Where to Go Boating in Sarasota: A Guide to the Beaches and Beyond

Where to Go Boating in Sarasota: A Guide to the Beaches and Beyond

Florida’s Gulf Coast is a boater’s haven with 770 miles of coastline encompassing the warm subtropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Point your bow on the southwest coast and discover Florida’s coastal city of Sarasota, known for its pristine beaches and the famous Florida boating lifestyle. You don’t have to go far to find out where to go boating in Sarasota. We cover the best here.

Beer Can Island (Pine Key)

The hook-shaped Beer Can Island extends on the northern tip of Longboat Key and has an undeveloped white sand beach. The island’s curve allows boats to anchor in calmer waters from the wind and oncoming Gulf waves. This makes it one of the most popular boating spots in Sarasota. Hang a hammock on one of the many fallen trees or relax on a float in the aquamarine water.

Lido Key Beach

Lido Key Beach is a great place to get your boat in the sand. Those who know where to go boating in Sarasota will agree that not all beaches are boat friendly. Lido Key Beach forms a point at the southern end of the island and then continues along the back of the island, creating a safe haven from the rougher waters. It’s less populated than the world famous Siesta Key Beach, but just as picturesque.

City island

Located on the northern tip of Lido Key, City Island is a small island known for its crown jewel attraction, the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Dock at one of the two waterfront restaurants and head to the aquarium or the nearby sea bird sanctuary. Get up close to marine species or take a stroll through the mangroves on the Ken Thompson Park boardwalk. There are no sandy beaches here, but the family will love learning about nature and the local marine life.

Explore the Intracoastal Waterway

The barrier islands on the coast are separated from mainland Florida by a water channel, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The ICW is an intricate body of water that offers exciting opportunities to spot native wildlife, explore inland waterways, fish mangrove estuaries, snorkel the grassy areas, picnic on a sandbar, collect shells on the islands, or tour multi-million dollar mansions.

Eating at the port

When deciding where to go boating in Sarasota, consider the endless boat-access restaurants to enhance your boating experience. Escape the sun and spend a few hours soaking up cold refreshments, fresh Florida cuisine and the glittering view of Sarasota Bay on the water.

The many beautiful boating locations in Sarasota give you great options for your next boating destination. When planning your trip, visit our Florida boating page and use our interactive map to find boat ramps and marinas.