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Lido Key

Explore St. Armands Circle in Lido Key on Your Gulf Coast Vacation

History of St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle began as a dream of John and Mable Ringling, the circus magnates who made Sarasota their winter home in the early 20th century. Their vision was to create an upscale residential and shopping district that could serve as a commercial hub for the well-heeled visitors and residents of the area. Transporting all the building materials via a paddle-wheel steamboat called “Success,” the Ringlings had a bridge built to connect St. Armands Key and Bird Key to the Sarasota mainland in 1926.

Today, St. Armands Circle continues the Ringlings’ vision as a premier destination for arts, dining, shopping, and recreation. With over 130 stores and restaurants located within walking distance of each other on the Circle, this vibrant hub has retained its exclusive Old-World charm since opening to the world. Circle Park and the surrounding pedestrian promenades feature many of the Ringlings’ original statues, carefully restored in 2008 after a grassroots campaign sought to return them to their original splendor.

Visitors and residents have come to revere the Circle for its preservation of Sarasota’s arts and circus history. The Circus Ring of Fame honors over 150 of the most influential performers and executives who helped produce the Greatest Show on Earth. Located a short walk from the crystal blue waters of Lido Beach, St. Armands Circle truly embodies the upscale, tropical lifestyle that has defined the region for nearly 100 years.

Getting Around Lido Key

Exploring Lido Key is a breeze, thanks to its pedestrian-friendly design. Whether you prefer a leisurely walk along the pristine beaches or a bike ride through the lush landscapes, the island welcomes you to embrace the laid-back coastal lifestyle. And when you choose to stay at one of our Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals in Lido Key, you’ll have easy access to St. Armands Circle and all it has to offer.

Lido Key


Experience a shopping extravaganza with St. Armands Circle shops, where boutiques and galleries line the streets with unique finds and exquisite treasures inside. Looking for a new outfit for your vacation? You can explore stores like Apricot Lane, Coastal HoBo, Cotton Club, Chico’s, Foxy Lady, and Monkee’s for a new look. If you’re looking for jewelry and accessories, Alexander Fine Jewelers, Armel Jewelers, Simona Jewelry, and Tilden Ross are sure to please. And for specialty and gifts, you can browse Anatolian Collections, Cigar Paradise, Garden Argosy, and Pelindaba Lavender. With such a diverse array of shops, St. Armands Circle offers the perfect blend of luxury and local charm.


Discover the culinary delights of St. Armands Circle, where a variety of exquisite dining experiences await. One standout is Cafe L’Europe, a charming establishment that takes pride in sourcing the finest ingredients to create masterpiece dishes. Their Mushroom Tartine is a symphony of flavors, featuring locally sourced blue oyster and black pearl mushrooms, complemented by the richness of black garlic aioli, all on a perfectly grilled sourdough. To elevate your dining experience, pair it with their Spiced Pear Spritz, a refreshing blend of chardonnay, St. George spiced pear liqueur, fresh lemon, and invigorating ginger syrup.

Another culinary gem in St. Armands Circle is Le Colonne, where the art of Italian cuisine is brought to new heights. Don’t miss their Cannelloni Alla Bolognese, a heavenly creation of pasta crepes lovingly rolled and stuffed with a perfect mixture of ground veal, nutmeg, and velvety besciamella, then topped with fresh tomato sauce. As you savor this culinary masterpiece, bring your dining experience to a whole new level with their Mimosa Rossa, a delightful infusion of Zardetto prosecco, Grand Marnier, and a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice.

For seafood lovers, Speaks Clam Bar is a must-visit destination. Their Linguine Vongole is a beautiful combination of flavors, featuring tender middleneck clams simmered in a fragrant white wine, garlic, and butter broth. It is perfectly paired with a glass of their exquisite Chardonnay Tomresca. 

Venezia, another treasure among the St. Armands Circle restaurants, invites you to savor their exquisite stuffed salmon. Taste the flavors of the Gulf Coast as you indulge in their blackened salmon, generously filled with succulent blue crab. The dish is elegantly accompanied by Venezia fries and sautéed spinach, creating a beautiful combination of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more.

Special Events

St. Armands Circle is not just a destination for shopping and dining; it’s also a hub of exciting events and festivities. Throughout the year, you can learn about the local culture and connect with fellow travelers at special events like the St. Armands Craft Festival and Sidewalk, the Exotic Cars on the Circle event, and the St. Armands Art Festival & Craft Marketplace. And if you’re a fan of fine automobiles, don’t miss the annual Jaguar Festival d’Elegance, showcasing the finest Jaguar automobiles. For a spooky and fun Halloween experience, Fright Night on St. Armands Circle is a must-attend event, transforming the area into a Halloween wonderland with decorated storefronts, frightening characters, and trick-or-treating for all.

Stay with Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals

When you choose Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals, you’re choosing luxurious accommodations and a seamless vacation experience. Whether you’re looking for Lido Key rentals, Sarasota rentals or Lido Key luxury rentals, we offer a wide selection of properties to suit your needs. Our rentals are conveniently located, allowing you to easily access St. Armands Circle and all its attractions. From cozy beachfront retreats to stunning villas with Gulf views, our Gulf Coast vacation rentals are designed to provide you with an unforgettable experience. Let us be the key to unlocking your dream coastal getaway in Southwest Florida. Book your stay with us and start a truly extraordinary vacation.