10 Things to Do in Casey Key/Osprey/Nokomis

Often zipped past, Casey Key, Osprey, and Nokomis hide between Sarasota and Venice. And in their concealment is a plethora of Florida fun, just waiting for visitors. Be one.

The Bird’s the Word

Scrub jay sounds like the nickname for your weird uncle or something you keep under the kitchen sink, but in reality is an elusive bird, found almost exclusively in the unassuming Oscar Scherer State Park. Grab your binoculars, print out a picture of the stunningly blue bird, and get birding.

Their Cups Runneth Over

Florida activities – boating, beaching – require hydration vessels that are nearly indestructible, glass-free, and keep your boat drink chilly. So it comes as no surprise that Tervis Tumblers originate from here. Be sure to pop into their original mega store headquarters located on Tamiami Trail in Osprey to wonder at their plethora of designs. Grab a cup for the beach or to take home and reminisce of those days in the sun. While you’re at it, grab one for the dogsitter, the lawn mower, the next-door neighbor, the best friend, and the great aunt whose birthday you may have forgotten while you were gone.

Nice Catch

Watching the boats arrive, the salty air blowing the glorious seaside breeze in your face, the sea is so fresh you can taste it. Wait – that’s your dinner. And at both Casey Key Fish House and Evie’s at Spanish Point Restaurant & Tiki, it doesn’t get much fresher. Order whatever just arrived on land, enjoy a locally-sourced brew or cocktail, and listen along to that waterwork symphony.

Pun in the Sun

Abbott and Costello would have a field day with On the Beach. “Where are you staying?” “On the Beach.” “Right. But where?” “On the Beach.” “I get it. What place on the beach?” “Yes. On the Beach.” As if this isn’t reason enough to stay at On the Beach, there’s also the adorable décor and beachfront locale.

Pop on In

For a dining experience with fresh food, kind faces, and water views, look no further than Pop’s Sunset Grill. Located on the Intercoastal, you can dine on the catch of the day, Burgers, Steamship Pots, salads – I highly recommend the West Coast Salad – all with the kindest group of strangers you’ll ever meet.

Ride in Style

You know that part of When Harry Met Sally when they’re buying Marie’s wedding gift, right before they run into Helen? They find a karaoke machine and sing The Surrey with the Fringe on Top from Oklahoma! That can be you! Along the Legacy Trail, which runs over ten miles from Venice to Sarasota, the surrey, powered by volunteers, gives passengers an informative glimpse of the natural landscape along the path. You can also bike, skate, jog, or walk. And no, you don’t have to sing if you don’t want to. (But it’d be nice.)

Hook, Line, and Sinker

Vacation is all about delegating – let someone else do the cleaning, the cooking, the driving. And let someone else do the work to get that lunker. They can set up the boat, plan the best spots, prep the poles and tackle, load the bait, clean up after. And you can enjoy the easy parts – the visiting and catching. Captain Peter Koenig of Playin’ Hookey Charter will hook you up.

Blast to the Past

A visit to Historic Spanish Point gives you a glimpse of what the area used to be like and how it came to be what it is. The 30-acre outdoor museum also features a butterfly garden, pioneer cemetery, sunken gardens, footbridge, and exquisite views along Little Sarasota Bay.

Champagne Wishes

Casey Key is where all the local celebrities live. A stay at Gulf Surf Resort will make you feel like you’re a world-renown author or former television host slash actress. In the center of your own five miles of private beach, you can rich and famous yourself up the wazoo.

Say Goodnight

No visit to the Nokomis area is complete without one sunset at the North Jetty. Abutting the beach, the Jetty’s paved strip of rocks protruding into the Gulf gives visitors and locals the rare opportunity to be fishermen, loungers, spectators, surfers, artists, climbers – whatever brings a smile to each individual face. Don’t leave until you’ve witnessed the sunset from this spectacular spot.