Sarasota

History

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The Sarasota area has been inhabited by people for the past 15,000 years as is evident by the large shell mounds near Sarasota Bay. Although the first recorded contact by Europeans dates to an early Spanish Expedition, the area did not see settlers until the mid-1700s fishing camps in Sarasota Bay. Very few settlers were in the area until the establishment of Fort Armistead in 1840. Following the Sarasota Bay military base’s construction, settlers flocked to get a piece of Real Estate in Sarasota FL. The area began to transform from primitive homesteads into a luxury resort destination in the late 1880s with the completion of a 100-acre golf course and hotel. There were numerous Homes in Sarasota FL built in the 1920s as the area reaped the benefits of successful marketing campaigns. Tourism also continued to flourish up to the present. For information on Sarasota’s history, visit Sarasota History Alive! (sarasotahistoryalive.com)

Parks and Recreation

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The Sarasota area boasts an impressive 150 beaches and recreational areas. Some of the most notable beaches include: Siesta Beach, North Lido Beach, Turtle Beach, Manasota Beach, and Nokomis Beach. Many recreational facilities offer picnic areas with grills, playgrounds, and concession stands for a fun time out. Additional information about Sarasota Beaches can be accessed at the Sarasota County website (scgov.net/beaches). The area even has several pet-friendly parks, called paw parks. Paw Parks (scgov.net/parks) are located through the city and have been specially constructed with dog-accessible drinking fountains and fenced areas where fido can go off-leach for some exercise. Crowley Museum and Nature Center is a swatch of 185-acres of preserved Florida flora and fauna. The museum has educational programs that teach visitors about the early pioneering efforts in Sarasota. One of the highlights of the museum is the 1889 Tatum-Rawls House which serves as one of the oldest examples of pioneer architecture. For more information, contact the Crowley Museum (crowleyfl.org).

Attractions and Activities

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The Sarasota Classic Car Museum (sarasotacarmuseum.org) will bring visitors back in time as they browse though exotic antiques. Exhibits with over 75 automobiles and the vintage game arcade can be enjoyed seven days a week. Payne Skatepark (payneskatepark.com) lets skateboarders and BMX enthusiasts get some healthy exercise. The concrete park holds an annual contest for skateboarders. The littlest family members will enjoy the Sarasota Children’s Garden (sarasotachildrensgarden.com). The interactive experience lets kids get dirty in the magical themed garden. The garden is open seven days a week and is able to host special programs and birthday parties. Sarasota has gorgeous tropical beaches which attract visitors from around the globe. Area activities at the beaches include sunbathing, swimming, volleyball, fishing, waterskiing, kayaking, and canoeing. For information on commercial cruises and boat rentals, click on the visitsarasota.org website. Sarasota has an array of award-winning dining establishments serving everything from locally caught seafood to exotic dishes from across the globe.

Events

Numerous events ranging from ballet to farmers markets are held in Sarasota. An interactive calendar of events is available at Visit Sarasota (visitsarasota.org)