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Well, here we are in the first few weeks of road trip season and family vacations, and like many of you, we’re excited about all of the places that we’ve planned to go to this summer.

However, if you’re one of those still thinking about where to take the family on your first road trip of the  summer, then you should seriously think about heading to Sarasota, Florida.

Located along western Florida’s Cultural Coast, Sarasota offers visitors beautiful white sand beaches, historical museums, all kinds of natural settings, immaculate golf courses, and of course, plenty of shopping.

Most importantly, however, if you’re anything like us here at Stuckey’s and like things a little different, a little kitschy, or a little off the beaten path, well, you’ll find plenty that here in Sarasota, too. Here are just a few we found:

Parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Image: Stephanie Stuckey/Stuckey’s Corp.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL

Welcome to the jungle – all ten acres of it here at Sarasota Jungle Gardens – a family favorite of tourists and locals alike since it first opened in 1939.

What was once a swampy banana grove is now a tropical garden that’s home to over 200 native and exotic animal species. Of course, most popular of these among both kids and adults are the garden’s beautiful free-roaming flamingos that you can actually feed by hand. However, be sure not to miss other up close wildlife opportunities including a petting zoo and animal shows where you can hold an alligator or take a selfie with a bicycle-riding parrot.

Of course, along with the fauna comes the flora, too, including an Australian nut tree, an Australian monkey puzzle tree, a Peruvian apple cactus, banana trees and other exotic plants alongside native plants like red maples, oaks, and the largest Norfolk Island pine in Florida.

You can also grab a bite to eat at the Flamingo Café and a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs of your visit.

For admission and hours call Sarasota Jungle Gardens at (941) 355-5305 or visit their website here.


Ringling Circus Museum 

5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL

Inside of the Ringling Circus Museum
Image: Stephanie Stuckey/Stuckey’s Corp

In 1948, magician and first director of the Ringling Bros Circus, A. Everett “Chick” Austin, Jr., opened up the Ringling Museum to celebrate the rich history of the American circus.

Austin chose Sarasota because it was the winter quarters of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey® Circus. As a result, the circus was able to gather all sorts of circus memorabilia thanks to generosity of the performers who made Sarasota their winter home. Here you’ll see costumes, props, sideshow banners, and even the cannon that shot the Human Cannonball across the big top every night it was in town. One of the museums newest exhibits is the railroad car Wisconsin that carried the John Ringling, and his wife Mable all over America looking for the next big act.

Of special interest inside the museum is the Tibbals Learning Center where you’ll find The Greatest Show on Earth mural and the 44,000-piece Howard Bros. Circus model along with handbills and other ephemera collected by Howard Tibbals who had a lifelong fascination with the circus since he was a boy.

Also in the Tibbals Learning Center is are interactive exhibits where you can walk the tightrope, pile into a clown car, and take a selfie with a tiger. It’s educational and fun for the young and young-at-heart who ever dreamed of running away from home to join the circus.

The Ringling Circus Museum is located inside The Ringling  –  a 66-acre museum complex featuring the State Art Museum of Florida, the Circus Museum, the Ca’ d’Zan mansion, and Bayfront Gardens.

For hours and admission call (941) 359-5700 or visit the Ringling website here.


Bahi Hut Tiki Bar

4675 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL

Built as part of the Golden Host Resort, the Bahi Hut is Florida’s oldest (and the nation’s 4th oldest) tiki bar that’s been serving exotic drinks in a South Pacific setting since 1954.

Interior of Bahi Hut in Sarasota, Florida.
Image: Stephanie Stuckey/Stuckey’s Corp

You’ll get those retro Polynesian feels as soon as you walk past the two tiki totems that guard the entrance and through the with handles like one of those giant tiki spoons that your aunt once had hanging in her Mid-Century Modern bungalow.

From its  bamboo-thatched bar to Exotica music the Bahi Hut is like a time-machine back to the Polynesian Pop culture of post-war 1950s America (sans, of course, the cloud of cigarette smoke – the Bahi Hut is now smoke-free).

The Bahi Hut’s signature drink is the Mai Tai, a famously strong cocktail with a two-drink limit that’s earned the tiki bar the nickname the “Bye Bye Hut” if you go over it. The drink menu also includes other exotically named cocktails like the Sneaky Tiki with its secret recipe that is “unknown to mortals” and the sharing is caring Volcano Bowl that comes with a fiery entrance that’s a real blast. Of course, they also have beer in both bottles and cans.

Along with special “Luau Weekends” and the annual “Tiki Fever” festival usually held for three days over the first weekend in October, the Bahi Hut hosts live music every Friday and Saturday and Drag Queen Bingo every Sunday.

The Bahi Hut is open from 12PM to 12AM. Happy Hour is from 3PM to 6PM.

For more information on the latest happenings, visit their website at or give them a call at (941) 355-5141.


Golden Host Resort

4675 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL

Picture of Golden Host poolside
Image: Stephanie Stuckey/Stuckey’s Corp.

Whether you’re planning on going for Tiki Fever or just in case you had one Sneaky Tiki too many, you should also plan to stay at the Golden Host Resort while you’re here.

Like its famous tiki bar, this newly renovated 1950’s resort, takes you back to the golden age of Florida road trips when mid-century modern met Polynesian paradise.

Past meets present in the motel’s spacious rooms where the décor of the atomic age meets the all the modern amenities of the information age including free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.

What’s more, swimmers and sun worshipers alike will love relaxing poolside at their 50-foot saltwater pool while the on-site Bahi Hut serves up the best Mai Tais in this Sarasota tropical paradise.

Make your reservations today by visiting their website here or give them a call at (941) 355-5141.

Stephanie outside of Bealls
Image: Stephanie Stuckey/Stuckey’s Corp


Did you know that Bealls stores throughout Florida now carry Stuckey’s pecan treats?

That means while you’re driving around Sarasota, be sure to stop at the local Bealls for your favorite Stuckey’s Toasted Pecans available in a variety of flavors including Sea Salt, Honey Roasted, Maple, and Kettle Glazed.

Of course, whether it’s Stuckey’s iconic Pecan Log Rolls, classic Pecan Pralines, or the family favorite Hunkey Dorey popcorn treat you’re craving, then why not order some before you’re next road trip?

Shop stuckey’  and get all of your favorite Stuckey’s road trip snacks and Stuckey’s branded caps, tees, travel mugs, and more too keep you looking and feeling cool all summer family vacation season long.

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!

Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.

For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!