Magical History Tours
When is a trolley a time machine? When it’s one of the trolleys on Tommy Hauser’s recently launched Discover Sarasota Trolley Tours. Each air-conditioned trek is an enlightening voyage through space and time. Want to know where the local ghosts are hiding? Checkout the “Spooky Side of Sarasota” tour for gripping tales of Sarasota’s supernatural shenanigans—and the colorful specters still hanging around from the town’s bootlegging and circus days. If you’re more inclined to learn about living history, no worries. Other trolley time trips stick to this side of the spiritual plane—with expert history buffs and actors sharing amazing stories at every turn. On the “Circus Side of Sarasota.” circus historian Bob Collins points out the landmarks and legends of the colorful cast of circus artists, showmen and performers who called Sarasota home. The “Happy Hour City Sightseeing” tour explores Gillespie Park, Burns Court, Laurel Park, St. Armands Circle, Lido Key and other historic districts. (Even better? There’s complimentary beer and wine!) The “City Sightseeing Tour” yields close encounters of The Ringling, Selby Gardens, Art Center Sarasota and other cultural institutions and architectural treasures. Thing you’d be a spellbinding tour guide? “We’re always on the lookout for storytellers, actors and history buffs who love our area,” says Hauser. “If you want to share your passion, this is the perfect way to do it!” Visit: discoversarasotatours.com.