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Lido Key

Lido Key

Endless Adventure

lido keyStunning Lido Key is located off the coast of Sarasota and offers 12-miles of breathtaking beaches, marvelous recreation and outstanding sunsets.  One of the area’s best for eco-adventures, the glorious Gulf beaches boast amenities and playgrounds, great natural areas, picnic shelters, kayak launch, nature trails and parking. Lido Key is also home to refined luxury resorts and superior dining, mere minutes from St. Armands Circle.  Not just for vacationing, find your new Florida home on Lido Key.

Lido Key can be described by its 3 sections: Lido Beach, South Lido Beach and North Lido Beach.

Beaches of Lido Key

LIDO BEACH

Ranked #3 in Outdoor Activity by TripAdvisor in 2016, Lido Beach is a popular beach destination that offers shallow clear Gulf waters and 3,000 feet of pristine white beach. When you think of service, this location offers a level of concierge. Beach amenities include umbrellas and beach chairs, concessions, picnic tables, playground, restrooms and parking, with lifeguards on duty year-round.

Here, you can reserve your beach chair and place a lunch order, with wine, from the Beach Pavilion.

LIDO BEACH PAVILION

Iconic and unexpected, the Lido Beach Pavilion boasts a large swimming pool and recreation building, concessions, restrooms and gift shop.  The former home of the famous Lido Beach Casino 1940 – 1969, you can see the original seahorse sculptures from the Casino at Mote Marine Aquarium.

ST. ARMANDS CIRCLE

A heralded global shopping and dining destination, chic boutiques and cafes delight residents and visitors alike. The Circle hosts numerous events throughout the year and offers a superior display of statues from the personal collection of John Ringling.

SOUTH LIDO BEACH

Located on the southern tip of Lido, unsurpassed views include the downtown Sarasota skyline, Big Pass and Sarasota Bay. An eco-adventurists haven on 100-acres of pristine coastal habitat, kayak through mangrove tunnels, or meander nature trails with wildlife observation areas.  Enjoy shaded picnic areas, a playground, volleyball, restrooms and parking. Swimming is not recommended and there are no lifeguards on duty.

NORTH LIDO BEACH

North Lido beach is a pristine half-mile stretch of shoreline behind a residential community. It is secluded and the quietest of Lido’s beach selections. Crowd-less and perfect for strolling, fishing, birding and quiet solitude. Offering a nature trail and parking, there are no lifeguards on duty.

A LOOK BACK

The Paleo and Calusa Indians lived on this barrier island for thousands of years and remained on the island until Spanish explorers arrived in search of gold in the 1500s.  Rough, rugged and uninhabited for centuries, Lido (at the time St. Armands Key) was acquired by Otto Schmidt Zoldan in 1910 under the Federal Homestead Act.

John Ringling set his sights on this prime real estate in the heyday of the early 1920s. Canals were dredged, roads installed, including a causeway, and the Key was renamed Lido.

At the end of 1927, Ringling made the decision to move the headquarters of famed Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus to Sarasota. Creating a much-needed local boost, Sarasota was promoted throughout the country and visitors flocked to the area.

The years of the Great Depression were bleak, however numerous Works Progress Administration projects (with the urging of high-profile residents) helped revive the local economy. The famed Lido Casino would be one of those WPA projects. Opening in 1940, and designed by Sarasota School of Architecture’s Ralph Twitchell, this would become one of the area’s most popular social gathering places in the 1940s and 50s.

Through the years, Lido Key has, indeed, become the cultured coastal destination John Ringing envisioned.