The Getaway
15 Amazing Things to Do in Longboat Key, Florida

Nestled on the west coast of Florida, Longboat Key offers a tranquil escape with its pristine beaches and clear blue waters. This barrier island stretches between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay, providing visitors with a picturesque setting for relaxation and adventure. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or an active vacation, Longboat Key's unique charm and natural beauty make it an ideal destination for travelers of all ages. With its lush landscapes and friendly locals, the island promises a warm welcome and unforgettable experiences.

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01 Explore the pristine beaches

chair on beach

Longboat Key is renowned for its miles of soft, white sandy beaches that beckon visitors to unwind and soak up the Florida sun. The gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico create the perfect environment for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. With numerous access points along the island, finding a secluded spot for a peaceful day by the sea is a breeze. These beaches are also home to a variety of shorebirds, making it a great spot for birdwatching or simply enjoying the natural surroundings.

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02 Enjoy world-class golfing

Golf enthusiasts will find paradise on Longboat Key, with its array of championship golf courses that offer challenging play amidst stunning landscapes. The manicured greens and fairways, coupled with the pleasant year-round weather, make for an unforgettable golfing experience. Many of these courses are designed by renowned architects, ensuring a top-tier experience with every swing, and often provide breathtaking views of the Gulf or Bay.

Senior men walking toward flag and hole on golf course Chris Ryan / Getty Images

03 Indulge in fine dining

Longboat Key boasts an impressive selection of restaurants that cater to every palate, from fresh seafood to gourmet international cuisine. Dine with a view of the sunset over the Gulf, or enjoy a romantic meal under the stars at one of the island's upscale eateries. The local culinary scene takes full advantage of the fresh catch from the surrounding waters, offering dishes that are as delicious as they are picturesque.

04 Take a kayaking adventure

Kayaking through the mangrove tunnels of Longboat Key is an enchanting experience that allows you to get up close with Florida's diverse marine life. Paddle through calm waters and discover hidden lagoons, while observing birds, fish, and perhaps even a manatee in their natural habitat. This eco-friendly activity is perfect for all ages and skill levels, providing a unique way to explore the island's serene waterways.

simonkr / Getty Images

05 Visit the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a must-visit for anyone interested in marine research and conservation. Explore the exhibits to learn about local marine life, and witness the ongoing efforts to preserve the area's delicate ecosystems. The facility not only offers a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world but also plays a crucial role in the rehabilitation of marine animals and public education.

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06 Shop at St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle

Just a short drive from Longboat Key, St. Armands Circle offers a unique shopping experience with its elegant boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops. After browsing the latest fashions and souvenirs, relax in one of the charming cafes or ice cream parlors. The Circle is also known for its beautiful park setting and frequent outdoor events, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

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07 Relax at a luxury spa

Treat yourself to a day of pampering at one of Longboat Key's luxurious spas. From rejuvenating massages to beauty treatments, the island's spa services provide the ultimate relaxation for body and mind. These havens of tranquility offer a wide range of services designed to cater to your every need, ensuring you leave feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Relax, spa and zen woman with candles for beauty, physical therapy or skincare. Female client on table with candle in ambient room for cosmetics or luxury treatment for skin, health and wellness Adene Sanchez / Getty Images

08 Charter a fishing excursion

Longboat Key's surrounding waters are a fisherman's dream, with opportunities to catch a variety of species including tarpon, snook, and redfish. Charter a boat with an experienced captain and enjoy a day of sportfishing in the Gulf of Mexico or Sarasota Bay. These excursions cater to both novice and experienced anglers, offering a fun and potentially rewarding way to spend the day.

charter fishing catscandotcom / Getty Images

09 Witness the local wildlife

Nature lovers will appreciate the abundant wildlife on Longboat Key. Take a guided tour to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and a multitude of bird species, or simply observe the natural beauty while strolling along the island's trails. The area's commitment to conservation means that you'll often find undisturbed habitats where wildlife thrives.

Watching a dolphins from cruise Zbynek Pospisil / Getty Images

10 Experience the thrill of watersports

For those seeking excitement, Longboat Key offers a plethora of watersports activities. From jet skiing and parasailing to windsurfing and paddleboarding, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy the warm waters of the Gulf. Local rental shops provide all the equipment and instruction you need to dive into these exhilarating activities safely.

Girl on stand up paddle board, quiet sea with warm sunset colors. Relaxing on ocean Nuture / Getty Images

11 Discover the history at Longboat Key Historical Society

Dive into the rich history of Longboat Key at the Longboat Key Historical Society. Learn about the island's past through photographs, artifacts, and stories that paint a picture of its transformation from a remote paradise to a beloved vacation spot. The society's efforts to preserve the island's history make it an educational and interesting visit for history buffs and curious travelers alike.

12 Attend a local event or festival

Throughout the year, Longboat Key hosts a variety of events and festivals that celebrate the island's culture and community. From art shows to music performances, there's always something happening to enhance your visit. These gatherings are a great way to experience local traditions, meet residents, and enjoy the island's festive spirit.

13 Take a sunset cruise

couple on sunset cruise

Embark on a sunset cruise to witness the breathtaking beauty of Longboat Key as the sun dips below the horizon. The vibrant colors of the sky reflecting on the water create a magical atmosphere that's perfect for a romantic evening or a memorable family outing. Many local companies offer these cruises, complete with refreshments and commentary on the area's history and wildlife.

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14 Practice yoga on the beach

yoga on beach

Join a beach yoga class to connect with nature and find inner peace. The sound of the waves and the gentle sea breeze provide the perfect backdrop for a rejuvenating yoga session on the sand. These classes are often available for all levels, allowing everyone from beginners to experienced yogis to benefit from the practice in this idyllic setting.

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15 Stay in a beachfront resort

beachfront resort

Complete your Longboat Key experience by staying in one of the island's beachfront resorts. Wake up to the sound of the ocean and enjoy direct access to the beach for a truly relaxing getaway. With amenities ranging from pools to tennis courts, these resorts offer something for everyone. The accommodations range from cozy inns to luxurious suites, ensuring comfort and style during your stay.

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