The Six Barrier Islands of Sarasota: Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key, Casey Key & Manasota Key
Six barrier islands hug Sarasota County’s 40 miles of coastline. The barrier islands, often called the “keys,” each have their own personality. With the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Sarasota Bay on the other, they’re idyllic spots to vacation and live. They’re home to some of the region’s most magnificent residences, along with vacation lodgings that range from low-key cottages to modern luxury hotels.
From watching sunsets, to taking an early morning stroll along a quiet beach, to swimming in the Gulf of Mexico or the bay, to boating and fishing, golf and tennis – the barrier islands have it all…
Golf enthusiasts will find Longboat Key to be their barrier island of choice. Home to the best tennis facilities in Florida and the renowned Longboat Key Club golf course, Longboat Key is a perfect place to vacation if your interests lie in active sports and nature.
Amidst opulent condominiums and elegant waterfront homes, Longboat Key is just south of Anna Maria Island, a stone’s throw north of Lido Key and boasts of twelve miles of shoreline.
Lido Key has one of the most distinct and awesome backdrops consisting of the Gulf side, the Bay side and the Sarasota skyline. Visit the Mote Aquarium or indulge yourself in the world famous chic shopping district, St. Armands Circle, which draws in thousands of annual visitors from all corners of the globe.
Kayak through mangrove-shaded bayous and lagoons, freely explore nature trails or take a beach picnic and swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Lido Key’s balanced location puts it at the heart of all the Gulf has to offer. Celebrate the setting sun while dolphins frolic and water birds dive for fish.
Bird Key offers its residents a private yacht club, plus deep water canals, making it both gorgeous and a true boater’s paradise. Bird Key is an exclusive community that is located nearby the John Ringling Causeway between Lido Key and Sarasota, and is only minutes away from all the delights of lively downtown Sarasota, the internationally acclaimed John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the festive Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Siesta Key personifies what can only be described as true “old Florida”. The perfect mix of peacefulness and island bustle whilst enjoying a cool breeze blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s powder white beaches here have won the title of best beach in the US and also ranked in the top 10 worldwide! Walk into this living postcard to swim, collect shells and soak up the sun.
In terms of nightlife, there’s an eclectic range of dining spots to choose from fine elegance to family fun. Shopping choices are just as varied, with Siesta Village offering all kinds of vintage and chic clothing.
Casey Key is for residents who equally treasure scenery and privacy alike. The majority of Casey Key is populated with million-dollar-plus homes, some to the rich and famous, such as author Stephen King. The quiet streets wind underneath canopies of tropical palms on a barrier island so narrow, some properties actually have a front yard on the Gulf of Mexico and a backyard on Sarasota Bay.
The south end of Casey Key is designed with visitors in mind. Nokomis Beach, Sarasota County’s oldest public beach, is family-friendly with a covered picnic area, concession stands and on-duty lifeguards to attract families to this 18-acre park year-round.
Manasota Key is situated on the southernmost point of all of the Sarasota barrier islands. Charming Manasota Key only has just a meandering two-lane road running through the community. What’s more, there aren’t any traffic lights. But it isn’t short on scenery.
There are four pristine beaches on Manasota Key as well as a wildlife sanctuary. The tiny key is connected by two bridges: one connects it to Sarasota County and the other to Charlotte County. Manasota Beach sand dunes and mangroves attract nature lovers, Blind Pass Beach is 60 acres wide between the Gulf and the bay and offers nearly 3,000 feet of sand, Englewood Beach offers grills, picnic tables, pavilions and a range of outdoor sport facilities and Stump Pass Beach is a state park – perfect for hiking and exploring Florida’s natural flora and fauna.
If you would like to visit any of these beautiful islands, call (941) 271-0079 to book one of our private shuttles or book on The Driverseat App.
Driverseat Sarasota, Florida (May 2021) www.driverseatsarasota.com
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