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Travel destinations, beaches and attractions and things to do in Florida. Documented by RESIDENTS of Florida.

Discover Little Known Manasota Key Beach Florida

Where is Manasota Key?

where is Manasota Key Florida - Map of Manasota Key
Manasota Key Florida Map by Google.

When you travel all over the state of Florida for several years, you begin to think you have seen everything. The islands, the beaches, the towns, the attractions – you think there can’t be much left.

Those are your thoughts until you travel a new road, cross a new bridge and discover a new island. Manasota Key Beach Florida is one of those gems that keeps reminding us of how big Florida really is and how much there is to discover.

Where is Manasota Key Beach Florida

Directions to Manasota Key Beach Florida are:

  • Located in Sarasota County and partially in Charlotte County Florida.
  • Manasota Key, is a narrow barrier island situated south of Venice and north of Englewood, Florida.
  • Driving, you can take Interstate 75 to Exit 192 and then follow Jacaranda Blvd to Manasota Key Road south over the bridge until you reach the beach.
  • The drive from Sarasota is about 30 minutes, and from Venice, it’s only about 15 minutes. It is about 75 minutes from Fort Myers, Florida.
  • Public parking is available at many of the beaches.  Parking fees may apply, so be sure to check the signs before you park.

Once you arrive, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, pure white sand, and calm turquoise waters.

Manasota Key Beaches are a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, shelling, and fishing. There are also picnic shelters and restrooms available for your convenience. The entire island is a series of beaches, fun and exploration.

Manasota Key Beach Florida - circle as you come over bridge
The Manasota Key Beach Florida bridge to the island leads to this circle.

What is Manasota Key

Manasota Key is a beautiful barrier island nestled in south Sarasota County located south of Venice and northwest of Englewood. It’s about 11 miles long and boasts stunning stretches of white sand beaches, vibrant marine life, and a relaxed coastal atmosphere.

To get a feel and understanding of the island, the furthest point north would take you to Casperson Beach near Venice if the road were extended. The furthest point south leads to Stump Pass Park and the pass from the Gulf of Mexico.

The next island leads to Gasparilla Island and Boca Grande Pass. The intra-coastal waterway is on the east side of the island and the Gulf of Mexico is on the west. You could easily consider Manasota Key as the gateway to southwest Florida.

Englewood Beach entrance as to come on to the beach through the round about
Englewood Beach entrance off the parking lot as you come on to the beach from Englewood. Playground is next to the entrance.

Why is Manasota Key So Special?

Manatee Key Beach Florida, actually a collection of beaches, is special because it is relatively unspoiled compared to similar destinations. Differences include:

Natural Paradise:

  • Beaches: The key’s crown jewels are its uncrowded beaches, offering something for everyone. Manasota Beach on the Charlotte County side is ideal for families, while Blind Pass Beach and Stump Pass Beach offer secluded havens for nature lovers.
  • Wildlife: Manasota Key is a haven for diverse marine life, including dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and various fish species. Kayaking, fishing, and boat tours are great ways to encounter these creatures in their natural habitat.
where is manasota key florida - blue heron
Wildlife and birds like this heron are seen all over the island. The preserves and parks are great places for birdwatching.

Charming and Relaxed:

  • Small-town vibe: Manasota Key proudly maintains its laid-back character. Quaint shops, local restaurants, and art galleries line the streets, offering a welcoming escape from the hustle and bustle. No big high-rises block your views of the Gulf!
  • Family-friendly activities: From mini-golf courses and playgrounds to ice cream shops and rentals for kayaks and paddleboards, Manasota Key caters to families seeking a fun and relaxing getaway.
  • Unique experiences: Explore the historical fishing village of Englewood, take a scenic cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway, or delve into the history of the area at the Englewood Museum.

Location Advantage (see the Map of Manasota Key Beach Florida):

things you need when flying
  • Proximity to attractions: Manasota Key’s central location puts you within easy reach of popular points of interest like Venice Beach, Siesta Key Beach, and the vibrant city of Sarasota.
  • Accessible yet hidden: Located off the beaten path, Manasota Key offers a sense of discovery and seclusion while still being readily accessible via car or boat.

Manasota Key is a perfect destination for those seeking a pristine beach escape, a vibrant yet relaxed environment, and a chance to connect with nature’s beauty.

