Manasota Key is a quiet island south of Venice, Florida. The northern and central parts of the island, located in Sarasota County, are completely residential. A narrow road snakes its way for nearly nine wonderfully scenic miles along the Key past island homes, many of which have their back yard on the bay and their front yard on the Gulf.
The southern part of the island is in Charlotte County and has more development, with a few condos, restaurants, and shops. The southern tip of Manasota Key is occupied by Stump Pass Beach State Park, a quiet, narrow park with two miles of beach and nature trails.
The public beaches on Manasota Key include Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach Park, Englewood Beach, and Stump Pass Beach State Park.
Why Choose Manasota Key Beaches?
If you're looking for something that's different from the overbuilt, crowded, traffic-jammed beaches of Siesta Key and Lido Beach, then Manasota Key might have what you're looking for. It's far enough off the beaten path, but not so far that you can't make a quick drive into Sarasota or Venice for some culture, shopping, or fine dining. And Sarasota's Venice beaches aren't the only ones in the area with shark teeth and fossils to be found. Manasota Key has plenty.
Manasota Key offers very good, but limited access to the public. Most of the beaches are only enjoyed by residents and visitors that are staying on the island. Manasota Key has no big resorts or hotels, and no multi-story condominiums--just lots of beach houses tucked behind the greenery. Some are on the Gulf, some are on the bay, and others seem to span the width of the island.
While there are some small rental resorts on northern and central Manasota Key (Sarasota County), most of the beach rental accommodations are on the southern part of the key near Englewood Beach (Charlotte County). There's a trade-off between a wider choice of rentals in the south with more people on the beach vs. fewer rental choices on the north which has correspondingly quieter beaches. The quietest part of the island is on North Manasota Key Road, which is just north of the Manasota Key Public Beach. It is a private road through a private beach community that stretches for several miles toward Caspersen Beach.