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Get to know Sarasota

The city and county of Sarasota, which includes most of the nearby barrier islands, is bordered by Sarasota Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and an abundance of spectacular beaches. This delightful stretch of Central West Florida is known as “The Cultural Coast,” for its many contributions to the visual and performing arts. Serving as the winter home for The Ringling Brothers Circus from 1927 to 1959, Sarasota became synonymous with The Greatest Show on Earth. Today, the circus spirit lives on through the collections at The Ringling Museum of Art, the students at Ringling College of Art + Design, and through exuberant mementos everywhere, like a circus train car diner and a ring of plaques honoring circus greats. The city was also the birthplace of Sarasota Modern, a term coined for the mid-century modern architects who designed iconic houses with clean, geometric lines that were tailored for the tropical climate.

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Living in the Tampa Bay area

Central West Florida encompasses the area surrounding Tampa Bay, including Tampa itself and stretching down to St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Sarasota. This coastal region is what people imagine when dreaming about Florida, a place where year-round sunshine beckons and every day is a beach day. Many have been lured to Tampa Bay by its weather, including baseball’s annual migration to spring training and The Ringling Brothers Circus’s long-time winter home in Sarasota. There’s a wide range of places to live, whether it’s year-round or only for a snowbird’s sojourn. The area includes barrier islands with picturesque beaches, busy urban downtowns, artsy neighborhoods of cafes and bungalows, and inland master-planned gated communities that are among the fastest growing in the nation. There’s no shortage of fun in Tampa Bay, with pro sports teams in residence, well-regarded museums, delicious restaurants, and a ton of outdoor activities on land and sea.