Blind Pass Beach. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Dearborn street -- area house. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Dearborn Street. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Indian Mound Park. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Hermitage Artist Retreat. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Hermitage Artist Retreat. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Lemon Bay. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Lemon Bay Vista. Photo credit: Robin Draper
Photo of a Osprey Nest in Englewood. Photo credit: Robin Draper

Englewood: Charm, Beauty and Old Florida

Englewood, Florida, captures the charm and beauty of "Old" Florida. With beaches, bungalows and "down home" appeal, you'll definitely want to stop at these five places.

At the south end of Sarasota County, the community of Englewood captures Florida's past, charm and beauty. Stunning beaches, old Florida homes and "down home" appeal provide fun and memorable photo souvenirs. But where can you collect special images that are sure to become your next "screen saver"? No worries. We've got you covered:

Englewood's Blind Pass Beach

Blind Pass Beach
Blind Pass Beach

Midway along Englewood's Manasota Key is Blind Pass Beach. Glistening white sand dotted with colorful umbrellas contrasts against bluish-green Gulf of Mexico water. It is a welcome oasis for the weary soul in need of chill time, and makes a great photo stop too. Here you can take a refreshing dip in the Gulf, then look for prehistoric shark teeth along the Manasota beachfront. Shark teeth of various sizes and shapes wash ashore for eager treasure hunters and collectors. Just look along the water line for the typically dark triangular teeth.

Hermitage Artist Retreat

Manasota Beach
Manasota Beach

Yards away from the Manasota Beach access, you can admire the Hermitage Artist Retreat as you walk the sandy shoreline. While not open to the public, this collection of Old Florida cottages houses visiting artists and musicians who are invited to stay to gain inspiration for future creative projects. If you appreciate or have an interest in what original and historical Florida beach homes looked like, you'll be charmed by the display of these older, simpler homes and the quaint architectural design.

Lemon Bay Park  & Environmental Center

Lemon Bay Park
Lemon Bay Park

Between Manasota Key and Englewood is scenic Lemon Bay. Of particular interest is the Lemon Bay Park & Environmental Center with over 200 acres of preserved Florida nature. Picturesque trails border the shoreline and also traverse pine and scrubby flatwoods. The Lemon Bay Park Environmental Education Center provides interpretive displays regarding the park's unique ecosystem, habitats, plants and wildlife. Arrive in the morning to enjoy the plethora of birds, and don't be surprised if you see bald eagles atop the slash pines overhead. If you arrive later in the day, consider staying for a glorious sunset over Manasota Key.

Englewood's Dearborn Street

Not far from Lemon Bay Park, consider visiting Dearborn Street, the original downtown of Old Englewood. Dearborn Street houses restaurants, many with outdoor seating, plus coffee shops, gift shops, galleries and retail stores. The Lemon Bay Playhouse and a public library also front on Dearborn. Further along the road is a neighborhood of historic homes providing a glimpse of Englewood's past.

Lemon Bay Playhouse
Lemon Bay Playhouse

Old Florida Rules

Don't be hesitant to drive around and see the eclectic side of Englewood. The community moves at a slower pace and once you visit, you will start matching the pace as well. Just slow down and enjoy. Stop in shops, walk around and talk to the locals. Ask fishermen about the best fishing spots, learn local lore from friendly shopkeepers and convince restaurant servers to share their favorite places to eat and drink. And remember to snap some great photos to take home treasured memories.