What to do and see in Longboat Key, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 15, 2017 Veronika Gaddis

Gorgeous Longboat Key combines serene seashore enjoyment with luxury shopping and dining choices. Families enjoy the many water sport activities from fishing, boating and kayaking to plucking perfect seashells along the shoreline. Couples and friends explore chic dining and shopping spots around St. Armand’s Circle. The aristocratic heritage of the St. Armand and Ringling families resonates through quiet gardens and plush Palm Beach-style shopping. Umbrella-draped cafes and handsome restaurants offer exceptional European fare and inventive coastal specialties. Work off that decadent dessert with a stroll around the circle for leather, jewelry, resort wear and art gallery browsing.Venture just across the bridge over Sarasota Bay for unrivalled cultural treats. The Ringling circus family bequeathed an elegant legacy of art and architecture. The estate includes the acclaimed John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the family’s winter Ca’ d’Zan mansion – a Venetian Gothic masterpiece - the Circus Museum and historic Asolo Repertory Theater. With elegant gardens and terraces spread over 20 bayside acres, the complex provides hours of enjoyment.
Restaurants in Longboat Key

1. Catherine's Florida Charters

760 Broadway St, Longboat Key, FL 34228-1067
Excellent
99%
Good
1%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 114 reviews

Catherine's Florida Charters

We offer a wide range of affordable private boating excursions, from sailing adventures on a beautiful 53'ketch ("Catherine"). Which departs from North Longboat and sails the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Specializing in Sunset Sails, Day Sails, Wine & Cheese Cruises, Proposals, Couples Retreat, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Photo Shoots, Video Production & More) We also offer affordable private eco tours on our electric powered ("Catherine II") Which departs North Longboat Key and cruises inland waters of the North Island and Longboat Pass basin. With excursions to the famous "Beer Can Island & Jewfish Key Sandbar" Specializing in Sightseeing Tours, Dolphin Watches, Treasure Hunting on Beer Can Island, Sunset Cruises, Wine & Cheese Cruises. Let our USCG Captain Kurt Schulz take you on a great adventure that you and your family will remember forever!

Reviewed By Jennifer A

Our family of five had a first rate experience with Catherine charters. Every detail was explained and made it easy to have a first time sailing tour. Captain Curt really helped make the trip even better with his knowledge and laid-back demeanor. This was definitely a highlight of our family vacation, and will look forward to sailing again!

2. Coquina Beach

1800 Gulf Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34217
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 365 reviews

Coquina Beach

This scenic beach is located next to a small park on Anna Maria Island.

Reviewed By Jake D - United States

Stopped here to see the waves. The sand first of all was super soft and gorgeous. It was white, and the beach was a lot bigger than expected. With all the wind, it kind of looked like the desert with the sand hovering over the ground. Not your typical beach day, but Coquina delivered!

3. Joan M. Durante Community Park

5550 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228-1904
Excellent
69%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 104 reviews

Joan M. Durante Community Park

Reviewed By Deborah T - Chicago, Illinois

We had to check out the park as it is so close to where we are staying this winter on Longboat Key. There’s great boardwalks and seashell trails that wind around a mangrove forest and salt marsh with several Sarasota Bay overlooks. We saw quite a few fish jumping out of the water. There are many strategically placed benches too. Checked out the Botanical Garden as well. Not much of a botanical garden but then again I am a very spoiled Chicago Botanic Garden member.

We took a leisurely 45 minute walk around the entire park. The park is in a very natural state. Only saw a few birds but I attribute that to “the early bird catches the worm” as we were there in the mid day heat.

4. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726 +1 941-366-5731
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

A sprawling botanical garden.

Reviewed By Darleen C - Rye, New Hampshire

What a treasure this place is. It’s pricy for a day admission $25. but we thoroughly enjoyed the orchid exhibit and all the rare trees and plants. Several water displays and places to rest and take in all the beauty.

5. Longboat Key

Longboat Key, FL 34228
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 44 reviews

Longboat Key

Reviewed By carmen4409 - Longboat Key, Florida

Longboat Key is quieter and more charming than the bustling commerce around St. Armands. Beaches are beautiful and a diverse neighborhood. High rise fancy water front properties and 1050s converted motels (my favorite) where you walk out to the beach every morning. Loved the peace and quiet - and the proximity to so many other attractions when you need it.

