The Best Longboat Key Activities: Have Fun in the Sun

The best Longboat Key activities bring families and friends together to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them. As one of the top 10 islands in the U.S., according to Conde Nast Travel, it’s no surprise many Longboat Key activities celebrate the sand, water and wildlife on the island. To start vacation off right, here are a few ways to have fun in the sun in Longboat Key.

6 Longboat Key Activities to Try on Vacation

longboat key activities beach fl

Photo: allison

Hang Out on the Beaches

White sand and turquoise waters. Warm breezes and stunning sunsets. Guests find this and more on the beaches in Longboat Key. There are 11 public beach access points in Longboat Key, all welcoming water lovers of all ages.

Popular beaches in the Longboat Key area include Whitney Beach, Beer Can Island – accessible by shallow boats – and Lido Beach. Home to migrating birds and other species, North Lido Beach is a popular spot for bird-watching, relaxing and shelling. Families also enjoy visiting the Lido Beach Park, which has a playground, public swimming pool, concessions, a restaurant and pavilion. South Lido Beach Park is another place to relax outdoors with nature trails, shaded picnic areas, and kayak and canoe options.

Cross the bridge over Longboat Pass to visit Coquina Beach, one of the top beaches in Anna Maria Island. Coquina features shaded picnic areas, changing stations and restrooms, and a boat launch. Frequent guests rave about the family-friendly vibe and cleanliness of Coquina Beach. To the north, Bradenton Beach is home to a historic fishing village, Cortez and Manatee Public Beach and Holmes Beach. Pets are welcome at the Palma Solo Causeway, and Anna Maria Beach is a well known spot for romantic walks on the beach.

Play Golf and Tennis

When planning Longboat Key activities, don’t miss the golf courses. The Longboat Key Club is a golf resort destination that makes island golf dreams come true. The Longboat Key Club offers 45 holes of championship golf on two courses, the Links on Longboat and Habourside. Links on Longboat measures 6,748 yards with five sets of tees for all skill levels. Houborside is located 3 miles from Links on Longboat and offers three distinct 18-hole courses. Each measure more than 3,300 yards of scenic views, palm trees and challenging holes.

For tennis, stop by Longboat Key Public Tennis Center. Guests can play a game on one of 10 clay courts, or visit the pro shop and observation deck. The center hosts two USTA-sanctioned tournaments each year, and daily lessons and teaching professionals are available. Guests must make court reservations, so call 941-316-TENS (8367).

longboat key activities boat charter

Photo: Andrew Kalat

Book Fishing Charters

Warm water and lots of sunshine make fishing one of the most popular Longboat Key activities. Several fishing charters are available throughout the area. Suncoast Fishing Charters makes it easy to catch big ones and also offers night trips and sightseeing tours. Captain Billy Clyde Alstrom, a local expert, helps guests no matter what type of water experience is preferred.

Specializing in in-shore and off-shore fishing as well as scuba is Fish Burger Charters. On this charter, catch tarpon, king mackerel, grouper, and snapper. Those who choose to keep their catches should bring a cooler with ice.

Another popular option is Captain Doug with Tear Em’ Up Charters. This family-friendly fishing charter offers nature tours, scuba and lunch on the shore. Possible catches include sharks, cobia, grouper and redfish.

For smaller groups looking for an intimate experience, book a private boat tour with Catherine’s Florida Charters. The company focuses on comfort and relaxation, and seats a maximum of six people on Catherine, a 53-foot Cutter Ketch.

longboat key activities nature

Photo: Andrew Kalat

Rent a Boat and Make Your Own Adventure

Not into fishing? No problem. Rent a boat from Cannons Marina. Packages include half and full days, and consecutive full days, and discounts are available. Boat sizes range from 17-footers that seat four to 24-footers that accommodate as many as 12.

If you own a boat, park it at marina at Longboat Key Club and have access to restaurants, lounges and spas. The marina offers full-service amenities that include a dock crew, 24-hour security, free Wi-Fi and heated swimming pool.

If visiting Anna Maria Island, head to the Bradenton Beach Marina, another full-service marina that offers rentals, storage and repairs. Groups up to 14 are welcome to take a guided tour or go sightseeing and fishing.

Longboat Key Activities Connect Visitors to Nature

Longboat Key is also a top spot for birding. With nearly a dozen parks, it’s easy to connect to nature and enjoy its beauty. Quick Point Nature Preserve encompasses 34 acres. Top spots include the man-made lagoon, natural lagoon, mangroves and uplands.

While visiting, look for wading birds such as snowy egret, white ibis and great blue heron, to name a few. For a leisurely stroll or bike ride, head to Bicentennial Park, home to lots of shaded areas and paths. The Longboat Key Garden Club has also created a butterfly garden at the park.

Located on Sarasota Bay, sits the 32-acre Joan M. Durante Park. The park is one of the few remaining vacant island properties, and nature lovers can see native vegetation, trees and dune areas. Kids love playing on the playground, while adults bask in the lake’s natural beauty.

Want to experience the hype? Check out these Longboat Key vacation rentals.