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Top Destinations
1. Venice Florida Pet Friendly Rentals
2. Palm Coast FL Pet Friendly Rentals
3. Kissimmee Disney World Pets Allowed
4. Destin Vacation Rentals Homes
5. Clearwater Beach FL Dog Friendly Rentals
6. Cedar Key FL Dog Friendly Rentals
7. Cape San Blas FL Dogs Allowed Rentals
8. Hilton Head Vacation Rental
9. Fort Myers Florida Pets Allowed Rentals
10. Orlando Vacation Florida Rentals
11. South Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals
12. North Carolina Outer Banks Pet Friendly Vacations Rentals Homes
13. North Carolina Smoky Mountains Rental Homes and Cabins

Travel Tips

Visit the rich history town and one of the modern cultural centers of Florida

The history of the early establishment of Sarasota is nearly identical to those resembling Sarasota’s coastal towns Venice, Englewood and Nokomis. In the 1860s when Congress passed the Homestead Act allowing any family who would protect the land for five years and bear arms to have up to 160 acres of land, the area of Sarasota County began to prosper. Although many families gradually moved to Sarasota from the 1860s to the early 1900s, the most prominent figure in the Sarasota and outlying cities quickly became Mrs. Bertha Palmer, a widow from Chicago, who read about the beautiful Sarasota area in an advertisement in the Chicago newspaper. Mrs. Palmer’s husband had left her a considerable amount of money upon his death and she put that money to use by buying 140,000 acres between Sarasota and Charlotte County. Some historians estimate that Mrs. Palmer owned approximately 1/3 of the land in the Sarasota County area. Palmer’s legend still lives on in Sarasota and the surrounding area, as she was partially responsible for the expanse of the railroad through the area helping to create the communities that exist in the Sarasota area today.

There are several different legends about the original meaning of the name Sarasota deriving from the Calusa Indians or from the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur who was named Sara, but none of these legends are confirmed. The Calusa Indians, as well as the Seminole Indians, made their home in and around the Sarasota area long before pioneers began arriving in the late 1880s. Remnants of their lives in the area are preserved through sites like Historic Spanish Point and the South Florida Museum. Historic Spanish Point used to be the abundant 30-acre winter estate of Mrs. Palmer and Myakka River State Park was the site of Palmer’s 30,000-acre ranch called Meadowsweet Pastures.
More recent historic figures making their name in Sarasota are the Ringling Brothers, who made Sarasota the site of their winter circus practices beginning in the 1920s. This was after John and Mable Ringling built an amazing Venetian-style mansion on Sarasota Bay. The Ringlings kept their immense collections of art work by John and Mable needed a place to house their ever-growing collection of works by Peter Paul Reubens and other artists of 17th-century Italian and Flemish art. The collection still remains today in the home as part of the Ringling Museum of Art. After moving the winter circus headquarters to Sarasota, Ringling used the circus elephants to build the first bridge from Sarasota to St. Armands Key.
Today Sarasota still thrills as a place filled with culture, art and history as well as a luxurious place to live and work or to vacation. Sarasota has managed to preserve much of the rich history of the area while also making a name as a cultural center of Florida. 


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