Life on the barrier islands of Sarasota is magical. Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island all offer the quality of life some can only dream of. On these islands, you can enjoy sunset strolls along soft white beaches and morning swim sessions in a warm, crystal clear ocean.
Islands in the Gulf
There are endless reasons why travelers decide to vacation to this part of the world. Read on to discover what makes each barrier island unique and worthy of a visit.
Located just off the Sarasota Coast, Siesta Key is the perfect mix of peacefulness and island bustle. With beautiful waterfront homes, beach condos and quaint boutiques, it truly emulates the feeling of ‘Old Florida’. Not to mention, the photo-worthy, powder white beaches here have both won the title of best beach in the US and also ranked in the top 10 worldwide!
In terms of nightlife, there’s an eclectic range of dining spots to choose from fine elegance to family fun. Shopping choices are just as varied, with Siesta Village offering all kinds of vintage and chic clothing. With neighbors graciously greeting you from each corner, you’re made to feel like a part of the community from the moment you set foot on shore.
Home to the best tennis facilities in Florida and the renowned Longboat Key Club golf course, Longboat Key is a perfect place to vacation if your interests lie in active sports and nature. Situated south of Anna Maria Island and north of Lido Key, this cosmopolitan island is engulfed in grand apartments and stunning beachside homes.
Similar to Longboat, Lido Key offers sophistication with a sensational Gulf, Bay and Sarasota skyline. The island is the home of Gulf Beach Sarasota and offers a central location, close to all of the barrier islands mentioned in this article as well as downtown Sarasota. Luxe condos and opulent family homes set the tone for an upscale community. It boasts plenty to do, so you will never be short of activity here!
Visit the Mote Aquarium, kayak through warm water, hike and explore nature trails, or indulge yourself in the stylish shopping district, St. Armands Circle, which draws in thousands of yearly visitors from all corners of the globe. Lido Key’s balanced location puts it at the heart of all the Gulf has to offer.
Anna Maria Island
Even quieter than Siesta Key, but still holding onto that same Florida charm, Anna Maria Island is a picturesque island with little traffic. Comprised of three towns, the City of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach, this barrier island is located just north of Sarasota. From lanes of colorful cottages to city piers and numerous water activities, there’s much to do for the quiet explorer.
It’s also worth noting that a path along the tip of Anna Maria Island leads under a drawbridge, connecting it to Longboat Key. Nature lovers will find themselves in a haven of sea oats, sand dunes and mangroves where plenty of shore birds congregate.