Oyster Creek Golf and Country Club| Englewood FL
Oyster Creek Golf and Country Club| Englewood FL
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Stump Pass Beach State Park

Unspoiled beauty at Stump Pass Beach Park

Immerse yourself in the untouched splendor of Stump Pass Beach Park, located at the southern end of our beautiful island. This hidden gem boasts a mile-long stretch of pristine sand beach that faces the breathtaking Gulf of Mexico. But that's not all - along the bay area, you'll find a protected Mangrove "jungle" that adds to the park's natural allure.

The gateway to adventure: Stump Pass

Located at the southern tip of our island, Stump Pass is a unique waterway that separates Manasota Key from Don Pedro Island. It offers a picturesque gap where small to medium-sized boats can leave Lemon Bay and venture out into the vast waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It's a boater's paradise and a perfect destination for those seeking coastal exploration.

The only State Park in this Area

Without any doubt, Stump Pass Beach State Park is an unspoiled property on Mother Earth. The thick vegetation is left untouched. A boardwalk leads beach-goers through several types of habitat. Once the boardwalk ends, a one-mile winding path continues down to Stump Pass. Part of the path is in the shade. However, be prepared for stretches under ruthless attack by the sun. In June/July, the sand is so hot that you will "jump like a kangaroo from shade to shade unless you bring some shoes. At least, it feels so good when you cool your feet off in the water. 

It's a Jungle out there

Visitors will have the chance to see at least some wildlife. Manatees, dolphins, water birds, Ospreys, and turtles are common. Once in a while, you may also see a seahorse floating by. How cute is that?

However, you will only see some at a time. It takes time to discover nature's wonders, and they are not waiting for you. Visitors can sunbathe, swim, and snorkel on the Gulf or Bayside. The Bayside is always the better choice when a strong west-northwest wind blows. Swimmers should never underestimate the power of a rip-current, which is always a concern when swimming at high winds on the gulf side. 

The Park is nicely equipped, although, amenities are limited

The park provides picnic tables - some are in the shade, some are not, restrooms, showers, limited parking ($3 a day - enforced), and a boat launch. Park rangers are around to manage the park, and when the sun sets, they close the park. If you want to watch the sunset and stay a little longer, Englewood Beach, Middle Beach, and Manasota Beach would be the better choice. 


Englewood Beach or Chadwick Beach

Englewood Beach is the busiest of the four beaches on Manasota Key. This beach seems to be a "madhouse" during spring break; however, it is only "somewhat mad" the rest of the year. But even during the winter months, which are considered the "season" in Florida, there are not enough "snowbirds" to clog the beach up. There is always space on the beach. Unfortunately, the number of parking lots limits the fun in the sun. 

Why is this Beach so popular?
There are two reasons why this beach is so popular: The beach area has several recreation facilities, such as basketball hoops, horseshoe pits, volleyball nets, a well-equipped playground for the kids, picnic tables, pavilions, grills, outdoor showers, and new restrooms. Boardwalks go all the way to the beach area and provide access to the beach through the dunes. Please use those paths and do not walk through the dunes. You may destroy the natural habitat, which takes years to recover from damage. 

You are close to everything
The second reason for the immense popularity is the proximity to nice conveniences like dining, bars, shopping, boat/jet ski rentals,  parasailing, and fishing trips.   

Live Music and Fun

Some of the restaurants offer live music at sunset  (and afterwards) which is always a very welcome feature. Also, Englewood Beach does not only offer Gulf and Lemon Bay access, this little park provides plenty of benches and gazebos from where the beach goers can watch the sun dip into the Gulf of Mexico while having a nice picnic with their friends.   

You can also go on a nice sunset cruise on Lemon Bay. An experienced skipper takes a limited number of guests on board of his pontoon boat and shows them the beautiful sunset from the water.  Dolphin watching included. It really shows! Those guys know when "Flipper" is around. 

Visitors must pay a parking fee, though. Right now the fee is $.75 per hour. There are only a few parking meters where the visitors can get a parking receipt. Be prepared to stay in line when one of the machines is on the blink. Also, arrive early on weekends and holidays. You must secure a space. There is absolutely no street parking. 

Middle Beach or Blind Pass Beach

Only a few miles further north is the Blind Pass Beach, also known as "Middle Beach".  This beach is more like a park, cut into sections by Manasota Key Road. The smaller part is located west of Manasota Key Road. This harbors the beach and the restrooms. There are also outdoor showers and picnic tables. The beach has shallows and is ideal for swimming, shelling, and boating. 

The 60-acre area continues on the other side of the street and stretches all the way to the Intracoastal Waterway. Only on this side you find ample parking space. There are also hiking trails, board walks, picnic tables, a picnic pavilion, a playground and a boat launch for smaller boats. 

There is no boat launch on the Gulf side. Parking and use of the facilities are free.  Like the other three beaches, don't expect lifeguards watching you. Don't swim out too far if you are not a real experienced swimmer. Don't rely on "Flipper" to save your life. Those dolphin rescue stories are cute, but ...

Manasota Beach

Think about it. On Manasota Key there should really be a "Manasota Beach" as well, right ?  And yes, the beach is there. Manasota Beach is right at the northern end of the barrier island. This beach is easily accessible because of its location. It is  right where the modern drawbridge connects the island with the mainland. The area consists of 14 acres of dunes and parkland. 

This large beach area is also known as a sea turtle nesting site, however, chances are slim that you will see those baby turtles. You may see their nests because they are marked with stakes and tape. Don't try to dig out the eggs. There is a hefty penalty on that action.

Visitors can swim, snorkel ...or bake in the sun. The restrooms are brand new; picnic pavilions, grills, and outdoor showers are also provided. Parking space is a little limited. But parking is, like on Middle Beach, free of charge. Wonderful.

At this point, all parking in Sarasota County is free, while Charlotte County charges parking fees. So, that indicates that Manasota Key is split in half. The northern section, including Manasota Beach and Middle Beach, is governed by Sarasota County ... and parking is free. The southern part belongs to Charlotte County, therefore, dig into your pockets and try to find some quarters. 

Manasota Beach has a boardwalk through the dunes which makes the beach wheelchair accessible. Manasota Beach is also adjacent to a boat dock and ramp that serves the Intracoastal Waterway. If you are out of luck finding a spot to park your car, try the boat ramp parking on the other side. With a little luck, you'll find a spot there. 

Manasota Beach is the only beach on the Key with year-round lifeguards on duty. The friendly lifeguards love to assist disabled visitors in locating wheelchairs suitable for the beach. They can also warn you when they spot that distinct triangular back fin which is slowly coming closer towards you.  Therefore, when they are waving don't only wave back. Most likely they do not want you to stop by at their observation platform for a hug; more likely they want to tell you that something is brewing in the "murky water."