Happy Wandering Wednesday everyone! I am so beyond excited to share this post with you today! Last week Jackson and I both had Friday off so we decided to take a day trip! I have to say that since we both started working full-time it has been difficult to get the same day off, so we took advantage of it! We thought about going to St.Augustine, but we have already been there 3 or 4 times. We love it, but it’s not new. After much thinking and Googling we found The Ringling Museum in Sarasota. It was only an hour away from us, which was perfect! On Friday we headed to the museum!
The museum pass includes the Ringling Art Museum, Circus Museum, and a first floor self-guided tour of John and Mable Ringling’s Venetian Gothic mansion, Ca’ D’Zan. We got to the museum around 2:00 and we weren’t able to get in the mansion until 4, so we decided to go through the Circus Museum first! It was so stinking cool! I have this bizarre fascination with the circus and carnivals, so I was beyond excited!
They have actual costumes, banners, equipment and old photographs from different famous circus performers and circuses! They even have certain acts you can try and take photographs doing, like walking the high wire or trying to fit in a tiny car!
After you are done with the main room, you have to go in the Howard Brothers Circus section. Inside is the largest model circus in the entire world. It is so amazing! It’s hard to describe how cool this thing is, so I’m just going to tell you it’s a must-see!
After we finished up at the circus museum, we still had a little time before we had to be at the house for the tour, so we walked over to the art museum to look around for a bit! And let me tell you, it felt like we weren’t in America. I felt like we had been transported to somewhere romantic like Italy. The building is made up of several sections, some had modern art, some had Renaissance art, there was even an Ancient China exhibit going on. There was so much to look at!
The building makes a U-shape, so we did one side before we made it into the central courtyard. And let me tell you, I about died when I saw the courtyard. Perfectly manicured gardens, statuary, and an incredible view of the building were just some of the many reasons this place is stunning.
The classical art sections were definitely my favorite. It’s an incredible feeling to be right up next to massive paintings. Painting is one of the talents that I wish I were good at, so I tend to find them particularly interesting!
After we made it to the courtyard it was time for us to take a tour of the house. We walked under the banyan tree covered paths, and made it to Ca’ D’Zan (“House of John” in Venetian dialect).
The house was built in Venetian Gothic style because the Ringlings had spent many vacations in Italy and had fallen in love with Italian architecture. The mansion was used as their winter home. While going through the mansion you can just imagine 1920s flappers hobnobbing on the terrace. It’s so Gatsby, and I was loving every second. The tour takes you through some of the incredible rooms and allows you to go onto the terrace which overlooks Sarasota Bay. It’s not hard to see why the Ringling’s picked such an incredible location!
The Ringling was so incredibly wonderful. I definitely suggest getting there sooner than we did, however. Three hours was hardly enough time to see everything and take in the beauty. If you liked this blog post, go check out my super awesome husbands’ vlog about our day trip here. I hope that one day you take the opportunity to take a short drive from Tampa and check out The Ringling!