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Run away to...Lido Key!

I'll be the first to admit it: my pulse starts racing at the thought of a plane ticket and an exotic island destination. These days my travel fantasies are tending toward Sri Lanka, Minorca, and Malta. But that doesn't mean that this Island Runaway should neglect islands a whole lot closer to home.

Like Lido Key.

Off the Gulf Coast of Florida, touched by gentle waves from the Gulf of Mexico, Lido Key is one of the places that we return to, time after time. It's officially part of Sarasota, a small-ish city known for its cultural offerings, good dining, great weather, and abundance of beautiful beaches. We Island Runaways lived in Sarasota for a year, and Lido Key was an easy afternoon getaway.

You drive over a soaring, white bridge, pass St. Armand's Circle with lots of shopping, restaurants, and ice cream parlors, and shazam! You're there. Easy parking, 30 second walk to the sand.

It's what they call a "family beach." There's not a lot of flash. You won't see many ladies in expensive designer bikinis. It's chill, as they say. Relaxing. Pretty.

If you don't live within driving distance of Lido Key, you can fly into Sarasota, St. Petersburgh, or Tampa airports. Accomodation options on the island range from rental houses to Mom-and-Pop motels and beach-front condos. One thing I love about this area is that you can do very little if you like, just lounge on the sand, or choose from a range of Sarasota activities: nature walks, sunset cruises, an art museum with Old Masters, and a marine research center.

Looking at Zickie's photographs from a previous Lido Key day, I'm beginining to think maybe our next run away needs to be very...soon!

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