Home to a professional symphony, ballet, opera, 10 theaters, and more than 30 art galleries, the Sarasota area is aptly named "Florida's Cultural Coast." Enhancing the experience are 35 miles of beaches and St. Armands Circle, a European-style promenade brimming with sidewalk cafes, elegant restaurants and trendy boutiques. Sarasota meeting venues offer a sophisticated beach environment along with unique attractions, upscale shopping and dining and championship golf.
Situated between Tampa and Fort Myers, Sarasota is 3 miles from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, and 53 miles from Tampa International Airport. The Sarasota area encompasses areas like Longboat Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key, Venice and Englewood.
Trade shows, conventions, consumer shows expos, and large special functions use the largest of Sarasota meeting venues, the 93,000 square-foot Sarasota Bradenton International Convention Center. Located adjacent to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, it features 26 foot ceilings, a 3,000 square foot kitchen, 5 breakout rooms and 3,000 hotel rooms within 2 miles.
Hotel venues in Sarasota combine casual elegance with easy beach access, luxury amenities, indoor meeting space and beautiful outdoor special event areas. Meetings-oriented properties include the 294-room Hyatt Regency Sarasota, with 22,000 square feet of meeting space; the 266-room Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, with 18,000 square feet of meeting space; the 218-unit Longboat Key Club with 12,000 square feet of meeting space; and the 223-room Lido Beach Resort, with 6,000 square feet of meeting space.
One of Sarasota's most in-demand special function venues is the ornate and expansive John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which includes Circus Museums, Museum of Art, Ca d'Zan Mansion, Asolo Theater and spectacularly landscaped grounds and gardens. Several areas of the Ringling complex are available for rental highlighted by the luxurious Ca' d'Zan Mansion, a palatial, 56-room, bayfront mansion built in 1925, and the Museum of Art Courtyard, where statues, lush foliage and flowers combine for an elegant outdoor venue.
Pre- and post-meeting entertainment options include the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, an 11-acre bayfront, open-air and under-glass museum, with more than 20,000 plants, including 6,000 orchids; the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in St. Armands, where sharks, sea turtles, manatees, and dolphins are the draw and the Crowley Museum and Nature Center, a 190-acre wildlife sanctuary.