Exploring Longboat Key

The DiPinto Group May 28, 2024

Longboat Key, a picturesque barrier island located off the Gulf Coast of Florida, offers a delightful mix of pristine beaches, luxurious resorts, and diverse activities that cater to every kind of traveler. Whether you're seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural experiences, Longboat Key has something for everyone. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best things to do on Longboat Key.

Beach Bliss and Water Adventures

Relax on the Beaches

The beaches on Longboat Key are renowned for their soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters. Spend a day soaking up the sun at one of the many public beach accesses, such as Coquina Beach or Whitney Beach. These serene spots are perfect for lounging, swimming, and beachcombing.

Water Sports and Boating

For those seeking a bit more excitement, Longboat Key offers a variety of water sports. Rent a jet ski or paddleboard and explore the beautiful coastline, or join a guided kayak tour to see the island from a unique perspective. Boating enthusiasts can charter a boat for a day of fishing, dolphin watching, or simply cruising the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Snorkeling and Diving

The clear, warm waters surrounding Longboat Key are ideal for snorkeling and diving. Several local outfitters offer snorkeling and diving trips to nearby reefs and wrecks, where you can encounter a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional manatee.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

Visit the Longboat Key Center for the Arts

Immerse yourself in the local art scene at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts. This cultural hub hosts rotating art exhibitions, workshops, and classes, allowing visitors to engage with the creative community. Check the center's schedule for upcoming events and exhibitions during your visit.

Explore the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Just a short drive from Longboat Key, the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota offers an educational and entertaining experience for all ages. Discover the wonders of marine science through interactive exhibits, live animal displays, and engaging presentations. Highlights include the manatee rehabilitation center, shark habitats, and touch tanks where visitors can interact with various marine creatures.

Discover Local History at the Longboat Key Historical Society

Visit the Longboat Key Historical Society to gain insight into the island's rich history. The museum features exhibits on the island's early settlers, development, and natural history. It's a great place to learn about Longboat Key's unique heritage and transformation into the vibrant destination it is today.

Outdoor Activities and Nature Exploration

Biking and Hiking

Longboat Key offers numerous opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore its natural beauty. Rent a bike and ride along the scenic Gulf of Mexico Drive, which runs the length of the island. For a more immersive experience, head to the Joan M. Durante Park, where you can hike through lush trails, spot local wildlife, and enjoy the tranquil setting.

Bird Watching and Wildlife Viewing

Nature lovers will delight in the diverse wildlife that calls Longboat Key home. Bird watchers can visit the Quick Point Nature Preserve, a coastal sanctuary that attracts a variety of bird species. Keep an eye out for herons, egrets, ospreys, and other native birds. The preserve also offers beautiful views of Sarasota Bay and is a great spot for a peaceful nature walk.


For golf enthusiasts, Longboat Key is a paradise with its world-class golf courses. The Longboat Key Club offers two championship courses, the Harbourside, and the Islandside, each providing a unique and challenging experience. Enjoy a round of golf while taking in stunning views of the Gulf and the lush tropical landscape.

Dining and Shopping

Indulge in Gourmet Dining

Longboat Key boasts an impressive selection of dining options, from casual beachside eateries to fine dining restaurants. Enjoy fresh seafood at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub, where you can dine with your toes in the sand. For a more upscale experience, head to the Chart House, which offers elegant dishes and breathtaking views of the bay. Don't miss Harry's Continental Kitchens, known for its gourmet cuisine and charming ambiance.

Explore St. Armands Circle

Just across the bridge from Longboat Key, St. Armands Circle in Sarasota is a must-visit for shopping and dining. This bustling area features a variety of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Stroll through the charming streets, shop for unique souvenirs, and enjoy a meal at one of the many acclaimed eateries.

Visit Local Markets

Visit the nearby farmers' markets to experience the local flavor. The Sarasota Farmers Market, held every Saturday, offers a wide range of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and handmade crafts. It's a great way to support local vendors and take home a taste of the region.

Relaxation and Wellness

Pamper Yourself at a Spa

Indulge in some well-deserved relaxation at one of Longboat Key's luxurious spas. The Resort at Longboat Key Club offers a full-service spa with a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. For a more intimate experience, visit the Sea-renity Beach Spa, where you can enjoy a massage in a private tiki hut right on the beach.

Yoga on the Beach<

Start your day with a rejuvenating yoga session on the beach. Several local instructors offer morning yoga classes that allow you to stretch and meditate while enjoying the soothing sounds of the ocean. It's the perfect way to find your inner peace and connect with nature.

Family-Friendly Activities

Mini Golf and Fun Parks

For family fun, head to the nearby Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf, where you can play a round of mini-golf surrounded by lush landscapes and water features. Another great option is The Children's Garden in Sarasota, which offers interactive exhibits, play areas, and gardens designed to spark creativity and imagination in kids of all ages.

Educational Tours

Enhance your family's visit with educational tours that provide insight into the local environment and wildlife. The Sarasota Bay Explorers offer guided eco-tours, including boat trips and nature walks, where you can learn about the area's unique ecosystems and marine life.

Evening Entertainment

Sunset Cruises

End your day with a relaxing sunset cruise along the Gulf Coast. Several local companies offer boat tours that provide stunning views of the sunset over the water. Enjoy a glass of wine and watch as the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors.

Live Music and Performances

Longboat Key and the surrounding areas offer a variety of live music and entertainment options. Check out the schedule at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota for concerts, theater performances, and other cultural events. For a more laid-back evening, visit one of the local bars or restaurants that feature live music and enjoy a night of dancing and fun.

Longboat Key is a destination that truly has it all, from breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor adventures to cultural attractions and gourmet dining. Whether you're visiting for a weekend or an extended stay, there's no shortage of things to do on Longboat Key. Plan your trip today and discover this enchanting island's many treasures.

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One would be hard-pressed to find a real estate agent more attuned to the opulent offerings of Longboat Key, Lido Key, and St. Armands than Nicholle. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude towards finding the perfect home in these idyllic locations are palpable and infectious. People trust Nicholle with their single largest asset when exploring the vibrant real estate landscape of Longboat Key, Lido Key, and St. Armands. It is a responsibility she shoulders with utmost seriousness. She understands that her success is a direct reflection of her clients' success in securing their dream abode in these picturesque locales. Nicholle's dedication is evident as she navigates the real estate market of Longboat Key, Lido Key, and St. Armands, ensuring a seamless and rewarding property acquisition experience for her clients.