Casey Key Beaches, Florida

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. 

Nokomis Beach scene.

Nokomis Beach on Casey Key. This is a seriously underrated beach, and it's so close to everything you might want to see in Sarasota. There's just no excuse for overlooking this 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.

Casey Key Beach Vacation Rentals

These are typical vacation rentals on Casey Key and are located on the southern end of the island just north of Albee Road. That's where all the rentals are. The rest of the island is mostly private residences, although there are a few really nice and secluded beach rentals here and there. If you can score one of those, you've hit the jackpot!

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.

Jetty Park Beach on Casey Key, Florida

A relaxing afternoon at Jetty Park beach on Casey Key. A lifeguard watches over the beach. Even though Gulf beaches are very safe, it's always a good idea to swim near a lifeguard

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.

Clear water on Casey Key beach at Jetty Park.

I took the above photo while standing on the rock jetty looking north toward Jetty Park beach. Near the upper left of the photo you can see what appears to be dark water. That is tannin stained water that comes out of Venice Inlet on the outgoing tide. It's not dirty, it just has tannic acid from the mangrove backwaters. It clears up on the incoming tide.

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.

Fishing on Nokomis Jetty at Venice Inlet, Florida

Some serious fishing happens at Venice Inlet on the Casey Key side. It's not unusual to see dolphins jumping in the inlet. Large rays also pass through the inlet and I've seen them jump clear of the water as well. On the outgoing tide the water coming out of the inlet is dark with tannin (the same stuff that makes tea look dark). On the incoming tide the water is clearer.

In the above video I took a bike ride on North Casey Key Road, and then drove my car south to Nokomis Beach and Jetty Park. Not many people ever get a look at North Casey Key, so you might want to check it out. The music track is really good too.

Gulf of Mexico waters on Casey Key, Florida

The sand on Casey Key beaches is a light brown color because of the high shell content. It's not pure quartz. But it is very beautiful and is fairly easy to walk on, even for long distances. The water is clean and is usually fairly clear. There are a few shells here and there, and you'll find the occasional fossilized shark tooth.

Walking on a quiet beach on Casey Key, FL

he beaches on Casey Key are public, but access is difficult. There is nothing to stop you from walking the entire length of Casey Key on the beach. As you can see, you won't have a lot of company.

Looking across Venice Inlet toward Venice Beach, Florida

This is the view of Venice Inlet from the jetty on the Casey Key side. This photo is looking south toward Venice Beach. Although Casey Key has no high-rise buildings, Venice has plenty. They are not hotels or resorts, but condominiums. Some are available for rent, of course.

Come along with me on a bike ride on North Casey Key Road:

Copyright: David McRee,