that includes the great classics, works of internationally recognized contemporary choreographers such as Alvin Ailey and Ben Stevenson, as well as works from Florida artists Todd Allen, Demetrius Klein, Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros, and James Buckley. Its repertoire also includes such beloved classics as Swan Lake and Giselle, and original works as Madame Butterfly, Echo & Narcissus and Zal & Rudabeh - ballets that have received outstanding critical acclaim.

  • Ballet season is November through April
  • Ballet academy

Contact: (941) 552-1032 | Distance: 3.4 miles | Website

Sarasota Orchestra

Founded in 1949, the Florida West Coast Symphony is the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida.  A dynamic, multi-faceted organization dedicated to excellence in both performance and education, the Symphony’s performing ensembles include the Florida West Coast Symphony and four resident chamber ensembles. The season includes approximately 75 concerts each year. 

  • Presenting over 100 concerts every season
  • Performing masterworks programs, light classics, popular tunes, and chamber music
  • Themed events, including the “Great Escapes” and “Symphonic Pops” series

Contact: (941) 953-4252 | Distance: .55 miles | Website

Sarasota Opera

Sarasota Opera produces outstanding opera true to the vision of the composer to entertain, enrich, and educate our communities, as well as patrons from across the state and around the world.  The Sarasota Opera House has become the cornerstone of Sarasota's Theater Arts District and The Sarasota Opera has come to merit accolades from all over the world.

  • Host of the 2007 Winter Opera Festival, featuring Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly," Moniszuko’s “Halka, ”Verdi’s “Attila”
  • Performing a litany of classics and new favorites

Contact: (941) 366-8450 | Distance: .35 miles | Website

Players Theater

The Players Centre for Performing Arts is Sarasota’s community theatre, dedicated to delivering quality productions of mainstage classics. They also offer Classes as well as Backstage at The Players, an intimate, black-box setting that encourages a deeply personal theatre experience that isn’t possible in a larger venue.

Contact: (941) 365-2494| Distance: .8 miles | Website

Circus Arts Conservatory

The Circus Arts Conservatory’s mission is to engage and educate students using unique and innovative learning programs; to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals in care facilities; and to advance the extraordinary legacy and heritage of the circus.

Contact: (941) 355-9805| Distance: 2.1 miles | Website

Mote Marine Aquarium

Mote recognizes the importance of advancing the understanding of sea science to the general public. To that end, Mote conducts extensive public outreach and operates a public aquarium that serves nearly 400,000 visitors a year. From the original focus on sharks, Mote research has expanded to include seven major areas of concentration, organized into seven research centers. While each center focuses on its own specialty, Mote scientists are able to partner with others within the lab to integrate efforts across a number of fields.  Mote scientists are committed to that process of discovery: Advancing our understanding of the sea and what is needed to sustain it.

  • Aquarium
  • Shark, dolphin and sea turtle exhibits
  • Stingray petting pool
  • Interactive HD theater showcase of fascinating marine life
  • Environment boat tours

Contact: (941) 388-4441 | Distance: 3.46 miles from hotel | Website

Marina Jacks

Looking for a relaxing sightseeing lunch or sunset dinner cruise through the inter-coastal waters and the Gulf of Mexico, Marina Jacks has opportunities to offer for you. Located on the Downtown Sarasota Bay front, the open air outside deck will provide you with best way to enjoy the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. While dining, enjoy playful dolphins, warm sunshine and relaxing Gulf of Mexico breezes. Sightseeing cruises and daily cruises are also available.

Contact: (941) 365-4232 | Distance: .6 miles from hotel | Website

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a living museum that brings global, living treasures to the public for study, conservation and enjoyment of the natural world.

Several horticulture features are among the most popular with guests and visiting scientists alike and include:

  • Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden
  • Tropical Conservatory
  • Towering Bamboo Garden
  • Banyan Groves
  • Mangrove Bay Walk
  • Fern Garden
  • Koi Pond

Contact: (941) 366-5731 | Distance: .94 miles | Website

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is home to more than 200 native and exotic animals including birds of prey, many different species of parrots and macaws, primates, small mammals, dozens of snakes, lizards, iguanas, alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles - many of them rescued or donated - including Florida's noted pink flamingos. All nestled within 10 acres of lush tropical landscaping connected by winding jungle trails

Contact: (941) 355-1112| Distance: 2.8 miles | Website

Big Cat Habitat

Big Cat Habitat became a full sanctuary with the goal of rescuing exotic cats and other native and exotic wildlife in need of a permanent home. Big Cat Habitat provides education to the public to foster appreciation of the animals and impart the importance of habitat preservation. The commitment is for the animal’s lifetime. At Big Cat Habitat there are three large indoor/outdoor housing complexes with adjoining exercise habitats. Each habitat has a swimming pool, toys and palm trees to provide the emotional enrichment that maintains optimal mental and physical health.

Contact: (941) 371-6377| Distance: 8.6 miles | Website

Myakka Canopy Walkway in Myakka River State Park

A walkway 100 feet long and 25 feet above the ground· Featuring views of the subtropical Myakka River State Park.

Contact: (941) 361- 6511 | Distance: 18.85 miles | Website

Siesta Key Beach

In a nod to its namesake, Siesta Key beaches are an invitation for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Enjoying its reputation as one of America’s Best Beaches, Siesta Beach is made famous by its sugar-fine, quartz-white sand.

