Casey Key is a unique island in south Sarasota, just north of Venice, in the Nokomis area. It is strictly residential with only a few small motels near the southern end. Most people who vacation in Sarasota flock to Siesta Key beaches, leaving Casey Key to the locals.
How to Get to Casey Key
The most direct route from Interstate 75 is to take CR 681 west toward Osprey and Nokomis. Then turn south on US 41 and go to Albee Road, which will take you directly to Nokomis Beach and Jetty Park. If you prefer the scenic route, from US 41 take Blackburn Point Road toward Casey Key. You can then drive south along the entire length of Casey Key before arriving at Nokomis Beach.
If you enter the island from the northern end at Blackburn Point Road via the one-lane bridge, there is no place to stop or see the beach until you drive south for about 4 miles on a narrow, two-lane, winding road and arrive at Nokomis Beach, located at Albee Road. It is a very nice drive though.
Many of the island's native plants have been left as landscaping and there are few lawns. Mostly the island's natural sand and shell has been left uncovered, shaded by palms and other tropical plants. You can catch glimpses of the beach here and there, or of the bay, since the island is very narrow. Some homes have their back yard on the bay and their front yard on the Gulf. These are all multi-million-dollar homes.
Where to Stay on Casey Key
There are no chain hotels or resorts on Casey Key. All the vacation rentals are either private beach houses or mom-and-pop style motels. Most of the rentals are concentrated on the southern end of Casey Key near Albee Road. Some of the nicer looking beach motels are scattered along the length of the island in the predominantly residential neighborhoods. Quite a few of the locals come to Casey Key for weekend getaways. There is no nightlife on the island, and no shopping or entertainment, but Sarasota is close by if you need those things.
Casey Key Beaches
Public beach access on Casey Key is severely limited. Nokomis Beach and Jetty Park are the only two public accesses, and both are near the southern end of the island, near Venice Inlet. You will find people on the beach just north of Albee Road where the very low-key beach rentals are located. But the remainder of the island's beaches are nearly deserted, enjoyed only by residents and guests staying in the beach rentals.
Even though there is no direct access to most of the beaches, you can walk to any of the beaches from the public access points.
Casey Key is not a heavy tourist destination. Most of the people on the beach are locals from south Sarasota, Osprey, Nokomis and Venice. The Venice inlet attracts some very serious fishermen and is one of the top surfing spots on the Gulf side of the Florida peninsula.
From the jetty on Venice Inlet you have a clear view of the Venice Beaches on the south side of the inlet. Each side has its own rock jetty. Most of the best surf happens on the south jetty (Venice side). Most of the serious fishing happens on the Casey Key side.
Come along with me on a bike ride on North Casey Key Road: