Take a walk around St. Armands Circle Sarasota
Wondering what to do on a beautiful sunny Florida day but don’t want to be at the beach? Take a scenic drive south on Gulf Dr to St. Armands Circle. It is a great place during the day or in the evening as shops, restaurants, and bars are buzzing with life. Come experience where the locals like to see and be seen.
My girlfriend and I took an afternoon trip to The Circle. This is after we got burnt to a crip the day before at the beach. I’m talking lobster red and people staring at how burnt we looked. Onlookers would have never figured out we were actually locals. We parked in the surface lot behind the Crab and Fin and The Stadium because who really wants to parallel park if they don’t have to? Metered parking has come to St. Armands. Thankfully it isn’t very expensive; metered street parking is free on Saturday, Sunday and City Holidays! Pay to park ranges from $0.50 to $1.50. Don’t worry about having enough quarters, little old Sarasota Florida is with the times and you can pay with your credit card, $1.50 minimum or through a mobile parking app, ParkMobile.
We started our walk with gourmet ice pops from Hyppo! They create so many unique flavors for everyone's palate and dietary needs! A delicious cold treat to enjoy exploring the circle.
There are so many cute shops to weave in and out of. You never know what you might find! We just enjoyed hopping in some stores. A favorite of mine and my parents is Garden Argosy. They have items for everyone’s taste, from cute to super sarcastic and everything in between.
Do you love to cook? The Spice and Tea exchange is a favorite of ours to smell the seasonings and teas available. They have postcard sized recipes you can grab for inspiration. There are flavored sugars and a wall of peppers. Their spice blends are perfect to use when cooking at our vacation home or bringing some back for gifts!
The Columbia Restaurant started in Ybor City, Tampa. However, we are fortunate enough to have our own right in Sarasota. If you are looking for an authentic Cuban restaurant look no further. Columbia is also well known for their 1905 salad. You might even catch some Flamingo dancing while you are enjoying your meal! The open doors and outdoor seating allow guest to enjoy Florida’s great weather.
There are often street performers at night to spread their love of the arts. John Ringling created St. Armands Circle in 1928 to reproduce what he had seen in Italy. There are statues around The Circle embodying idealized beauty from the Greek and Roman era. Ringling collected such fine pieces of artwork and the Save our Statues organization is committed to keeping his legacy alive.
There are so many more stores I have yet to even talk about, but go for yourself to see why everyone loves St. Armands Circle!