When it comes to planning a great vacation to Sarasota, most families are primarily focused on the beautiful Keys, including Longboat, Manasota, and, of course, Siesta. Spots like Crescent Beach and Stump Pass are beloved by travelers from all over the U.S., and the immense natural beauty of this destination has made it a no-brainer for parents, couples, and solo wanderers seeking very long weekend escapes.
But a lot of visitors don’t know about Sarasota’s rich history, which is why the many museums and landmarks are always a premium expert recommendation—especially the Ringling Circus Museum and Circus Arts Conservatory. In 1927, the city became the winter base of operations for the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and a little more than 20 years later the museum’s doors opened. And now, thanks to The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, more guests can immerse themselves in this unique cultural hallmark.
The resort recently debuted the Under the Big Top experience, which allows guests to stay in a suite that boasts some circus-inspired design elements. Don’t worry, coulrophobics—it’s not as crazy as you’re thinking. With subtle tones and simple yet fun accessories, children will enjoy an extra level of fun as they tame a large stuffed lion and giraffe while snacking on popcorn in their own private tent. That’s all after they finish their practicing with the juggling kit, of course.
When it’s time to head out and enjoy the local culture, the concierge can assist with securing museum tickets or passes to the conservatory. But if it’s Saturday, the latter is even more exciting because that’s when flying trapeze group classes are held for aspiring daredevils as young as 5. It’s a great way to end the vacation before packing back into your own clown car.