If the beach in August is too hot for you, take a visit to the The Ca’ d’Zan Mansion in Sarasota in the afternoon and hit the beach at sunset. This Mansion is the former winter home of one of America’s eccentrics and very wealthy couples, John Ringling, of the Ringling Brothers Circus, and his wife Mable. The Ringling’s started building the mansion in 1924 for a price tag of $1.5 million. After they died, the estate was given to the state of Florida to be preserved and enjoyed by all. Unfortunately, the costs to maintain this mansion left the Ringling’s home in disrepair but in 2002 this home was officially revived by the state and opened to the public. A tour of this lovely residence provides a glimpse into the opulent private lives of the Ringling family, with spectacular views and extravagant rooms that once hosted gatherings for the elite. If you are a movie buff and familiar with Hollywood’s remake of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”, Ca’d’Zan was used as a location for an abandoned mansion in this 1996 movie.
Sarasota is only about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Solivita and an easy drive. It is a world away from our quiet, perfect community but always a good diversion. So, if you feel like enjoying a bit of history and want to feel the cool breeze of the gulf, Sarasota is a great place to enjoy a day trip or to spend the weekend. Lots to do with gardens, museums, beaches, great seafood, and shopping.