The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was created in 1927 by John and Mable Ringling for the people of Florida. Having made a fortune through the family-owned circus and, later through real estate and railroads ventures, John Ringling amassed an art collection of over 600 paintings, sculptures, and various decorative arts including more than 25 tapestries.
Website: Ringling Museum
St. Armand’s Circle on Lido Key
Sarasota has long since been a vacation attraction for the rich and famous. One of which was quite influential to this area and called Sarasota home. John Ringling, of the circus world, is that man. When John Ringling purchased a group of islands off Sarasota in the 1920s, he had plans for a major tourist attraction with elegant shops, world-class restaurants, and the finest of hotels. Although Ringling did not live to see it, his dream is reality today and has become a destination for world class visitors, better known as St. Armand’s Circle on Lido Key.
Website: St. Armand’s Circle on Lido Key
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay was the first to create an open-range animal habitat, home to hundreds of African animals. The park opened the 60-acre “Serengeti Plain” in 1965 with outstanding success and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay became a model for animal parks around the world.
Website: Busch Gardens
Adventure Island’s 30 acres of water-drenched fun in the sun features the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere awaits an unrivaled blend of slides, corkscrews, water falls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions such as outdoor cafes, picnic and sunbathing areas, gift shops, and a championship white-sand volleyball complex.
Website: Adventure Island
Tampa Bay Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution dedicated to public entertainment, education and conservation, astounds visitors with the beauty and fragility of our eco-system. The facility is home to over 10,000 aquatic plants and animals from 1,340 species from Florida and all over the world.
Website: Tampa Bay Aquarium
Walt Disney World
Since its founding in 1923, The Walt Disney Company has remained faithful in its commitment to producing unparalleled entertainment experiences based on its rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling. Today, Disney is divided into four major business segments: Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts, Consumer Products, and Media Networks. Each segment consists of integrated, well-connected businesses that operate in concert to maximize exposure and growth worldwide.
Website: Walt Disney World
Sea World Orlando
Sea World is the synthesis of two imaginative ideas. Firstly, to present marine life in a series of spectacular show and secondly, to provide an interesting and educational marine oriented park for families enjoying more and more leisure time.
Website: Sea World
Universal Studios Orlando
Universal’s rich entertainment legacy can be traced back to 1906, when 39 year-old Bavarian immigrant Carl Laemmle (pronounced LEM-lee) opened his first nickelodeon theater in Chicago. From exhibiting short silent movies in one theater, Laemmle later moved to movie distribution and production. In June 1909, he formed the New York based Independent Moving Picture Company of America, or IMP, not only produce his own films, but to defy the monopolistic Motion Picture Patents Company that charged a license fee to all independent theater operators. Laemmle’s first production in 1909 was Hiawatha, a one-reel adaptation of Longfellow’s poem.
Website: Universal Studios
It started with a dream in a Cypress swamp more than 70 years ago and grew into a landmark of grace, beauty and fun known around the world. Cypress Gardens Adventure Park marks its 70th anniversary in 2006 and the park will celebrate by paying tribute to its rich and storied past with many special activities.
Website: Cypress Gardens
Fort Myers Area
As a SW vacation destination, Fort Myers and its neighboring cities attract thousands of visitors annually. Much remains as it was hundreds of years ago, serene and unspoiled. Mangrove forests, saltwater wetlands, wildlife refuges, tropical gardens, nature trails, miles of winding canals and waterways, and hundreds of islands, some inhabited, some not, provide a magical retreat from the fast-paced world.
Located on the southern bank of the Caloosahatchee River and known as the “City of Palms”, Fort Myers is rich in history, Civil War settlement, and Seminole Indian legacies. The wide Caloosahatchee River diagonally divides the city from Cape Coral to the west, and North Fort Myers just across the Edison Bridge.
You’ll never be bored here. Cultural attractions like the Imaginarium and the Arcade Theatre mix with beach activities. The annual Edison Festival of Light unites everyone in the city for a citywide celebration. Fort Myers is also the winter home of the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins .
Southwest of Fort Myers is the popular island of Sanibel, 12 miles long and 5 miles wide, connected at a narrow point. With a reputation for great fishing, windsurfing, shell collecting, bird watching and other outdoor pursuits, the best way to get around the island is by bicycle. Visit the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and the Sanibel Gallery .
Golf and tennis are available at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club on the eastern end of the island, the Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa . The J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge , is a must-see.
Upper Captiva, at the northern end of Sanibel Island, is about 4.5 miles long and a half mile wide. It is mostly a wildlife sanctuary and the perfect place to go for seclusion and privacy. This barrier island is a great place to view dolphins, birds, and beautiful sunsets.
Fort Myers Beach
Fifteen minutes south of Fort Myers along the Gulf coast is Fort Myers Beach. A popular retreat for vacationers with many quaint restaurants like Channel Mark Restaurant and unique hotels like Pointe Estero Beach Resort , it offers charter fishing, cruises and tours to neighboring islands or all the way to Key West. Entertainment can be found at Indian Creek Plaza .
Island Style Water Sports
Hard Rock Casino -Tampa
Segway Tour of Sarasota
Van Wetzel Performing Arts Hall