Right across the John Ringling Causeway, there is a well-known gem of the Sarasota Area - St. Armands Circle. Famous for its sprawling statues, Mediterranean architecture, and circular arrangement, St. Armand’s is a perfect location for an evening out.
Browse through high-end fashion, exquisite dining, premier spas, and much more while you take in the beautiful Sarasota sun.
HistoryPhoto Credit: BondgirlFL
Nestled between the sparkling waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, lies St. Armands Key. Named after Frenchman purchaser Charles St. Amand (his name was misspelled on the deed), this 132-acre piece of land is best known for its circular plaza at the heart of the island.
St. Armands came to life when John Ringling, a circus magnate, purchased the land in 1923 with a vision to build a spoked wheel-shaped recreation plaza. Over the next 5 years, Ringling would build seawalls, dredge canals and install streets with the help of many circus animals….including elephants! Unfortunately, the Great Depression hovered right around the corner, completely halting land sales in Florida and the growth of St. Armands. Halting development, Ringling had to neglect the Island resulting in overgrowth for the next 20 years.
Eventually, the City of Sarasota developed the circle according to Ringling’s original vision.
Emphasizing the historic and elegant atmosphere of Mediterranean and Spanish Architecture, the circle boasts the best of old and new.
St. Armands Circle is considered a foodie haven by many locals and tourists alike.
Below we detail three of our favorite spots to munch in the circle:
Owned and operated by the Gonzmart family, the Columbia Restaurant is a legendary Florida establishment, tracing its roots all the way back to 1903.
Relax in the Columbia’s exquisite Mediterranean-style dining rooms, detailed with Spanish tiling, warm lighting, and attentive service. Enjoy the award-winning 1905 salad, chicken and yellow rice, washed down with freshly made Sangria.
Crab & Fin
Serving the freshest seafood since 1978, Crab & Fin takes pride in their delicious, made-from-scratch meals. Searching all over the world for the highest quality seafood, Crab & Fin receives fresh fish by air every day. The whole fish is fileted in-house and prepared by world-class chefs.
Try the homemade pasta and bread, prepared in-house every day to complement the extensive and fresh seafood selection. This is a nautical experience that is guaranteed to impress.
Cafe Le Europe
Modeled after the world-famous De L’Europe Hotel in Amsterdam, Café L’Europe is elegantly designed with old-world charm accompanied by modern touches. Previously John Ringling's real estate office, Café L’Europe is now famous for its outstanding food and impeccable service.
Focused on elegant European cuisine, Café L’Europe serves longtime favorites such as Chateaubriand, Dover Sole Meuniere and French Onion soup.
Experience why Café L’Europe’s reputation is unparalleled and book a table today!
Bringing West Coast style to the beaches of Florida, Butterfly Beach is committed to delivering hand-picked, on-trend products for affordable prices. Highlighted by happy and helpful customer service, Butterfly Beach will have you feeling “Island-time” in no time!
Foxy Lady West
Photo credit Nita Ettinger
A Siesta Key hometown hero, Lorry Eibel's high-end boutique in St. Armands Circle caters to every client and their individual fashion needs. While the original Foxy Lady store is in our beloved Siesta Key, the St. Armands location is highlighted by its wider selection of top-of-the-line designer clothes.
Popular for one-on-one, individualized styling - let Foxy Lady find the original expression in you!
White House Black Market
With more than 27 years of black and white elegance, White House Black Market is an iconic leader in women’s fashion. Creating timeless clothing to make women feel beautiful and strong. Browse through their inventory of dresses, denim, suits and much more.
Come on in for a curated experience!
Salons, Spas and Massage
Sit back, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the spa treatment at Les Ciseaux Salon & Spa in the heart of St. Armands Circle. Les Ciseaux’s experts provide a peaceful haven for your mind, body, and soul for an elevated spa experience. With a wide array of services and spa packages, you can be sure to receive a tranquil experience suited to your needs.
Unwind, sit back and allow Les Ciseaux to handle the rest!
Spa by Grace
Spa by Grace is an individualized haven for you and your skin. Providing modern treatments and state-of-the-art equipment to provide individualized service is what Spa by Grace is about. Treating a wide array of skin conditions while keeping beautiful skin beautiful is the key at Spa by Grace. Take the time to pamper yourself and your skin as you head into the new year!
St. Armands has gained much-deserved acclaim in the Sarasota area. Providing arguably the best shopping and dining in Sarasota while keeping Sarasota’s historic Mediterranean charm. So, take a break from the beach and explore what Sarasota has to offer! There’s so much to love on an evening at St. Armands!