Travel Thursdays: Destinations You'll Be At By Lunch - Longboat Key Edition

longboat key sunset

Summer is here and so is the urge for a summer vacation — or two. Not everyone wants to hop on a plane and it takes way too long to drive out of Florida. Luckily, there are plenty of great 48 hour getaways you can get to by lunch time, complete with great food, family friendly fun, and gorgeous beaches.

All summer long, MIAbites will be featuring #TravelThursdays with easy to get to destinations and guides on how to make the most of your adventures. So grab your weekend bag and jump in the car and you’ll be there before you know it.


This week’s travels are taking us over to the west coast of Florida to Longboat Key, located just a few minutes outside of Sarasota. Many people are familiar with Siesta Key, as it’s often referred to as the best beach in America, but Longboat is about 20 minutes closer and just as gorgeous. With 12 miles of sand, it’s the perfect place for a summer vacation.

WHERE TO STAY: Lido Beach Resort

lido beach resort

Lido Beach Resort is one of those places you stay and never want to leave. The resort is comprised of two buildings — the Tiki Building with guest rooms and condo-style rooms featuring small kitchenettes, and the Palm Building with more suites and junior suites, perfect for groups and families. The rooms and suites are decorated in tranquil blues and whites that instantly put guest at ease the moment they check in. The property features two pools, one that’s family friendly and an over 18 pool for those who are looking for something a little quieter. Dining on property is always an option with the Lido Beach Grille, Cafe Lido, and the poolside tiki bar.


WHERE TO EAT: Shore and Portofino Restaurant & Grill

shore portofino longobat key travel thursday

Craving comforting Italian? You’re gonna want to check out Portofino Restaurant & Grill, located on property at Lido Beach’s sister site — The Resort at Longboat Key Club. The Northern Italian restaurant boasts fresh pasta and wood grilled pizzas. The views of the harbour add an extra romantic touch to the evening, as will the extensive wine list. For those looking to escape the resort scene, there are a vast number of options around Armand’s Circle — including Shore. Often only recognized as a clothing brand and kitschy storefront, the Longboat Key outpost is also the site of a phenomenal second floor restaurant. Perched in a perfect spot to people watch over the entire Armand’s Circle, Shore’s menu is the real reason to head to the neighborhood. The flavorful menu includes dishes like Thai curry mussels, crab and potato leek soup, and almond crusted black grouper. Always save room for dessert, whether at Shore or down the street at Kilwinns for ice cream.


WHERE TO DRINK: Lido Beach Resort’s Poolside Tiki Bar

longboat key lido beach resort

It’s a beach vacation, and every beach vacation calls for a tiki drink, or two! Chill out by the water with a Gulf Coast Hurricane made with Bacardi rums or a Sparkling Strawberry made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, strawberry puree, muddled strawberries, cold pressed eureka lemon juice, 100% organic agave nectar, and then topped off with sparkling wine. Take advantage of 50% off drinks during the daily happy hour from 4-6pm.


WHAT TO DO FOR FUN: Explore Sarasota


If laying beachside isn’t enough stimulation during your vacation, there’s plenty to do and see during your stay on Longboat Key. Hit up Armand’s Circle, just a quick ride or shuttle away from the resort. Here you’ll find shops, boutiques, and restaurants. This is where the town’s festivals are held, and very rarely will you find a night that isn’t filled with live music somewhere along the walk around the circle. Hop over the bridge to the mainland and visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Home to not only every circus artifact you’d ever want to see, but also rotating collections of art from all over the world. While on-site, don’t miss out on a tour of Ca’ d’Zan (meaning House of John), the waterfront mansion built and owned by John Ringling and his wife Mable. The dream home is open to the public and is a Roaring Twenties enthusiast’s dream. For those who want to be one with nature, a visit to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is in order. The garden is located right up against the bay and contains 15 acres of plans, including 7 greenhouses. It’s family friendly, and even includes a children’s rainforest that’s worth a peek even for the adults.

Longboat Key is home to magical sunsets, nesting sea turtles, and summer memories you’ll never forget.

Keep checking back every Thursday for the latest edition of Travel Thursdays with MIAbites, as we continue to supply you with exciting destinations you can be settled in by lunch time.