Lido Key . . . St. Armand’s Key. . . Siesta Key. . . Casey Key. . . Venice Beach
Let’s continue our trip southward to Lido Key, St. Armand’s Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key and Venice Beach! (If you read my preceding blog, you are now familiar with the barrier islands (keys) of Anna Maria and Longboat Keys.)
Here’s the Google map:
There are no bridges from Longboat Key to the mainland, but it’s only a hop skip and jump over a short bridge to Lido Key which, on its northern end is home to fancy single family houses and an ocean research lab and aquarium called Mote Marine, fascinating to kids and adults alike.
Lido Key then wraps around St. Armand’s Key, more about that in a sec, and stretches southward for 2.5 miles. Lido Key is side-to-side upscale Gulf front hotels and condominiums. The public beaches and great concessions are very popular — come early and grab a parking spot on the road! Click here to explore!
There are not many ways to spend tourist money on Longboat and Lido Keys. Fortunately, only a couple of minutes away is St. Armand’s Key, the place for upscale shopping and dining. Check out Craig Shipp’s video below!
St. Armand’s Key itself does not face the Gulf, but has a tremendous amount of exposure to Sarasota Bay, and a very significant number of beautiful single family homes overlooking it.
Siesta Key lies just south of St. Armand’s Key and, at 7 miles long, is home to what some experts say is the world’s finest beach. The sand is quartz crystal, white as snow and soft as flour. The Gulf side of the key is lined with beach houses and condos, many, many of which are rentable by the week or month. More and slightly less expensive condos and beach houses are sprinkled heavily on the island’s inland waterways and bay side. The lush heavy foliage of the island conceals waterfront mansions, many in use only for the winter months.
Siesta Key is particularly inviting to beach lovers. The public beach has a pavilion that serves up plenty to eat while you’re sunning, and picnic tables and grills if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. The beach is extremely wide – plan a walk of two or three minutes pushing your feet through the soft sand to get to the breakers in the Gulf of Mexico.
And while you’re sunning, you’ll notice parasailers, kayakers, motor and sail boats, volleyball games and other folks combining exercise with acquiring a Florida tan.
In the middle of the key is Siesta Village, a busy shopping area of tourist stores, restaurants and meeting places. It is never empty. While Siesta Key is more sophisticated than Anna Maria, it has a thoroughly casual feel. Check it all out!
South of Siesta Key is eight mile long Casey Key. Rentals on that key are on the south end have a very old Florida “islandy” sort of feel. But right up the road, millionaires’ estates are not in short supply.
Folks who live in nearby Nokomis can take advantage of Casey Key’s restaurants, and limited beach access, and the rest of us can spend a full afternoon gawking at the amazing mansions that line the island! Click on the house and take a YouTube tour of Casey Key!
Below Casey Key is Venice Island — not a quite a key, but almost. Venice Island has a distinctly European feel, due in large part to its carefully planned and tended avenues and beautiful shopping area.
Many condos that face the beach are available for rent; the ones that don’t are closer to the lovely shopping area. It’s a tough choice to make!
Find your next rental on the keys at SRQrents.com!
Judy Gee, owner