Florida Byways: Riding the Heartland of the Sunshine State

Florida Byways: Riding the Heartland of the Sunshine State
When thinking of Florida, most riders tend to focus on either the Keys in South Florida or Daytona Beach. With the exception of Orlando, we tend to bypass the central portion of the state. After living here for almost 20 years and not seeing all that Florida has to offer, we made plans for mid June (with the help of the Florida Scenic Highways website) to travel off the beaten path and to explore Florida’s inner, hidden treasures.

After arriving in Sarasota we find our first overnight stop, the Hyatt Place, which is located just five minutes away from downtown. As a couple of showers come rolling through, we decide to take the ten-minute ride west on the John Ringling Causeway to St. Armand’s Circle. There are great places to eat here, among them the Columbia Restaurant, a well-known Cuban eatery.

The City of Sarasota lies on the Gulf Coast of Florida, just south of Tampa and St. Petersburg. There is much to see and do in the area: The John and Mable Ringling Museum, The Asolo Theater, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, The Mote Aquarium/Marine Laboratory, as well as lovely parks and beaches.