If you cry over a particularly beautiful piece of music, if you have been known to stare in awe at a stunning painting in that little gallery you found tucked away on a side street in Paris, or if a Broadway show brings you to new levels of happiness, you may be ready to take a cultural journey of your own to the Florida Keys. Offering class, art, culture, and, of course, those beautiful beaches that are famous the world over, a Florida vacation is never the same twice, even if you choose the same RentTheKeys haven in which to spend your nights! This guide to a Florida Keys arts and culture journey to the Keys will keep you hopping as you explore all the best spots in the state.
Day 1: The Shortest Day
The first day is the shortest day and the one in which you may not have a lot of energy left over after traveling across the country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend your first evening on Anna Maria Island, soaking in the Florida Keys culture with the live entertainment offered at the Freckled Fin Irish Pub, located at 5337 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach! They offer a delicious selection of international favorites, including chips and salsa, corned beef and cabbage, a California Avocado Melt that will make you feel glad to be an American, and live music (including a fun karaoke night) that will serve as a beautiful and relaxing welcome to island life.
Day 2: The Circus Lives on Forever in Sarasota
Although the world has turned away from the old tent circuses of the past and turned to the likes of the Cirque du Soleil, Sarasota has the roots of the circus buried deep. Once home to John Ringling, exploring the Ringling Museum will take more than a day to make it all the way through! Offering three different museums, the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, and Ca’ d’ Zan, the structure that once served as home to John and his wife Mabel, guests can also explore the verdant Bayfront Gardens or take in a live performance at the historic Asolo Theater! Once the much-loved theater of Caterina Cornaro, built in 1798, it was dismantled to make room for a moving picture theater in 1931 and purchased by the Ringling in 1949, opening to the public in 1952. Today, the breathtaking stage has been the site of some of the most talented performances in the state, and if you listen carefully, you may still be able to hear the “bravos” uttered by Ms. Cornaro all those years ago!
Day 3: Live Theater in Cape Coral
The Cultural Park Theater, 528 Cultural Park Boulevard in Cape Coral, offers a fantastic example of local theater, and every year is one of our favorite places to observe Broadway plays! The 2023/2024 season is their 61st one presenting Broadway plays, and although their season ends in June, it starts back up again in September, so plan accordingly.
Day 4: It Takes a Village
Whenever we visit the Village of the Arts, 1227 12th Street W in Bradenton, we often contemplate giving up our day jobs and living the life of a vagabond artist! There are only two things that stop us: 1) We are not talented at all; and 2) We actually love our real job! The Village of the Arts is an artist enclave where the most talented people in the world live, play, and create, and your escape to Bradenton will be missing something if you don’t stop by the neighborhood and explore their works. Offering color and pizazz, the masterpieces created here include everything from acrylics to quilting and we can promise you WILL find the perfect piece to help remind you of your glorious days spent here!
Day 5: Common Grounds
Not all cultural events have to include orchestras and ballets; some of the best entertainment options can be nothing more than a group of people gathering together to perform, much in the same way they do in the pubs of Ireland. Common Grounds Meeting Hall, located at 12735 S Tamiami Trail in North Port, captures the Irish Pub vibe perfectly, offering a variety of live events destined to bring peace to your soul! Offering their own Common Ground band, as well as handing the mike to a multitude of local singers, the moments you spend in this meeting hall will be the ones you remember forever.
Day 6: The Sarasota Ballet
Now it is time to head back to Sarasota for a cultural experience of magnificent proportions, a visit to the Sarasota Ballet. Located at 5555 N Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, every performance you view will make you feel as if you can fly, especially over the holidays, when they perform the classic Nutcracker, allowing you and your family the opportunity to continue with your favorite holiday tradition!
Day 7: Back to the Beach
If you are lucky enough to enjoy a seventh full day in the Keys, a visit to the Beach Club, 5151 Ocean Boulevard on Siesta Key, will definitely make your last night in town a special one! Offering live music, cold drinks, and hot meals, it is the epitome of a Florida adventure and is the perfect way to say goodbye to one of the best vacations you have ever experienced. If day seven is all about travel, it is definitely the perfect time to start planning Florida Keys vacation number two; you can begin the next adventure by reserving your favorite RentTheKeys sanctuary today!