Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Cultural Venues Tour in Sarasota (Self Guided), Sarasota

Sarasota's theaters are some of the city's biggest cultural attractions. With its famous city landmark, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and the amazing Regal Hollywood Stadium 20, you'll definitely find something that will suit your taste. This tour will guide you through some of the best cultural venues in Sarasota.
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Cultural Venues Tour in Sarasota Map

Guide Name: Cultural Venues Tour in Sarasota
Guide Location: USA » Sarasota (See other walking tours in Sarasota)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: brian
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
  • Florida Studio Theatre
  • Sarasota Opera House
  • Golden Apple Dinner Theatre
  • Sarasota Film Society
  • Burns Court Cinema
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

1) Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (must see)

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is a theater in Sarasota, Florida. Being one of Sarasota's landmarks, it hosts events that range from classical and rock music to Broadway musicals and modern dance. The architectural design was carried out by William Wesley Peters, of Taliesin Associated Architects, who used two seashells as an inspiration for the design. The purple and lavender color scheme was suggested by Frank Lloyd Wright's widow, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright. The seat hall's 1968-69 construction was partly funded by a bequest from local residents Lewis and Eugenia Van Wezel, and now the Roskamp Auditorium only has 1,741 seats. Today, the Hall contains 80 thousand square feet and has a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system. With its cozy interiors and fantastic acoustics, the Hall is a wonderful place to relax after a nice dinner.

Why You Should Visit:
Every season, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall hosts a broad spectrum of the world's finest performers representing the diverse tastes of locals and visitors alike, including top national and international performers, ballet and dance troupes, popular comedians, musicals, world-class symphony orchestras and more.

Make sure you get seats close to an aisle.
The season is September through April.
Florida Studio Theatre

2) Florida Studio Theatre

Florida Studio Theater or FST was initially the clubhouse of The Women's Club of Sarasota. It was opened in 1915 and is part of a small group of Sarasota Tudor structures. In '79 the club moved out of the building which then housed the Florida Studio Theater. The building is in the traditional Mediterranean Revival style. It is a non-profit theater that produces contemporary plays, with 25,000 subscribers a year, more than any theatre its size in the country. It has been in operation since 1973 and currently serves over 160,000 attendees per year. Its major programs include the Mainstage Series, the Cabaret Series, Stage III, New Play Development, and WRITE A PLAY. The FST campus is a village of theatres and performances spaces. These spaces include the historic Keating and Gompertz Theatres, the Parisian-style Goldstein Cabaret, the John C. Court Cabaret and The Green Room café and bar. FST’s education program offers over 20 classes weekly for both children and adults. Classes are offered each week in theatre, dance and music. FST also provides community outreach programs for the financially disadvantaged, physically and mentally challenged youth and nursing home residents. Florida Studio Theatre provides a Children and Adult Scholarship Program for about 15 percent of all participants with full or partial tuition waivers. The 2012-2013 classes include Play Reading Club, Playwriting Workshop, Sketch Comedy, Adult Acting, Acting for the Camera, Spoken Word and Improvisation. The Florida Studio Theatre Cabaret series opened in 1996 and now houses both musical and improvisation performances. The program focuses on celebrating the lyric poets of our time, as well as presenting social and political satire. The Cabaret caters to the creation of new work and has produced 40 world premieres.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sarasota Opera House

3) Sarasota Opera House (must see)

The Sarasota Opera House (originally the Edwards Theatre) is a historic theater, now opera house, located in Sarasota, Florida. The vision of a local man and the first major of the town, A. B. Edwards, it originally opened on April 10, 1926, with an elaborate three-story entrance and an orchestral pipe organ in the theater's auditorium. The house quickly became a popular entertainment venue with major performers of the day, such as Will Rogers (in 1927) and the Ziegfeld Follies (1928), and Elvis Presley (1956), appearing there. Also, it became a movie theatre when it presented the world premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (which had been filmed in Sarasota) attended by its stars Charlton Heston and Dorothy Lamour.
The theater is now the home of the Sarasota Opera Association.

