Information to help you plan your Longboat Key vacation including statistics, weather information and helpful Long boat Key links.
Longboat Key is located at 27°23′49″N 82°38′41″W / 27.39694°N 82.64472°W / 27.39694; -82.64472 (27.396931, -82.644751). It is north of St. Armands Key, with its circle of shopping and dining, and Lido Key, and south of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria, which are located on adjacent Anna Maria
Island. The nearby cities of Sarasota and Bradenton and the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport round out Longboat Key’s varied list of geographic amenities. Gulf of Mexico Drive runs the length of the island, with ancillary boulevards branching off to residential neighborhoods. From some locations one can see both Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. At other points the island widens and accommodates various homes owned both singly and in condominiums, hotels, and sports clubs.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.1 square miles (44.2 km²), of which, 4.9 square miles (12.7 km²) of it is land and 12.1 square miles (31.5 km²) of it (71.18%) is water.
Gulf of Mexico Drive, also referred to as State Road 789, is the only main thoroughfare and runs north-south through the island. The Town is accessed by bascule (draw) bridges, from the south by New Pass Bridge connecting Longboat Key and Lido Key and Longboat Pass Bridge on the north connecting Longboat Key to Anna Maria Island. Both bridges connect to secondary roads to the mainland in each county which lead to major regional facilities, including Interstate 75, US 41, and US 301. These regional facilities provide access to Bradenton and Tampa to the north and Sarasota, Fort Myers, and Naples to the south.
Longboat Key trolley service reduced
The Longboat Key trolley, which travels from downtown Sarasota, through St. Armands Circle to Coquina Beach and back, is now running on the hour. The service previously ran its route every 30 minutes, said Jim Van Pelt of the Manatee-Sarasota Metropolitan Planning Organization. MCAT’s fare-free trolley schedule and service from Anna Maria Island to Coquina Beach remains unchanged, he said. The SCAT fare for the route is 75 cents. Ridership on the Longboat Key trolley did not meet expectations of half-hour headway — arriving at each stop every 30 minutes — resulting in the decision to reduce service. The operating days for the LBK trolley have been cut from 365 days per year to 359 days, with no trolley service on major holidays.
Confused by sunscreen claims? There’s help on the way
Common Sense Beach Swimming Rules
Swim within the “Safe Bathing Areas”, if marked, at all times.
Florida sunshine is intense. Please be careful when sunbathing and use sunscreen with a high SPF
Learn to Swim – Learning to swim is the best defense against drowning.
Never Swim Alone – Always swim with a companion. At the very least, have someone onshore who can call for help.
Don’t Fight the Current – Rip currents are powerful currents of water moving away from shore. They can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. If caught in a rip current, don’t fight it by trying to swim directly to shore. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax, then swim to shore. Most rip currents are narrow, and a short swim parallel to shore will bring you to safety. The same forces that cause rip currents also cause longshore currents. These currents are most evident when waves hit the shore at an angle. This tends to cause the water to be pushed along the beach away from the direction of the oncoming waves. Usually, longshore currents are less hazardous than rip currents because they move along the shore, not away from the shore, but they can knock children and weaker adults off their feet. More importantly, longshore currents can feed and increase the power of rip currents. In other words, the longshore current may move along the shore, then turn offshore to become a rip current.
Swim Sober – Alcohol is a major factor in drowning. Alcohol impairs swimming ability and good judgement.
Don’t Float Where You Can’t Swim – Often, non-swimmers dangerously use floatation devices to go offshore, If they fall off, they can quickly drown. The only exception is a person wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket.
Don’t Dive Headfirst, Protect Your Neck – Diving headfirst into unknown water and striking the bottom can lead to serious, lifelong injuries, including paraplegia. Check for depth and obstructions before diving, and then go in feet first the first time. Use caution while bodysurfing, always extending a hand ahead of you.