An internationally-acclaimed opera house and art museum in a city teeming with live theater. Your soul will stir in symphony with the soaring ballet. Fabulous places to eat as a prelude—or as a postscript to—a night upon the town. New York or New Jersey? Maybe. Except, throw in a totally challenging round or so of golf in the morning followed by a freaking powdery - yes - powdery white beach in the afternoon and a blazing sunset over the scenic Gulf of Mexico to launch an evening's worth of exciting possibilities. This all adds up to Sarasota—Florida's ‘‘suncoast’’ and cultural capital—where days begin at the water's edge and spill into downtown after dark.
Downtown Sarasota can be anything you want it to be. It's the tree-shaded esplanade of Main Street—filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, and gourmet food stores. It's the boutiques, salons and art galleries of Palm Avenue. It's the antique stores and darkened art cinemas at Burns Court, or the quaint and friendly artists' colony at Towles Court. It's a morning's jog along the bayfront, lunch beneath the banyans at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and afternoon high tea sipped in grand style at the Ritz-Carlton. It's a daylong fishing charter that glides from its bayside slip; or a sunny morning stroll amid fresh produce and other open-air delights at each Saturday's Farmers' Market. Nearby is Lakewood Ranch, the master planned community and Osprey.