Things to do

20 Epic Things To Do In Longboat Key, Florida

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More than just a beach destination, Longboat Key is a tapestry woven with luxury, relaxation, and adventure. This charming little town on the Florida coast awaits you for relaxation and quality time. 

Indulge in championship golf courses, explore vibrant coral reefs, or savor delectable dishes at world-class restaurants, there are many more things to do in Longboat Key. From exploring the historical gems to trying watersports, below are the epic activities to add to your itinerary.

1. Relax In The Beach

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Whether you're looking for a place to relax or soak up the sun, no place can be better than Longboat Key Beach Florida. Not one, but the city has access to around 12 beaches on Gulf of Mexico Drive.

The Beer Can Island is perfect for nature enthusiasts. Nestled at the north end of the island lies Whitney Beach. It is known for its pristine white sand and gentle waves. It's also a popular spot for shelling and birdwatching, with stunning views of Coquina Beach. 

2. Explore Underwater World At Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

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Ever wondered where you can glimpse playful dolphins, witness cutting-edge marine research, and uncover the secrets of ancient sharks – all in one place? Look no further than Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.

Their world-renowned shark research program has been studying these fascinating creatures for decades, contributing to their conservation. Among the things to do Longboat Key Sarasota, this activity lets you learn their vital roles in our marine ecosystems. 

3. Ride Your Bike At Bayfront Park

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A paved path with the turquoise waters of Sarasota Bay sparking on one side and lush greenery on the other. Cycling at Bayfront Park will make you forget the Longboat Key beach.

There's a 1.5-mile loop around the perimeter, perfect for a casual cruise, while more adventurous souls can explore the nearby streets. Breathe in the salty air, listen to the gentle chirping of birds, and soak up the Florida sunshine – it's the perfect recipe for relaxation and rejuvenation.

4. Play A Round Of Doubles At Longboat Key Tennis

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Longboat Key Tennis is a must-visit for players at all levels. This world-class facility offers 10 hard and clay tennis courts, along with facilities like equipment rentals and ball machines.

Come along with your friends or alone. This community hub will find a partner to play with you for the next double match. Join round-robin matches to meet new people or book court time for a private practice session. They even host tournaments and events throughout the year.

5. Wander Around Mable Ringling Rose Garden

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Imagine strolling through a circular haven overflowing with over 3,500 rose bushes! Breathe in the intoxicating aroma of countless varieties, from classic red beauties to unique modern hybrids. That's Mable Ringling Rose Garden for you.

While the roses are the stars of the show, the garden also offers charming surprises. Look out for hidden sculptures, trickling fountains, and peaceful walkways that invite you to soak up the beauty. Make sure to add this garden to your Florida to-do list.

6. Window Shopping At St. Armands Circle

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St. Armands Circle in Longboat Keys Florida is a real paradise for window shoppers. Rain or shine, this shopping mall is open seven days a week from 8 am to 12 am the next morning.

From upscale fashion stores to beachy lifestyle shops and locally-owned gems, you'll find something to catch your eye in every corner. Explore art galleries showcasing local talent, home decor stores brimming with coastal vibes, and jewelry stores sparkling with treasures.

7. Hop On A Dolphin Cruise

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Imagine yourself gliding across the sparkling Gulf waters, and suddenly, a pod of dolphins leaps out of the water. Want to witness this magical experience? If yes, head into a dolphin cruise.

Several cruises in Longboat Key offer dolphin-watching adventures, along with honeymoon cruises. For a traditional experience, hop aboard a cruise like Siesta Key Dolphin Tours. They'll whisk you away for a couple of hours, scanning the crystal-clear waters for playful dolphins.

8. Head To St Mary Star Of The Sea Church

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St Mary Star Of The Sea Church, one of the Longboat Key attractions, has held the history and faith of the community for around half a century. Its architecture incorporates elements of classic coastal design, blending seamlessly with the surroundings.

Step inside and be greeted by a beautiful sanctuary bathed in the warm glow of natural light. The stained-glass windows depicting biblical and marine themes and the impressive mural behind the altar create a truly inspiring space for prayer and reflection.

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Unlike many Florida courses, Links On Longboat avoids cookie-cutter design. Imagine yourself amidst expansive natural areas, not just manicured lawns. Think majestic palms, pink and white oleanders, and even peeks of the sparkling Gulf of Mexico. 

Don't be fooled by the beauty! This course demands strategic thinking and accuracy. Water hazards come into play on many holes, adding a thrilling layer of risk. It caters to golfers of all skill levels with five sets of tees. 

10. Guided Kayak Tour To Mangrove Tunnels

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Kayaking through the intricate network of mangrove tunnels is such an experience. You get to spot unlimited hidden creatures and unique plant life throughout your way.

