Longboat Key, Florida

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Longboat Key, Florida
Location in Manatee County and the state of Florida
Location in Manatee County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°23′49″N 82°38′41″W / 27.39694°N 82.64472°W / 27.39694; -82.64472Coordinates: 27°23′49″N 82°38′41″W / 27.39694°N 82.64472°W / 27.39694; -82.64472
Country United States
State Florida
Counties Sarasota, Manatee
 • Town commissioner 7 Total
 • Total 16.0 sq mi (41.4 km2)
 • Land 4.1 sq mi (10.7 km2)
 • Water 11.9 sq mi (30.7 km2)
Elevation 3 ft (1 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,888
 • Density 1,668/sq mi (643.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 34228
Area code(s) 941
FIPS code 12-41150[1]
GNIS feature ID 0286084[2]
Website www.longboatkey.org

Longboat Key is a town in Manatee and Sarasota counties along the central west coast of the U.S. state of Florida, located on and coterminous with the barrier island of the same name. Longboat Key is south of Anna Maria Island, between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is almost equally divided between Manatee and Sarasota counties. The town of Longboat Key was incorporated in 1955 and is part of the BradentonSarasotaVenice Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The town's population was 6,888 at the 2010 census,[3] down from 7,603 at the 2000 census.


Early History[edit]

Longboat Key was originally inhabited by Native Americans. The area Longboat Key was scouted by Juan Anasco who was the first white man to explore the key and Hernando De Soto's scout which his Longboat went through the Longboat Pass on the north end of the Key. According to local legend he believed the Indians were hostile and when they reached land on the island and fled leaving their Longboat in a bayou. Pirate Jean Lafitte was said to have been shipwrecked near or on Longboat Key.[4] For over 300 years Longboat Key was vastly ignored. Longboat Key was first settled by Thomas Mann and his sons in 1884 receiving 144 acres (58 ha) on the key in which he moved to in 1888 with his family and his house was located in the north end of the key.[5] A year after buying the land the town was given a name and was known as Longbeach. The land was sold in 1905 for $500 for commercial development. Longboat Key was a farming community until 1921 when most of the key's buildings were destroyed by a hurricane. That same year, the island was split in two counties, Sarasota and Manatee. In 1925 at the south end, John Ringling a developer built the Ritz Carlton Hotel which began in March 1926 which was never completed and eventually torn down. In World War 2 Longboat Key had a bombing range.


On November 13, 1955 the town was incorporated in a 186- 13 vote. At the time only about ⅓ of Longboat Key was developed and about 215 people lived there. The town when it was incorporated changed it's name from Longbeach to Longboat Key.[5]


In the 1960s and 1970s the Arvida corporation bought the south end of Longboat key and developed it for $13.5 million.[5] President Bush had arrived on Longboat on September 10, 2001 the day before the September 11 Attacks to read to second graders in a campaign called at the Emma T. Booker School in Sarasota.[6] On November 14, 2015 the town of Longboat Key celebrated a 60- year anniversary.[7]


The town of Longboat Key has a commission-manager form of government.

The United States Postal Service operates a post office on Longboat Key, with the entire island having the ZIP code of 34228. The post office was established on October 10, 1907, as "Longbeach" and was located in the community of that name on the north end of the key. On February 1, 1958, the name of the Longbeach post office was changed to Longboat Key. There was also a post office named "Longboat" established on March 27, 1914, in the Sarasota County portion of the key, but it was discontinued on January 14, 1922, and its functions were assumed by the Sarasota post office.[8]

The quasi-governmental form of the Condominium Association exists in one of its most complex forms in and on Longboat Key, comprising the "Federation of Longboat Key Condominiums". In addition to the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, and in concert with the Town of Longboat Key, these entities have made Longboat Key an exemplar of local government and citizen cooperation in participation and management for communities of its type.[citation needed]

Longboat Key is served by two newspapers published year-round, the Longboat Observer and the Longboat Key News[9]

In recent years, "federalizing" the Key by having the U.S. Congress create the "Longboat Key National Seashore" has been suggested. Currently Longboat Key is located within two Florida counties, Manatee County in the north and Sarasota County in the south, but there have been calls for the Florida Legislature to pursue an initiative to create a 68th county, "Longboat Key County," to simplify governance of the island. Neither of these initiatives is likely to be passed, however.[citation needed]


Longboat Key is located at 27°23′49″N 82°38′41″W / 27.396931°N 82.644751°W / 27.396931; -82.644751.[10] It is north of St. Armands Key, with its circle of shopping and dining, and Lido Key, and south of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria, which are located on adjacent Anna Maria Island. The nearby cities of Sarasota and Bradenton and the Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport round out Longboat Key's varied list of geographic amenities. State Road 789 (Gulf of Mexico Drive) runs the length of the island, with ancillary boulevards branching off to residential neighborhoods. From some locations one can see both Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. At other points the island widens and accommodates various homes owned both singly and in condominiums, hotels, and sports clubs.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.0 square miles (41.4 km2), of which 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (30.7 km2), or 74.19%, is water.[3]

Some Longboat Key residents are "snowbirds", who vacation on or own second homes on Longboat Key, and are present only during the winter months. Others are homesteaders, utilizing the various homestead exemptions provided to Florida citizens who own and occupy their principal residences within the state, as set forth under the Florida Constitution.

