Pictures from Lido Key, Florida

Lido Key, Florida

Pictures from Lido Key.

Lido Key is on the southwest coast of Florida, west of  Sarasota and south of Tampa by 35 miles. It is one in the group of barrier islands on the lower west coast  protecting the coastline. Bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on the west and Sarasota Bay on the east, the bridge access is from downtown Sarasota across John Ringling Causeway and north from another barrier island, Longboat Key.


This small island could have easily established itself as a vacation paradise, relying alone on its beautiful beaches and bay areas. However, the development of St. Armands Circle and relocation of Mote Marine Laboratory to the area has made it a world-class tourist destination. Its proximity to Sarasota, the cultural center of the area, has also made it a great location from which to tour Southwest Florida.


Strolling through St. Armands Circle provides for a charming ambiance. Here one is served by the best of the best. Rich and powerful people from around the world have sat in the sidewalk cafes, sauntered past its classy shops and purchased its one-of-a-kind artwork. On the walkways, palm trees, tropical plantings and flowering bushes softly undulate when brushed by the warm winds from the Gulf. Hours and hours can be spent shopping, looking, browsing and sampling the special foods and drinks.


When it's time for the beach, there are some great choices. Lido Key Beach is central to the key and the best of the group. It has lifeguards, watercraft and umbrella rentals, a freshwater swimming pool, showers, restrooms and food facilities. The beach is deep and wide and from here one can walk a mile or so along the shoreline to North Lido Beach, a windswept, natural area of sand, water and trees. South Lido Key Beach is a natural setting of Australian Pines and picnic tables bordered by the sandy beaches of Sarasota Bay, the inlet at Big Sarasota Pass and the Gulf of Mexico.


Close by is South Lido Park Nature Center where you can follow canoe trails through the Sarasota Bay mangroves.

Of special interest is the Mote Marine Laboratory. Here kids and adults can thrill to the sights of many marine species in small and large aquarium tanks. Hulking Manatees, weighing in at an incredible 1200-1500 pounds, lively porpoises in the pool or the shark tank with its menagerie of ocean fish can capture anyone's attention. It's not all marine circus here, though. These folks carry on some serious marine research in the scientific community and are world renowned in oceanographic circles.


Visitors to Lido Key, Florida can tour many South Florida cities by car. Directly across the John Ringling causeway is Sarasota, a mere 5 minutes away and hop over to Siesta Key in another 10 minutes and Venice in 25. Traveling north takes one to Longboat Key just across the bridge at New Pass and 15 minutes later, after crossing Longboat Pass, you'll be on Anna Maria Island, ready to tour the little cities of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and  the city of Anna Maria. Seventy-five to ninety minutes south will find one at the gateway to another tropical destination in  Sanibel and Captiva, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Pine island including Matlacha, Bokeelia and St. James City. The Lido Key area can be accessed best by air from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (15 minutes) or The Southwest Florida International Airport just southwest of Fort Myers (90 minutes) and even the Tampa International Airport (60 minutes).


St. Armands Circle


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The St. Armands traffic circle is a beautifully landscaped park area with great views of the famed shopping neighborhood
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Benches and tropical plantings adorn the entire circle.
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Shop till you almost drop, receive sustenance in one of the many sidewalk cafes and shop some more! Wonderful shops with recognizable names from the finest resort areas offer beachwear, evening wear, gallery sculpture and art, collectibles and souvenirs for those left at home.

Lido Key Beach

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lido-key-beach-3.JPG (13578 bytes) Popular Lido Key Beach has lifeguards, shade rentals, food, shower and restroom facilities. Its fine white sand and gentle sloping shoreline make it a great beach.


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Royal Terns seem to love this beach.

Walk all the way to North Lido Beach. from Lido Key Beach.

Facilities at Lido Key Beach


Lido Key Houses

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Lido Key is another Sarasota area island with little in the way of beachfront or ocean view houses. There are many gracious bay front estates however and beautiful non-waterfront properties. (photos above and below)

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Lido Key Streets and Condos

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Pictured above are street scenes from Ben Franklin Drive, the main roadway along the beach. In addition to beach vistas, well kept condos are in evidence.

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Beautiful canals with boat docks grace the back yards of some lucky residents of Lido Key.


Condos on Ben Franklin Dr.


South Lido Key Beach

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On the bay side of the park, fishermen gather everyday to try their luck in the fast moving waters of Big Sarasota Pass.

View of the park at South Lido Key Beach (above and below).

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Swimming is not permitted near the inlet of Big Sarasota Pass but further up the beach works well.


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Big Sarasota Pass is between Siesta Key and Lido Key.

View of Siesta Key across the Big Sarasota Pass.

View of Sarasota skyline across southern Sarasota Bay.



Mote Marine Laboratory

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Picture of Mote Marine Laboratory entrance.

This indoor/outdoor display features giant squid exhibit.

Spectacular jellyfish.

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This is pretty-much a universally recognized shape.

Large Sea Turtle.

Moray eel ready to bite!

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Just one of the beautiful, multi-colored fish aquariums.

The Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center houses mammoth Manatees (upper right) and porpoises.


Bird Key

This small, completely residential island is home to some of Sarasota's elite. Just off John Ringling Causeway on the way to Lido Key, it is filled with beautiful bay front, canal and inland homes.

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Exquisitely tropical view along St. Armands Circle.

South Lido Beach.

Beg on the beach for food? Naw... this guy found the Lido Beach kitchen door!

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Nice Flame vine (above) and Willet on the beach (below).willet.jpg (17252 bytes)

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The South Lido Park Nature Center (above), just a short walk from South Lido Beach, has walking and canoe trails through the back bay waters.

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Jellyfish display at Mote Marine.



Vacation? Looking for Lodging? Try Siesta Key or Longboat Key, Florida Vacation Rentals.  -other cities also!  |  Lido Key Links

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