Englewood Beach / Blind Pass
Englewood is so lovely that two counties – Charlotte and Sarasota along Florida’s Gulf Coast – insist on sharing in its beauty.Englewood's uncrowded beach is pure and wide and has excellent facilities. Just south, you'll find Blind Pass Park, a fantastic place for shelling and finding sharks' teeth. Plenty of golf is available in the area, and the birding is great. You can try parasailing or rent a jetski. The area fishing also is outstanding and several companies will take you out on their boats. Absolutely embark on an eco-tour of Lemon Bay. You’ll almost certainly see dolphins, manatees, and all kinds of shorebirds and wildlife.
Stump Pass Beach State Park
At the southwest corner of Charlotte County, there is a mile of beach where seashells and shark teeth wash up, and anglers fish the surf for prize catches. Visitors can enjoy an excellent view of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a stretch of undeveloped Florida coastline. Visitors come to this secluded beach to enjoy the year-round swimming and sunbathing; shelling is best during the winter months. A hiking trail passes through five distinct natural communities that provide homes for many species of wildlife; covered picnic tables are located along the trail. Visitors can launch a kayak and paddle around the two islands just east of the park's land base. While at the park, visitors might see West Indian manatees, gopher tortoises, snowy egrets, least terns, and magnificent frigate birds. Ranger-led nature hikes are available in the winter.
Experience Englewood for yourself
Gasparilla Island / Boca Grande
Located on Gasparilla Island off the Gulf Coast, northwest of Fort Myers, Boca Grande is an affluent residential community recognized for excellent fishing. Among its many charms is the Gasparilla Inn & Club, a hidden gem. Built in 1911 but maintained through renovations and updates, this luxurious resort preserves its old Florida charm. Also, from Boca Grande, if you have your own boat or can befriend someone who does, you're within a short hop of Cayo Costa, a relaxed barrier island destination that moves at its own pace. With great fishing, oak-palm hammocks, mangrove swamps and miles of beautiful beaches, Cayo Costa retains its natural wilderness and sense of remoteness because – yes – you can get there only by boat.
A short drive from downtown Sarasota, Siesta Key sits adjacent to the glittering Gulf of Mexico and its Siesta Public Beach has been named one of the nation’s best. This quaint yet quirky eight-mile-long island offers one-of-a-kind shopping, resorts, dining and nightlife. Known for its brilliant quartz sand, turquoise waters and many beachside amenities, Siesta Key is a must-visit island paradise. Siesta Key offers something for everyone. It's a romantic getaway for lovers, a family vacation destination and a playground for active sports enthusiasts. And don’t forget: Wherever you stay, the beach and bay are always nearby.
It is located on the south end and is the longest stretch of beach on Anna Maria, with plenty of free parking, lifeguards, concessions, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms and showers. Remnants of old piers jutting out into the water (dividing sections of the beach) make it awkward for running, but a choice spot for surfers.
A boat launch is across the street as well as Coquina BayWalk at Leffis Key where footpaths and boardwalks lead visitors around tidal lagoons and mangrove shoreline. Dolphins are often sighted not far from fishermen doing some fishing of their own.