We know you don’t need a particular destination to enjoy a day on the water—but if you’re looking for an excuse to take your boat from Point A to Point B, here are some local hot spots to head toward.
Navigation note: As always, boat with caution, and consult expert local navigators before you head out.
Longboat Pass, between the north end of Longboat Key and the south end of Anna Maria Island, is home to peak boaters’ hangout conditions, including this area’s Beer Can Island (also known as Greer Island; Pine Key in Tampa Bay also goes by “Beer Can Island”). Boats congregate on the island’s sandy shore and, when the tide is right, along a nearby sandbar for a rollicking good time.
Bordering New Pass on the south end of Lido Key, City Island was initially formed as the result of dredging efforts to create a deep canal nearby. Now the peninsula is home to several varied and family-friendly destinations, including Mote Aquarium, the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, and the Sarasota Ski-a-Rees award-winning water-ski team. There’s also a public park and a couple of restaurants.
South Lido Park and Big Pass Sandbar
South of chic St. Armands and Lido Beach’s strip of luxury resorts, South Lido Park exudes a more Old Florida feel, with Australian pines and picnic tables overlooking Big Sarasota Pass. There’s also a popular sandbar gathering spot in the pass—but be cautious: county officials have recently removed navigation markers because of the pass’s shifting sands.
If you’re more into wildlife than wild parties, Egmont Key State Park is the place to be. The island to the north of Anna Maria has been carefully preserved with historic sites and natural areas—and is accessible only by private boat. Pack your binoculars and a picnic lunch, and enjoy a peaceful afternoon.
Boating is hungry business. When your snack packs are depleted and your picnic basket has gone empty, check out our handy insider’s guide on Where to Dine by Boat.
For more information on boating in Southwest Florida, visit us at cannons.com or call (941) 383-1311. You’re here to get on the water. We’re here to help.