Pictures from Longboat Key, Florida

Longboat Key, Florida

Pictures from Longboat Key.

Longboat Key is on the southwest coast of Florida, just west of Sarasota and south of Tampa by 40 miles. This relatively long (11 miles in length) but narrow barrier island has a permanent population of over 7,000 residents and accommodates around 20,000 during the busy winter tourist season. Bordered on the West by the Gulf of Mexico and the East by Sarasota Bay, two bridges provide access to the island of Longboat Key. One bridge is from the south coming from Lido Key across New Pass and the other coming from Anna Maria Island over Longboat Pass.

 

Gulf of Mexico Drive runs the length of the island and is paralleled by a wide strip of concrete used at times as a sidewalk or bike and rollerblading path. A car ride up this roadway will almost always find residents and visitors walking, biking or skating their way along the island. It's a nice trip no matter how you do it though as the highway has little signage or commercial development showing to ruin the views, is well treed and almost all the land along it is developed and landscaped. However, it is missing the traditional Gulf vistas normally shown along Florida's west coast islands.

 

Beaches on the island run from powdery white sand to sand mixed with shell bits. They are generally not crowded because there is limited public access to the Longboat Key shoreline. Travelers coming to stay for a few days or more on the island can enjoy the heated pools, dining, gyms, golf and tennis of the beachfront hotels, motels and resorts but the day-visitor will find little here in the way of activities and attractions. However, the little Joan M. Durante Community Park is certainly worth a special trip whether you're visiting just for the day or longer.

 

Longboat Key residents seem to prefer gated communities of single family residences or condos. At the south end it is particularly common to see security gates at each side street. The center and north end of the island seems a little more relaxed but these areas also appear to have older developments. There is not much in the way of undeveloped, raw land left in Longboat Key and the ubiquitous construction equipment and projects that plague other parts of Florida are conspicuous by their absence.

 

Visitors to Longboat Key, Florida can tour many South Florida cities by car.  Driving south across the bridge at New Pass brings one within minutes to Lido Key and the famous dining and shopping of St. Armands Circle as well as Mote Marine Laboratory.  The area's cultural center is Sarasota, a mere 5 minutes further. One can be in Siesta Key in 25 minutes and Venice in 35. Traveling north takes one to Anna Maria Island, ready to tour the little cities of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and  the city of Anna Maria. Exit to the mainland north and Tampa and St. Petersburg are with an hour's driving time. The Longboat Key area can be accessed best by air from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (20 minutes) or even the Tampa International Airport (60 minutes).

 

New Pass

 

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The bridge at New Pass (upper left) takes one from Lido Key to Longboat Key. The view west is across a small lagoon and condos on the Gulf of Mexico (pictures middle and right).
   

Longboat Key Condos

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longboat-key-condo.JPG (29868 bytes) Miles of gated condominium communities on the south end of Longboat Key insure security and privacy to residents and guests. The Longboat Key Club operates the beautiful golf course seen from Gulf of Mexico Drive.

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Above pictures show the golf course with gulf front condos in the background.

 

Beach at Longboat Key

There is relatively little public beach access to the 11 miles of beach shoreline, reinforcing Longboat Key's reputation as a "private vacation island". These photos were taken on the north end near Longboat Pass.

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Longboat Key Houses

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Longboat Key beach house.

Long boat Key waterfront homes.

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Few private residences exist on the beach at Longboat Key but there are many fine canal and bay front properties. Gated private communities of detached houses and condos flourish here, particularly on the southern end.

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Longboat Key Yacht Club.

Longboat Key canal view.

Longboat Key Bay view..

     
     

Joan M. Durante Community Park

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Covered pavilion entrance to the park.

Inspiring view from atop a high mound in the park.

Several small footbridges traverse watery areas. 

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Picturesque views, well constructed walkways and wildlife highlight the tour through this wonderful little 18 acre Eco-park. It has a small kids play area, picnic areas, walking and biking trails, restrooms and benches throughout.

 

Sunrise... Sunset...

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Sunset on Longboat Key beach.

Giant Bird-of-Paradise at dawn.

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Sunrise on Longboat Key (bottom row of pictures) can be a great time to have coffee on the condo balcony, walk or jog on the beach... particularly when the sunrises are in Technicolor!

 

Birds, Birds, Birds

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Above photos taken at Durante Park (L-R): Blue Heron, Owl in tree, and rare Wood Stork.

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 Egret wading for food.

Royal Terns in the dawn surf. Sunset for the birds.

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Longboat Key Chapel and visitor (Osprey).

 
     
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