Along Sarasota are a slew of barrier islands or “keys” that are full of beautiful scenery, wildlife, restaurants, bars, shops, beautiful white sand, crystal clear water, and much more. These keys attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Many locals flock to these areas as a staycation. They are the perfect spot for relaxing, enjoying the outdoors and even planting roots for you and your family.
Lido, St. Armands & Longboat
Of course, S t. Armand’s circle (if you’re unfamiliar with the name) is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the state of Florida. This giant luxurious round-a-bout is glistening in shops, restaurants, bars, boutique stores and hidden gems within. Not only is this a tourist attraction, but a perfect weekend spot for locals to unwind, do some shopping, have some dinner, and enjoy the beach just down the road.
Three islands—Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria, span seven miles of coastline. Generally, locals just call this area “Anna Maria.” That natural beauty coexists with manmade marvels—shops, bars, museums, marinas and much more. Anna Maria Island itself is considered a hidden gem and a local hot spot for fishing and boating.
Where do I begin with Siesta Key? One of the most pristine places in the United States. Siesta Key is a not only a local neighborhood, but also a glamorous shopping destination—not to mention a nightlife spot. Did I mention it is also home to the country’s #1 beach, as judged by the famous “Dr. Beach,” Trip Advisor and others. Siesta Key ahs everything you can imagine. Hence why it is the most talked about spot in all of Sarasota County. If you’re new to the area and you haven’t familiarized yourself with Siesta Key, mark your calendar for your next available weekend.
Venice (named after THE Venice in Italy for its many waterways and gorgeous historic downtown and Spanish influence) has a quaint downtown shopping and dining aerea right on the strip. It even has an enormous bike trail starting there that goes all the way up to Sarasota. Not only does Venice have one of the best baseball and football high school programs in the state, but it has one of the most quiet and charming areas in all of Southwest Florida.