The Healy Guest House, or "Cocoon House," on Siesta Key

The Healy Guest House, or "Cocoon House," on Siesta Key

Architecture lovers have long known the significance of the Sarasota School of Architecture, a post-World War II movement that began in Sarasota in the 1940s. Known for its Florida-friendly design—think geometric shapes, lots of patios and verandas, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows—notable practitioners include Ralph Twitchell, Paul Rudolph, Carl Abbott, Victor Lundy and Frank Folsom Smith.

Now, the general public is getting a sense of these historic buildings thanks to a splashy feature in the current issue of Travel + Leisure, which also highlights other  architectural gems, like The Ringling's Center for Asian Art and the former Sarasota Herald-Tribune HQ on Main Street.

Written by Bob Morris, with sunny photos by Rose Marie Cromwell, the piece reads like a love letter to our town. To wit: "Sarasota's cultural gems compete with—and even outpace—those in the far glitzier and more touristed Palm Beach and Miami," Morris writes. That's high praise.

Hiss Studio on Lido Shores

Hiss Studio on Lido Shores

In addition to highlighting architecture, Morris also recommends places to eat and drink, like The Overton, Whitney's and Indigenous, as well as activities like taking in a show at Asolo Rep or Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe or visiting The Ringling Museum or Selby Gardens. He also shines a light on Architecture Sarasota—the recently formed organization that merged the Sarasota Architectural Foundation and Center for Architecture Sarasota—and its preservation efforts.

"Who had any idea this quiet and pleasant little city could offer so much stimulation?" Morris writes.

If you'd like to get up close and personal with some of the Sarasota School structures Morris writes about, Architecture Sarasota's annual MOD Weekend takes place Nov. 12-14, with home tours, lectures, parties, kayak excursions and more. This year's festival honors Philip Hiss, the pioneering developer behind Lido Shores and a community organizer and thought leader. Click here for info.

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