Manasota Key is a quiet island south of Venice, Florida. The northern and central parts of the island, located in Sarasota County, are completely residential. A narrow road snakes its way for nearly nine wonderfully scenic miles along the Key past island homes, many of which have their back yard on the bay and their front yard on the Gulf.
The southern part of the island is in Charlotte County and has more development, with a few condos, restaurants, and shops. The southern tip of Manasota Key is occupied by Stump Pass Beach State Park, a quiet, narrow park with two miles of beach and nature trails. The public beaches on Manasota Key include Manasota Beach, Blind Pass Beach Park, Englewood Beach, and Stump Pass Beach State Park.
If you're looking for something that's different from the overbuilt, crowded, traffic-jammed beaches of Siesta Key and Lido Beach, then Manasota Key might have what you're looking for. It's far enough off the beaten path, but not so far that you can't make a quick drive into Sarasota or Venice for some culture, shopping, or fine dining. And Sarasota's Venice beaches aren't the only ones in the area with shark teeth and fossils to be found. Manasota Key has plenty.