Archeological evidence suggests that the Native Americans have inhabited the Sarasota area since around 8,000BC. In modern history the area was discovered by the Spanish exploders in the 1500’s and in 1824 the United States acquired the territory of Florida.
In 1885 Sarasota was promoted in Scotland which encouraged many Scottish families to move over to the area. John Hamilton Gillespie, built what was believed to be America’s first golf course. Gillespie also built the DeSoto Hotel on Main Street for visitors and investors alike, becoming Sarasota’s first mayor in 1902.
John Ringling of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was another influential Sarasota resident. He and his wife Mable, built their famous Venetian style mansion on the shores of Sarasota Bay and went onto build the now famous Ringling Art Museum to exhibit their personal art collection.
John Ringling used his famous circus elephants to build the first bridge from the mainland to St Armand’s Key which he then developed both commercially & residentially.
Sarasota became a hot bed for architecture between 1941 and 1966 during which time a group of architects came together and developed a renowned body of work known today through the Sarasota School of Architecture.
Downtown Sarasota is known for its cobbled Main Street which offers a vast array of eateries, art galleries and music venues. The Sarasota area additionally offers a wide variety of historical venues including the Botanical Gardens, historical Spanish Point the Crowley Museum and Nature Center and the Sarasota Sailor Circus.