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Main attractions: sights and flights of fancy for the entire family.



there's so much more to Sarasota than the beach. Visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (7 acres; 2.8 hectares) are extensive botanical gardens dedicated to research and collections of epiphytes, especially orchids and bromeliads, and their canopy ecosystems. , where along with a rare and spectacular orchid collection, you can view research that may one day help to save the rainforest.

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At Mote Marine Laboratory Mote Marine Laboratory (and Aquarium) is a not-for-profit research and educational institution with an aquarium open to the public 365 days a year. Founded by Dr. Eugenie Clark in 1955 in Cape Haze, Florida, the early years of the laboratory specialized in shark research. , a nationally recognized center of marine research, sharks feed in frenzies and the kids can get hands-on with swimming rays, live crabs and an amazing array of other marine life. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the state art museum of Florida, located in Sarasota, Florida. It was established in 1927 as the legacy of Mable and John Ringling for the people of Florida. Florida State University assumed governance of the Museum in 2000.  offers a living monument to the Greatest Show on Earth with its Museum of the Circus, and also houses one of the world's largest collections of Baroque art Baroque art is the painting and sculpture associated with the Baroque cultural movement, a movement often identified with the existence of important Baroque art and architecture in non-absolutist and Protestant states. . The Ringlings' mansion. Ca d'Zan Ca d'Zan, a Mediterranean Revival mansion in Sarasota, Florida, was the dream home of circus magnate John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Lovers of the Venetian esthetic, the Ringlings chose their building plot overlooking the Gulf of Mexico for its view, which reminded them of the lagoon , has been newly renovated to its original splendor and offers tours daily.

In fact, the area from Bradenton to Osprey osprey (ŏs`prē), common name for a bird of prey related to the hawk and the New World vulture and found near water in most parts of the world.  and Venice is filled with exciting sights and sounds. Do take some time away from the sun to enjoy them all. And before you go, visit attraction Web sites to check out ongoing special events and download valuable discount coupons.

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BRADENTON

De Soto National Memorial De Soto National Memorial: see National Parks and Monuments (table). , 75th St. NW, Bradenton. 792-0458. Believed to be the site of explorer Hernando De Soto's landfall land·fall  
n.
1. The act or an instance of sighting or reaching land after a voyage or flight.

2. The land sighted or reached after a voyage or flight.
 in Florida, more than 450 years ago. During the winter and spring season, park employees in period dress perform demonstrations and give talks about that era of Florida's history. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day New Year's Day, among ancient peoples the first day of the year frequently corresponded to the vernal or autumnal equinox, or to the summer or winter solstice. In the Middle Ages it was celebrated among Christians usually on Mar. 25. , free. www.nps.gov.deso/.

South Florida Museum/Parker Manatee Aquarium, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. 746-4131. Exhibits cover our local history from the Indians to De Soto de So·to   , Hernando or Fernando 1496?-1542.

Spanish explorer who landed in Florida in 1539 with 600 men and set out to search for the fabled riches of the north.
 to the Crackers who settled the region. And Snooty the lovable manatee greets guests to the aquarium. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. except for New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the first Saturday in November. Admission: Adults $9.50, seniors $7.50, children over 12 $6, children 5-12 $5. www.southfloridamuseum.org.

ELLENTON

Gamble Plantation and Mansion, U.S. 301, Ellenton. 723-4536. Southwest Florida's oldest building, once part of a thriving sugar plantation, also served as a hideout for the Confederacy's Secretary of the Treasury when he was on the run from the Yankees. You'll see a slice of history and get a glimpse of Florida plantation life. Open Thursday-Monday. Tours at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. and at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Admission: Adults $5, children 6-12 $3, children under 6 free. www.floridastateparks.org/gambleplantation/default.asp.

OSPREY

Oscar Scherer State Park Oscar Scherer State Park is a Florida State Park located between Sarasota and Venice, near Osprey, amidst the heavily-developed southwest Florida coast. The address is 1843 South Tamiami Trail. There are more than 130,000 visitors a year. , 1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. 483-5956. One of the area's favorite parks, full of Florida scrub jays, gopher tortoises, gopher frogs and indigo snakes. Consists of pine flatwoods and several lakes; you can hike the trails or take to the water in a kayak or canoe. Open daily dawn to dusk. Admission: $4 per carload carload

In commodities trading, a railroad car or truckload of grain that ranges from 1,400 to 2,500 bushels.
 to visit, $24.20 per night to camp. In April, celebrates Earth Day with free admission. www.floridastateparks.org/oscarscherer/default.asp.

Historic Spanish Point Spanish Point (Irish: Rinn na Spáinneach) is an area in the parish of Miltown Malbay in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, situated on the west coast of Ireland. , 500 Tamiami Trail, Osprey. 966-5214. A unique 30-acre environmental, historical and archaeological site that has been home at different times to prehistoric Indians, the pioneer Webb family and society matron Mrs. Potter Palmer. Period buildings and exhibits on view. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. except for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Admission: Adults $7, children 6-12 $3, seniors $5 on Mondays. Discount Web coupon. www.historicspanishpoint.org.

