Top 9 Things to Do in Longboat Key

Roger Pettingell


Longboat Key sits along a stunning, narrow barrier island on Florida’s western coast between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 7,000 residents call Longboat Key home. The area is known for its excellent climate and luxurious resorts, with the sandy shores as a backdrop.

Perhaps you’re thinking about visiting Longboat Key in the near future, or maybe you’re beginning to shop for Longboat Key real estate and you’re curious about what life in the area is like. Keep reading to learn about some of the top area attractions in and around Longboat Key.

1. Beer Can Island

Beer Can Island sits near the Longboat Pass stairway and is one of the top attractions in the entire Longboat Key area. This National Natural Landmark can only be accessed by boat, but it’s well worth the trip. The beautiful white sand, clear blue water, and undisturbed natural beauty here will take your breath away. It’s not uncommon to see manatees splashing around in the water near the peninsula. You’ll see many old trees that have fallen over and now sit in the water. Although Beer Can Island offers one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, it tends to be reasonably uncrowded compared to other popular stops nearby. Pack a picnic basket and head out to Beer Can Island to enjoy a relaxing afternoon with friends or family.

2. Community parks

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You’ll find several fantastic parks in Longboat Key. The area has plenty of walking and biking trails, along with sports courts and playgrounds for the children. You’ll find a pier perfect for fishing at Joan M. Durante Park, as well as a bike path with several stopping points along the way for anyone who wants to enjoy picturesque views of Sarasota Bay. The spacious pavilion here can be rented for your next party or get-together for a small fee. Pickleball players will want to visit Bayfront Park and Recreation Center. This park is also popular for its tennis and basketball courts, and they allow you to bring your dog along with you as well.

3. Bike rides

Longboat Key features a nine-mile bike trail that begins on the south end of the island and runs along the Gulf. Since the speed limit is just 10 miles per hour along the trail, it’s an excellent option for families with kids who want to cruise along the path and enjoy the views without worrying about traffic. You can visit Backyard Bike Shop to rent a bike if you don’t have your own. They also sell toe clips, helmets, and bike locks if you need to upgrade your equipment before your next ride.

4. Boat tours

Many Longboat Key real estate owners have their own boats, and their canal-front homes make it easy to store the boat on their private dock and get out on the water whenever they hear the waves calling their name. If you don’t enjoy this luxury, you can take advantage of one of the public marinas in the city, or you can visit a charter company to rent a boat and spend time out on the water. When you schedule a tour, you can participate in a shared group tour or book your own private excursion.

5. Fishing

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Longboat Key offers an array of opportunities for fishing off the dock or on the water itself. The waters contain flounder, ladyfish, snook, and several other types of fish for an exciting catch. The fishing pier beyond Mote Marine is one of the area's most popular locations for anglers. You can also fish off the Pass Bascule Bridge or head over to Longboat Key Public Pier.

6. Golf

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If you want to golf in Longboat Key itself, you’ll have to become a member of Longboat Key Club. As a member, you’ll enjoy two beautiful private courses. The Islandside course—also known as Links on Longboat—is a challenging, 18-hole links-style course with plenty of gorgeous scenery. Travel to Harbourside, and you’ll enjoy three nine-hole courses in close proximity to Sarasota Bay. In total, there are 29 golf courses throughout the Sarasota area, so you have plenty of options to choose from when you’re planning your next round.

7. Kayaking

Take a kayak out on the waters near Longboat Key, and you’re likely to spot dolphins and manatees poking their head out of the waves. Kayaking is also an excellent workout and a great activity to enjoy with friends. Island Adventure Outfitters offers kayak tours and rentals if you don’t have your own equipment. Their experienced guides will lead you through the area and show off some of the top natural spots and sights along the way.

8. Tennis

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There are multiple courts in Longboat Key that promise to provide a great playing experience for beginners as well as more seasoned players. The Resort at Longboat Key offers memberships for locals and Longboat Key homeowners who want to spend more time working on their game. You can also find open courts by visiting Longboat Key Public Tennis Center, where they also provide clinics, lessons, and a fully stocked pro shop.

9. Restaurants

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If you’re on a quest to quench your hunger, you have plenty of excellent options. Chart House is one of the top destinations in the area. This superb restaurant is known for its delicious steak and seafood alongside the breathtaking ocean views. They accept reservations online and regularly offer happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers. Blue Dolphin Cafe is another popular option for breakfast and lunch. They are open daily from 8 am until 2 pm, and they serve breakfast all the way up to closing time.

Ready to get started?

If you’re intrigued by all that this incredible area has to offer, reach out to leading Longboat Key real estate agent Roger Pettingell and his expert team to get started. As a waterfront specialist, Roger is well-versed in the luxury and appeal of the gorgeous properties across Sarasota and Manatee Counties, including Longboat Key real estate. Roger’s team takes pride in connecting with the local community and providing personalized attention to each client.

Roger consistently ranks as one of the top producers in all of Sarasota County. During his years working in the local real estate market, he has produced nearly $3 billion in sales. Despite his high volume of listings, Roger works hard to provide one-on-one service to each individual he serves. You could be next!

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash


Roger’s record simply speaks for itself. He has contracted and sold over $2 billion of luxury property in Sarasota and Longboat Key.

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