Welcome to Casey Key
The narrow island of Casey Key is one of Sarasota's hidden gems. Casey Key is a narrow, secluded 8-mile-long barrier island located in Sarasota County, Florida, near the town of Nokomis and approximately 15 miles south of the city of Sarasota. Between the cities of Sarasota and Venice lie a handful of communities and enclaves worth exploring. On the mainland are Osprey and Nokomis, home to Oscar Scherer State Park, Historic Spanish Point and a popular 10-mile paved biking pathway called the Legacy Trail. Venture off the mainland to Casey Key. Stay at one of the beach condos and seaside nooks near the bustling Nokomis Beach, Sarasota County's oldest public beach. Access to the beach is available only near the southern tip of the island. All other parts of the beach are considered part of private estates.
Two bridges connect Casey Key to the mainland, one at either extremity, and the north bridge – Blackburn Point Bridge – is one of only two swing bridges known to remain in the U.S. from the 1920s. One twisting street, Casey Key Road, bisects the island. Along most of its length, this public highway is canopied by massive old-growth subtropical vegetation, pines and oaks. Occasional glimpses can be had through the hedges of huge mansion estates and a few remaining Florida Cracker beach homes, all Gulfside. One such estate is owned by author Stephen King, who drew inspiration for his novel Duma Key from his winter stays here.
Nokomis Beach comprises two long, linear expanses of sand on the east and west sides of Casey Key Road toward the key's south end. The beach offers boat launches, a boardwalk and snack bar. At the southern tip of the island, close to where the road crosses the south bridge, a public beach makes up the western side of North Jetty Park. A pier within the park, Venice Jetty, can be used for fishing. The channel is a famous area for dolphin watching, and a resident pod often can be seen to the southeast of the jetty.
The Casey Key Fish House is located at the west end of the north bridge and has 175 feet of deep-water dockage for patrons’ use. Casey Key Fish House serves food and drinks in a relaxed waterside setting. Most of the menu consists of locally caught seafood. The restaurant also has a large outside tiki bar.
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. Calling itself “a window to the past,” 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 meander through landscaped gardens and native coastal habitats, and a long boardwalk that looks out over the bay.