Situated on the white beaches of Florida’s Gulf Coast — where sunshine-and-sandals weather is practically a year-round affair — the city of Sarasota blends rich history with a bustling contemporary arts scene, a plethora of natural attractions and a variety of mouthwatering culinary destinations.

From the elegant galleries housing the work of Peter Paul Rubens and Diego Velázquez in the Ringling Museum of Art, to the eclectic downtown communities where walls are colored with vibrant murals by internationally hailed street artists, it is no stretch of the imagination to see why Sarasota is ranked among the top small cities for the arts in the United States.

Nature lovers will also feel right at home kayaking through the mangroves in the Intracoastal Waterway, soaking up the sun on the city’s pristine Siesta and Lido Key beaches and taking in the sights and sounds of protected wildlife along Sarasota’s hiking and biking trails.

Once you’ve worked up a hearty appetite from exploring the city and the abundant natural attractions on its outskirts, Sarasota’s diverse culinary scene is sure to satisfy. From Southern comfort food favorites like fall-off-the-bone barbecue to adventurous gourmet dishes and artfully mixed cocktails, every taste bud will be delighted during your trip to Sarasota — so bring your appetite.