At the beginning of May, I visited the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. At first, I was hesitant, thinking it would be a vast circus display, but we spent just over four hours on the grounds, to my surprise. The garden is spectacular, with beautiful sea views and banyan trees reminding me of Vizcaya Gardens in Miami.
Established in 1927 as the legacy of Mable Burton Ringling and John Ringling for the people of Florida, it's the official state art museum. The museum features 21 galleries of European paintings, Cypriot antiquities, and Asian, American, and contemporary art. The art museum is located in a pink building that resembles the Renaissance style. Be warned. You can lose the sense of time there as you wander through the beautiful exhibition.
The sunken garden of fountains and statues is often used for photography spots. I have to admit I took hundreds of photos while visiting.
The Ringling Ca d'Zan mansion was home to John and Mable Ringling. The mansion overlooks Sarasota Bay and features stunning stained glass windows and Italian-style features. Self-guided tours are offered daily and require separate admission. Admission to the Museum of Art and the grounds are always free on Monday.
If you are an art and architecture lover, this place won't disappoint.