Sarasota (sârˌəsōˈtə) [key], city (1990 pop. 50,961), seat of Sarasota co., SW Fla., on Sarasota Bay; settled c.1884, inc. 1914. It is a yachting and fishing resort with varied light manufacturing, and packing houses handling the citrus fruit, celery, and beef raised in the area. Sarasota is the former winter home of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and is the site of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, with its excellent Peter Paul Rubens collection. Other attractions are the Sarasota Jungle Gardens and the Cars of Yesterday Museum. New College of Florida is in Sarasota. Nearby, on the keys off the Gulf of Mexico, are many beautiful white-sand beaches.
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