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SARASOTA

Ca d'Zan; Museum of the Circus. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 359-5700. Two of the biggest draws at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art complex are the Ringlings' 1920s mansion, Ca d'Zan, and the Museum of the Circus, with costumes, posters and other circus memorabilia. Open daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Admission: Adults $15, seniors over 65 $12, children 12 and under free, Florida students and faculty free. Museum only is free to all on Monday. www.ringling.org.

Crowley Museum and Nature Center, 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota, near Myakka City. 322-1000. Return to the days of early Sarasota pioneers in this reconstructed village, with its walking trails and unspoiled nature. Call ahead for an escorted tour. Open Thursday-Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from May-December and Tuesday-Sunday January-April. Admission: Adults $5, children 5-12 $3, children under 5 free. www.crowleymuseumnaturectr.org.

G.WIZ, Blivas Science & Technology Center, 1001 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. 906-1851. Hands-on science exhibits and activities aimed at kids, including electricity displays, mind-bending puzzles and a butterfly garden. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Admission: Adults $7, children 2-18 $5, seniors $6. Group discounts available, www.gwiz.org.

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Jungle Gardens, 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 355-5305. Jungle Gardens offers 10 tropical acres filled with trees, flowers, pink flamingos and exotic birds. There are also bird and reptile shows each day, a playground, gift shop and snack bar. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. except Christmas. Admission: Adults $11, seniors $10, children 3-12 $7. Discount Web coupon. www.sarasotajunglegardens.com.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 366-5731. Orchids, epiphytes, bromeliads, banyans and many other green or blooming things live in this oasis along Sarasota's bayfront, where botanical research is also carried on. A Museum of Botany and the Arts and the Selby home are also located here. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. except Christmas. Admission: Adults $12, children 6-11 $6. One week each year, usually in September, the gardens are free. www.selby.org.

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Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota. 388-2451. Sharks, sea turtles, manatees and other creatures of the deep. Also a rare giant squid. Group tours, gift shop available. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 365 days. Discount Web coupon. Admission: Adults $12, children 4-12 $8, children under 4 free. www.mote.org.

Myakka River State Park Myakka River State Park is a Florida State Park, located east of Sarasota and southeast of Bradenton. The park's area is split between Sarasota County and Manatee County. The park is named after the Myakka River. , 14 miles east of Sarasota on S.R. 72. 361-6511. Wild Florida thrives on this 28,000-acre preserve that's home to deer, alligators, osprey and even the elusive Florida bobcat bobcat: see lynx.
bobcat

Bobtailed, long-legged North American cat (Lynx rufus) found in forests and deserts from southern Canada to southern Mexico. It is a close relative of the lynx and caracal.
. Tram rides, nature trails, airboat air·boat  
n.
See swamp boat.
 tours, canoeing and camping are available. For a wildlife tour, call 365-0100. Open dawn to dusk daily 365 days. Admission: $5 per vehicle of 2-8 people. www.myakkariver.org.

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Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary, 1708 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota. 388-4444. Set on two waterfront acres, the sanctuary is home to more than 200 permanently disabled birds and also cares for injured animals. Boardwalk, gift shop and public viewing areas. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. except Christmas and Thanksgiving. Admission: Adults $6, children 4-17 $2. www.pelicanman.org

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Sarasota Classic Car Museum. 5500 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 355-6228. More than 100 automobiles beginning with the horseless Horse´less

a. 1. Being without a horse; specif., not requiring a horse; - said of certain vehicles in which horse power has been replaced by electricity, steam, etc.; as, a horseless carriage or truck s>.
 carriage, a musical instrument exhibit and an antique-game arcade. Open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Discount Web coupon. Admission: Adults $8.50, seniors 65 and over $7.65, children 13-17 $5.75, children 6-12 $4, children under 6 free. www.sarasotacarmuseum.org.

VENICE

The Springs International Spa Resort & Wellness Institute, 12200 San Servano, Venice. 426-1692. A possible answer for those in search of the Fountain of Youth Fountain of Youth

legendary fountain of eternal youth. [World Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 432]

See : Unattainability
. This 87-degree year-round spring is especially popular with European visitors. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults $14, Florida students $9, AAA AAA: see American Automobile Association.


(Triple A) A common single-cell battery used in a myriad of electronic devices of all variety. Like its double A (AA) cousin, it provides 1.5 volts of DC power. When used in series, the voltage is multiplied.
 and seniors 65 and over $12, children under 12 $5. www.warmmineralsprings.com.
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Title Annotation:attractions
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:1264
Previous Article:Back to the beach: remember why we came here in the first place.
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