Is this adventure expensive? Not all all. Happy Paddler Kayak Tours offers the ride at $65 per person, making it ideal even for budget-minded visitors. Kayak through Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, and Sarasota Bay and capture amazing views at the heart of these water forests.

11. Pamper Yourself At A Local Spa

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Seeking a haven of relaxation after exploring Longboat Key streets the whole day? Look no further than Longboat Massage LLC for a perfect spa bliss!

Maritza Rocha, the owner of the massage spa, has been serving the community for over three years with her years of experience and specialty. They emphasize customizing each session to individual needs and desires, blending relaxation and therapeutic techniques for a holistic experience.

12. Catch A Show At Sarasota Opera House

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A jewel of Florida's cultural scene, this historic theater has been mesmerizing audiences with captivating operas, ballets, and concerts for almost a century. So, what are you waiting for?

Sarasota Opera House is hosting the 2024 Winter Opera Festival on February 17 from 7:30 pm onwards. Get a ticket unless you want to miss the thrilling performances of Carmen, Lucia Di Lammermoor, Luisa Miller, and Deceit Outwitted.

13. Enjoy A Horseback Ride On The Beach

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How does horseback riding on the beach sound? Though it's not practically possible in Longboat Key Florida beach, the option is limitless in Bradenton Beach, just a short ride away.

Look for The Real BeachHorses, one of the best riding services on this beautiful beach. They offer guided tours that take you through scenic trails and splash right into the surf! Feel the wind whipping through your hair as you trot along the shoreline. It's an experience you won't soon forget!

14. Take Your Kids To Bayfront Park Recreation Center

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Planning to visit Longboat Key in Florida with your juniors? Then, Bayfront Park Recreation Center should definitely be on your radar. This hidden gem welcomes children of all ages with unlimited fun.

For the tiny tots, there's a dedicated playground with swings, pint-sized slides, and climbing structures. It's an imaginary playground waiting to be conquered! Grown-ups can entertain themselves on a basketball or tennis court with a friendly match. Check their website for upcoming events.

15. Go Antiquing

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Longboat Key United States offers a charming atmosphere and a plethora of hidden gems for antique enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned collector or love browsing unique finds, get ready to unearth something special here.

One highly-rated spot is Steff's Stuff. This treasure trove boasts an eclectic mix of items from various eras, including retro, contemporary, antique, vintage, and designer pieces. With its ever-changing inventory, you're likely to discover one-of-a-kind items.

16. Stroll Around Quick Point Nature Preserve

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Immerse yourself in pristine mangrove forests, tidal pools teeming with life, and scenic vistas. Imagine boardwalks winding through lush greenery, the rustle of leaves, and the calls of diverse birds filling the air. Sounds peaceful, right?

Reach the end of the trail and be rewarded with a breathtaking vista! The observation deck provides panoramic views of Sarasota Bay, the city skyline, and the endless blue horizon. It's the perfect spot to snap some Instagram-worthy photos or simply admire the beauty of nature.

17. Indulge In Delicious At Dry Dock Waterfront Grill

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If you're seeking a good time with a side of stunning scenery, then Dry Dock Waterfront Grill might be your hidden treasure. Imagine yourself noshing in fresh seafood, settling back on the waterfront patio.

Pick anything from the menu, and you won't be disappointed. Lobster Bites, Coconut Shrimp, or Oysters Raw, the options are endless. Likewise, cream-based seafood chowder soup with grouper, clams, and celery is an absolute.

18. Go Back In Time At The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

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All the art lovers, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is a must-visit place in Florida for you. Housing over 10,000 objects, the museum boasts a diverse collection spanning European paintings, ancient Cypriot antiquities, and Asian, American, and contemporary art.

The museum itself is a sight to behold, with its Renaissance-style exterior and a central courtyard adorned with fountains and statues. Lush Gardens offers a serene escape with various themed areas, sculptures, and stunning views of Sarasota Bay.

19. Try Your Hand At Watersports

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With its calm Guffe waters and stunning coastline, this town is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Jet skiing, parasailing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, banana boating, what do you want to start with?

There are many water sports equipment operators to rent the equipment from. BouYah Watersports- The Resort at Longboat Key Club and Longboat Key Paddleboard and Kayak are among the best options. So, get ready to make a splash and create unforgettable memories!

20. Watch Sunset At Anna Maria Beach

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What else can be the best way to conclude your trip to the City of Longboat Key than capturing some stunning sunset views at a beach? Anna Maria Beach, around 9 miles from the town, can be the ideal spot for the view.

This beach faces directly west, offering unobstructed sunset views. Anna Maria is known for its relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere. It offers various public beach access points, making it easy to find your spot.