St. Armands Key/Circle
St. Armands Key and St. Armands Circle
St. Armands Circle is an enchanting shopping, restaurant and nightlife district renowned for its continental flavor and graceful synthesis of past and present. Only steps from magnificent Lido Beach, its lush tropical courtyards and patios, antique statuary and contemporary architecture contribute to an international atmosphere of relaxed elegance, and timeless style. Visionary circus magnate John Ringling purchased St. Armands Key in 1917 and planned a development that included residential lots and a shopping center laid out in a circle. His crews labored at dredging canals, building seawalls, and installing sidewalks and streets lined with rose-colored curbs. In 1925, work began on a causeway to link St. Armands Key with the mainland.
One year later, the John Ringling Causeway and Ringling Estates development opened to the public, with Ringling himself leading a parade across the causeway. His circus band played in the center of the Circle even as free bus service brought prospective buyers and sightseers from downtown Sarasota to the Key.
Today, stylish residential neighborhoods are just steps from the famed shopping district and the azure shores of Lido Beach.