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Sarasota, Florida, USA
About an hour south of the PORT OF TAMPA, the world famous Ringling Museum has been delighting visitors almost 100 years. With an art museum, furnished mansion, a statue filled rose garden, a circus museum and a courtyard designed to resemble Rome, this is a great way to spend a vacation day in Florida.
John Ringling, of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, was an entrepreneurial genius. In 1911, John and his wife, Mable purchased 20 acres of waterfront property in Sarasota, Florida and eventually owned approximately 25 percent of Sarasota.
The Ringlings owned a significant art collection including paintings by Rubens, Velezquez, Poussin, and van Dyck. They built a museum for their many treasures. It is a very educational experience to wander the halls enjoying and considering the very-classic to the very-modern art exhibits.
The enclosed courtyard of the museum features sculptures and fountains which are replicas from Rome scattered among well sculpted greenery surrounded by the coral colored arched outer walkways of the museum. It is a photographer's dream.
The Ringling's Venetian Gothic mansion - was built between 1924 and 1926 for $1.5 million - an incredible amount at the time. It is 200 feet long, approximately 36,000 square feet with 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms. It has five stories, a full basement. And an 81-foot Belvedere tower with a high domed ceiling. It is beautifully placed on the waterfront and is filled with the Ringling's antique furniture and cherished art.
The Circus Museum displays at the Circus Museum include rare handbills and posters, photographs, sequined costumes, performing props, miniature circuses, and elaborately carved circus wagons used by Ringling. Ringling moved the winter quarters of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to Sarasota from Connecticut in 1927.
The Ringling mansion and museums are a truly educational and enlightening experience.
Sarasota hosts an annual Gay Pride week each October. North Lido Beach is a favorite spot for both local and vacationing gay men.
GayStPeteHouse.com is a cozy bed and breakfast in nearby St Pete, FL and one of our favorite places to stay.
For more information
The Ringling Museum
5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243
Watch our video of the Ringling Museum - VIDEO!
We were the guests of the Ringling Museum in 2010.
Gay Travelers Magazine
PO Box 560318 Rockledge, FL 32956
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