St Armands Circle, a unique shopping and dining district within a tropical setting, is located on St Armands Key just over the causeway bridge from Downtown Sarasota.
In 1917 circus magnate John Ringling purchased the land on St Armands key and with a circus ring in mind had a vision of constructing an exclusive area of boutiques, fine dining and art galleries. Due to the stock market crash and the great depression that followed, John Ringling never saw his vision come to pass, however today the circle with its 130 shops and restaurants is just as he must have imagined it.
Walkways enriched with beautiful tropical foliage reminding you that you are after all, in an island paradise. The circle is complete with shops and boutiques carrying everything from fine jewelry to designer clothing to beach attire. There are shops with beach motif home goods and unique home decors. If it is a sweet tooth you have you will be pleased to find stores with gourmet and international delights.
Take the time to listen to the sidewalk pianist and have a seat at sidewalk cafe’ for a rest and snack between stores or how about some lunch at one of the many restaurants. Many flavors and cuisines are represented on the menus in the restaurants on St. Armands circle so choosing which restaurant for lunch or dinner may prove difficult.
John Ringling was a collector of fine art so it is not surprising to find art galleries at this tropical oasis. And if you too love the arts then take a few minutes to read the history and view the many statues from Mr. Ringling’s personal collection that are displayed at various points in and around the circle. Also be sure to visit the ring of Circus Star Fame where famous circus performers are honored.
Plenty of parking is available in the parking garage and the price is only 50 cents per hour. I should also mention that other than the ones in the restaurants, the only public restrooms are at the parking garage so as they say ” go before you go”.
St. Armands key is in Sarasota County in the southwest region of the state and the closest airports to Sarasota and St. Armands Key are:
Sarasota Bradenton Airport 6.1 mile
Fort Myers SouthWest Florida International Airport 93.2 miles
Tampa International Airport 57.6 miles
St Armands Circle is less than 1 mile from Lido Key beach and 8.6 miles from the beaches of Long Boat Key.
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