Away from the commercial marine traffic and urban bustle of Florida’s Tampa Bay is the easygoing amble of Sarasota, just a few nautical miles south along the state’s central west coast. But in and around Sarasota is as much about her barrier islands as it is the city proper. And when you talk about the “Sister Keys” as they’re called, then you’re really talking laid back.
Stretching for 11 miles, Longboat Key is actually only half in Sarasota County. Nonetheless, its Longboat Key Club and Resort is one of the country’s finest upscale escapes. For the local delicacy, eat at Moore's Stone Crab. Visiting captains can port into Cannons Marina, Florida’s oldest Grady-White dealer. Cannons has a complete ships store including bait, tackle, fuel, oil, beach and boating supplies. There’s also Longboat Key Moorings at ICW Marker 15.
Siesta Key is eight miles of beach and bay front property, with canals honeycombing through many neighborhoods, and some excellent shops.
The Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota Bay and Anna Maria Bay surround the seven-mile long Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Bayfront Park on the north end offers no facilities but a serene beach to experience. Holmes Beach is excellent for walking. Bradenton Beach and Coquina Beach on the south end have lifeguards, restrooms, showers, picnic areas with grills, lots of shady pine trees and concessions. Information from Discover Boating
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