Florida is known all over the world as one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. The Sunshine State, as it is commonly known, has so much to offer, from theme parks to unique wildlife and wonderful weather all-year long. With one of the longest stretches of coastline of any American state, Florida is also home to dozens of world class beaches, attracting surfers, sunbathers, and beach-lovers from all four corners of the globe. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
4.Sarasota Beach: Longboat Key
5 Best Sarasota, Florida Beaches
- Venice Beach, Photo: nostalgi/stock.adobe.com
- Turtle Beach, Photo: rceron69/stock.adobe.com
- Caspersen Beach, Photo: tonktiti/stock.adobe.com
- Sarasota Beach: Longboat Key, Photo: Keith/stock.adobe.com
- Lido Beach, Photo: Edelweiss086/stock.adobe.com
- More Info, Photo: Elena Moiseeva/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Ruth P. Peterkin - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Sarasota Opera
The Sarasota Opera is a professional opera company located in Sarasota, Florida. The building that houses the opera underwent a massive renovation project in 2008, restoring this 1920s theater to its original historic glory, while its decorative details, seating, orchestra pit, backstage systems, and public amenities were completed updated. The Sarasota Opera House can now seat 1,119 guests.
Along with the Sarasota Opera House, the building houses the 390-seat Peterson Great Room – a pavilion with a large multi-purpose performance or banquet facility that also has private rehearsal rooms and a private meeting space. The building has yet another theater, the William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, which can seat up to 1,174 guests.
The Sarasota Opera Box Office operates 7 days a week and is open between 10:00am and 5:00pm.
Sarasota Theater Events
The theater's state-of-the-art acoustics and interior configuration gives the audience a feeling of sitting in the middle of sound and for this reason, the theater is a popular venue for community entertainment. The Sarasota Opera House serves as a place of congregation for several theatre events from opera, symphony, and popular music concerts to classical ballet, comedy shows, plays, and film festivals.
Sarasota Opera Tours
Sarasota Opera organizes public tours in the Sarasota Opera House. The tours are led by knowledgeable staff who go into the historic details of the building and also offer a complete tour of the backstage happenings. This insightful 2-hour tour is given on Mondays at 10:30am when an opera is in progress. The tour costs $12 per person and tickets can be purchased online. Private tours for a group of 20 or more can be organized by advanced booking at the box office.
The Sarasota Opera House is open for the benefit of private events during the off-peak opera season. You can rent out the theatre space for private and corporate events, while the theater arrangements and the costumes are also available for rent at the theater. The opera house offers 6 types of theater facility rental with over 17 sets and more than 26 varieties of outfits from the theater. All private events bookings need to be made by contacting the director of theater operations.
Booking & Reservations
You can view a brief description of every upcoming event on the opera’s official website and tickets for these events can be purchased online by registering with the opera. Prices range from $19 up to $135 per person, depending on the event and seat selection, which can be a choice of orchestra, boxes, or balcony.
Support the Opera
The Sarasota Opera accepts donations via online payments and through fundraisers or special events. It offers donor benefits through special programs that are specifically open to donors. Public donations fund the opera's educational Apprentice Artist, studio artist programs, and Sarasota Youth Opera programs.
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Sarasota Opera, 61 N Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, Phone: 941-328-1300
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Attraction Spotlight: Sarasota Classic Car Museum
The Sarasota Classic Car Museum in Sarasota, Florida is the second oldest car museum to be operated continuously in the United States. Visitors are taken back in time to explore the history of the automobile through rotating exhibits of antique, classic and unique vehicles.
Brothers Herbert and Bob Horn decided in the 1950’s that Sarasota would be the ideal location for a classic car museum. The two brothers from Iowa had been collecting and restoring classic automobiles for many years and even made parts for the cars themselves. The Horn brothers opened “Horns’ Cars of Yesterday” in March of 1953 and had more than 70 automobiles on display including an 1897 Duryea Buggyaut.
Over the next decade, the Horns’ expanded their collection from a focus on antique automobiles and had to enlarge their museum show floor. The Horn’s offered rides in antique vehicles, and created a Music Box Arcade and Nickelodeon room for visitor’s. They also featured a cycle collection where visitors could see the first motorcycles, unusual bicycles, as well as an onsite blacksmith shop where their parts could be made and a livery stable with antique farming equipment and other artifacts collected out of old barns.
The museum was sold in 1967 to Walter Bellm, another antique and classic car collector from St. Louis Missouri. In 1997, the museum was sold again to Martin Godbey. The 50,000-square foot museum was then renovated and the collection was again expanded to include a significant number of celebrity owned autos and American classics.
The Museum is currently open from 9am to 6pm for self-guided tours 7 days a week and only closed on Christmas Day. They are also a 501 c(3) organization that provides a foundation for research on the impacts of the Automobile on American society.
The Collection of cars and what is on exhibit at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum is constantly changing. The museum currently is working to expand its collection of 20th century automobiles. They are also dedicated to exhibiting the collection in an educational manner that will cultivate a new generation of collectors. Sarasota Classic Car Museum also works to educate the public on the history of the automobile and what the future can bring for the industry.
The museum currently holds over 75 automobiles including:
· Circus Magnate
· John and Mabel Ringling Rolls Royce Collection
· A 1965 Mercendes Benz owned by John Lennon
· A Mini Cooper owned by Paul McCartney
· Don Garlits dragster #2
· And cars from manufacturers such as Alfa, DeLorean, Ferrari, Bentley, and Cadillac to name a few
The Timeline Room tells the story of the car from invention in 1885 through present day and even what could be available in the future. This exhibit also highlights achievements in manufacturing of the automobile and significant people related to the evolution of cars.
Tours-While tours of the Sarasota Classic Car Museum are mostly self-guided, volunteer docent lead tours are available for school and community groups. Docents are also available to answer questions and can be found throughout the museum for all visitors to utilize.
The Sarasota Classic Car Museum hosts several concerts throughout the year with music relating to the classic car time. Most of the shows are by cover bands and impersonators and a detailed lineup can be found on the museum events page online. Some performances have included music from:
· Johnny Cash
· Patsy Cline
· Kenny Rogers
· Neil Diamond
· Broadway Showtunes
· Jazz Music
· Country Music
· Blue Grass Music
· And Las Vegas Revues
Renting the Museum- The museum is also available to rent for private events such as weddings, parties, corporate events, dinners, fundraisers, and more. Up to 300 people can be accommodated at the museum where the rustic feel of the building and decorative lighting in the outdoor atrium will create a natural and ethereal ambiance for any special occasion. The event planners at the museum also work with guests on creating themes and decorative styles for events, and will tailor an event to fit the renters budget.
5500 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34243, Phone: 941-355-6228
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