Archive for August, 2016

postheadericon Siesta Beach, Florida

Siesta Key

Siesta Beach, Florida

On a recent trip to Longboat Key, Florida I just had to get over to Siesta Beach in Sarasota and see what Dr. Beach ranked the #2 in the USA.  (Back in 2011 it was ranked the #1 Beach in the USA) .

The beach is complete with volleyball nets, a snack bar, grills, tables, beach rental services, bathrooms, and lifeguards.  I can see the draw as it does have calm clear water and nice white sand.  The stretch of sand from the parking lot to the beach is wide and hard packed and once you’re at the shoreline you see a line of umbrellas and chairs stretching each direction.  The Gulf of Mexico’s warm, calm water makes it the perfect place for small children.

 

 

Siesta-Beach

 

Siesta-Beach

 

 

2016 Dr. Beach # 1 Beach

Hanauma Bay  Nature Preserve, Oahu

Hanauma Bay

 

I have to agree with Dr. Beach on this one.  It’s one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve been to and, like so many beaches in Hawaii, holds a very special place in our hearts.

Hanauma Bay allows you to get up close and personal with the amazing sea creatures of Hawaii and the view from the beach to die for!  There is something very special about being on the crescent-shaped coral sand beach!!

 

I love seeing The Dr. Beach Best Beach List come out every year and get excited seeing some of our favorites on it!  Have you been to any on the list?   What’s your favorite beach?  Feel free to share it in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!!!

 

 

postheadericon Longboat Key, Florida

 

longboat-key

 

Visiting Longboat Key with Kids

A true Floridian at heart, this summer I wanted to get back to my roots and visit the Gulf Coast of Florida where I grew up.  I chose Longboat Key for its charming, laid-back, quite vibe, beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water.  It neighbors the popular and touristy Anna Maria Island, but offers a more upscale and low-key atmosphere.  It’s close enough to things to do yet far enough to feel like you’re on a relaxing getaway.  There is never a need to fight for space and you won’t find a single chain hotel on the entire island.

Visiting Longboat Key with kids is a great choice because most accommodations are condos.  It’s nice to have your own space, a kitchen, and be right on the beach.  We stayed in Whitney Beach and can’t wait to visit again!

 

Our amazing view from the condo.

Our amazing view from the condo.

 

After visiting beaches all over the US, including some of the best beaches in Hawaii, it’s easy to say that Longboat Key is still one of my favorites.  What I love about it is that the water is fairly shallow even if you’re really far out and the waves are not too big.  Every day we would see dolphins swim by us and we were even lucky enough to see a few manatees.

There is very little public beach assess so it’s not uncommon to have the beach all to yourself!

 

Hello Manatee!

Hello Manatee!

 

 

Things to Do on Longboat Key

  1. Lounge at the beach all day.  Build a sandcastle.  Collect shells.  Take a long walk!  You can easily spend days just lounging at the beach taking it all in!
  2. Search for sand dollars and conch shells.  These are found mostly in the water and should only be looked at!  The little critters inside the conch shell doesn’t like to be touched!
  3. Go shelling.  Every day new shells wash up.  You can find beautiful treasures up and down the beach.
  4. Find coquinas in the shore break.  All you have to do is burry your feet a little!  These little creatures get exposed with the crashing waves and it’s fun to watch them bury themselves back in the sand.
  5. Search for ghost crabs at night with flashlights.  If you’re quiet the come out during the day, too.
  6. Watch dolphins and manatees in the wild.  It’s not uncommon to see dolphins and manatees just offshore.  You could be driving over the bridge and spot them or see them right from your window.
  7. Visit the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
  8. Hang an ENO at Beer Can Island.  This is one of the most beautiful spots on the island.  It’s at the north end and you can walk to it from the public parking area on North Shore Rd.
  9. Visit Joan M. Durante Community Park.
  10. Rent a boat and visit the local sandbars.

 

beer-can-island-eno

 

Things to Do NEAR Longboat Key

  1. Visit Anna Maria Island – ride the free trolley or visit a beach.
  2. Go shopping or have lunch at St. Armand’s Circle.
  3. Go to Bean Point – one of the best beaches in Florida.
  4. Eat at the Rod and Reel Pier.
  5. Visit Coquina Beach and Coquina Baywalk.
  6. Make your on concoction at The Donut Experiment, Anna Maria Island.

 

Rod-and-Reel

 

longboat-key

 




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