Of all of Sarasota’s barrier islands, Longboat Key has the most resort-like atmosphere. From the moment you cross over the New Pass Bridge exiting St. Armands Key, you’re greeted with manicured greens and lakes of the majestic Longboat Key Golf Club. Driving along Gulf of Mexico Drive, you’ll see Sandhill cranes, Ibis and other sea birds strolling casually along the water hazards, as if they’re posing for photos. A broad green belt lines the roadway, separating the street from the sidewalks that line both sides of the road. It’s not unusual to locals taking a jog, or walking their dog from early morning to after dusk.
Longboat Key has a more serene atmosphere than Siesta and Lido Key. While the beaches are public, the beach parking lots are smaller and often not clearly marked. This makes for your beach outings more private, your walk with nature more, well . . . natural!
Longboat Key’s white sand beaches are over 12 miles long, divided between Sarasota County and Manatee County to the north. A large number of Longboat’s over 6,000 residents are retirees who enjoy the key’s championship golf club, tennis facilities and upscale dining. And no wonder! There is an elegance of Longboat Key that celebrates a life well lived.
Private, single family homes tend to be on the bay side of the island, where they enjoy breathtaking views of the downtown Sarasota skyline. The view of the Gulf of Mexico is shared by a long line of luxury condos, with architectural styles ranging from two story beach villas to glamorous mid-rise condos celebrating Mediterranean design. The further you travel north along Longboat Key, the more condos starting showing up on the bay side, often sharing beach access across the street.
Toward the middle of the island is a popular shopping area with one of the most beautiful Publix Supermarkets you’ll ever see, as well as beauty salons, gift shops, restaurants and personal service businesses.
If you’re looking for a serene, sophisticated lifestyle, you may want to give consideration to Longboat Key.