Manasota Key’s ideal location on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast is halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, the Englewood area offers visitors a tranquil, relaxed vacation destination within proximity of many activities and attractions including golf, water sports, Sarasota’s arts and entertainment, the shops of Venice, Boca Grande’s world class tarpon fishing and much more.
Manasota Key is second to none for shelling and discovering pre- historic fossilized shark teeth and various fossils.
Beaches, art and history museums, a variety of restaurants, fishing, golf, shopping, spas, sailing, snorkeling and kayaking – they’re all at your command within Englewood and it’s surrounding communities. Delve into the possibilities to begin your perfect vacation.
Here you can sink your toes into soft white sand while searching for exotic seashells or come face-to-face with a gopher tortoise on an relaxing hike through Stump Pass park.
Manasota Key’s beaches are one of Florida’s best-kept secrets – easily accessible yet quiet and remote enough to attract abundant bird life, dolphins, sea turtles and other wildlife. There are no big crowds here, just plenty of white sand lapped by gentle waves from the Gulf of Mexico decorated with colorful shells.
Englewood and Boca Grande
In downtown Englewood, wander amidst the boutiques, bistros and galleries along Dearborn Street – a mural project makes the very buildings
a canvas. Some of the area’s most memorable sights exist inside three state parks along its barrier islands: Stump Pass Beach, where you can sift the sand for shark teeth or fish for tarpon; Don Pedro Island, where boat-only access protects pristine beaches; and Gasparilla Island, where you can tour the circa-1890 Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum. On Boca Grande, find more shopping and restaurants.
Port Charlotte and Charlotte Harbor
Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River virtually swallow the landscape, drawing all kinds of nature enthusiasts near. You’ll find recreational lands, fishing charters and paddling outfitters, along with a few surprises: Port Charlotte operates history-minded trolley and boat tours, and maintains both a symphony orchestra and a community playhouse.
Its perch on Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River never goes unnoticed by anglers and nature-seekers. It also inspires resident and visiting artists, who have fashioned a creative hook for this fishing village. More than 20 hand-painted murals depict local flora, fauna and founders. On and around Marion Avenue, you can shop and lunch amid the arts (and palms, old-style street lamps and brick streets). Fishermen’s Village presents more of the same, as well as fishing charters and scenic cruises.
Well-preserved Mediterranean Revival structures and beautiful water views are responsible for the Venetian vibe here. Browse the museum at The Triangle Inn and tour the Venice Train Station, both restored since their 1927 completion. If prehistory is your passion, make plans to visit during the annual Shark’s Tooth Festival.
The arts are the keepers of this city by the bay. Become a patron of the opera, ballet or theater (the Asolo Repertory Theatre Company periodically performs at a playhouse built in 18th-century Italy). Visual arts belong to the John and Mable Ringling Museum, where the Old Masters hang alongside even older (ancient) ceramics from Cyprus. Cà d’Zan, the Ringling’s Venetian-style winter manse, is another look-don’t-touch stunner, and a circus museum on the grounds tells of Sarasota’s big-top heritage. Appreciate the city’s historic architecture, named, appropriately, the Sarasota School style and the bright-hued buildings of Towles Court Artists Colony house galleries.