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A Family's Guide to Lido Key: Making the Most of Your Vacation

Plan the ultimate Lido Key trip for families with our guide! Discover top accommodations, activities, dining, and safety tips for a memorable getaway.

Playing in the Water at Lido Key, Florida
Playing in the Water at Lido Key, Florida (Photo by NATHAN MULLET on Unsplash)

So, you've decided to pack up the kids, the spouse, and your sanity for a family trip to Lido Key? Well, aren't you the brave one! But don't fret, we've got your back. This guide is your lifesaver, your beacon in the dark, your...well, you get the point.

Lido Key is like the cool aunt of Florida's beach towns. It's laid-back, fun, and won't judge you for letting your kids eat ice cream before lunch. You might even find yourself having a blast too! So, strap in, and let's dive into the wild world of family vacations at Lido Key.

Best Accommodation Options for Families

Resort near Lido Key, Florida

Hey folks! You're planning a fantastic trip to Lido Key and wondering where to stay. Well, you're in luck! We've got a list of top-notch accommodations in Lido Key that are perfect for families. Let's explore!

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota has built its reputation for luxury and, yep, you guessed it, it's right here in Lido Key. While relaxation is the main game in Lido Key, the Ritz-Carlton likes to kick it up a notch. See, they've got their own beach club. That's right a beach, within a beach. Beachception if you will! You've got towels, loungers, drinks, snorkeling equipment, and a chance to really brag about being on a beach within a beach.

Next, there's The Resort at Longboat Key Club. It's a longer name and a longer list of fun things for the family to do. From golfing like a pro with the kids (or without) to savoring the best seafood dishes, this resort offers a unique mingle of relaxation and adventure!

Here are the average prices per night you might consider for these hotels.

Hotel Average Price Per Night
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota $500
The Resort at Longboat Key Club $350

And if you're on a budget or just like to add a bit more adventure, skip the hotels and rent a beach house. Yep, a full-on, sand-in-your-toes, sea-salt-in-your-hair beach house. The perfect place for spacious living, backyard barbeques, and waking up to ocean views!

No matter where you decide to stay, remember it's all about enjoying your family time on Lido Key.

Family-Friendly Activities on Lido Key

Kayaking the Mangroves at Lido Key
Kayaking the Mangroves at Lido Key (Photo by The Tampa Bay Estuary Program on Unsplash)

Let's talk about activities. After all, it's all fun and games until someone says "I'm bored." Don't you worry though, Lido Key is nothing if not a boredom repellant. It's loaded with fun-filled, family-friendly activities that'll keep even the toughest peanut gallery entertained.

So first things first—the beach! I hear you asking, "Isn't that obvious?" Yes, it is. But there's no way we're skipping the star of the show! You and your little buckets of energy will find ample opportunity to build castles in the sand, meet fine-feathered friends at the shoreline, and chase the rhythmic waves for hours on end.

Ever tried kayaking or paddleboarding? Lido Key's calm waters are the perfect setting if you're in the mood for some delightful gliding. Companies like the Lido Key Kayak Company offer rentals and even guided tours. Easy as pie, right? But you might be wondering, "What if we capsize?" Don't panic, the water's shallow and you're not battling Niagara here. It's just some good, old-fashioned family fun on the water!

For those whose interest lies beneath the waves, grab a snorkel and dive into the inviting turquoise water. You'll be greeted with a vibrant display of marine life. