Longboat Key, Florida: top 10

Florida: the land of purple rinse, perma-tan, dreaded Disney and over-sized burgers is somewhere I had never been eager to visit.  But Lord and Lady Y are regular visitors of Longboat Key (often described as one of Sarasota’s hidden gems) so, after years of resisting, He and I took some very little Smalls to see what the fuss was about.  And now, after 4 trips, we too are smitten.

So I thought I’d blog our top 10 must-dos in the area – just in case you too find yourself accepting there is much more to Florida than you expected.

Blue Dolphin Cafe, St Almonds Circle

Blue Dolphin Cafe, St Armand’s Circle

Nowhere beats the Blue Dolphin Cafe for the classic American diner breakfast.


Old Salty Dog

Old Salty Dog

Salads, burgers and the catch of the day makes Old Salty Dog a perfect lunchtime treat.


Demetrios, South Tamiami Trail

Demetrios is an institution.  Prepare to eat more pizza (and meatballs) than ever before.


Morton's is an incomparable gourmet deli.  (ignore the prices)

Morton’s, South Osprey Avenue

Morton’s is an incomparable gourmet deli.  Ignore the prices.

Parker's 2nd hand book shop, Main St.

A. Parker’s book shop, Main St, Sarasota

A fuller appreciation of rare & antiquarian books leads you to the treasure trove, A. Parker’s

Sarasota's weekly farmer's market

Sarasota’s weekly farmers’ market

The Farmers’ Market is on State Street every Saturday 7am – 1pm

walking (and running) the Sarasota Bridge

walking (and running) the Sarasota Bridge

Stunning views of the city appear as you walk the bridge.

Smuggler's Cove adventure golf

Smuggler’s Cove adventure golf

 Various claims of holes-in-one led the Smalls back for more and more and….

Ariel Yoga

Ariel Yoga

This is THE new yoga.  Using a circus hammock, you can weightlessly achieve a better yogic position.


And of course there is so much more: Westfield Shopping Centre, Gulf Gate Bowling Lane, Burns Court Café and the Lululemon Showroom also got a big thumbs up from different members of my family.  The ‘land of the free’ really does have something for everyone.



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