Walk up to 1.5 - 2.0 miles with long periods of standing; plenty of benches to rest on at the Ringling Complex. You can walk at your own pace, except you need to arrive at the Muse for an 11:00 a.m. lunch.
At the hotel.
PRESENTATION: Learn about select pieces of John Ringling's extensive art collection from a curator's viewpoint. An expert will provide an overview of historic buildings from an architectural view as well as points of interest you'll see on our afternoon narrated walking field trip. Leisure time until the bus departs at 9:30 a.m. We will then explore the Ringling Complex beginning the Circus Museum and the Tibbals Learning Center. Established in 1948, the museum follows the development of the modern circus and the history of The Ringling circus through films, memorabilia, and artifacts. The Tibbals Center features a vast exhibition of circus posters ranging from the size of a window to the side of a barn. The center is also home to the “world’s largest miniature circus” – a 3/4 size replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from the 1920’s.
Our luncheon reservation is for 11:00 a.m., please meet us at the Muse. Participants have selected luncheon choices prior to arrival at the museum’s table service restaurant. Enjoy a lunch sized salad or sandwich and the chef’s choice of dessert, plus coffee (regular/decaf), tea (hot/iced), water; other beverages available for purchase.
With a local expert on a timed ticketed, visit the palatial Ca’ d’Zan, described as “the last of the Gilded Age mansions” to be build in America. After extensive travel through Europe, the John and Mable greatly admired the art and the Venetian architectural styles of the Ducal Palace, Ca’ d’Oro, and the Grunwald Hotel. Wanting to bring the architectural styles home with them, the Ringling’s began constructing the Ca’ d’Zan in 1924 and finished the complex just before Christmas of 1926. We will continue the afternoon at the extraordinary Ringling Art Museum. The incredible building housing the collection emulates the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Contracting architect John H. Phillips, construction began in 1927 but was slowed due to economic and financial misfortune, followed by Mable’s death in 1929. With new determination to finish the museum in Mable’s memory, Ringling borrowed money as needed. Completed in 1931, “The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art” officially opened to the public. After leaving the Art Museum, explore the gardens and grounds at your leisure. All you see was given to the people of Florida, thus preserving for generations to come the exuberant lifestyle of America's spectacular Roaring Twenties. The beautiful landscaped grounds contain over 400 species of exotic Florida trees, plants, flowers, sculpture garden figures, and Mable's historic rose garden. Bus back to hotel or you may stay on your own longer and provide your own transportation.
This meal is on your own in charming downtown Sarasota. As downtown restaurants are very busy this time of year, please make a dinner reservation sometime on Monday. You can always cancel it if you find another restaurant, or it may be possible to add to the reservation as you meet new friends.
Enjoy the evening at your leisure. You can walk back to the hotel after dinner.