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“Plan on spending 2 days to see it all!”
Review of The Ringling

The Ringling
Ranked #1 of 141 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Ringling is located in Sarasota, Florida and preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling. It is home to a Museum of Art, the historic Ca' d'Zan Mansion, Bayfront Gardens, an Art Library, the Circus Museums and the Historic Asolo Theater.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Plan on spending 2 days to see it all!”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Wear good shoes and bring water in the summer months. The parking was free and very close to the entrance. We bought a one day ticket but ran of time and went back and upgraded to a 3 day ticket for $10.00 each for 2 extra days. They didn't have a 2 day ticket available. They do offer a military, veteran and senior discount. In the summer they also have a little one ring show with about 5 acts. The cost is an additional $15.00 each. If you go see this show the line starts to form about an hour before the show starts. We went to the very upper level balcony and had great seats. The show was great and the one acts is currently on the TV show "Americas Got Talent".

The gardens are wonderful. There is the Mabel rose garden, the dwarf garden, the butterfly garden and a linear tree garden. There are many statues throughout the property. Lush and green with ponds and fountains. They do offer golf cart rides (the tram) to help get you around if you don't want to walk.

The 2 circus museums were outstanding and we spend almost one whole day just seeing everything. The miniature circus was something in a class all by itself. You just have to see it to believe it. Take your time and really look inside all the tents and see all the detail. Wonderful! There is also a movie in the circus museum with the train. Make sure to watch is as it gives a great overview of the Ringling's.

We also toured the summer home of the Ringling's. What a treat. It is right on the bay and is beautiful! You can tour the upper levels of the home but it will be an additional cost.

The art Museum is not to be missed with a huge interior courtyard filled with gardens and more statues. The docent asked if we wanted a tour and we said yes and we were the only 2 on the tour. He was excellent and full of great information. The art work is mainly from Europe and was collected by John Ringling on this travels there to obtain circus acts. After our tour we went back and went through the museum again to be sure and see everything.

Ringling is a wonderful place to go but plan on having enough time to see it all.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank BonesANDFrito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Texas
Level Contributor
95 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Have your walking shoes on!”
Reviewed 28 July 2014

If you love the circus, you will love this place. The tiny circus exhibit is fantastic. The mansion is cool also.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank KHudson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice Day”
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Went there with family. It was a wonderful day there lots to see and admire with Art, Circus Museum etc.
Plus beautiful views from the Mansion!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Celine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
138 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“We spent 5 hours here - all worth it!”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Thought we were just going to see the circus museum. Realized that the $25 admission fee gets you into the John and Mable Ringling home as well as the circus museum as well as the art gallery - decided to do it all. Once we were in the house, found that an extra $20 is needed for docent tour of upper stories of the house and more private rooms. $45 is A LOT of admission fee, but it was really worth it. We saw the whole house and I'm glad I did. It was awesome. Then, the Circus museum with the miniature scale circus is beyond description. It is so fabulous and unbelievable. You really have to see it. The gallery - I am sure it is an excellent art museum but I don't know art well enough to appreciate it - but we went through and were happy we did. So -- it's expensive to get in - but you don't do it every day and it's very worth the price. See it all. There's a free tram to give you a lift around the extensive property. It's not that far to walk, but the tram is a nice addition when you've already been there 4 hours!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank LucyPie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Collection of Classical Fine Art...Circus Museum Disappointing”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Circus Museum could be a lot better if it had more historical items from the circus. posters, props, etc. Museum is geared more toward kids.....most of the museum consists of a hands-on area for kids and a miniature reproduced circus.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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