An hour’s drive from Tampa, Casey Key stretches eight miles between Siesta Key and the Island of Venice and also runs parallel to the communities of South Sarasota, Osprey and Nokomis. This… lush secluded island on Florida’s west coast is predominantly residential; each with its own sandy shore… although…there are two public beaches, Nokomis and North Jetty Beach, at the south end.
A single road wends its way down the spine of the island where at some points the width averages less than a quarter mile. Often the road is barely more than one lane wide, where a leafy branch or hibiscus brushes a passing car… and, believe it or not… there are no traffic lights!
Two bridges cross at the north and south ends. The one to the north is a 1923 single lane Swing Bridge that’s well worth the crossing at Blackburn Point Road. This is an opportunity to photograph and cross a piece of history on Route 789 in South Sarasota County. The entire bridge rotates around an axis on a central support and requires no land side structures or counter weights. Boats with masts taller than eight feet signal the bridge tender who stops land traffic to rotate the bridge. “IF”… electricity fails the rotating mechanism… a giant “hand crank” comes to the rescue! A drop-in area is available nearby for kayaks and canoes on the east side with two waterfront restaurants frequented by locals called Aqua and Casey Key Fish House.
From the bridge it’s possible to head north on Casey Key Road and catch a glimpse of massive homes nestled in wooded natural beauty with a sandy strip of shoreline that’s all their own. The road eventually turns private where it’s quite difficult to turn around.
From Blackburn Point southward, there’s another four miles of monolithic dwellings featuring private cabanas and beaches on the Gulf and mega boats with docks on the Intra-coastal waterway.
With only 600 residents, this is the place where the rich and famous relax. Gulf-to-Bay property could be purchased for $20,000 in the 1950’s; today real estate on Casey Key averages in the millions, and up to $25 million for a small estate.
Interesting people and happenings…
Horror fiction novelist Stephen King has one of the priciest homes on the island. King’s winter home which he purchased in April of 2001, is currently valued at approximately $25 million with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a swimming pool, and 6,817 square feet. If you’ve read his latest novel, “Duma Key”… it’s literally based on this island with reference to many of the actual shops, restaurants and galleries in Sarasota and other nearby keys.
Martina Navratilova also owns a home on the island although she actually resides on Manasota Key.
Film director Victor Nunez, thought that Casey Key so resembled a 1950’s era small Floridian community, that in 1984 he filmed the movie adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s novel “Flash of Green”.
Small B&Bs and property rentals with private beaches are offered for rent near the south bridge where Nokomis Beach is a quiet respite and popular with locals. Although the sand is coarse, the trade off affords privacy, solitude and encounters with Nature.
North Jetty Park Beach is very popular for its shaded picnic sites, play area, shelling, surfing as well as fishing on the rocks of the jetty where the Intra-coastal meets the Gulf.
We welcome you to Casey Key, a vacation spot that offers soul-soothing beauty.
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