While staying at luxurious Casa Del Mar, you’ll have your choice of scenic Longboat Key parks, nature preserves, and other protected areas to explore nearby with beautiful and diverse maritime forests, wetlands, marshes, quartz sand beaches, and breathtaking ocean scenery. You’ll get to see a vast range of native flora and fauna species at these Longboat Key wildlife parks, and many are conveniently within 20 minutes of Casa Del Mar.
Joan M. Durante Community Park
Location: 5550 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL
Distance from Casa Del Mar: 2-minute drive, 28-minute walk
Hours: Dawn to dusk daily
Joan M. Durante Community Park features 32 acres of wetlands displaying native vegetation and trees including Live Oaks, Red Cedar, Mango, Mangroves and more. The park also includes a playground and walking trails. With an easy and leisurely one-mile long walk along the bay–you can enjoy the views and native birds. One thing many enjoy about this park is it is dog-friendly, with doggie bags and disposal bins.
Directions: From Casa Del Mar turn left to head northwest on Gulf of Mexico Drive. In 1.3 miles, the Joan M. Durante Community Park will be on your right.
Quick Point Nature Preserve
Location: 100 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL
Distance from Casa Del Mar: 12-minute drive
Hours: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
At Quick Point Nature Preserve you’ll find 34 acres of Nature Preserve with about 3,000 feet of shoreline on Sarasota Bay and New Pass. The preserve offers an ideal area for land activities like bicycling, camping, and horseback riding, plus walking trails and tours. There is also the opportunity for fishing, with the chance to see pelicans, jellyfish, and perhaps even some dolphins.
Directions: From Casa Del Mar turn right to head southeast on Gulf of Mexico Drive. After 6.5 miles stay slightly left onto Bowdoin Circle. After 0.1 miles turn right onto John Ringling Parkway to circle back around. Travel 0.8 miles and you will arrive at the Nature Preserve.
Beer Can Island
Location: N Shore Rd, Longboat Key, FL
Distance from Casa Del Mar: 6-minute drive
Hours: Sunrise to midnight
Beer Can Island is a beautiful white sand beach that is a popular hangout for locals. Most people will travel to the island by boat, but you are able to walk there during low tide. It’s a great spot to find beautiful shells on the beach and to admire the large driftwood that ends up there. Many even spot marine life such as manatees swimming near the island.
Directions: From Casa Del Mar turn left to head northwest on Gulf of Mexico Drive. In just under 4 miles arrive at Beer Can Island.
Bird Key Park
Location: 200 John Ringling Causeway, Sarasota, FL
Distance from Casa Del Mar: 18-minute drive
Hours: 6 a.m. to midnight
Bird Key Park is a 3-acre park where you can enjoy fishing and tours. You can see gorgeous views of the Causeway Bridge and find picnic tables and benches to relax. Starfish and spider crabs can frequently be seen here. There’s also kayak launch and it is a very scenic place to sit and watch the sunset with a portable meal or glass of wine.
Directions: From Casa Del Mar turn right to head southeast on Gulf of Mexico Drive. Travel 7.3 miles to the St Armand’s traffic circle and take the 4th exit onto John Ringling Blvd. In just over 2 miles make a U-turn at Golden Gate point. After 1 mile arrive at Bird Key Park on the right.
South Lido County Park
Location: 2201 Benjamin Franklin Dr., Sarasota, FL
Time from Casa Del Mar: 17-minute drive
Hours: 6 a.m to 11 p.m.
South Lido County Park is a very popular waterfront park near Longboat Key offering nature trails, bird watching, a kayak launch, and picnic areas. There is also a beautiful white sand beach with clear water. Dolphins are often seen off the shore along with incredible native birds like the great blue heron and several others.
Directions: From Casa Del Mar turn right and head southeast in Gulf of Mexico Drive. Travel 7.3 miles to the St Armand’s traffic circle and take the 2nd exit onto S Boulevard of the Presidents. In 0.7 miles turn right onto Harrison Drive, then take the first left onto Benjamin Franklin Drive. Continue straight for half a mile and arrive at the park.