Real Estate on Manasota Key
Manasota Key is known for its laid back attitude, or "Old Florida Charm." Of course, there are multi-million homes on the key, but they are not exposed. They are hidden behind lush, tropical landscaping. Natural and Florida like. You won't see manicured gardens like you see on Casey Key or Lido Key. Manasota Key is a place for people who love natural beauty and seclusion.
By following the main canopy road, which runs along the center of the island from north to south, you will see what we mean. Compared to Casey Key or Siesta Key this is a low- key affair. Just a few ritzy entrances; but most mansions are hidden behind lush landscaping.
If you are particularly looking for that type of "Old Florida Charm" - there are not many places left where you can find it. Islands like Don Pedro, Little Gasparilla Island, or Useppa still breath that "Florida Charm", while Keys like Casey Key, Lido Key or Longboat Key have lost it a long time ago.
However, Manasota Key is one island you may want to consider. This is one last resort if you are looking for a place with that laid back-Old Florida Charm. Choose from mansions with views of the Gulf of Mexico or Lemon Bay. Most of them have deeded Beach access.
Manasota Key - the Northern and Central Part of the Island
The northern and central parts of the island, located in Sarasota County, are exclusively residential. There is no commercial activity permitted. No restaurants, no shops or stores.
The southern section of the island, which belongs to Charlotte County has some commercial activities. Quite a few low-rise condos, apartments, restaurants, bars, and small shops, like boat and jet ski rentals, are lined up along the beach. However, none of the activities really distracts from the beauty of the island. All the action appears to be in total harmony with the rest of the island.
There are 4 beaches on the key: Manasota Beach at the northern end of the island, Middle Beach or Blind Pass is in the center of Manasota Key. Englewood beach, almost at the south end of the island, and the State Park Beach at the very southern end of the island.
Manasota Key is not very wide. In certain areas, the island is only a few hundred yards away from the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Lemon Bay/Intracoastal Waterway to the east.
Although Manasota Key is a popular tourist destination, residents are still able to enjoy an undisturbed way of life. As a result, the island is not nearly as touristy as its cousins, Siesta Key or Anna Maria Island, further north.
Because there is a total of four beaches on Manasota Key, which includes Englewood Beach, Stump Pass Beach, Blind Pass Beach and Manasota Beach, the crowd is spread pretty evenly. Each of these beaches has something special to offer: fishing, boating, diving, swimming, jet skiing, para-sailing, shelling, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, sunning, picnicking, and volleyball playing are some of the favorite activities on those beaches and the list gets longer every year. The kind of activity depends depends on where you go. The best variety of activities you will find on Englewood Beach.
Englewood Beach - a real Transformation
Englewood Beach went through an amazing transformation. It was not like that in the past because it used to be a very "simple" beach. When we moved to Englewood in 1995 the only activity was getting a sunburn and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. We were still happy because we didn't know better. There were not even restrooms during that time and one of the 5 parking lots was always available.
That has changed dramatically. Of all the beaches, Englewood Beach belongs to the most popular among Florida's visitors (besides the beaches of Siesta Key, of course). Now the visitors can enjoy completely remodeled boardwalks, restrooms, showers, and covered barbecue spaces.
The only disadvantage is that parking is not free anymore. One hour of sunburn on the beach will cost you $.75. But what is that cost in comparison to the dermatologist's bill who treats your red skin?
If you spend weeks or months in Englewood you may want to buy a parking pass, which gives you access to all of Charlotte County beaches and boat launches and saves you some beer money.