Why You Should Visit:
Recently renovated, Sarasota Opera House went through some important changes such as the restoration of decorative details, increase of the orchestra pit, expansion and enhancement of the public areas and amenities, and other improvements. All these restored the theatre’s original glory while creating a 21st-century venue for opera Combined with top-notch costumes and amazing performances make it a must see, especially if you are in Sarasota from October to March.

The season is October through March.
Although there are no ‘bad seats’, opt for balcony seating options.
A formal dress-code might be appropriate when visiting the shows and events.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm, during shows and events
Sight description based on wikipedia
Golden Apple Dinner Theatre

4) Golden Apple Dinner Theatre

Opened in 1971, the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre is a nice mix of great dining experience and mesmerizing theatre performance. Having 281 seats and a horseshoe shape, this place has produced over 300 musicals and plays. Having received many awards for excellence, it's a sure bet you'll enjoy your time here at Golden Apple Dinner Theatre.
Sarasota Film Society

5) Sarasota Film Society

Founded in 1984, the Sarasota Film Society is a non-profit organization supported by the community. The cinema screens a broad selection of movies that are, especially, independent and artistic. The Society also hosts the annual 10-day CINE-World Film Festival that takes place in November and plays the year's best 40 independent movies. It is one of the best places in Sarasota to watch an independent film.
Burns Court Cinema

6) Burns Court Cinema

Located in a quiet area with good restaurants and shops, Burns Court Cinema features both foreign and art films that include independent and lesser-known movies. You can also have a glass of beer or wine and a wide variety of food that will satisfy any gourmand. Moreover, the cinema also houses the CineWorld International Film Festival that starts in November. This cinema is a must-go for any movie fan.

Walking Tours in Sarasota, Florida

Create Your Own Walk in Sarasota

Create Your Own Walk in Sarasota

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sarasota is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sarasota Downtown Introduction Walk

Sarasota Downtown Introduction Walk

Known for the abundance of cultural institutes, Sarasota – a quaint coastal getaway – has long been regarded as one of the premier destinations for those seeking to satisfy their “culture buds”. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota Opera House, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are just some of the city's top attractions. To visit these and other notable sites of Sarasota, follow...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
Sarasota's Top Museums Walking Tour

Sarasota's Top Museums Walking Tour

Known for its famous arts community and historical sites and museums, Sarasota is a delight for any traveler. The wonderful flora and the refreshing breeze of the ocean will make your trip even more interesting and relaxing. You can visit a wide range of museums, most notable the John & Mable Ringling Museum, that will satisfy your desire for knowledge. Take the following tour to discover the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Sarasota Historic Buildings Tour

Sarasota Historic Buildings Tour

Most of the historic buildings in Sarasota are located in the Downtown area. They are in the Mediterranean revival style with similar design. Some of them have been designed by the famous local architect Thomas Reed Martin who has had a huge impact on architecture and style. In the following tour you'll get to see some of the first constructions in Sarasota and their initial functions.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
St. Armand Circle Shopping Tour

St. Armand Circle Shopping Tour

At the heart of Sarasota there is a true shopping harbour - the St. Armand Circle. Its large number of shops, art galleries and restaurants will definitely satisfy any customer looking for something special to buy. The next tour will take you through some of the best shops that range from men's and women's clothing, to general sportswear and extravagant designer shops.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles
Museums Walk in Downtown Sarasota

Museums Walk in Downtown Sarasota

Sarasota's Downtown features not only new modern attractions, but also historical sites that have been preserved for the benefit of Florida's cultural heritage. Their style ranges from Mediterranean Revival and Prairie School architecture to Classical Revival and Transitional Queen Anne. Be sure to take the following tour and see the great design and architecture these sites have to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Sunset, Dinner & Drinks of Sarasota

Sunset, Dinner & Drinks of Sarasota

There is nothing like watching the sun set over the beautiful Gulf of Mexico on Lido Beach in Sarasota Florida. Once the sun sets the fun begins at several great restaurants. Whether you want dinner, nightlife or both St. Armands Circle will not...