One of the best parts of visiting Sarasota is not just the gorgeous scenery. Unique to this part of the United States is the presence of six barrier islands near Sarasota. These six islands surround 40 miles of coastline. Often referred to as ‘keys,’ each one is unique and interesting in its rite. From vacation properties to luxury homes and everything in between, the islands are home to residents and vacation lovers who come from all around to see sunsets, tour, and vacation Sarasota shores. Find out more about each barrier island and how to enjoy all they have to offer.
What’s not to love in this idyllic spot located between Sarasota and Manatee counties? Longboat Key houses the best tennis facilities in Florida and offers golf enthusiasts something to write home about. With 12 miles of white sand beaches, many vacationers and locals love Longboat Key for its luxury feel. Come dine and shop at some of the best spots Sarasota has to offer. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the Gulf, go boating, fishing, or just stroll the white sands for a relaxing time with family and friends.
An exclusive community offering a private yacht club and canals for boaters, Bird Key is located near the John Ringling Causeway between Lido Key and Sarasota. Bird Key Park is a popular spot for visitors to fish, watch the sunset, canoe or just enjoy the views. Bird Key just steps away from John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
A visit to Sarasota isn’t complete without stopping by Lido Key, one of the most distinct and beautiful cities on the Bay side of the city. Stop by the famous Mote Aquarium or indulge in shopping and dining at St. Armand’s Circle, where you’ll be in good company with many visitors and locals alike. Enjoy a kayaking tour through mangrove-shaded lagoons. Mangrove tunnels are unique to this part of Florida, surrounded by fish inches away on a paddleboard or kayak, thick trees going clear up into the sky, and a quiet solace and serenity of being near nature. Let’s not forget about beautiful North Lido Beach, a quarter mile northwest of St. Armand’s Circle. Enjoy a relaxing beach with nearby condos and hotels and proximity to dining and shopping.
Visitors and locals to Siesta Key describe it as ‘Old Florida,’ the perfect mix of peace and adventure rolled up into one. White sand beaches make it a paradise for those who step foot onto its shores, making it a Top 10 beach worldwide. Collect shells as you walk the shore and go for a swim in the Gulf waters. Wildlife is abundant with sightings ranging from dolphins, manatees, seagulls, and coastal birds. Siesta Public Beach offers concessions 10 to 5 every day with healthy salads, hot dogs, burgers, and more on offer. Steps away from Siesta Key Village with shopping and restaurants.
Known as a hidden treasure, Casey Key is home to some rich and famous people, offering quiet streets lined with palm trees on this narrow barrier island. Some homes boast a front yard on the Gulf of Mexico with Sarasota Bay steps away in the backyard. Between the cities of Sarasota and Venice, Nokomis Beach is the oldest public beach in Sarasota County. Family-friendly amenities include picnic spots, concession stands, and on-duty lifeguards. Walk the beautiful boardwalk, rent kayaks and canoes, visit the playground or just enjoy the sand and sea with views of the Gulf.
Manasota Key is on the southernmost point of Sarasota’s barrier islands. With just a two-lane road running through, there are no traffic lights which makes it quaint and other-worldly. Four beautiful beaches exist on Manasota Key, including a wildlife sanctuary. Two bridges connect it to Sarasota County and Charlotte County. Blind Pass Beach is 60 acres wide with 3,000 feet of sand. Englewood Beach offers pavilions, picnic spots, and outdoor sports facilities. Stump Pass Beach is a state park with hiking and exploration for the adventurous spirits who love to explore Florida’s natural beauty.