Things to Do in Longboat Key

Things to Do in Longboat Key

Longboat Key’s shimmering blue waters make it one of the best places to be in Florida’s keys. Things to do in Longboat Key are dominated by the pristine waterside, offering visitors endless water recreation opportunities and nature hikes. St. Armands Circle features luxury shopping, while fun destinations like the Big Cat Habitat are great for family adventures. Try out these activities when looking for things to do in the area.

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Longboat Key

Families looking for things to do in Longboat Key have plenty of options children of all ages can enjoy. Longboat Key Beach is a must-visit, while the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium nearby is an exciting opportunity to learn more about native marine life.

Longboat Key Beach

Longboat Key’s shoreline stays relatively uncrowded, which is a treat for families wanting to spread out and soak in gulf views. Beachgoers are welcome to play in the sand, sail out onto the waters, or fly fish in the ocean. The warm current is perfect for swimming, while the shoreline offers colorful displays at sunset.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

As a marine research institution, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium offer educational and engaging experiences to visitors. Families can get an up-close look at the open water SharkZone or watch manatees float tranquility in their exhibits. Children love the interactive exhibits at the Exploration Gallery while visitors can swim with humpback whales in a VR experience.

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a large-animal rescue that serves as a permanent home for many exotic animals. Families can get up close with the goats at the petting zoo, catch a bird show, or learn about the animals in a live variety animal demonstration.

Shopping in Longboat Key

Outdoor shopping centers like St. Armands Circle boast stunning architectural designs within Longboat Key’s beautiful tropical backdrop. Shoppers can spend all day exploring the boutiques, specialty stores, and more located on or near the island.

St. Armands Circle

Longboat beach residents are right by the upscale shopping at St. Armands Circle. Shoppers can grab everything they need for a beach day at Beach House Sarasota. For classy and lightweight apparel, the Italian linens, Indian silks, and hand-woven cotton at Ivory Coast are just the thing shoppers need. From statement piece jewelry to name brand footwear and gifts to mark the occasion, St. Armands Circle has it all.

Downtown Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota’s Main Street is an exciting shopping destination brimming with retail stores and art. Tropical-themed streets like Pineapple and Palm branch out from Main Street towards a range of shops, galleries, theaters, and more. Visit at night for its electric nightlife.

Outdoor Recreation in Longboat Key

There are endless outdoor things to do in Longboat Key, all of which offer epic views of the gulf coast. Spend a day playing on Lido Beach, walk the trails in Emerson Preserve, or line up a shot at the Harborside Golf Course.

Lido Beach

Lido Key’s shoreline is sectioned into a few different beaches for neighboring Longboat Key residents to explore. The main beach at Lido Beach Park is known for its dunes and white sand. Families love the playground and public swimming pool, while the waters themselves are great for swimming. North Lido Beach is quieter and serves as a habitat for many local and migrating birds. South Lido Beach is suited for kayakers and canoers, although the volleyball court and nature trails offer plenty of outdoor fun.

Emerson Point Preserve

The main feature of Emerson Point Preserve is the ancient Portavant Temple Mound stretching 150 feet long and 80 feet wide. This 1,000+-year-old structure has grandfather oaks growing from its crest.
Visitors can climb up the observation tower to see the nearby Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the intersection of the Manatee River and the Gulf of Mexico.

Harbourside Golf Course

Originally opened in 1982, the Harbourside Golf Course offers three challenging 9-hole courses designed by Willard Byrd. The White Egret Course has the least water of the three, although its tight fairways make shots tricky. The Red Hawk is more open and sodded with platinum paspalum grass. The Blue Heron is the most famous course as it borders Sarasota Bay.

Parks in Longboat Key

The parks in Longboat Key offer another outdoor escape for residents. Lake Manatee State Park is a popular destination for water recreation, while Bayfront Park offers plenty of greenspace to stroll across or play.

Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park is situated right along Sarasota Bay, and the city’s marina is packed with sea vessels. This park has picnic tables for lunch next to shoreline views, a playground for children, and serves as a fishing, kayaking, and canoeing destination. Public art decorates this expansive park while a walking path winds past the park’s dolphin fountain.

Lake Manatee State Park

Lake Manatee State Park engulfs a 2,400-acre lake popular with local kayakers, canoers, and boaters with motors of 20 horsepower or less. Although no actual manatee can be seen from the lake, visitors can fish the waters for largemouth bass, speckled perch, bluegill, and catfish. The 2.5-mile interior road is a fun biking path, while the park features 4.5 miles of trail.

Joan M. Durante Community Park

Once a developed site with cabins and invasive vegetation, Joan M. Durante Community Park has been transformed into the native nature haven residents love today. Children can play at the playground, visitors can stroll through the botanical gardens, or hikers can traverse its 32 acres along the trails and boardwalk.

Have fun at Longboat Key

There’s no shortage of things to do in Longboat Key. Visitors can stretch out on the sandy white shores of Longboat or Lido Beach that overlook crystal gulf waters. Families love nearby attractions where everybody can have fun learning about native and exotic wildlife. If you’re interested in learning more about Longboat Key, but you’re unsure where to start, contact experienced agent Sandra Osorio for expert guidance.

Work With Sandra

As a Compass Luxury Consultant specializing in Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, and Sarasota real estate markets, Sandra is committed to serving her clients with excellence. She stands out as a leader and innovator in the industry, providing tailored real estate solutions that align with her client's unique needs. Sandra’s mission is centered around enhancing the property buying or selling experience in these key locations, while her vision and values reflect her commitment to sustainable and community-focused practices. With a client-centric culture that sets her apart, Sandra is redefining luxury real estate in Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, and Sarasota. If you're seeking property guidance rooted in expertise and innovation, Sandra is your ideal real estate partner.

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