Longboat Key Area Visitors Guide

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Rental condos and condominium sales on Siesta Key, off the coast of Sarasota Florida on the Gulf of Mexico
Photo courtesy of R Webster of Longboat Key
    LONGBOAT KEY is a barrier island off the coast of Sarasota and Bradenton, approximately 60 miles south of Tampa, and easily accessible by car and from the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport. Interstate 75 and US 41 are the major routes into the area.

Stretching eleven miles between the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay, Longboat Key provides an ideal beach and bayfront setting. Far from traffic, noise and everyday hustle, Longboat Key offers a relaxed, quiet, secluded atmosphere. You won't find mini-malls, towering billboards or glaring neon signs. Instead you are welcomed to a land of tasteful luxury and tempting quiet pleasures. Resort Accommodations and quality Restaurants located on the key await you.

An average year round 75-degree temperature makes this island paradise very conducive for just about anything. Tennis and Golf enthusiasts will find first-class facilities both on and off the island. Bikers and rollerbladers can tour Longboat's bike path, winding 10 miles along Gulf of Mexico Drive.

The Intracoastal Waterway provides ample opportunities for wind-surfers, water-skiers, jet skiers, boaters and fishermen to pursue their particular passions. Charter a Boat with or without a captain and explore the area's many bays and backwaters; take to the ocean for deep sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling. For more information

Or take a romantic stroll on some of the finest Beaches to be found anywhere in the world.

Nearby Sarasota offers a vast array of arts and cultural attractions. The acclaimed Sarasota Ballet of Florida offers a repertoire of classical and modern dance performances throughout the year.

The Asolo Theatre is home to one of the area's leading regional theatrical companies. Performed November through June on a turn-of-the-century stage, professionals from around the United States, gather to present a unique repertory ranging from classics to new works. They provide audio described performances for the visually impaired, wireless headsets for those with hearing loss, and wheelchair access and positioning on the ground level.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, located at the south end of Longboat Key is a world-renowned marine research center. The aquarium offers a fascinating array of sea life for viewing. The 30-foot Touch Tank and 135,000-gallon Shark Tank bring visitors face to face with a variety of shark species, fish and marine life.

For many visitors vacationing on Longboat Key, shopping is a favorite pastime. Whether you're looking for a new bathing suit, a straw hat or elegant evening wear, you will discover Longboat Key has an eclectic mix of exclusive and casual shops.

On the southern half of Gulf of Mexico Drive, look for Avenue of the Flowers, one of the most beautifully landscaped shopping areas on the island. The center houses men's and women's apparel shops, restaurants, a grocery store and drug store.

The Centre Shops located about mid-island, are a collection of specialty boutiques and restaurants. There are also numerous art galleries, jewelers and fashion boutiques.

Not to be missed are the many shops and eating establishments of St. Armands Circle. Take the south bridge off the Key to over 140 shops, boutiques, and restaurants that radiate out and around a circular park.

From St. Armands, take the Ringling Bridge into Sarasota. Here the city abounds with pockets of historically preserved buildings filled with boutiques, jewelry, art, and antique galleries, as well as the Women's Exchange (a treasure trove of expensive, recycled merchandise). They can be found on Palm, Orange, and Pineapple Avenues.

Don't forget a visit to Towles Court, a charming enclave of restored historic residences, housing the best of local artistry. Farther south is Southgate Mall with more upscale shopping featuring names like Saks Fifth Avenue. Looking for a bargain? North and East of Sarasota are Flea Markets and Outlet Malls with brand names at rock bottom prices.

Legendary Fine Dining can be found both on and off the Key. Whether your taste is for lobster bisque with a dash of sherry, roast rack of lamb accented with tarragon and fresh garlic, stone crab claws with tangy mustard sauce or simply a down-home juicy grilled cheeseburger, the range of award winning fare, caters to a multitude of appetite whims. Be sure to refer to the restaurant reviews for more information.

We welcome you to Longboat Key, a vacation spot that offers first-class shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities in a setting of soul-soothing beauty.

For More Longboat Key Information, click HERE.

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