Sarasota County Beaches - Information
Six barrier islands hug Sarasota County’s 40 miles of coastline.
Lynn Hobeck Bates, APR | Communications Manager
941-955-0991 Ext. 103
Sarasota County Beaches
Six barrier islands hug Sarasota County's 40 miles of coastline. The barrier islands, many called "keys," each have their own personality. The beaches along the coasts of these areas range from calm and tapered to lively and expansive.
Longboat Key: Prim, Proper and Pristine
- Longboat Key is the northernmost and longest island along Sarasota's coast boasting twelve miles of shoreline.
- Pristine and manicured, the key is home to The Resort at Longboat Key Club resting on the southernmost point and offering views of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Heralded as one of the top tennis resorts in all of Florida, the resort has five restaurants and two challenging and recently renovated golf courses. www.longboatkeyclub.com
Lido Key: Timeless Sophistication
- Lido Key is nestled between Longboat Key to the north and Siesta Key to the south and boasts three beaches: North Lido, Lido Beach, and South Lido.
- The key received its name when John Ringling, a fan of Italian culture, referred to its beaches by using the Italian word "lido," which means "beach."
- Although a public beach, North Lido gives the impression of a secluded hideaway, with 3,000 feet of sugary sand and a nature trail for guests to wander along in relative privacy.
- In 1940, the grand opening of the Lido Beach Casino welcomed the public to the shores of Lido Beach proper. The casino is long gone, but Lido Beach continues to welcome visitors. A public pavilion with restrooms, a swimming pool, and concessions are available.
- South Lido Beach Park mingles four significant bodies of water: the Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass, Sarasota Bay, and Brushy Bayou. Two nature trails, a self-guided canoe trail, a multi-purpose field, and a volleyball court top off South Lido's amenities.
- No discussion of Lido Key would be complete without mentioning St. Armands Circle, a mecca for foodies and shopaholics alike.
- A collection of mid-century modern homes from the Sarasota School of Architecture are found in the Lido Shores neighborhood.
Siesta Key: Flip flops Required
- This eight-mile island is accessible by two bridges from the mainland. Comprised of three beaches, the key attracts families and sunbathers by day and party-goers by night.
- The three beaches, from north to south, are Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, and Turtle Beach.
- Rental condominiums line the beachfront and several independent resorts attract visitors year-round.
- Siesta Beach, winner of TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award for Best Beach in North America in 2015, just received a $21.5 million improvement in 2016, including new playgrounds for children, 150 additional free parking spaces and a renovation of a Sarasota School of Architecture pavilion.
- Turtle Beach, on the key's southern end, showcases coarser sand and a kayak launch into Sarasota Bay's waters.
Casey Key: Secluded Luxury
- The majority of Casey Key is populated with million-dollar-plus homes, some to the rich and famous, such as author Stephen King, with magnificent views of the Gulf of Mexico. At the base of the one-lane draw bridge is Casey Key Fish House, a local restaurant and watering hole living up to Casey Key's humble reputation.
- The south end of Casey Key is designed with visitors in mind. A bait shop at North Jetty Park is perfect for anglers wishing to drop a line or hop aboard a vessel in search of tarpon or snook. Picnic areas, concession stands, and on-duty lifeguards attract families to this 18-acre park year-round.
- Nokomis Beach, Sarasota County's oldest public beach, is Family-friendly with covered picnic tables and a pavilion, known as the Nokomis Beach Plaza. The pavilion can be rented.
Venice Beaches: Birds, Sharks' Teeth, and Dogs
- Caspersen Beach is one of the longest stretches of beach still in its natural state along Sarasota County's shoreline. Hiking paths and boardwalks allow for bird watching and views of plant species. The Venetian Waterway Trail connects downtown and the beach.
- Venice Beach has colorful lifeguard stands, a pavilion with shaded tables and a café, loads of parking, and bathrooms.
- Short on crowds, the beach is outfitted with playgrounds, a pavilion, and picnic area with grills. The modern beach pavilion is a nod to Sarasota's architectural heritage. It is one of four beach pavilions inspired by sea oats and designed in 2008 by Sweet Sparkman Architects. The pavilion houses showers and bathrooms. www.sweetsparkman.com/projects/civic-cultural/casperson-beach-pavilion.
- Nearby Caspersen is Sarasota County's only dog-friendly beach, Brohard Paw Park.
Manasota Key: Idyllic Old Florida
- For the ultimate in tranquility, visitors are called to one of Manasota Key's four beaches: Manasota, Blind Pass, Englewood, and Stump Pass. 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.
For more information, contact Visit Sarasota County© at 800-522-9799 or visit VisitSarasota.com. Information may also be found on smartphones and tablets by downloading the Visit Sarasota County© app.