Situated on a barrier island, off the coast of Sarasota, The Holiday Inn Lido Beach is just steps from the powder white sand of Lido Beach and only two blocks from over 140 upscale restaurants, shops and galleries on...more
The resort features 266 guest rooms including 31 suites and 31 Ritz-Carlton Club Level rooms. Guest rooms and suites feature private balconies overlooking the bay, marina or city skyline and are the epitome of luxury with...more
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Sarasota - situated on the scenic southwest coast of Florida - is located between Fort Myers in the south and Tampa in the north. The city limits encompass the city proper, Sarasota Bay, and a few scattered islands that stretch toward the Gulf of Mexico. Sarasota demonstrates marked dry and wet seasons; the rainy season extends from June to September, while the dry season lasts from October to May. Characterized by warm, temperate climates year round, Sarasota is a popular vacation destination.
Discovered in the early sixteenth century by the Spanish, Sarasota began to attract pioneer families in the 1840s. Pleasant weather and the plenitude of sea life in the Sarasota Bay were key factors in garnering new residents. The first documented settler, William Whitaker, began a cattle business in 1847. While raising eleven children with his wife Mary Jane Wyatt, Whitaker experienced severe hardship including Indian raids on his property.
In 1885, a Scots community was founded in Sarasota. The Florida Mortgage and Investment Company sold parcels to interested individuals in Scotland. Upon arrival, many families fled due to the lack of housing and other infrastructure. John Hamilton Gillespie opened the De Sota Hotel in 1887. He also built several courses to support his favorite hobby of golf. The first newspaper, the Sarasota Times, was established in 1899 by the husband and wife team of the Wilsons.
Owen Burns arrived in Sarasota to do some fishing. Enchanted by the city's delightful climate and bountiful offerings, he settled permanently. Burns eventually become the most prosperous landowner in Sarasota. In addition, he founded a bank, built bridges, and promoted the city. His contributions were well documented by his daughter, historian Lillian Burns.
Charles Ringling, of the Ringling Brothers Circus fame, made a big impression on the city of Sarasota. He acted as a property developer and land investor. He also played a large role in local Sarasota politics and provided helpful advice to fledgling entrepreneurs. Ringling gifted land to the new country, which eventually housed its government offices and courthouse.
The Great Depression came early to Florida. In 1926, real estate speculation faltered due to the number of banks closing on the East Coast. The depressive economic of the 1930s was repeated in the twenty-first century. Many poorly financed mortgages began to fail and the gargantuan real estate speculation that began in the 1990s skidded to a halt.
Sarasota features a municipal government, which was last incorporated in 1913. It became the county seat when a chuck of Manatee County was sliced off to create Sarasota County. The city of Sarasota features a manager-commissioner government form with five elected members.
A number of architecturally interesting buildings can be found in Sarasota. The Terrace Hotel, constructed by Charles Ringling, was purchased by Sarasota County in the 1970s. After an intense period of renovations to bring the building up to code, the hotel became the hub for the county government office building. The adjacent courthouse, donated by Ringling in 1921, was imagined and executed by Dwight James Baum. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.