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tourists, residents and visitors alike enjoy its beautiful beaches and the picture-perfect weath- er. In addition, today’s islanders also cherish the many recreational and cultural attractions the Longboay Key has to offer, along with unique shops and outstanding restaurants located both on or a stone’s throw from the island.
Centuries after Calusa and Timucuan Indians became Longboat Key’s earliest day-trippers, it’s still a popular destination. Longboat Key is consistently named one of the best beaches
in Florida and was voted the # 2 North Ameri- can island travel destination in the Condé Nast Traveler 2010 Readers’ Choice Survey. But Longboaters who revel in its optimum weather, incomparable beaches and abundance of local Happenings, don’t need a survey to tell them that their beloved isle is paradise found. d
Photos Madison Ave Media
Communities began to develop in the early 1900s, both at the north end of the island and mid- Key, where a bountiful agricultural community of approximately eighteen families flourished.
The Mistletoe steamship carried visitors between the island and the mainland, and also shipped produce from farmer Byron Corey’s dock, which was known as Corey’s Landing. A hurricane in October 1921 destroyed island farming and most existing structures on Longboat Key. Undaunted, during the next 30 years, families continued to migrate to the Key. On November 14, 1955, residents overwhelm- ingly voted to incorporate the Key as a town.
The course of the island’s history changed in 1959 when Arvida Corporation pur- chased waterfront property on the south end of Longboat and its surrounding keys for $13.5 million. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Arvida developed plans for condominiums and golf courses which would give the Key its current distinctive character for years to come.
Today, Longboat Key enjoys a year-round pop- ulation of 6,800 and draws as many as 22,000 in peak season, usually considered February through
Easter weekend. And just like the Key’s original 7

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