The Greater Sarasota area is famous for its beaches, cultural events, shopping, and restaurants. However, if you are on vacation and looking for things to do off the beaten path, Sarasota has some cool places to check out as well. Even if you are here for just the beaches, you may want to spend a few hours checking out one or more of these things to do around Sarasota.
Molly the Mollusk is the nickname of the 27-foot long corpse of a giant squid located at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. The cephalopod was originally caught off the coast of New Zealand in 1999 and donated to Mote for permanent display. So if you feel like channeling your inner Captain Nemo, you now know where to go.
Just a few miles from Siesta Key, sits Pinecraft, Florida, and is located in the heart of Sarasota. It is home to about 3,000 Amish residents. It is also a winter destination for people of the Amish and Mennonite faith.
Two restaurants to try are Yoder’s and Der Dutchman restaurants. Both offer delicious, made-from-scratch cooking and out-of-this-world pies and desserts.
Sit back and relax on an air-conditions trolley and listen to an entertaining ghost hostess spin stories about famous murders, visit haunted buildings and explore unsolved crimes in this fun and spooky 90-minute nighttime tour.
Many people are surprised to realize that Sarasota has its own Classic Car Museum. Car lovers will find around 100 rare and vintage cars of every type, many of which were once owned by celebrities and distinguished figures. The museum also has a gift shop that sells rare collectibles, books, and memorabilia.
The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that provides a safe and permanent home for exotic and domestic animals in need. The sanctuary allows visitors to get up close to lions, tigers, bears, primates, and exotic birds. There is a petting zoo and animal encounters are available. Please see the website.
How many mini-golf courses in the country can boast that they have live alligators? Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf can, although the alligators are contained in one area (a pond next to the gold course). Still, it’s pretty cool to watch the gators swim and sun themselves, and you can even purchase food for them at the concession stand. If you think you’ve done it all in Sarasota, think again. Get ready to discover something new and exciting area with these unique and unusual things to do around Sarasota.