The Hidden Gem Florida Town With Beaches As Pretty As Siesta Key But Without The Crowds

If you're looking for a laidback alternative to Siesta Key, then there is another wonderful barrier island to the north of it. Longboat Key is a luxurious yet stunning Florida town that is quieter than Siesta Key but just as fun for a vacation. Located on the Gulf of Mexico and spanning Sarasota and Manatee counties, it is one of the best beaches in Florida for families. As there are 12 miles of white sand beaches to explore here, you are sure to find the perfect spot for the kids to play. 

There are 12 access points for the sand from the Gulf of Mexico Drive, and some of them are so quiet that they will feel like your own private beach. If you visit outside of the holiday seasons, you are more likely to have them to yourself. Apart from being beautiful, this upmarket peninsula has a diverse range of things to do. Whether you want to eat seafood, play a round of golf, say hello to a manatee, or simply catch a fish, all interests are catered for at Longboat Key. As it has been a hidden gem holiday destination for some time, it has some excellent places to stay with activities that will keep your children entertained for hours.   

Things to do in Longboat Key

There is much to do at this overlooked spot in Florida with fun for all age groups. As Longboat Key is a barrier island, it's a great place to catch fish species like tarpon, snapper, seatrout, and redfish. If you have children who prefer to watch marine life, then head to the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, which has manatees as well as other species. It is located right next to Longboat Key at Lido Shores. Golf lovers will rejoice as The Resort at Longboat Key Club has its own waterfront course where you can play.

If relaxation is more your thing, then you can chill out on one of the beaches. One of the best is Beer Can Island, also known as Greer Island, which despite its name, is actually not an island. It is known for being a secluded sand bar, which is great for taking pictures. Once you get hungry, there are wonderful places to eat and drink along the island. Harry's Continental Kitchens serves great shrimp, and the Chart House Waterfront Grill offers fabulous steaks and seafood, too. For some unique family entertainment, look to the ocean as the Sarasota Ski-A-Rees team performs a free water skiing show for visitors. Whether it is day or night, you won't be short of entertainment in Longboat Key, especially if you stay in one of its full-service resorts.

Places to stay in Longboat Key

Longboat Key has some delightful places to stay that will appeal to a wide range of travelers. According to Tripadvisor reviews, The Resort at Longboat Key Club is the number one hotel in the area, boasting a Traveler's Choice Award. Fitness fanatics love it because it has a golf course, tennis courts, a pool, and a gym. There is also a fully-kitted-out spa for when your workout is done.

Coming in at number two on Tripadvisor is the Zota Beach Resort, which is a beachside haven where you can sit on the outdoor terrace and look at the ocean. You can also drink at the poolside bar or rent watersports equipment for an ocean adventure. Another popular option is the Sandpiper Inn which is a highly-rated motel. Guests love it as it is friendly and laidback, with immaculately clean rooms, and a pool to swim in. It is ideally located just a short walk to the attractions of Longboat Key. Next time you're driving along the Florida coastline, make sure that you don't miss this place!