I have been living in Guatemala for a long time. It is coming up to 10 years. During all that time we have taken at least one trip to Florida per year to visit my family. Each time we also take the chance to explore different regions of the Sunshine State. With some many years of exploring, at this point, I can safely say, we have visited and experienced most of what Florida has to offer.
We have taken the time to explore a little bit of everything including Disney and Universal amusement parks, swimming with manatee and checking out the best Florida beaches for families such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona. I was pretty sure we’d tried it all. Or so we thought!
Finding a Piece of Paradise
Searching for a small place with plenty of outdoor activities and a small beach town feel where we could relax and have some family fun.
It took a lot of researching but I finally found Manasota Key. And after visiting it I can say that this trip was the first of many more. Let me tell you all about what makes this tiny place so special for relaxed and private vacations for families.
For a while now I have been a huge advocate for vacation rentals. My family and I always stay in one whenever there is a good option in the area we are visiting.
So, as you would expect this was the first thing I searched for. This ended up saving me a lot of time because even if I wanted to stay at a large hotel, I wouldn’t have been able to find that in the area.
One of the best was to get deals on vacation rentals according to my experience is to search for specific sites to the location you will be looking for. That is how I found Florida Rental by Owners – FlaRBO.com. I’m not sure about how long they have been in the market but the service that Nancy, the Co-Founder, provided was amazing.
After telling her all about my family’s needs she recommended Pelican Landing condo rental. Plus we got to deal directly with the owner, John, who also helped me figure out what to do, where to find the best tour operators and best restaurants.
So definitely look into vacation rentals when visiting this part of Florida, you will definitely find a gem. I would never consider a resort if, for a third of the price I would normally pay, I can have a full kitchen, two bedrooms, living room and dining room.
What To Do On Manasota Key With Kids
The locals on this Key have a saying: Manasota Key is full of old people and their parents.
However, we were able to learn that it is quickly becoming a favorite among families from nearby areas. This really showed the amazing service we were receiving.
The first activity I wanted to book for my family was a biking adventure along the beach, renting bikes for us is practically non-negotiable. It is a lot of fun and my sons never get bored of it.
After hearing recommendations from our vacation rental owner we rented ours from Allure Boat Rentals (they obviously rent much more than bikes) but they had all that we needed. Plus, when they ran into a bit of a problem the fixed it the best way possible.
While doing my reservations I told them I was going to need 4 bikes, 3 for adults and one for a kid. But by the time we got there they had none left for kids so they bought my seven-year-old a brand new BMX bike to use the entire time we were on the island with no extra charge for us.
They also offered to bring the bikes wherever we needed them and provided locks for them. Not that they were needed but I asked for them just in case! (Living in Central America one is always looking for ways to not be robbed). It was great to know that they would help out with anything I needed.
Manasota Key Tours
The second tour that I had in mind was going on a boat tour to go see dolphins. But we ended up not doing it because the weather wasn’t right for this sort of trip. But this is also a great option if you like being outdoors.
Other popular tours in the area that we didn’t get to do but would definitely be a lot of fun are sailboat tours, dolphin tours, fishing, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. You can also rent Jet skis when the water is calm and the weather is right. It is heaven for anyone interested in water sports.
More Reasons to Visit Manasota Key
This is a self-contained island where you don’t need a car. It has tons of beautiful secluded, uncrowded beaches. You will find several restaurants on the water with live music. There are rentals for boats, fishing, stand up paddle boarding, riding the waves at good prices.
The majority of travelers are there “to get away from it all” and just relax so you won’t find a lot of parties and sound. A little less than 1,500 people live on Manasota Key, so if you are looking for a small town feel this is definitely the place to visit. Its beaches are frequently visited by endangered sea turtles who use them as hatching grounds.
How can you NOT come and stay!
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