It’s time to invest in a larger trophy case. This time, Longboat Key has garnered national glory.
Longboat Key was the No. 9 best island in the U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards. Hawaii’s Maui, Kauai, Oahu and Big Island nabbed the top four slots. Amelia Island, which ranked No. 10, was the only other Florida location to make the list.
The 12-mile island with land in both Sarasota and Manatee counties is known for its elegant and refined personality, said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County. Conde Nast described Longboat Key as a more private option among the Sarasota-Bradenton area’s barrier islands and praised it for the sand dollars and seashells that can be found their.
Longboat Key typically spends less time in the spotlight than Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island.
“For us, what’s so important is for people to understand the different personalities of our islands,” Haley said. “It’s just thrilling to see Longboat getting recognized in this way.”
The beach accesses on Longboat Key are less pronounced than at some of the other barrier islands in the region. It also offers a number of hidden gems, such as Quick Point Nature Preserve, at its southeast corner.