Updated: Mar 16, 2022
One of my favorite beaches south of the Skyway Bridge is Lido Beach. The beach is very wide and looks out to the Gulf of Mexico. Lido Beach is on Lido Key just past Saint Armand's circle. Saint Armand's, locally called "The Circle", has numerous restaurants and shops.
Saint Armand's Circle was envisioned by John Ringling. The same John Ringling who created the Ringling Brothers Circus. His goal was to create a people-friendly place with broad boulevards, beautiful homes, classical statues, lush landscaping, elegant shops and restaurants, and a central park for musical performances.
My family loves exploring this area of Florida and Lido Key is somewhere we love to take visitors from out of town. Lido Key has a beautiful beach with tons of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment for the whole family.
Lido Beach is well thought out. There is plenty of public parking. If you cannot find parking along John Ringling Blvd there is a public parking lot on Benjamin Franklin Dr.
Next to the public parking lot is Lido Island Grill if you don't feel like eating at Saint Armand's Circle.
There are public restrooms at the intersection of John Ringling Blvd and Benjamin Franklin Dr. along with a spray station to get off all the sand. You will find these spray stations up and down Benjamin Franklin Dr.
Saint Armand's Circle
If you are looking for good food head to the Circle. There are places like Speaks Clam Bar, Columbia Restaurant, Green Zebra Cafe, Crab and Fin, or Cha Cha Coconuts.
If you are looking for cocktails Daiquiri Deck and The Whiskey Barrel are popular options.
There are numerous "mom and pop" shops and even bigger names like Tommy Bahama and Chico's. There are jewelers, clothing stores, and unique items to decorate your home.
If you want to entertain the kids there is an video game arcade called Arcade Monster. They have numerous games both new and old. They have pin ball machines, ski ball, Japanese arcade games, and 90's arcade games.
As you walk around the Circle there may be local street musicians set up for your enjoyment.
Finish off your afternoon by getting some ice cream at Kilwin's, Big Olaf Creamery, Settimi's Gelato, or Ben and Jerry's. Then head down to the beach to catch a beautiful sunset.
Even though this area is popular, many people don't know about the nature trail that runs parallel to Lido Beach. There is no parking at the trail head. Make sure to only park in public designated parking to prevent your vehicle from getting towed.
If you go north on N Polk Dr and turn left on Emerson Dr you will find the trail head at the end of the street.
The trail has tree cover and numerous off shoots that go out to the beach. The end of trail empties out to the north end of Lido Beach. There you will find sea shell trees. Where people have found shells on the beach and hung them on trees like Christmas ornaments. Walk south down the beach and you will find yourself back at the beach entrance.
This is a great place to take the kids for a walk or a great way to end a date with a romantic stroll.
Could you see yourself living here?
The various areas of Florida offer a distinctly different lifestyle from each other. Lido Key is no exception. The price point for homes on Lido Key is one of the highest in the area. However, the access to to Saint Armand's Circle and Lido Beach makes the price point worth it. This is a very safe, entertaining, and beautiful area of Florida. Downtown Sarasota is just on the other side of the bridge from Saint Armand's Circle. SRQ, Sarasota's Airport is only 6 miles away.
If you are interested in finding a home in this area, please register on the home page. I would be glad to help you find the right place for your family.