Take a sail, rent a power boat. Miles of Gulf waters and miles of calm bays and inland waterways invite you to explore.

Except for the 4th of July weekend holiday, when serious power boat racers from across the country make their way to this community for the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix, Sarasota's boating waterways and amenities are mostly laidback, relaxing and idyllic. 

Check charts and tides for water depths at each restaurant.  It's also a good practice to call ahead for docking availability and instructions as some locations can get crowded at prime meal times during the weekends or holidays.

The Gulf of Mexico offers normally placid waters near shore and barrier islands that hug the western shores of the mainland provide easy line-of-sight navigation. But beware your draft as many of these areas are shallow and shoal easily. Also keep in mind that this region marks the southern end of the world’s largest manatee population. At certain times of the year sea cows are everywhere and there are posted speed zones enforced year round.

Much of what’s happening around Sarasota is actually on the keys just offshore. The area’s tony shopping district, Armand Circle, is actually its own key. It’s adjacent to Lido Key, which offers great beaches.

Stretching for 11 miles, Longboat Key is actually only half in Sarasota County. Nonetheless, its Longboat Key Club and Resort is one of the country’s finest upscale escapes. For the local delicacy, eat at Moore's Stone Crab. Visiting captains can port into Cannons Marina, Florida’s oldest Grady-White dealer. Cannons has a complete ships store including bait, tackle, fuel, oil, beach and boating supplies. There’s also Longboat Key Moorings at ICW Marker 15.

Siesta Key is eight miles of beach and bay front property, with canals honeycombing through many neighborhoods, and some excellent shops.

If being on the water and out in the sun all day helps you work up a thirst or appetite, there are more than a dozen intercoastal locations throughout Sarasota County that welcome boats to dock and come in for libations or refreshments.  To name a few, in Venice there is Fisherman's Wharf & Oyster Bar, Crow's Nest, Pops & Urbaneks as well as Pelican Alley.  There is Casey Key Fish House, Spanish Point, Coasters Restaurant, Phillipi Creedk, Marina Jack's, The Boathouse at the Hyatt, The Salty Dog on Longboat Key, Mar Vista, Moores and Turtles at Turtle Beach,

Check It Out!

Bayfront Enticer Water Sports
Island Park (at O'Leary's)
Sarasota FL
Phone: 941-366-7245

Longboat Key Flotilla 82
1599 City Island Rd
Sarasota FL
Phone: 941-388-1982

More From What to See & Do in Sarasota County

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