Gulf Coast Travels Part III: Sarasota & Longboat Key

Ahoy! If you're just joining this voyage now, here's a quick recap of our travels so far. We started in Fort Meyers, Florida and made our way south to Naples and Marco Island. From there, we turned around and headed North to Captiva and Boca Grande. Now, we will continue heading North and make our way through the Venice Inlet. That will take us all the way up to Sarasota, which is our next port of call.

Sarasota Bay Sailboats

As a lovely side-trip, Longboat Key is just a quick ride across the bay from Sarasota. Longboat is a small key that's much more slow-paced than Sarasota, and very charming. There are great shopping, restaurants, and golfing there as well. Let's check it out!


Sarasota Travel Guide



Where To Stay

All of these options are on or close to the waterfront as well as downtown:

What To Do

  • Ringling Brothers Museum--a must!

  • Bike/walk along the waterfront park

  • Have a beach day at Lido Beach

  • Go golfing, there are some great courses (Tatum Ridge Golf Links and Bobby Jones Golf Club)

  • Visit the impressive Sarasota Art Museum

  • Wander through the Sarasota Classic Car Museum

  • Go for a boat ride around the bay!

Eat and Drink This

  • O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill--so cute, right on the waterfront!

  • Selva

  • Owen's Fish Camp

  • Indigenous--excellent!

  • Made Restaurant


This was my first time visiting Sarasota, and I must admit, I didn't realize how "big" of a city it has become. If you're looking for a smaller, more charming place to visit nearby, I suggest heading across the bridge to Longboat Key. It's so close and has a totally different vibe than Sarasota. Fortunately, I was able to explore Longboat and visit friends that live there, which was a total blast! I'd love to visit again; here are my recommendations:


Longboat Key Travel Guide



Where To Stay

What To Do

  • Shopping at St. Armands Circle

  • Have a beach day: Whitney or Lido Beach

  • Golf at one of the outstanding courses here! Longboat Key Club has a spectacular one.

  • Bike ride on the beautiful path, Bicentennial Park is a great place to stop & relax.

  • Fish off of the pier at Joan M. Durante Park

Eat and Drink This

  • Harry's Continental Kitchen

  • Lazy Lobster

  • Euphemia Haye

  • Dry Dock Waterfront Grill

  • Speaks Clam Bar

Whether you're planning a late spring getaway, or getting a head start on next winter...these are two fantastic spots to visit on the Gulf Coast of Florida. There's plenty of activities and the water is just spectacular! I have one last destination to share with you next, and it's extremely special! I had never even heard of it until I visited Little Palm Island last year. Next up: Useppa Island and Cabbage Key. You won't want to miss our last adventure!


-Golden Girl


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