Susan Dworsky, Realtor


Sarasota Barrier Islands

The Barrier Islands –

Siesta Key

You may be wondering “what makes the beaches on Siesta Key so special?” There are many reasons, but no list would be complete without mentioning the sand. The sand at Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach was rated as “The World’s Finest, Whitest Sand,” and Siesta Key has been voted “One of the Top Ten Beaches In The World” several times over. Siesta Key is an 8 mile long, crescent-shaped barrier island easily accessible by one of 2 bridges connecting it to the Mainland of Sarasota. There are four main areas — Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach and Siesta Key Village, each with their own, unique character and charm. Just north of Siesta Beach, Siesta Key Village has many shops ranging from hip and funky to high-end boutiques and, of course, it wouldn’t be a beach town without the beach accessory and souvenir shops. This mostly pedestrian village is an ideal spot to shop, enjoy a casual bite or fine dining, check out the local music scene or just people watch. There’s just no place quite like Siesta Key with award-winning beaches, easygoing waves, powdery white sand, picture-perfect sunsets, and soothing gulf breezes! Why not make one of the many condos or single family homes on this island paradise yours?

Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key and Bird Key

Longboat Key is an offshore barrier island running roughly north to south and enclosing the western boundary of Sarasota Bay. The island’s eastern shoreline has dense mangroves except where canals have been dredged and marinas built. The western shoreline consists of a white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico. On both the north and south ends, Longboat Key is separated from neighboring islands by deep water passes from the Gulf to Sarasota Bay. Longboat Key, Lido Key and St. Armands Key are directly connected to each other by bridges. The islands have a mix of residential condominiums and single-family homes. This housing reflects the areas popularity as a haven for retired and working residents, winter residents and tourists.

Just a brief and scenic drive west of Sarasota and home to one of Florida’s most pristine beaches, Lido Key is known for its eco-tourism and sunset cruises. It’s the place to go for deep sea fishing, dolphin watching and sailing. Fine and full-featured resorts welcome you to Lido Key, as do smaller properties. The seafood is as fresh as it can be, and the sunsets are unbeatable. Once home to the Lido Beach Casino, Lido Key‘s reputation for marrying cosmopolitan life with seaside paradise continues today. Within a short radius lies St. Armands Circle, a sophisticated outdoor dining and shopping mecca with distinct European flair, iconic examples of mid-century modern architecture and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Want to live in this seaside paradise? You’ll find primarily condominium properties as well as well-maintained single family residences.

Ideally situated between downtown Sarasota and St. Armands Key, Bird Key is known as one of Sarasota’s most prestigious addresses. Bird Key consists entirely of single family homes. It is a true boater’s paradise and even has its own private yacht club. With only 500 homes, Bird Key offers its residents a level of privacy seldom found in other neighborhoods.

Anna Maria Island and Bradenton Beach

Anna Maria Island is a quaint Barrier Island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are the main attraction here. It is a place where “old” Florida charm can still be found, flip flops are a way of life and the speed limit never exceeds 35mph. Located on Anna Maria Island and a brief drive from Bradenton and Sarasota, Bradenton Beach is known for its fishing piers, sugar-sand beaches and a quaint strip of shops, restaurants and other family-owned businesses. On Pine Avenue, near the northern end of the island, you’ll find French-milled soaps, specialty olive oils, handmade clothing and small art galleries. High rise condos and fast food restaurants are pleasantly absent from our pristine “get away from it all” island. The accommodations and restaurants offer something for everyone. From quaint cottages by the sea to million-dollar homes, one visit to Anna Maria Island and you will be calling it, “My island in the sun”. It’s no wonder so many visitors return to become residents.

Casey Key

Casey Key has seclusion, beaches, and the aura of a well-kept Floridian secret.  It is home to luxurious houses of the rich and famous (writer-legend Steven King is a resident.) Far less crowded than the more famous neighboring Siesta Beach, Casey Key’s two public beaches (Nokomis Beach, North Jetty Beach) are for those seeking all the same natural beauty without any of the parking hassles.  As would be fitting for residents of this caliber, there are only a handle of small motels on the island. While Casey Key’s occupants primarily reside in large beachfront or bayfront estates, you will still find an eclectic mix of smaller, older homes interspersed amongst the mansions. If you’re looking for a private, waterfront home secluded amongst lush tropical vegetation away from tourism and crowds, this is where you’ll want to call home.