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Outdoor Activities
Photo Madison Ave Media
Longboat Key has a wide assortment of open-air sports. There’s hiking and bicycling (even of the recumbent variety) along Gulf of Mexico Drive. Enjoy a vast array of water- sports on the turquoise waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Swim in its warm, crystal-blue seas, paddle board or just plain float.
Sarasota Sailing Squadron anchors the Key to the south at City Island. Past the Mote Ma- rine Aquarium to the water’s edge, you’ll soon see sailboats dotting the sensational view of downtown Sarasota’s skyline. More than 800 families sail at the Squadron, which is open seven days a week. The facility holds several regattas each year and also allows visiting sail- ors to dock for a nominal fee on non-regatta days.
There are 10 miles of paved bicycle paths to discover, birding opportunities, wetlands and coastal hammock forests to explore. If relaxed beachcombing is more your speed, you can soak up the sun, search for seashells and even sharks’ teeth. There’s a big cat habitat near- by and seasonal turtle nesting sites, too. The shores are plentiful with dolphin and manatee sightings all year long.
The Squadron is also the launching spot for the Sarasota SUP (stand-up paddle-board- ing) race series. All you need is a long board, a paddle and a solid sense of balance. Adventur- ous SUP yoga instructors even lead students in gentle moves while balancing on boards in the waters off Longboat or Lido Keys.
It’s an angler’s delight with a selection of piers to fish from and even fishing of the deep- sea variety. Charter a boat or rent a seagoing vessel to motor around the coast. Eco-cruises are another option.
Other popular outdoor sports include kay- aking through the lush mangroves, calming yoga on the beach, tennis and golf.	d
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