There are numerous restaurants on Longboat Key, including Moore's (closed in July 2015), Mar Vista, The Lazy Lobster, The Dry Dock, Pattigeorge's Restaurant, Chart House, the Longboat Key Club Restaurant, Euphemia Haye, Maison Blanche, Bayou Tavern, and Harry's. There are also full-service grocery stores, including Publix, and pharmacies, located centrally.

Most of the Gulf side of Longboat Key comprises beaches.

The southern most area of the key is mostly part of the Longboat Key Club.

Real estate[edit]

Much of the land area of Longboat Key is occupied by either single-family homes or condominium apartments. Most of the condominium associations co-own common elements which comprise pools, tennis courts, sites with water views and access to beaches.

Almost the entire land area of Longboat Key is now occupied. The remaining older, singly owned houses are as much as 45 years old, annexed to comparatively small parcels, again an outgrowth of the ½ acre limitation on homestead property area within municipalities as set forth in the Florida Constitution. In the last few years, these properties have been purchased by new owners who sought to and did demolish them in order build small, ornate homes worth much more, many being valued to amounts on the order of as much as a few million dollars, a peculiar outgrowth of the unlimited-in-value homestead exemption for principal residences from forced sale provided to homesteaders under the Florida Constitution. This diverse mix of homes owned both singly and in condominium line the many cul-de-sacs and boulevards branching off main roads towards both the bay and the gulf, with the length of the island served by Gulf of Mexico Drive.


A perennial problem for Longboaters was water quantity and quality. Salinity and sedimentary factors threatened the availability of potable water to island residents, visitors, and businesses. This problem was alleviated sufficiently when the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District approved a connection to Sarasota County's water supply, augmenting the existing connection to that of Manatee County.[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 1,000
1970 2,850 185.0%
1980 4,843 69.9%
1990 5,937 22.6%
2000 7,603 28.1%
2010 6,888 −9.4%
Est. 2014 7,143 [12] 3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 7,603 people, 4,280 households, and 2,846 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,546.4 people per square mile (596.7/km²). There were 8,834 housing units at an average density of 1,796.8 per square mile (693.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.24% White, 0.07% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.01% from other races, and 0.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.67% of the population.

There were 4,280 households out of which 3.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 1.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.78 and the average family size was 2.11.

In the town the population was spread out with 2.6% under the age of 18, 0.9% from 18 to 24, 5.7% from 25 to 44, 32.4% from 45 to 64, and 58.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 68 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $290,251, and the median income for a family was $307,983. Males had a median income of $261,157 versus $230,104 for females. The per capita income for the town was $280,963. About 0.4% of families and 0.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.9% of those under age 18 and 1.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]

Notable current and former residents of Longboat Key include:

Scotty Jones, noted South Georgia Farmer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Longboat Key town, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Longboat Key - History and Place to Visit". Longboat Key Chamber. Retrieved 2015-12-14. 
  5. ^ a b c "Longboat Key - History and Place to Visit". Longboat Key Chamber. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  6. ^ "9-11 Research: George W. Bush". 911research.wtc7.net. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  7. ^ "Longboat Key celebrates 60th anniversary". Your Observer. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  8. ^ Bradbury, Alford G., and Hallock, E. Story, A Chronology of Florida Post Offices, 1962, reprinted 1993, Port Salerno, Florida: Florida Classics Library, p. 49. ISBN 0-9630788-1-X
  9. ^ http://www.lbknews.com/
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/news/viewarticle.php?id=221 swfwmd.state.fl.us
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Vecsey, George (November 3, 2007). "Al Arbour: The Man Behind the Glass". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  15. ^ Mallozzii, Vincent M. "Lou Bender, Columbia Star Who Helped Popularize Basketball in New York, Dies at 99", The New York Times, September 12, 2009. Accessed September 13, 2009.
  16. ^ ABBY WEINGARTEN Correspondent. "Who lives here?". HeraldTribune.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  17. ^ http://www.yourobserver.com/realestate/1114201223036/Miracle-statue-en-route-to-Dubai
  18. ^ "Joe Perry's Condo". Virtual Globetrotting. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 

External links[edit]