• Sarasota History

A legendary destination.

Waiting to be discovered... and enjoyed.

Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto first encountered this area's indigenous Tocobaga and Caloosa natives in the early 1500's. Inspired by its natural beauty, he named it after his daughter, Sara de Soto. The area has inspired legends and lured those seeking a tropical Eden on its tranquil shores and the streets of its contemporary city center ever since. No more so, than today...

Few cities can claim a cultural founding father as iconic as the co-founder of the Ringling Brothers Circus. It was John and Mable Ringling who ushered in Sarasota's reputation as a world-class center of the arts, architecture and high-society. Their legacy lives on in the vast collection of Old World art on display in the John Ringling Museum of Art, a circus museum, the Italian-inspired architecture of the Ringling's Cà d'Zan mansion, and the Asolo Repertory Theatre, once a royal's castle in Italy.

Today, life in Sarasota becomes more vibrant with each tropical sunset. The city is an international destination for arts, film and culinary festivals. Downtown sparkles with new shopping, dining and cultural offerings each week. It also remains an idyllic gateway to the world-famous beaches and Florida resort lifestyle waiting to be discovered daily on the sparkling Gulf of Mexico. Coming home to the Mark puts you in the center of it all.