Lido Key vs. Longboat Key – Where Should You Stay on Vacation?

While there are plenty of great destinations in the area, many people find themselves torn between Lido Key or Longboat Key.

When you’re planning a vacation to South Florida, it can be hard to determine where exactly to stay. In this article, we’ll break down all the differences between these locations and let you know where we think you should stay on your next Florida getaway.

What’s There?

Longboat Key is a town along Florida’s west coast located between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s just north of St. Armands Key and Lido Key and is south of Anna Maria Island. Here, you’ll find quaint scenery and a whole lot of golf. There are several courses on resort grounds and clubs.

Driving through Longboat Key, you will see sidewalks rows of trees guarding the golf courses and plenty of people walking, running, and biking. With so many residents and visitors beside the main road, make sure to watch your speed and be ready to stop for pedestrians at one of the many crosswalks

On the other hand, Lido Key is considered part of the city of Sarasota and is connected to the mainland by John Ringling Causeway. Longboat Key is to the North, St. Armands Key and Bird Key are to the East, and Siesta Key is to the South. You’ll find tons of well-developed beaches here, as well as a popular seasonal nightclub scene. However, Lido Key tends to be a secluded and relaxing private beach.

Lido Key has plenty of walking paths, most of which lead to the beach and the heart of St. Armands Circle where you can eat and shop. The speed of vehicle traffic is also leisurely, so don’t go anywhere in a hurry. And why would you since you’re on vacation in paradise?

sarasota lido key florida

What Can I Do?

On Longboat Key, much of the tourism is centered around the water and playing a round of golf. You’ll find that you spend most of your days lounging on the beach or soaking up the sun in one of the local community parks. Areas like Quick Point Nature Reserve and Joan M. Durant Community Park are popular attractions for locals and visitors alike. You’ll see a lot of retirees and older couples on Longboat Key enjoying the lazy, quiet lifestyle.

Lido Key has significantly more activities, giving you and your family more fun things to take advantage of. Of course, you have access to Lido Key Beach if you want to go for a swim or have an afternoon picnic, and there are several nearby companies that will rent beach or water equipment like kayaks and paddleboards. Our partnering vendors also offer guests special discounts.

You are also just a couple of minutes from downtown Sarasota and just a few minutes more will get you to nearby parks, other beaches, and even more family-friendly attractions. Take advantage of the close proximity to Sarasota and explore popular places like the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Be Our Guest

We are proud to offer the top luxury Lido Key vacation rentals to our customers. As a smaller boutique rental service, we are able to take the time to build personal relationships with each and every one of our clients.

Where Can I Eat?

Longboat Key has a decent selection of both casual and upscale eating options. Dry Dock Waterfront Grill is a casual spot that features fresh seafood and a great view from the dockside patio. For an Old Florida feel, Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant is a rustic spot in an early 1900s beach house. For something a bit more elegant, Maison Blanche offers renowned French cuisine and fine wines that pair beautifully. You might also enjoy a romantic dinner at Euphemia Haye Restaurant, Chart House, or Harry’s Continental Kitchens.

It should be noted that you will need to drive to get to any of these if you stay at a hotel or resort on the island. And getting to one of Sarasota’s acclaimed restaurants for dinner will be quite a haul. Uber and other taxi services will cost more to get to and from Longboat.

Staying on Lido Key provides far more options within 5 minutes of your vacation rental. You’ll find everything from seafood to globally inspired dishes in a variety of settings in St. Armand’s Circle a quick stroll from all our luxury rental homes.

The Old Salty Dog offers classic British pub food in a casual and fun environment, while Daiquiri Deck is perfect for enjoying fresh seafood and cold drinks with your loved ones. Lido Beach Grille is perfect for a date night, and Venezia Italian restaurant is the best spot to satisfy your craving for Italian food. Blu Kouzina offers authentic Greek cuisine, or you can head to Rico’s Pizzeria for a classic slice.

An Uber to the heart of Sarasota costs on avg. 10 dollars or less and takes about 5 minutes if you want to spend the evening in the “city” without dealing with parking.

pool area at lido key vacation rental

Which is Better?

While both Longboat Key and Lido Key have their benefits, we think it’s obvious that Lido Key is the superior destination. Longboat Key is farther away from the mainland, which means there’s much less to do and it takes longer to get to the attractions that you and your family might wish to experience.

There are fewer options for lodging, and the luxury homes on Lido Key far surpass the hotel accommodations available on Longboat Key. You and your group would be much more comfortable in a Lido Key rental with spacious living spaces, resort-style private heated pool and spa, game rooms, elevators, rooftop decks, and so much more.

lido key rentals

Why Choose Us

You will have a one-on-one relationship with your property manager. We get to know you by name and can answer any questions you might have. When you combine the luxurious accommodations and picturesque destination with the exemplary services, you just can’t go wrong! Contact us today to start planning your getaway to Lido Key.