Welcome to Sarasota, Florida
Here you will find many 'visitor requested links to information about Sarasota, Florida. Whether you are planning to visit us or are already one of our neighbors, please feel free to look around.
We hope these links will provide you with useful information to increase your knowledge and enjoyment of our area. We recommend your first stop be at the Sarasota Florida's Cultural Coast website.
They are the Official Travel & Tourism Site of the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Below is an introduction to the Sarasota area followed by a brief history from their website.
Introduction to Sarasota
Rolling white-sand beaches and sparkling azure waters combine with a sophistication and charm to make Sarasota the gem of Florida's Gulf Coast. The endless array of activities and the exhilarating mixture of attractions, restaurants, shopping, and accommodations are a sure fit for any traveler.
Relax at a four-star resort or a quaint sea-side inn, explore master works of art, catch a round of golf, stroll through world-class shopping, canoe through unspoiled waterways lined with mangrove, dine on a bay front cruise, or just dig your feet in the sand and bask in the glow of an evening Gulf sunset, whatever your pleasure.
A brief History of Sarasota
Sarasota first became a modern town in the 1880s when the town was promoted in Scotland by the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company in 1885.
It was a breath of fresh air, promising an abundance of fertile land, plentiful citrus groves, and affordable housing. Scottish families looking for a new start boarded steamer ships and set sail for Sarasota.
Unfortunately, upon their arrival, the town was little more than a frontier camp. Needless to say, most of them left.
But among the hardy souls who stayed to complete their dream was John Hamilton Gillespie, a Scottish aristocrat, lawyer, and member of the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland.
It was this man who is believed to have built America's first golf course, right here in Sarasota. Quite an entrepreneur, Mr. Gillespie also built the upscale DeSoto Hotel on Main Street for tourists and prospective investors.
For his efforts, he was later elected as Sarasota's first mayor in 1902.
A Paradise for the Pampered as early as the 1910s, Sarasota began attracting some of America's most wealthy, who, with their own style, helped to define the county of Sarasota.
Today's Historic Spanish Point was once the posh waterfront winter estate and gardens of Bertha Palmer, widow of Chicago developer Potter Palmer.
That's not all what is now Myakka River State Park was once Palmer's 30,000 acre ranch in eastern Sarasota, called Meadowsweet Pastures.