Trip Planner:   USA  /  Florida  /  Southwest Gulf Coast  /  Sarasota  /  Museums  /  The Ringling

The Ringling, Sarasota

(4.6/5 based on 4,600+ reviews on the web)
Florida's official state art museum, The Ringling includes over 20 galleries filled with European, Asian, and American paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs. Among the 10,000 objects housed here, you can see a world-renowned collection of paintings by Rubens, Velazquez, Veronese, Bernini, Poussin, and Gainsborough. The campus also includes a circus museum, which boasts a huge collection of handbills, posters, costumes, props, parade wagons, and other equipment. The adjacent learning center houses a scale replica of a 1930s circus, claiming status as the largest miniature circus in the world. End your visit with a cup of coffee or tea at the museum cafe, or sit down for a gourmet meal at the on-site restaurant. Arrange your visit to The Ringling and discover more family-friendly attractions in Sarasota using our Sarasota trip generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visited the Ringling Mansion last time we were in Florida. This was one of the best side trips we have ever taken. The mansion was well preserved and the tour guide was knowledgeable. We are sorry ...  more »
  • I had heard that the Ringling museum was worth seeing, however, I really had no interest in the circus museum part of the complex. What a surprise. I loved the Circus museum, the art museum and the Jo...  more »
  • The Ringling is an amazing property! You can easily spend three days there, as we did so we didn't have to rush through everything. If you have the time, we highly recommend the three day pass! The Ar...  more »
Google
  • A historical display of greed & abuse. While everyone else in America suffered The Great Depression, the Ringlings enjoyed a 36,000 square foot "winter home" filled with gold-plated doors, lavish furnishings, & imported artwork where they entertained (bought?) politicians and movie stars. The museum is impressive however, I'm a huge animal lover and it made me ill to see the tiny cages the animals lived in there. I couldn't help but reference a book I read, "Water For Elephants, "while I was there, and I literally almost lost it twice. No, I'm not crazy but just thinking of the poor treatment of animals and the workers made me incredibly sad. It cost my husband and I $70 for entrance to the museums, Mrs Ringling's dazzling rose garden, and a 30 minute walking tour of the home (over-priced). We witnessed the set-up of what appeared to be a gorgeous wedding but to me this place just emulated negative energy. I will never return here. My husband recommends you go here but if you are an animal lover or human rights advocate you should probably steer clear.
  • Sarasota has a lot going for it as far as the arts community is concerned, but this museum is and should be their centerpiece and prized all star. The entire grounds makes for a good 4 hour stay, and that's moving with a purpose. If from out of town, you definitely need to get this on your list and locals should be proud such a world class museum like this exists in their own back yard. And parents, give your kids a unique education, take them to museums.
  • Truly one of the gems in the Sarasota area. Access to the grounds is free, and there is a wonderful bayside promenade south of Ca'd'zan, the Moorish palace on the bay. The rose gardens are, likewise, wonderful. There is even a big slide for kids! Entrance to the museums comes at a price, but well worth it. We bring our grandkids here whenever they visit.
  • A nice little museum with lovely gardens for walking. There are three points of interest a the museum the art museum, the circus museum, and the Ringling mansion. The circus museum has some great posters and figurines but that's about all. The gallery on the other hand has a lot of old art and also some very interesting Asian arts. There's also a special exhibit that changes every few months keeping the experience relatively fresh.
  • Incredible Art and Collections that are breathtaking. The entire Museum is a Work of Excellence. The only issue is John Ringling bequeathed that one day be "FREE" so that "EVERYONE" could enjoy the Museum. Now the Museum's Directors have chosen to only permit the public on "FREE ADMISSION DAY" to see just one section of this magnificent Property, and then are forced to "PAY" to see other areas. This is not what John Ringling wanted, nor ever in his wildest dreams, imagined "GREED" would ignore his wishes. Such disrespect in the name of $ is shameful. "FREE" means "FREE" for the entire Museum for one day a week.