After the last flower petal flutters away and the chalk dust settles you can spread your wings and visit all that Sarasota has to offer! Did you know we have world-class beaches and designated Florida' Cultural Coast for good reason? We have an abundance of arts and artists tucked into our beach community with over 13 professional stages within a one-mile radius of downtown. We have the nation's second-largest community theatre! 

Here are a few of the many options that await you while here:

How about riding in a boat, making a sandcastle, petting an elephant, or indulging in healthy sweet treats? Maybe soaking in a symphony or opera, Baroque paintings, the Circus arts, or cruising on an electric bike from Sarasota to Venice is more your style. Florida’s Cultural Coast is Sarasota County, which recently celebrated its Centennial. 


Boating with LeBarge Tropical Cruises at Bayfront Park or O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill are two great ways to take in a sunset after doing Yoga by the Bay with Erin in the park or letting your child run and play in their new water park and playground. South of Sarasota, in Venice, you might enjoy being captain of your own rented sailboat at Sail Venice, then enjoy the “steakhouse with serious seafood” at Fin’s at Sharky’s on the Pier. Connecting Venice and Sarasota is the Legacy Trail, an 18-mile scenic trail, perfect for biking, electric or pedal-powered, and rent an electric bike, Legacy Trail Bikes. The Baltimore Orioles do their spring training here if you want to catch a game. Does anyone play golf? We have golf courses too such as Bobby Jones Golf Club, Tatum Ridge Golf Links, and University Park Country Club


From Downtown Sarasota, you might take the Bay Runner, the free trolley to St. Armand’s Circle and Lido Beach. The app is super easy to use and the trolley runs early and late… did we mention it’s free? Lido Beach is, of course, spectacular… a sanctuary for seabirds, especially the Skimmer, and wide beaches where shells, dolphins, and manatees abound. Siesta Key Beach is world-renowned for its fine white quartz sand expanse and the annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand International Sand Sculpting Festival which occurs the week after the Chalk Festival.


While the Sarasota Chalk Festival has our own pair of life-sized elephants, sculpted by Kumpa, the Myakka Elephant Ranch conservation center provides a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience looking the trunked one in the eye. The Big Cat Habitat, the world-class Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, and The Alligator Deep Hole at Myakka State Park all offer unique encounters with unique animals.

Visual Arts

After the Chalk Festival and Avenue of Art, you will not be short of options. Our City Public Art program has a strong presence in beautiful settings and an app that will walk you from piece to piece while listening to commentary, often by the artist… download OttoCast and explore. The City of Sarasota’s logo has Michaelango’s David, and one can see the 16.5-foot bronze cast made between the mid-19th to early 20th century, at the Ringling Museum’s Sculpture Garden. The Museum grounds also have the newly minted Greatest Show on Earth Gallery and a fine art collection that is rich and deep. Also on the grounds, not to be missed, is the over-the-top Ca’ d’Zan, or house of John in Italian, that John Ringling built for his adored wife Mabel. This Italian Mediterranean mansion was built by Owen Burns and architect Dwight Baum, the same duo who built Burns Square Historic Hotel, located in Burns Square downtown Sarasota nestled between historic neighborhoods that are wonderful to stroll through Laurel Park, Burns Court, Palm Avenue and Hudson Bayou

Performing Arts

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall was built to look like a seashell and is surrounded by The Bay Park, recently named the Best New Walk which passes by a sculpture by Dennis Kowal (Our founder Denise's dad). The historic Asolo Repertory Theater which neighbors the Ringling Museum, stages up to 15 productions yearly. Downtown the Sarasota Opera season includes four exciting opera productions in partnership with Sarasota Orchestra. The Venice Symphony is celebrating its 50th Anniversary concert season so do not miss it! Our downtown black-box theatre is Urbanite Theatre of Sarasota. The Florida Studio Theater has several venues all downtown and going strong for 50 years! And, for movies absolutely try the small but great historic Burns Court Cinema that shows independent films! 

In conclusion, the Sarasota Chalk Festival is just the beginning of the vibrant experiences awaiting you on Florida's Cultural Coast. Whether you're exploring the wildlife sanctuaries, relaxing on pristine beaches, or immersing yourself in the rich arts scene, there's something for everyone to enjoy. From boating adventures to cultural landmarks, this coastal paradise offers endless opportunities to create lasting memories. So come for the festival and stay for the diverse array of activities that make this region a truly special destination.