Contact: (941) 349-3800| Distance: 8.2 miles | Website

Siesta Key Village

While Siesta Key Village plays host to many festivals, the main reason for visiting "The Village" is for shopping or dining.  Filled with small boutiques, cafes, and fun points of interest, you’ll find exploring in the village a relaxing and fun adventure.

Contact: (941) 349-3800| Distance: 8.2 miles | Website

St. Armands Circle

Renowned as a quaint marketplace, the Circle is a charming location filled with items from the past and the present, surrounded by lush tropical plants, antique statuary and contemporary architectural design. Whether guests are shopping for trinkets or treasures, high fashion or gourmet snacks, you will find it all on St. Armands Circle.

Website

Prime Outlets Ellenton

Florida's largest outlet on the Gulf Coast is located between Tampa and Sarasota, just 30 minutes from the resort. Everyday savings of 25-65% off at over 130 designer and brand name outlets including Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Mikasa and OFF 5TH Saks Fifth Avenue. Food court & children's playground. Address: 5461 Factory Shops Blvd, Ellenton, FL 34222.

Contact: (941) 723-1150 | Website

The Mall at University Town Center

This world-class fashion and dining destination features Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Dillard's and more than 150 stores and restaurants.

Located at I-75 and University Parkway, this world-class fashion and dining destination features Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Dillard's and more than 150 stores and restaurants in addition to many distinctive retailers not found anywhere else in the local area, offering a diverse mix of fashion and lifestyle retailers, popular favorites, sit-down restaurants and a children's play area.  Address: 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota, FL 34243

Contact: (941) 552-7000 | Website

Downtown Sarasota Shopping

The Main Street in downtown Sarasota offers guests dozens of shops, restaurants and nightclubs. There are so many special events throughout the year in Downtown Sarasota including live music, art festivals, parades and more.

Website

Sarasota Farmers Market

The Sarasota Farmers Market was founded in 1979 by Paul Thorpe and the Downtown Merchants Association. Its original mission was to bring foot traffic to the downtown area.

In 2009, the vendors formed a non-for-profit to further enhance the market with a focus on local farms and growers and also to support local non-for-profits and create educational platforms.

Contact:  (941) 225-9256 | Website

Boating, Fishing and Watersports via Marina Jacks

The waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico are rich with native grouper, snapper, snook and tarpon. Experienced and novice anglers alike will enjoy fishing in and around Sarasota.

Marina Jacks is full of fun on and in the water! Including, boating, deep sea fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, and waterskiing.

For full information on boating, fishing, or watersports in our area contact The Ritz-Carlton Concierge at (941) 309-2160.

Excursions

Looking for an exciting way to see the City of Sarasota and what is hidden within – take a look at any of these excursions. Book one by clicking the link below or contacting one of our Ladies and Gentlemen of Concierge (941) 309-2160.

Dolphin seeing and Sunset Tours| Website

Mangrove Tours| Website

LeBarge Tropical Cruises| Website

Segway Tour| Website

Biking Tour| Website

Moving Around the Outside

Downtown Sarasota is a great area for Biking, Running and Jogging

Biking

Enjoy a little exercise while exploring our warm and friendly city by bicycle. Bicycle rentals can be arranged through the Resort Concierge by calling (941) 309-2160.

Running & Jogging

Jogging and strolling around downtown Sarasota is a wonderful diversion for guests. Joggers will find Bayfront Park, just south of the hotel a delightful place to jog and take in the warm Gulf breezes and beautiful water views. On that romantic getaway, take a stroll over John Ringling Bridge for an amazing view of the sunset over the bay before dinner.

Tennis

One lighted player-friendly Cushion-Life tennis courts for guests' enjoyment. Rackets and other equipment are available for rental. For court reservation, professional instruction and equipment rental, please dial (941) 309-2090.

MLB Spring Training

The Baltimore Orioles call Sarasota their home away from home for Spring Training. They take the field at Sarasota's newly-reconstructed Ed Smith Stadium, February to early April. The Florida weather is ideal during this time of year for Major League baseball and many major league teams hold spring training camps and exhibition games in the area including Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton), Tampa Bay Rays (St. Petersburg), Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater), New York Yankees (Tampa), Texas Rangers (Port Charlotte), and Boston Red Sox / Minnesota Twins (Ft. Myers). Soon to join us is the Atlanta Braves (North Port in 2019)

Contact: (941) 893-6300 | Distance: 3.4 miles | Website

The “Pros” of Tampa

Tampa Bay is home to many professional teams. If you like Baseball, Football or Hockey, we have a team for you!

Baseball

Tampa Bay Rays play their games in Tropicana field, better known as “The Trop” in St. Petersburg, April to October. Inside their ballpark they have a tank filled with Manta Rays! The Rays are known for DJ Kitty and creating the previously undiscovered species of dog known as “Canus Manta Whatthefluffalus” aka a Seadog.

Contact: (888) 326-7297 | Distance: 38.6 miles | Website

Football

Tampa is home of the XXXVII Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers which coincidentally won the first division title after the merger in 1979. The Bucs play their home games in Raymond James Stadium. If you are looking for a fun atmosphere with a “BOOM”ing good time, stick around for a touchdown and hear the authentic cannon of a pirate ship being shot.

Contact: (800) 826-9303 | Distance: 57 miles | Website

Hockey

The 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning plays all home games in the spectacular Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa, October to April. Their team name, Lightning is after the city of Tampa being the lightening capital of North America. If you are interested in seeing this electrified team please see our Concierge or call (941) 309-2160.

Contact: (800) 559-2333 | Distance: 63 miles | Website