Sarasota, FL

Sarasota, FL

In 1929, John Ringling chose Sarasota as winter headquarters for his “Greatest Show on Earth” circus, and even though the circus has moved on, the Ringling legacy is very much alive here. The Ringling Museum of Art (5401 Bay Shore Rd., 941-359-5700) is a Renaissance-style palace that the circus king built to house his art collection. In addition to the 31 galleries of art, the Ringling includes a 66-acre bayfront garden, the Ringling’s 56-room mansion and a circus museum. Next to his museum, Ringling reconstructed an 18th-century Italian theater with stones brought piece by piece from Asolo, Italy. Throughout the year, visitors can see plays and operas in the playhouse built for Queen Catherine. 

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