Lido Key, Florida Beaches

North Lido Beach

North Lido Beach is located on Lido Key, one quarter mile northwest of St. Armands Circle, off of John Ringling Blvd.

There is a very small parking area at the north end of the beach at the intersection of John Ringling Blvd. and Benjamin Franklin Drive.
The beach is easy to get to and very private. Please note that there are no lifeguards on duty at this beach and the currents are very swift.

The beach is maintained in a natural state and features a dune system that is home to many nesting shore birds. There are no amenities at this beach.

Lido Beach

Lido Beach is located on Lido Key, one half mile southwest of St. Armand's Circle, on Ben Franklin Drive.

Lido Beach is very popular and attracts visitors from all over the world. There are a number of hotels, motels and private condos for rent on Lido Key. While the beach isn't as large as nearby Siesta Key Beach, residents and visitors describe Sarasota's Lido Beach as more relaxed and less crowded. Lido Beach is within the city limits of the City of Sarasota while Siesta Beach is in unincorporated Sarasota County. Sections of the beach can be reserved for large private parties and weddings.

outdoor shower

The beach's amenities include:

The Lido Casino

Historical marker at the site for the former Lido Casino

For nearly 30 years the Lido Beach Casino attracted residents and tourists for pool and Gulf swimming, dining, dancing, shopping, and enjoying the beach. Activities such as swim meets, beauty pageants, and school and social events, were held here.
The exceptional Art Deco style casino, designed by renowned architect, Ralph Twitchell, was recognized in part for its cast concrete seahorses, glass block, and murals of tropical scenes.

The City of Sarasota acquired the necessary land from the John Ringling Estate and secured federal funds from the WPA for construction of the casino. More than 1,000 people attended the formal opening in December 1940. The city considered renovating the casino in the 1960's, but unfortunately had it torn down in 1969 and replaced it with a smaller building.

South Lido Park

Sailboat off of South Lido Beach

South Lido Park is located on Ben Franklin Drive at the southern tip of Lido Key. The park is bordered by four bodies of water; The Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass, Sarasota Bay, and Brushy Bayou.
The southern beach portion of the park offers views of the skyline of downtown Sarasota and the Gulf. It features a picnic area shaded by Australian Pines.
At a separate facility at the north end of the park, visitors can enjoy a nature trail which includes scenic overlooks and boardwalks.

View of Sarasota from South Lido Park ©2002

The park's amenities include:

Lifeguards are on duty during weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Swim marker buoy

When swimming, be sure to stay in the marked swim area and do not swim out past the swim buoy. Boaters: Be sure to stay well outside the marked swim area. Operation of motorized watercraft inside the swim area is illegal and unsafe.

Lifeguard stand on Lido Beach

At beaches where lifeguards are on duty you'll find information on water conditions and temperatures. Be sure to pay attention to the flags flying and their color:

Green: All clear or good swimming conditions.

Yellow: Use caution for potentially high surf or dangerous currents and undertows.

One red flag means that the surf is high or there are dangerous currents, or both. Two red flags or a red flag with a swimmer symbol and white line through it indicate the water is closed to swimming, as conditions are too dangerous for even the strongest swimmers.

Purple: Hazardous Marine Life.