All About Longboat Key Florida
Longboat Key is a tropical island stretching 11 miles in a northwesterly direction from Sarasota, Florida toward Bradenton Beach. It is accessible from the mainland by bridges at both ends. Visitors from around the world spend vacations on Longboat Key with its sun-drenched beaches along both the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. The average year-around temperature is 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to the beaches, visitors come because this island paradise is out of the way, yet easily reached, has an aura that is relaxing yet abounds with available recreation, attractions, shopping, dining, and learning opportunities.
The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is only half an hour away from any point on Longboat and is served by Continental, Delta, Northwest, TWA, and a number of commuter airlines. All of the nationally know car rental companies are represented and limousine service is also available. Local transportation from the island to and from Sarasota is provided by SCAT, the Sarasota County Area Transit buses.
The island has 2 (members and guests only) championship golf courses; Sarasota and Bradenton have more than 50 golf courses. Tennis, biking, boating are available to all as is “beaching,” of course. Shopping is considered by many to be a favorite pastime, and the Key has a broad range of shops from “T-shirt” to exclusive fashions and jewelry. After the shopper has visited the 80 or so boutiques, marts, studios, etc. on Longboat, he or she is just a bridge away from a hundred or more on St. Armands Key to the South.
Sarasota and environs including Longboat Key is internationally know for artists, art schools, and exhibitions. The Longboat Key Art Center has studios for instruction in various media, has a faculty of 16 and a membership of 950 persons. Sarasota has the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in addition to the Museum of the Circus. Also in Sarasota are the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota Opera House, and many other attractions.
Dining on Longboat Key can be a luxurious experience, a casual one, or in between. There are award winning dining establishments with cuisine and ambiance to satisfy the discriminating. Also available are cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes, outdoor dining, and family-style restaurants.
Longboat Key Accommodations
The island’s building code limits the total populations to about 22,000 persons, of which 8,000 are permanent residents. Accommodations include single family residences, condominiums, and vacation type units, many with kitchens. Also on the island are markets large and small, drug stores, and services to meet everyone’s needs. There is an Episcopal, Catholic, and a non-denominational church in addition to a Jewish synagogue, all of which have active congregations.
Click here for a complete list of Longboat Key Resorts
Several years ago, a Tampa TV news organization called Longboat Key the safest city along the West coast of Florida. The local Police log includes answering a call at 2:30 a.m. to find that a bird in an outdoor cage had set off a motion sensing alarm. Ho Hum.
Longboat Key’s public beach access points:
- 2825 Gulf of Mexico Dr. (Near Longboat’s CVS, Publix and Post Office)
- 3175 Gulf of Mexico Dr.
- 3355 Gulf of Mexico Dr.
- 3495 Gulf of Mexico Dr.
- 4001 Gulf of Mexico Dr. (Across the street from 7/11)
- 4711 Gulf of Mexico Dr. (Adjacent to Hilton Longboat Key Resort, which has watersports, restaurants and bars just off the beach)
- 4795 Gulf of Mexico Dr. (On the other side of the Hilton)
- 6847 Gulf of Mexico Dr. (A few blocks from Longboat’s other commercial district, including Bayou Tavern, A Moveable Feast, Whitney Beach Deli & Wines)
- 100 Broadway St.
- 7055 Seabreeze Ave.
- 6399 Gulfside Road.