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Soak Up the Sun in Your Sarasota Rental Car

The city of Sarasota, often referred to as “Paradise” or “Circus City,” is located on the southwestern coast of Florida. It is known for its cultural and environmental amenities, beaches, resorts, connections to the Ringling family and the Sarasota School of Architecture. Once you’re in your Sarasota rental car, you might want to visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Siesta Beach and Lido Key.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Located at 5401 Bay Shore Rd., and a short drive in your Bradenton Airport rental car, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the state art museum of Florida. Established in 1927, the museum pays tribute to the legacy of Mable and John Ringling for the people of Florida. The museum features 21 galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot antiquities and Asian, American and contemporary art. Over 10,000 objects are currently held here, which include a variety of paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and decorative arts from ancient through contemporary periods and from around the world. Some of the most celebrated exhibits feature 16th through 20th century European paintings, including a world-renowned collection of Peter Paul Rubens paintings. The facility has expanded to include the Visitor's Pavilion, the Education, Library and Conservation Complex, the Tibbals Learning Center and the Searing Wing (a 30,000-square-foot gallery for special exhibitions).

Siesta Beach
If you love peace and quiet, drive your Sarasota rental car to the secluded beach haven of Siesta Beach. Unlike most beaches, which are made up of pulverized coral, the sand on Siesta Beach is 99% quartz, and originates in the Appalachian Mountains. Scientists estimate the sand on the beach to be millions of years old, having flown down rivers from the Appalachian Mountains until it was eventually deposited on Siesta Key. Located on Beach Road in Siesta Key, Siesta Beach is the recipient of many awards, including "The Whitest and Finest Sand in the World" (The Great International Beach Challenge, 1987), "The Best Sand Beach in America" (The Travel Channel, 2004), "The Best Beach in America" (Dr. Beach, 2011), and #1 U.S. Beach for 2015 (TripAdvisor source Orlando Sentinel February 18, 2015).

Lido Key

Another great spot to relax and enjoy the sun and sand is Lido Key, a barrier island off the coast of Sarasota. Located just north of Siesta Key, Lido Key features numerous sandy beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico. A nice feature of this beach is a park called South Lido Park, which has a beach and a woodland trail. You’ll find a wide variety of luxury hotels and beach houses for rent on the island of Lido Key, as well as a seasonal nightclub scene. To get here, drive your Thrifty rental car along the John Ringling Causeway from the mainland to the island.