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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 watersports 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.
There are 10 miles of paved bicycle paths to discover, birding opportunities, wetlands and coast- al hammock forests to explore. If relaxed beach-
Outdoor Activities
combing is more your speed, you can soak up the sun, search for seashells and even sharks’ teeth. There’s a big cat habitat nearby and seasonal turtle nesting sites, too. The shores are plentiful with dolphin and manatee sightings all year long.
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.
Sarasota Sailing Squadron anchors the Key to the south at City Island. Past the Mote Marine 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 sailors to dock for a nominal fee on non-regatta days.
The Squadron is also the launching spot for the Sarasota SUP (stand-up paddle-boarding) race series. All you need is a long board, a paddle and a solid sense of balance. Adventurous SUP yoga in- structors even lead students in gentle moves while balancing on boards in the waters off Longboat or Lido Keys.
Other popular outdoor sports include kayaking through the lush mangroves, calming yoga on the beach, tennis and golf. d
Photo Madison Ave Media

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