A wooden footbridge leading to the beach

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COVID-19 Longboat Key, Secluded Sanctuary

Enjoy The Safe, Clean Solitude of Longboat Key

A secluded sanctuary with white sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and an incredibly low number of Coronavirus cases makes Longboat Key the ideal vacation destination during a pandemic.

Longboat Key is “socially distant” by design, one of the last Gulf of Mexico beach destinations where even at the height of tourist season, the beaches are still pleasantly unpopulated.

People who are already familiar with the solitude of Longboat Key have cancelled vacation plans in heavily populated tourist areas and booked their summer vacation here on Longboat Key.  Those not familiar with our barrier island, but long for the same gorgeous beaches such as our neighbor Anna Maria Island or Clearwater Beach have reached out by phone, email and social media to ask what makes Longboat Key safer than the other beach communities?

  1. Our local government, Town of Longboat Key, has been diligent in keeping LBK residents, most of whom are over 70 years old, safe during a pandemic that puts the senior population at risk.  There is a mandatory mask ordinance when entering businesses, and all of the public parking for beaches and other common areas such as parks and tennis courts have been closed until further notice.  It is for the reason of an older population on Longboat Key that these ordinances were put into place before the surrounding communities took action.  The majority of residents and tourists populating the area at this time have been very respectful and following these guidelines.
  2. Longboat Key’s collection of single family home vacation rentals, unless in a specific zone, are one month minimum rentals.  Longboat Key does not see the flocks of weekend warriors looking for a place to blow off some steam for a few days.  The majority of our guests staying in homes are here for at least a month and in-tune with the expectations of the community when it comes to social distancing.  Most of our condo rentals are also one month minimums with guests practicing the same considerations as residents.  There are very few resorts on the key compared to other Gulf beach destinations that operate like a hotel, allowing nightly reservations.  The vacation rental homes that do allow for weekly renters are beachfront homes, where guests more or less have a private beach and pool where social distancing isn’t an issue.
  3. Longboat Key doesn’t have a “downtown” so to speak, where there are a lot of people in one area.  The Restaurants and shops are spread out through the island, with many in stand alone buildings.  There is only one grocery store, Publix, that doesn’t see much traffic compared to others on the mainland.  All of the businesses are strictly following and enforcing social distancing guidelines.  Some seating has been removed to accommodate a 6ft. distance between diners, and patio seating has also been rearranged.  Curb side take-out is also a wonderful option that many of our guests have been taking advantage of so they can still enjoy their favorite restaurants, but in the safe, clean environment of their rental.  For a list of open restaurants in the area, please click here.
  4. Our neighboring Key to the South, Lido Key / St. Armand’s Circle has a vibrant restaurant and retail environment.  However, given the time of year, it’s not typically crowded, with no wait time to be seated, and few people browsing in the shops.  St. Armand’s Circle businesses are diligently following CDC guidelines and safety regulations mandated by the state of Florida.  All special events that St. Armand’s had on it’s calendar to host have been cancelled.  So, while not desolate, St. Armand’s Circle is nowhere near the bustling epicenter of activity that is it in the height of season.

Longboat Key is a breath of fresh air to travelers looking for a safe, clean oasis to truly enjoy a vacation without the added stress of traveling to a busy tourist attraction.  Even without an executive order, Longboat Key is a remote haven in paradise, a sanctuary where peace and privacy are respected as much as the beauty that surrounds all who visit.

For a list of area beach, recreation facilities and business openings, you can read more here.

We invite you to visit additional visitor resources we have gathered by visiting the COVID-19 section of our blog.