Casey Key is sandwiched between Sarasota Bay to its east and the Gulf of Mexico to its west. Less than 400 people are thought to live on the island, and there are no hotels or guest houses. All other parts of the beach are considered part of private estates.
Casey Key is a narrow 8 mile long barrier island in Southwest Sarasota County, Florida. The island is a conservation area and has several miles of unspoiled beaches, making it an ideal destination for a quiet, relaxing retreat. Located near Nokomis and about 10 miles south of Sarasota, and just North of Venice, Florida.
Getting to Casey Key
Two bridges connect Casey Key to the mainland, one at either end, and the north bridge — Blackburn Point Bridge — is one of only two swing bridges known to remain in the U.S. from the 1920s. The two roads that connect with Casey Key Road are Blackburn Point Rd to the North end and Albee Road West to the South.
Casey Key Road, which runs the length of the island, is canopied by massive old-growth subtropical vegetation, pines and oaks. And, you can catch a glimpse of huge mansion estates and a few remaining Florida Cracker beach homes along the Gulf. One estate is owned by author Stephen King, who drew inspiration for his novel Duma Key while staying here.
Beaches and Public Facilities
Access to the public beach area is available only near the southern tip of the island. Nokomis Beach is a large white sand beach, with Lyons Bay to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. It has a boat-launch ramp, boardwalk, pavillion with restroom/changing facilities, covered picnic areas and free parking. The town’s holds a drum circle event each week on Wednesday and Saturday from about 4pm to just after sundown.
At the southernmost point you’ll find the North Jetty Park beach and one of the best spots for surfing and snorkeling. The channel is a famous area for dolphin watching, and a resident pod often can be seen to the southeast of the jetty. The beaches are open daily and lifeguards are on duty during peak hours.
The Casey Key Conservation Act of 1970 designated the island as a marine and wildlife sanctuary. There are plenty of opportunities for bird-watching while biking or hiking as well as enjoying the island’s flora and fauna. Endangered sea turtles nest here and their nests are marked with stakes and orange tape. Endangered manatees also frequent the waterways here and visitors often spot dolphins swimming close to shore.
The Intracoastal Waterway is just to the east of Casey Key, which also offers opportunities for boating. Deep water boat docks are available on the bay side of the island. There are full- or half-day charters for boating in the bay and Intracoastal Waterway, with deck boats for parties of up to 10 people and pontoon boats for larger groups. Personal watercraft can be rented by people over age 18 and fees include wetsuits. Kayaking is another way to explore the area inlets and waterways, with both single- and two-rider craft available for rent.
The North Jetty Beach is a popular area for shore fishing, and many anglers also fish off the rocks around the Venice Inlet. Boat charters are available from the marina for deep-sea fishing in the Gulf. Fishing gear and bait are available from the North Jetty Fish Camp on the northern bank of the inlet.
Restaurants, cafes and bars are not allowed on Casey Key. However, their are several restaurants located at the west end of the north bridge and has 175 feet of deep-water dockage for patrons’ use.
Oscar Scherer State Park is located on U.S. 41, two miles south of Osprey. A large acreage of scrubby flatwoods makes this park one of the best places to see Florida scrub-jays, a threatened species found only in Florida.
The park also protects scrubby and pine flatwoods that were once widespread throughout Sarasota County. Fifteen miles of trails through these beautiful natural areas provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing.
Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a blackwater stream that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Freshwater and saltwater fishing are available along the creek. Anglers can fish along the shores of Lake Osprey, which is also the park´s swimming destination.
Picnic areas along South Creek are equipped with grills; pavilions can be reserved for a fee. The park has full-facility campsites and a youth/group campground.
The Oscar Scherer Park Nature Center also has exhibits and videos about the park´s natural communities.
Historic Spanish Point
Historic Spanish Point is a 30-acre archaeological and environmental museum in Osprey, Florida, located just across Little Sarasota Bay from the north end of Casey Key.
The facility boasts the world’s only museum exhibition built inside a prehistoric shell mound. There is also a collection of pioneer-era buildings, a butterfly garden, nature trails that wander throughout the landscaped gardens and native coastal habitats, and a long boardwalk that looks out over the bay.