6. The Ringling

5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243-2161 +1 941-359-5700
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

The Ringling

The Ringling is located in Sarasota, Florida and preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling. It is home to the State Art Museum of Florida, the historic Ca' d'Zan Mansion, Bayfront Gardens, an Art Library, the Circus Museums and the Historic Asolo Theater. The grounds and gardens are free to visit, and the Museum of Art offers free admission on Mondays.

Reviewed By femmechaude

Wow! Ringling left the art museum to Florida....fortunate Florida. We walked three miles to see this collection on the free admission day and it was well worth it. The collection is impressive and diverse. Avoid thinking circus: think NYC or Paris art collection.

7. Cannons Marina

6040 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228-1706 +1 941-383-1311
Excellent
70%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
5%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 60 reviews

Cannons Marina

Cannons Marina is located on Longboat Key, a beautiful barrier island just off of Sarasota and Anna Maria. We have the area's best boat rentals, water skis and tubes for your day on the water. It's super fun and seriously easy to rent a boat by the day, week or month.Here at Cannons Marina, our mantra is simple: We’re passionate boating people! When you buy a boat or rent a boat from us, you’re dealing with an award-winning boat dealer who wants you to have the best and safest boating experience. We have impressive line-up of new boats for sale and used boats for sale, including Grady-White fishing boats and Yamaha Motors. We also offer used boats, used yachts and yacht broker services. And if you are looking for a boat rental - we have the area’s nicest fleet of boat rentals for you and your family.

Reviewed By sanderson57 - Orange Park, Florida

Down here for business with my wife and stayed over the weekend. Rented a 23' deck boat for a full day. Staff was friendly, the price was reasonable comparable to competition. They did not have RENTAL plastered all over the side of the boat like...MoreHi there sanderson57 - Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback. We are happy that your rental boat expeicece here at Cannons Marina was great. Thank you again.

8. Sarasota Opera

61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-5723 +1 941-366-8450
Excellent
84%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 222 reviews

Sarasota Opera

The excitement is palpable during the Sarasota Opera season. As you arrive at your seats, you'll see the familiar faces of opera lovers just like you, and also meet new people. Our intimate 1119-seat theater—with the perfect acoustics for live opera—gives a sense of intimacy to our performances while enhancing your overall experience. Now in its 59th Season, Sarasota Opera is the only opera company in the world to have performed all of Verdi's works. People from all corners of the world come to see our world-class productions, which range from early Italian Bel Canto to contemporary American opera. This Winter, we are bringing to you Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Bizet’s Carmen, Bellini’s Norma, and d’Albert’s Tiefland. All performances have simultaneous English translations above the stage and opera goers are encouraged to dress as they feel comfortable: suits and ties mix with khaki and jeans. Tickets start at only $19!! Come and experience the magic that is Sarasota Opera!

Reviewed By JordanS8 - Sarasota, Florida

Start with a wonderful venue, fill in with a world class orchestra and finish it off with hugely talented singers, scenery and settings. Sarasota’s Opera can easily complete with March larger companies in bigger cities.
Tonight we saw Carmen and it was an awesome production In fact, over the 18 years I have been coming here, I have not seen a production that was not excellent. Definitely worth the time and money.

9. Quick Point Nature Reserve

100 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228
Excellent
39%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 38 reviews

Quick Point Nature Reserve

Reviewed By rcr1rcr1 - Old Hickory, Tennessee

Good views of the Bay. Loved watching the aquatic creatures in the Man Made Lagoon. Nice walk and very interesting.
Couldn't help notice that the walking trail was a bit littered. Consider helping a bit and pick up some of it and dispose of it in the trash cans provided.

10. Marietta Museum-Art & Whimsy

2121 N Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL 34234-8344 +1 941-364-3399
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 279 reviews

Marietta Museum-Art & Whimsy

Closed for the summer Reopening November 24, 2017 (the day after Thanksgiving)

Reviewed By Alan N - Montgomery Village, Maryland

We pass the Marietta Museum often just wondering what it’s all about? Surprise surprise a real treasure for all ages. Creative art at its finest. Let’s you dream of Alice of Wonderland, tea party with dogs behaving badly, flying pigs, and Elvis at his best. The gardens are a fantasy of art of every imagination. The docents were knowledgeable and just happy to be in this wonderland. It’s well worth the donation of $5:00/person. Parking can be a challenge but not a deterrent.

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