We have family coming into town this weekend and the weather report is looking dismal. Okay – more than dismal – rainy is the term.
So we started thinking about what activities there are for rainy days in our area. So many of the things we love to do revolve around being outside and generally we have wonderful weather for that.
It is not that it never rains here – it is just tricky when they are just coming for the weekend and the whole weekend forecast predicts rain.
So here are some things we came up with to do in Sarasota, Venice and surrounding areas.
- John Ringling Museum of Art – 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL, 34243
Set on 66 acres right on the Bayfront in Sarasota. Includes Museum of Art, Circus Museum, and the Ca’D’Zan – John Ringling’s 56 room mansion. There are ever changing exhibits and events.
- Mote Marine – 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL, 34236
(941)388-4441. Research facility and Mote Aquarium. The working aquarium hosts more than 100 species of marine life including manatees and sharks. There are two touch tanks and a 135,000 gallon shark habitat.
- The Sarasota Classic Car Museum – 5500 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34243 (941) 355-6228. Travel back in time and view over 75 immaculately restored automobiles including classic and muscle cars, including Bentleys, DeLoreans, Edsels and Ferraris. There are cars that were owned by the Ringlings, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
- Burns Court Cinema – 506 Burns Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236. (941) 955-3456. Small theater that offers first-run foreign, independent and art films along with beer, wine and popcorn.
- The Mall at University Town Center – 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota, FL 34243. (941) 552-7000. This mall is located at I-75 and University Parkway and is considered a world-class fashion and dining destination with more than 150 stores and restaurants many of which are not found anywhere else in the local area.
- Venice Little Theatre – 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice, FL 34285. (941) 488-1115. Since 1950 The Venice Theatre has been providing entertainment, education and outreach to the community. It is one of the largest and most active community theaters in our country.
- Clyde Butcher Gallery – 237 Warfield Ave., Venice, FL 34285 (941) 486-0811. Clyde Butcher is a legendary nature photographer, often called a modern-day Ansel Adams. We are so fortunate to have one of his studios here in Venice where his photographs and books are on display and for purchase. Clyde Butcher’s 2000 square foot darkroom is also located here.
- Historic Venice Train Depot - 303 E. Venice Ave., Venice FL 34285. The train depot was built in 1927 and renovated in 2002-2003. You can learn interesting key events in Venice history and the history of the train depot.
- Military Heritage Museum – Fishermen’s Village. 1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. (941) 575-9002. This is located further south in Punta Gorda and is another very worthwhile experience. “The mission of the Military Heritage Museum is to promote an understanding and respect for the rich military heritage of the United States and the sacrifices made by our country’s veterans, living and dead, emphasizing that freedom is not free”
- South Florida Museum – 201 10th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34205. (941) 746-4131. This museum is located just north of Sarasota and it both the Bishop Planetarium and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. It is the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast and has ever changing exhibits in addition to the permanent exhibits.
- Chihuly Collection – 720 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Located even further north is this outstanding collection of world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. Nearby is the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio & Hot Shop where you can watch glassblowers create one-of-a-kind pieces, have your own personal glass blowing experience and shop for unique glass art created by local and regional artists.
- Salvador Dali Museum - One Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. This is also north of Sarasota. Fascinating architecture, gardens and the works of famed artist Salvador Dali.
Of course there are many other things like the Opera House and Antique stores east of us in Arcadia, museums south of us in Fort Myers, and a 2 hour ride north-east to the many attractions of Orlando.
Soon we will be back to our beaches, sunsets, water sports, golf, and other outdoor activities.