Attractions

Top Choice Museum in Sarasota

Ringling Museum Complex

The 66-acre winter estate of railroad, real-estate and circus baron John Ringling and his wife, Mable, is one of the Gulf Coast’s premier attractions and incorporates their personal collection of artworks in what is…
Top Choice Museum in Fort Myers

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Florida's snowbirds can be easy to mock, but not this pair. Thomas Edison built his winter home in 1885 and lived in Florida seasonally until his death in 1931. Edison's friend Henry Ford built his adjacent bungalow…
Top Choice State Park in Southwest Gulf Coast

Cayo Costa State Park

Slim as a supermodel and as lovely, Cayo Costa Island is almost entirely preserved as a 2500-acre state park. While its pale, ash-colored sand may not be as fine as that of other beaches, its idyllic solitude and ba…
Top Choice Island in Sarasota Keys

Anna Maria Island

The perfect antidote to party-loving Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island appears beached in a 1950s time warp, with sun-faded clapboard houses, teenagers hanging outside ice-cream stores and a clutch of good seafood resta…
Top Choice Gardens in Naples

Naples Botanical Gardens

This outstanding botanical garden styles itself as ‘a place of bliss, a region of supreme delight.’ And after spending some time wandering its 2.5-mile trail through nine cultivated gardens you’ll rapidly find your …
Top Choice Park in Southwest Gulf Coast

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

The crown jewel in the National Audubon Society's sanctuary collection, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary provides an intimate exploration of six pristine native habitats, including saw grass, slash pine and marsh, alon…
Top Choice Museum in Naples

Baker Museum

The pride of Naples, this engaging, sophisticated art museum is part of the Artis–Naples campus, which includes the fabulous Philharmonic Center next door. Devoted to 20th-century modern and contemporary art, the mu…
Wildlife Reserve in Southwest Gulf Coast

Myakka River State Park

Florida's oldest resident – the 200-million-year-old American alligator – is the star of this 39,000-acre wildlife preserve. Between 500 and 1000 alligators make their home in Myakka's slow-moving river and its shal…
Beach in Sarasota Keys

Siesta Key

At 8 miles long, Siesta Key is the area's most popular beach hangout with a family-friendly village and a public beach of pure quartz sand so fine it's like confectioners' sugar. The enormous parking lot (at the cor…
Park in Sarasota

Island Park

Sarasota's marina is notable for Island Park, an attractive green space poking into the harbor: it has a great playground and play fountain, restrooms, tree-shaded benches, a restaurant and tiki bar; and kayak, jet-…