The islands, keys and waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide a wealth of beaches conveniently near North Port in Sarasota County, Florida. From playing volleyball on family friendly sands, to shark tooth scavenging on untouched beaches, to secluded beaches where manatees swim, beach-goers won't have a hard time finding something they love nearby.
Head roughly 25 minutes west of North Port to choose from Venice, Florida's, 14 miles of beaches. Dog lovers will delight in Sarasota County's only dog-friendly beach adjacent to the Brohard Paw dog park. Caspersen Beach is the county's longest, and has been untouched by cultivation, making the secluded stretch of sand ideal for hunting shark's teeth or wandering among the mangrove areas. Venice Municipal Beach is conveniently close to downtown Venice and offers coral reefs just a quarter mile off shore. Those who want a family-friendly beach head to Nokomis Beach, the county's oldest.
Key to Quiet
If you're looking to get away from the more populated beaches, head to the small but relaxing Manasota Beach. Approximately 20 minutes southeast of North Port, the wide, sandy beach is slightly less than a mile and lies along the mangroves and dunes of Manasota Key. Plenty of leisure activities are here, with boat docks and ramps for boaters and fishers, fire pits, picnic areas, grills, boardwalks, volleyball courts. Bathroom facilities and a lifeguard station add convenience.
Key to Activity
A more social alternative to Manasota Beach is Manasota Key's busiest, Englewood Beach. On the southern end of the key, the wide beach has an array of active amenities, including basketball hoops, horseshoe pits, volleyball nets, playground and boardwalk. Rent out one of the beach's pavilions and enjoy a family picnic, or eat at one of the nearby restaurants. Parking is available during the day for a very nominal fee. There is no lifeguard at Englewood Beach.
For more adventurous beach-goers, Caya Costa State Park offers roughly 9 miles of secluded beaches on La Costa Island, just south of Boca Grande. The island is accessible only by private boats or paid ferries, which can be caught in Bokeelia, approximately an hour's drive south of North Port. Look for manatees and dolphins while scuba-diving in the waters just off the barrier island's coast, or wander among the pine forests and mangroves along the 2,200-acre park's many bike and foot paths.