Suncoast Beaches, FL - Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Longboat Key, Sarasota, Lido Key, Siesta Key & Venice - Vacation Travel Guide

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Suncoast Beaches Area Features

“Seas” the Day and Embark on the Nautical Life

Ahoy, mates! The clear waters and calm seas of the gulf are calling to you and your fellow landlubbers. By venturing to a local pier or marina, you’ll find many options for an exceptional time on the water. After all, boating is fun, relaxing, and the perfect thing to do on a beautiful day on the Suncoast.


Almost every boating company in the region offers a variety of tours that can cater to whatever interests you. From catching your dinner on a fishing charter to educational or scenic tours, there is a boat with a tour for you! Rental boats are also available to aspiring captains and their first mates. Take the entire family out onto the pristine waters for a fishing or snorkeling adventure with a boat rental from Siesta Key Watersports. Boating licenses are required but are free and easy to get. Just visit to register for an online safety course.


For those who can’t be on a boat without a fishing pole in their hands, Sarasota has a few great options for full and half-day fishing trips. Great Escape and Sarasota Bay Fishing Charters will take you into the gulf on excursions designed for anglers of all ages and skill levels. Redfish, snapper, grouper, flounder and mackerel are just a few local fish that you might be able to hook. The best part is, you don’t need any equipment or experience. These companies provide bait, tackle, rod, reel and expertise. Larger groups may prefer to book a private charter through CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. Good luck hooking the big one!

Boat Tours

Wildlife boat tours are not only educational, but everyone who goes on these excursions usually has a great time! Dolphins’ intelligence, communication styles and playful antics have endeared them to many, and the love for these mammals continues to grow. Meanwhile, manatees are graceful, gentle animals that are hard not to adore. And like dolphins, they are fun to see in the wild. That’s why tours to see both of these creatures have become so popular on Florida’s gulf coast. Charter a private tour on the Miss Explorer or take a “hands-on” nature cruise with Sarasota Bay Explorers for a fun and interesting wildlife excursion in comfort.

Other Sea Adventures

Key Sailing also has a few different tour options, but one of their guests’ favorites is the sunset tour. Come aboard their sailboat to feel the wind in your hair as you watch the sunset on the horizon. Some lucky sailors may even see the fabled green flash as the day comes to an end. Other companies are well known for their cruises with live music, dancing and maybe even some cocktails in a party atmosphere. If that sounds appealing, reserve a spot with Le Barge Tropical Cruises. Their boat is like a big floating island with a tropical and festive vibe.

In addition to boarding a boat and sailing off into the sunset, there are other fantastic nautical experiences that visitors may enjoy. Adventurers don’t have to travel far to find excitement at new heights or thrilling speeds. Try waterskiing, tubing, or kneeboarding on the back of a rented boat. Global Boarding Water Sports even captains the boat as you wake surf or waterski behind it! If your group likes to bounce over waves on a solo jet ski, then local shops including Siesta Key Jet Ski & Kayak Rentals and Siesta Sports Rentals have you covered—rent a few jet skis and race through the water! A gorgeous vista awaits those brave enough to take to the skies to see the Florida coastline from a different (and higher) perspective. The beautiful blue waters of the Gulf are laid out as far as the eye can see while parasailing with companies such as Parasail Siesta.

Dining at Sea

After a day of engaging in activities on the water, it may be nice to relax your sea legs and feast on some delectable food. The Marina Jack II yacht offers a wonderful opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy a fabulous meal topped off with fruity cocktails and maybe even some dancing. Fresh fish, prime rib, salads, desserts and more are featured on the dinner buffet, but lunch cruises are also available at a lower cost.

There are a few other ways to save a some money while enjoying the local waters. Rent a kayak, pedal boat or even an aqua cycle through Bayfront Excursions and take a leisurely self-guided tour of the bay or the gulf. Those who don’t have the best sea legs (or require Dramamine) may prefer to stay on dry land and simply watch a nautical event. If you venture to Nathan Benderson Park, you’ll see that rowing in Sarasota is a big deal. So big in fact, that the World Rowing Championships were held there in September of 2017. Competitors from around the world met to try and win the gold. Clubs from Sarasota practice regularly at this 2,000-square-meter park where you can visit and watch these athletes employ coordinated teamwork to race along the course. If you’re interested, canoes, kayaks, and even dragon boats can be rented at the park.

With so many options for a memorable boating experience, you would be remiss to not take advantage of it while on the Florida Suncoast. So “seas” the day and go find your adventure on the Gulf!

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