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Lido Beach's main attraction is, of course, the gorgeous beaches. Consistently rated some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Lido Beach attracts thousands of visitors each year, yet retains a laid back, peaceful tropical atmosphere. The main beach on Lido Key is located in the central portion of the island and is one half-mile southwest of Armands Circle. This public beach features concessions, lifeguards year round, watercraft, showers and restrooms. The main beach at Lido Key is deep and wide – perfect for a sunset stroll. North Lido Beach is more secluded – a windswept natural area that is easy to get to and very private. There are no lifeguards on duty at this beach and the currents are very swift. South Lido Park Nature Center is located at the southern tip of Lido Key, and offers great views of the skyline of downtown Sarasota and the Gulf. There are canoe trails that meander through the mangroves in South Lido Park, as well as shaded picnic areas among the Australian Pines. Lido Key is popular with wildlife and birdwatchers. The waters are home to manatee, dolphins, a variety of fish and pelicans, osprey and many different species of shorebirds also find sanctuary here. Lido Key also offers world class shopping at St. Armands Circle. Full of chic shops and unique boutiques, art galleries and sidewalk cafes, St. Armands Circle has walkways that are lined with palm trees, tropical plants and flowering bushes. A wonderful place for an evening stroll as you're caressed by the gentle Gulf breezes. Other nearby attractions in the Lido Beach area include the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, Sarasota Jungle Gardens and the Marie Shelby Botanical Gardens.

Longboat Key offers a wide variety of of recreational activities such as swimming, shelling, fishing, water skiing, parasailing, boating and tennis. Longboat Key is also the only barrier island in the area that has a golf course. (Over 50 more are located across the bridge in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.) Bikers and rollerbladers enjoy Longboat Key’s ten-mile bike path that winds along Gulf of Mexico Drive. Just off the south end of Longboat Key is the Mote Marine Aquarium. This center offers a fascinating look at sea life and is also a marine research center and lab. The Ann and Alfred Goldstein Marine Mammal Research Center has displays on manatees, dolphins and whales. Other attractions include the Longboat Key Center for the Arts, which has a permanent collection along with changing exhibits, art classes, workshops and cultural events.

Siesta Key is home to Crescent Beach, one of the finest beaches in the state with silky white “quartz” sand. Beautiful Siesta Key has become very popular with artists and writers. It is home to Siesta Village, which is a laid back beach hangout, with a variety of shops and boutiques, quaint restaurants, outdoor pubs and cafes. Siesta Village also has an active nightlife. At the south end of Siesta Key is Turtle Beach, which is more quiet with picnic tables, shelters, a boat ramp and volleyball nets.


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