The barrier island of Longboat Key, with just 8,000 full time residents, swells to 12,000 residents in season and attracts thousands more tourists annually. Longboat Key is the northernmost and longest island along Sarasota’s coast, boasting 12 miles of shoreline. Visitors and residents alike are attracted to it’s gorgeous, nature provided offerings along with luxurious living in a tranquil setting. The turquoise waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico hug the Island. Upscale shopping, fine dining, world class angling, beautiful beaches, grand mansions, amazing yachts make Longboat Key an ideal location for the most discerning of guests. Ibis, wild parrots, tortoises and egrets call this Island home. We cannot forget about the peacocks. How they came to inhabit Longboat remains a mystery. They are always ready to show off their beautiful plumes and pose for a picture. During the summer season, Longboat Key is a popular beach for turtles to nest and lay their eggs. The overall vibe of this destination is relaxed and laid back.
A gorgeous drive West via the John Ringling Causeway over Sarasota Bay will have
you at Lido Key, home to one of Florida’s most unspoiled beaches. It’s the place to go for deep sea fishing, dolphin watching and sailing. Eco-tourism at it’s best. The seafood is fresh and the sunsets are breath taking. Lido Key is home to St. Armands Circle, which attracts visitors from all over the world. Unique in both concept and design; St Armands offers an experience unmatched in fine dining, luxurious shopping and high- end spa pampering. A trip to Ben and Jerry’s for a cold treat is the perfect end to any day. Visit /www.starmandscircleassoc.com for further details.
A short jaunt from downtown Sarasota, Siesta Key sits adjacent to the glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This world-renowned 8-mile- long stretch offers something for everyone with shopping, resorts, dining and nightlife all close at hand. Known for its quartz sand (cool to the touch), turquoise waters and many beachside amenities; Siesta Key is a must-see that keeps the tourists coming back year after year. TripAdvisor ranked Siesta Key No. 1 in the US and No. 5 in the world in its 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards. Siesta was the only US beach included on the international list. The accolades and designations continue to mount. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation destination or a playground for water sport; Siesta Key will not disappoint.
Two counties – Charlotte and Sarasota – claim Englewood for their own. Englewood
was originally founded as a fishing village in the late 1800’s and has since grown into a prospering town where year-round and seasonal residents both tout its virtues.
Englewood Beach offers an uncrowded day of rest and relaxation. Walk from the Beach
across the street to enjoy dining and live entertainment at multiple establishments
including the Lock ‘N Key or the White Elephant. Just south, you’ll find Blind Pass Park, a fantastic place for shelling and finding sharks' teeth. Englewood is home to 8 golf courses, so do not forget to pack the clubs. Looking for something more exciting, you can try parasailing or rent a jetski. Give a call to Beach Road Watersports or Island Jet Ski Tours to accommodate a day of fun. Fishing in Englewood is outstanding. A tour of Lemon Bay is highly recommended. You’ll almost certainly see dolphins, manatees, and all kinds of shorebirds and wildlife. A trip to Dearborn Street offers shopping, dining and entertainment apart from the franchises and big box stores. Englewood exudes charm.
Just south of Sarasota along Florida’s white-sanded Gulf Coast, Venice offers 14 miles of gorgeous beaches from Casey Key to Manasota Key. The city includes an area
known as “Venice Island”, a portion of the mainland that is accessed via bridge over the artificially created Intracoastal Waterway. On the Island you will find a thriving downtown inspired by Italian architecture. Walk Venice Avenue and discover the many local proprietors for a unique dining and shopping experience. Downtown Venice hosts a farmer’s market every Saturday and a variety of festivals throughout the year including the annual Art Festival and Chalk Festival. Grab a bite to eat at Sharky’s on the Pier and hit Venice Beach after for excellent shelling and shark tooth collecting. Venice is known to be the Shark Tooth Capital. Fido will enjoy a trip to Brohard Dog Park, our four-legged babies need their beach time too. The population of Venice more than doubles in the Winter months with our Northerly neighbors migrating South to escape the harsh winter weather. Venice is home to many great communities, like the Plantation and Sarasota National, where neighbors become great friends and the golf courses are open year round.
Nestled between the cities of Sarasota and Venice, Nokomis is rightfully known for its beautiful seashore and flourishing residential areas. This unincorporated town has access to the coast through Nokomis Public Beach at the south end of exclusive Casey Key. Every Wednesday and Saturday, just about an hour before sunset, friends and family gather in a circle, many times with a glass of wine of their beverage of choice, to watch the sunset while listening to the mesmerizing drum beat. Pull the boat up to Pop’s Sunset grill for a bite to eat overlooking the water. A passing dolphin or manatee does not surprise one. Nokomis offers waterfront neighborhoods located on Shackett, Salt & Fox Creeks; Dona, Roberts, Blackburn & Lyons Bays and along the shores of southern Casey Key. Inland, Venetian Golf and River Club is a fantastic opportunity to live amongst friends in an active golfing community.
If you want to get off the beaten path, but still stay near Sarasota, Manasota Key may be just the ticket. Manasota Key is an 11 mile barrier island off the coast of Englewood and known as “a place unspoiled by high rises and high prices” The entire community is now a designated wildlife sanctuary where beaches are maintained in a more natural, less developed state. Manasota Beach provides a community boat ramp just south of the intra-coastal drawbridge which allows boaters easy access to both Lemon Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Manasota Key is known to be the turtle nesting capital of Southwest Florida. Sea turtles begin nesting in March with peak nesting from May through August. Nests incubate 45 to 60 days during peak nesting season that ends Oct. 31. Florida accounts for more than 90 percent of the loggerhead nesting in the United States and is one of the two largest nesting sites in the world.
Casey Key is a captivating, eight-mile long barrier island lying just to the south of
Sarasota. The island stretches from Siesta Key on the north to the Island of Venice to the south. A single north-south road runs down the middle of the Island covered in a canopy of trees. No traffic lights or high rises, only magnificent waterfront estates and charming beach cottages overlooking with the Gulf or the Bay. Celebrities, philanthropists and world travelers have called Casey Key home. Casey Key remains one of the most popular and sought after pieces of Florida real estate.
Osprey with a population of under 7,000 people is a small town with natural and historic significance. Home to Oscar Scherer State Park, named one of Florida’s best, offers canoeing, fishing, camping, swimming, hiking and wildlife viewing. The Park welcomes over 130,000 visitors annually. Oscar Scherer offers access to the Legacy Trail, running from Venice to Sarasota, which accommodates bikers, walkers, joggers and rollerbladers. Historic Spanish Point is located on Sarasota Bay and is a popular tourist attraction. Explore the 30 acres of shaded walkways and trails and learn about the history of SW Florida. Dogs are welcome. Osprey is also home to Pineview School for the gifted hosting grades 2-12. In 2017, Pineview ranked the No. 1 High School in the State and No. 13 in the nation according to U.S. News.
North Port is located in South County Sarasota and is approximately 20 minutes from
the scenic Gulf of Mexico. It contains the fifth largest land area in the state of Florida and is the largest in terms of size and population in Sarasota County. The median resident age is 41 and North Port strives to be a family friendly town. North Port has been named 7 years consecutively a Playful City USA for it’s continual dedication to Parks & Recreation funding and improvement. Warm Minerals Springs and Park is enjoyed by thousands of visitors on a yearly basis seeking the health benefits and natural experience created by this awesome resource. Warm Mineral Springs contains 9 million gallons of fresh water and it replenishes every 2 hours. The Spring stays 87 degrees year-round and is comprised of 51 minerals, the highest mineral content of any natural spring in the US. North Port is also home to 8,500 acres of Myakka State Forest, all lying within its borders. South County is booming and the landscape tells the story. New housing starts, commercial projects, the Braves Training Complex coming in 2019 and the West Villages development are all part of North Port. The West Villages will bring 33,000 residential homes into the City by 2030 and 54,000 new residents. North Port is witnessing an incredible transformation.