White sand, warm sun, and a colorful history assure the favorite Larry Starr Sarasota destination of Longboat Key will remain a favorite among seclusion seekers.
Longboat Key, Florida, is located on a small barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, says Larry Starr. Sarasota County encompasses the southern tip of the island while Manatee County makes up the northern section. The island, which is the only habitable land mass with no direct access to the mainland, has approximately 7,200 residents.
According to Larry Starr, Sarasota is known for its white sand and tranquil atmosphere. Longboat Key’s secluded shorelines are the perfect place to relax after a day inland and feature gently sloping dunes and clean, topaz waters.
Longboat Key’s History
Longboat Key was first settled by a Confederate soldier named Thomas Mann, says Larry Starr. Sarasota was in the midst of a yellow fever epidemic when Mann moved his family to the island to escape certain death. Mann became the first real estate developer on this tiny barrier island. Larry Starr says Sarasota visitors began chartering the Mistletoe Steamship to the key in the early 1900s and by 1913 the Longboat Key Hotel had opened its doors.
A bridge was built from Anna Maria Island to the Key in 1926, says Larry Starr. Sarasota travelers could access the isle via this causeway until high tides washed it away in 1932. The current bridge was constructed in 1955. According to Larry Starr, Sarasota still does not have a direct link to Longboat Key but the island is easily accessible through Lido Key in the south and the Anna Maria Island connection to the North.
Staying in Longboat Key
According to Larry Starr, Sarasota and the surrounding areas are a favorite among vacationers and retirees alike. Longboat Key is an active community with several noted recreational areas. According to Larry Starr, Sarasota bound tennis players will enjoy Longboat Key’s Cedars Tennis Resort, just off the main highway. The resort features well-appointed townhouses, several immaculate courts, and a private Jr. Olympic swimming pool. Silver Sands Gulf Beach Resort is prime choice for golf enthusiast and boasts its own putting green. Larry Starr says Sarasota ’s island paradise has ample lodging for groups of all sizes.
What to Do
There is more to Longboat Key than meets the eye, explains Larry Starr. Sarasota Bay kayaking is an exciting option to lounging on the beaches and visit to the Ringling Art Center offers an indoor retreat from sun on exceptionally warm days.
Longboat Key is also a melting pot of cuisine, says Larry Starr. Sarasota (Longboat Key) based chef Harry Christensen serves up a mix of American fair at Harry’s Continental Kitchen while Hal Christensen caters to island taste at the Cedars Café and Tiki Bar just around the corner.
Shoppers take note, insists Larry Starr. Sarasota shopping is an event in itself with outlet malls, specialty boutiques, and numerous antique shops and flea markets throughout the year.
About Larry Starr
Larry Starr, Sarasota ’s prime source of information on real estate and vacation rentals in southwest Florida, is the President of Resort Vacation Accommodations. As well, Starr is a licensed Realtor® and CEO of Realty One Alliance and Managing Partner of Barrier Island Realty. Larry Starr resides in Sarasota and is a part time resident of Longboat Key.