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The Ringling

Activity Overview

The Ringling is the former estate of John Ringling, the most famous of the brothers who owned the world-famous Ringling Brothers Circus. In the late 1920s, John and his wife Mable moved to Sarasota, Florida and built a luxurious 30-room mansion called Ca' d'Zan, which was designed to look like a Venetian palace. Soon after, they created an art museum on the estate, which features an impressive collection of paintings and a courtyard containing replicas of Roman and Greek sculptures. Today the estate is managed by Florida State University, and visitors can explore these two historic attractions as well as the Circus Museum, a library, and beautiful gardens.

Things to Do

  • Spend a few hours exploring the Circus Museum, which contains all kinds of fascinating circus artifacts, including parade wagons, clown props, and glittering costumes.
  • Explore the immense collection of artwork on display in the Ringling Museum of Art, including pieces by famous artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and Marcel Duchamp.
  • Take a tour of Ca' d'Zan in order to learn all about the fascinating life of John Ringling and the famous visitors who stayed in his mansion.

Ringling Estate Insider Tips

  • If you have a limited amount of time to visit the estate, check out this self-guided itinerary for families, which lists popular attractions like the world's largest miniature circus.
  • Don't miss the estate's many oddities, including an exhibit on Tom Thumb and a collection of circus clown props.
  • Visit the art museum on Mondays, when admission is free to the public.

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