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Casey Key is a unique barrier island in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. It is strictly residential with only a few small motels near the southern end, and is connected to the mainland by the Blackburn Point Bridge, a one-lane 1920’s swinging bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places on the north, and a bridge on the south ending at Nokomis Beach. A canopy of old palms, pines and oak trees line the road, secluding everything from massive modern mansions to modest old beach homes.
The isolated and exclusive island is about 8 miles long, an area of residential estates all priced over one million dollars with most of the properties being gulf front as well as bay front. This narrow piece of land is home to some the most spectacular houses, several owned by celebrities. Many of the native plants have been left as landscaping and there are few lawns. Mostly the natural sand and shell has been left uncovered, shaded by palms and other tropical plants. Some homes have their back yard on the bay and their front yard on the Gulf. Part of the Gulf coast barrier islands, Casey Key extends from Siesta Key south to the Island of Venice. The island enjoys a higher ground elevation, important for Florida’s summer storms. Homes are the epitome of luxury, with many being worth millions of dollars.
Toward the south end of the island is Nokomis Beach, a long expanse of sand on the east and west sides of the island, along with boat launch facilities, a boardwalk, and a snack bar. It’s a public beach known for its stunning white sand beaches that are ideal for shelling and beachcombing. All types of other beach activities are available such as swimming, diving, fishing and boating. Nokomis Beach has lifeguards, free parking, concessions, restrooms and picnic tables.
Every Wednesday and Saturday on Nokomis Beach around dusk, you can observe – or participate in – the Drum Circle. Many of the participants are doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals. And some are hippies. Whatever the profession or economic status, they all come together to fuse their drums and cymbals into rhythmic beat.
At the southern tip of Casey Key is North Jetty Park, with fine white sand covering the gulf-side beach. A short walk east is a great place to watch pods of dolphins playing in the bay waters. This area is also one of the best surfing beaches on the Gulf Coast of Florida. This park is also a popular fishing spot, where changing tides yield catch to patient anglers.
Residents of Casey Key enjoy lush streets lined with exotic vegetation. The beaches are surprisingly unspoiled, and are home to a number of aquatic native birds, dolphins, manatees and other wildlife. Although the island is secluded, residents aren’t far from all of the great amenities in nearby Sarasota, Ft. Myers, Naples and Tampa.