Towles Court Creative Arts Community
Tucked away amongst the moss-draped oak trees in the Laurel Park neighborhood of downtown Sarasota is the Towles Court Creative Arts Community. In 1905 Sarasota’s first Mayor built his home in this area along with a nine-hole golf course. In the 1920’s William Towles turned the golf course into a small residential neighborhood. The area went through periods of prosperity and peril until 1983 when NJ Olivieri saw potential in Sarasota and bought up decaying properties in the area with the intention of razing them and building new homes. Instead friends approached him with the concept of developing an artists’ colony instead. In December, 1995 Towles Court Artist Colony was born when the first artist signed a lease.
Traveling Gals Tip: If you are visiting Sarasota, the third Friday of each month Towles Court hosts an art walk with live music, wine and a chance to experience all the creative arts offered.
Today the historic bungalows of Towles Court are comprised of galleries, specialty shops, creative business and restaurants. There are also interior designers, photographers, art therapists and other innovative gift shops and beauty spas. This hidden treasure is a delight when you stumble upon it. It gives each visitor a chance to experience the creative process of so many different genres.
Currently there are 19 participating members in the community offering a wide variety of art. You can find watercolor paintings, quirky gifts, a yarn shop, handmade jewelry, and lots more.
There are also a few restaurants right in the Towles Court area. Schoogie Boogie’s is a café and shop located right in the central area of Towles Court. The décor at this new hot-spot is really charming and unique. It is European style and is comfortable, like you are dining as a guest in someone’s house. Indigenous is relatively new (opened in 2011) and has gotten great reviews. The mission of this restaurant is to use locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients. Because of this the menu changes throughout the year (and it is on the pricier side), however you will have a very unique dining experience in a neat location. They also have a fun bar area too if you just want to stop by for a drink.
Next time you are in Sarasota, remember to take a walk through Towles Court and see what hidden gems you might find!