By Gabriele Walkow
Sarasota, Fla., a picturesque city on the dazzling Gulf of Mexico, is home to a diverse range of dining, a multitude of water activities and a number of amazing attractions, including several local treasures for Allegiant travelers to explore.
MARIETTA MUSEUM OF ART AND WHIMSY
This one-of-a-kind addition to Sarasota’s colorful art scene is home to an eclectic collection of contemporary artwork that celebrates upbeat themes and whimsical notions. Appealing to people of all ages, their slogan is “The Place for Grown-Up Kids!” A stroll through the visually stunning museum galleries leads to a lush sculpture garden with an enchanting atmosphere. Open from the end of November until the end of May on Thurs., Fri. and Sat. from 1-4 p.m., the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy is located at 2121 North Tamiami Trail. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 per person. This place of fun and fancy is wheelchair accessible. whimsymuseum.org
Winning rave reviews and accolades from food critics and barbecue lovers alike, Owner and Chef Nancy Krohngold wows hungry patrons with her authentic Southern barbecue in downtown Sarasota. Prepared with her secret 14-ingredient dry rub, Nancy cooks her pork shoulder (Boston Butt) in a barbeque oven “low and slow” for 15 hours or more, and then serves it up in a casual and friendly downtown barbecue joint setting, complete with indoor/outdoor picnic tables. Mouthwatering signature items include Swine Squared, pork tossed with bacon & BBQ sauce and topped with sesame crunch slaw and sweet pickle slices on a toasted Nancy’s roll; and BEEF-O-RAMA, brisket topped with caramelized onions and homemade horseradish sauce also served on a toasted Nancy’s roll. Foodies can visit Li’l Nancy’s at the Ranch, too, located on Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch. nancysbarbq.com
This independent, New York Times reporting bookstore in the heart of downtown Sarasota is a rare find this day and age. Hosting regular poetry readings, book signings and author discussions with free admission or at a low cost, fans of the literary arts will love this beautiful bookstore. Bookworms may also be interested in joining Bookstore1Sarasota’s book clubs. April 21 and 22 is PoetryLife weekend, which brings together nationally recognized poets, students, teachers and community members to celebrate poetry. This must-see literary treasure trove is open from Monday to Saturday 10 a.m.-7p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. sarasotabooks.com
Plan your Florida vacation at allegiant.com.