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The One Enchanting Place In Florida That Must Go On Your Bucket List Immediately

Some people avoid museums because they think they’re stuffy or boring, but The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is not just any museum. First of all, it’s the state art museum of Florida, so as a proud Floridian, you should check it out. Secondly, it is so much more than the average museum. Here, you will find more than 10,000 objects of every medium, style, and origin, including 21 galleries of European paintings, and much more.

John Ringling was a circus magnate who spent winters in Sarasota. He had willed his art collection and this property to the state of Florida, but because he was near bankruptcy when he died in 1936, the state had to fight with creditors to keep them. Despite eventually winning this battle, Florida did little with the property for many years.

In the early 2000s, after decades of sitting largely unused and falling into disrepair, the state handed its management over to Florida State University and put $42.9 million dollars, matched by $55 million in private funds raised by the museum, into restoring the grounds. Besides the impressive art collection, there are also beautiful gardens, a circus museum, historic theater, and the Ringling’s mansion to explore.

Looking at it today, it’s hard to believe that it ever sat vacant and uncared for. This is truly one of the most interesting and beautiful places to visit in Florida, and we hope some of the photos below will convince you to add it to your bucket list:

Want to find the best museums in Florida? Check out our list of Florida’s 16 Amazing Must-See Museums.

Victoria W
Victoria is a staff writer for OIYS.