Manasota Key Beach Florida sunset
The Manasota Key beaches are a must visit. You have several choices. Don’t miss sunsets like this one.

Things To Do in Manasota Key

While there are a multitude of things to do on Manasota Key, remember you are on a barrier island and the things to do may include the areas around Englewood and Venice Florida, both just minutes away..

  • Visit the Beaches on Manasota Key

Manasota Key offers a delightful variety of beaches, each with its own unique charm and catering to different preferences. Here’s a quick overview to help you choose your perfect stretch of sand:

    • Manasota Beach: Located on the northeastern end of the key, this beach boasts ample parking, restrooms, showers, a playground, and even lifeguards. Calm waters and gentle waves make it ideal for splashing around with the little ones.
    • Blind Pass Beach: Situated halfway down the key, this secluded beach offers calm waters, a shallow wading area, and plenty of shells to search for. The park setting includes picnic tables and grills, perfect for family barbeques.
    • Englewood Beach: This wide stretch of sand features volleyball courts, a fishing pier, and plenty of space for building sandcastles and playing frisbee. Its central location near restaurants and shops adds to the convenience.
    • Stump Pass Beach State Park: Nestled at the southern tip of the key, this unspoiled beach offers stunning natural beauty, including a scenic beach, a vibrant mangrove forest, and a historic pass. Enjoy shelling, exploring nature trails, or simply soaking up the tranquility.
where is Manasota Key Florida - stump pass beach
The beach at Stump Pass State Park is an uncrowded way to enjoy your day.
  • Boating and Water Activities

The Gulf Coast waters around Manasota Key Beach Florida are perfect for boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Rent equipment locally or join guided tours to explore the coastal waters. You have the calm waters of the bay and the clear Gulf of Mexico.

  • Take a Fishing Charter

Cast a line from the shore or join a fishing charter to catch grouper, snook, tarpon, and other marine bounty. You can find charters at Englewood Beach Boat Tours or Captain Jeff’s Charters.

  • Shelling

Engage in shelling along the beaches of Manasota Key. The area is known for its diverse seashell collection, and you might find unique shells during your beach walks. Just north of Manasota is Venice, the Shark Tooth Capital of the world. We are sure you will find some similar gems on Manasota Key Beach Florida.

  • Lemon Bay Playhouse

If you’re interested in the arts, check out a performance at the Lemon Bay Playhouse, a local community theater in Englewood.

  • Manasota Key Bike Path

Take a leisurely bike ride along the Manasota Key Bike Path, which runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico and provides scenic views.

  • Stump Pass Marina

Visit the Stump Pass Marina to arrange boat rentals, fishing charters, or eco-tours to explore the coastal waters and nearby islands.

  • Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center

Discover the natural beauty of Lemon Bay Park, offering trails, boardwalks, and an environmental center providing information about the local ecosystem.

  • Golfing

Engage in a round of golf at one of the nearby golf courses. Many courses in the Englewood area offer picturesque views and a challenging game.

  • Visit Nearby Museums

The Englewood Museum is just across the bay and the Lemon Bay Historical Society is nearby.

Manasota Key restaurants - Magnolia's on the Bay
Waterfront restaurants on Manasota Key are great places to spend a few hours. This is Magnolia’s on the Bay.
  • Restaurants and Cafes

Explore the local dining scene with seafood restaurants and cafes offering fresh catches and Gulf Coast flavors. Enjoy waterfront dining with beautiful sunset views. Places like the Sandbar Tiki and Grill, Lock & Key Restaurant, and Magnolia’s on the Bay are a few choices.

As you can see there are numerous things to explore both on and off this island. The location also allows you to easily find further destinations for day trips near you to places like Tampa, Sarasota, Naples and even the Everglades.

manasota key beach florida
You can picture yourself on one of the beaches on Manasota Key Florida.

Manasota Key Beach Florida A Little Known Treasure on the Gulf Coast

Far away from the famous tourist destinations, Manasota Key Beach Florida stands as a reminder that there are exciting uncrowded islands to visit in Florida may not be ones you hear advertised.

This 11-mile stretch of sand has unique places to stay, beautiful Gulf waters, miles of beaches and plenty of things to do for the whole family.

Whether you’re looking for family fun, romantic getaways, or solo adventures, Manasota Key has something to offer everyone. So, pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and discover the magic of this charming barrier island!

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