When you think of your last vacation, chances are, your mode of transport to your destination – an airplane or car – was less than exciting. That’s just never the case when you vacation by boat. The whole experience is an adventure bookended by the beauty of the ocean. So whether you’re hiring a captain for a private yacht charter with your closest friends or sailing your own vessel with your family as crew, the Gulf Coast of Florida is dotted with marina after marina acting as your gateway to destination after destination. In fact, one place we can guarantee you’ll want to spend a few days docked at: The Longboat Key Club Moorings in Sarasota. When you set up base camp here, you’re treated to all the luxuries of The Resort at Longboat Key Club and a whirlwind of things to do in Sarasota.
Where to Stay
Home to 291 storm-protected, deep-water slips (accommodating vessels up to 150 feet), The Longboat Key Club Moorings, part of The Resort at Longboat Key Club, is like a little waterside village. An unmatched marina menu includes all the basic services (fuel, electric, water, cable, free WiFi, showers, full-service laundry) as well as on-site boat maintenance, dock hands on duty, and a store. And while you aren’t staying in one of the 218 rooms of the AAA four-diamond resort, your group is still able to access all the perks of this luxury property set on 410 acres. In fact, with white sand beaches, watersports, five restaurants and lounges, and 45 holes of golf, you may never need to step foot off resort grounds.
Reset by Relaxing
Get your land legs back by hitting the reset button on your body once you arrive. The island-inspired Spa at Longboat Key offers 10 treatment rooms, two relaxation lounges, and more than 50 handcrafted treatments. Not sure what to try? Book The Sampler, a one-and-a-half hour experience that combines your choice of three 25-minute treatments, like the Express Massage, the Express Facial, a warm-oil scalp massage, a foot massage, and more. It’ll leave you rested, refreshed, and ready to take on whatever the next leg of your voyage throws at you.
Local Boating History
Want to learn a little bit about the local boating history? Located just 10 miles north of the moorings in the historic fishing town of Cortez, the Florida Maritime Museum is a little gem set in an old brick schoolhouse. Vintage photos, old commercial-fishing boat models, and collections of old maritime artifacts and technology make up the displays that are dedicated to preserving the fishing industry of this area.
Drinks in a…Boston Whaler?
Located on City Island, just a mile away from The Resort at Longboat Key Club, The Old Salty Dog is a laid-back waterfront setting offering panoramic views of Sarasota Bay and the boats navigating the New Pass Bridge. Take a seat at the bar – fashioned from the hull of a Boston Whaler – and order from a drink menu that includes several local craft brews on draft, margaritas with Grand Marnier floats, rum punch with four types of rums, and key-lime piña coladas.
You group doesn’t have to stray too far from your boat before you run into one of the resort’s signature dining experiences: Portofino Ristorante & Bar. With a trattoria-style atmosphere and terra-cotta terrace, it feels like a slice of the Mediterranean came to Longboat Key Cub Mooring’s own Marina Village. Expect Mediterranean classics with a Florida Gulf twist – like the Golfo Caturatto Grouper, a traditional Italian seafood risotto made from fresh local fish – and an extensive list of almost 100 wines. And because the restaurant is reserved exclusively for guests and club members, you’ll get the full VIP treatment.
Kayak through the Mangroves
For a different kind of boating experience, the two-hour mangrove tour with Adventure Kayak Outfitters launches from Lido Key and travels through a dense maze of mesmerizing Florida mangroves. Led by Florida natives, the tour travels, via kayak, through different tunnels that lead to shallow, protected waters of grass flats and eventually out into Sarasota Bay where the group will watch for manatees and dolphins.
Two Ways to Swing Away
The Resort at Longboat Key Club is home to the most elite golf courses and tennis facilities in Sarasota. The Tennis Gardens offer 20 Har-Tru courts that feature state-of-the-art playing surfaces, as well as a tennis concierge at your beck-and-call to set up match play, get you something from the pro shop, or book your lessons. The 45 holes of championship golf come in the form of two courses: the tree-lined Harbourside Golf Course that runs along Sarasota Bay, and Links on Longboat that borders the Gulf of Mexico – both consistently rated among the country’s finest places to play.
Enjoy the ultimate beach day with your group on the resort’s private gorgeous white sand beach. The spot is fully outfitted with cabanas, beach chairs, and umbrellas, as well as a volleyball court and watersport rentals (kayaks, bikes, and paddleboards). Plus, the resort’s Barefoot’s Bar and Grill is only a few steps away when you’re craving a tropical cocktail to complete the experience.