Boating Combined with Sun, Sand, and Water in Sarasota
Boats, Sun, sand and water are the things Sarasota has lots of, and not all Sarasota beaches
are the same. There are six islands in Sarasota's extensive shoreline, revealing its own kind
of sandy beach texture, recreational hot spot options and naturally beautiful people. Don't
worry, you don't have to choose just one.
number one in the world by a great many beach experts, Siesta Key's beaches are the beach
standard for white sandy beaches. A long stretch of white sand which won't burn your feet
and is cool to the touch run along the waters of the Gulf at Siesta Key's shore, perfect for
sandcastles, long walks, sunbathing or a soft place to curl up under the sun for a nap.
Although smaller than Siesta Key, Lido Key is a great big variety into a compact area. The
Lido Key's north end features tan beaches packed with shells and a nearby a public park, with
Head south and you'll find another beach that is similar to Siesta Key Beach with white
sands and many recreational opportunities. On the island's southern tip is South Lido Park,
bordered by Sarasota Bay on the east, Big Pass to the south, and the Gulf of Mexico to the
west. There, boaters drop anchor in the calm waters of the pass to come ashore and picnic in
the park or enjoy the waves crashing on south Lido's Gulf side beaches.
Longboat Key is a more private beachfront community than many areas of Sarasota, geared
more to people staying at the island's fabulous resorts than to casual visitors. Still,
Longboat's world-class dining scene draws people from all over.
Venice Beach is one of the best places in the world to find shark's teeth, easily sifted
from the sand and shells by people of all ages. (Don't worry; these pointy, triangular fossils
-- naturally shed by sharks over their lifetime -- are due to a quirk of ocean currents, not
sharks off the coast.) There's also a massive fishing pier that extends into the Gulf, as well
as dining options overlooking the beach.
Also in Venice is Caspersen Beach -- easily the largest in Sarasota -- featuring an
unbroken vista of rolling dunes as far as the eye can see. Even your furry friends can get in
on the action at Brohard Paw Park, a Venice beach where dogs can frolic in the surf and dig to
their hearts' content.
Casey Key is regarded as a private refuge studded with multi-million dollar homes,
including one belonging to famed author Stephen King. That privacy has its advantages for
visitors, as well. Casey Key's public beaches -- including North Jetty Park and Nokomis Beach
-- feel like a burst of old Florida. Each Casey Key beach is a cozy nook packed with
amenities without the hassle of crowds or development.
The beaches on Manasota Key off the coast of Englewood in southern Sarasota are hidden
gems. Even the two most popular beaches on the island -- Manasota Beach and Englewood Beach --
are rarely crowded. But Blind Pass Beach and Stump Pass Beach are so unknown you can pretend
to be stranded on a deserted island. At least until it's time to drive into Englewood for
dinner, that is.
No matter where you're staying, or what your particular beach personality is, Sarasota's
sandy shores offer enough options to satisfy even the most exacting beachcomber.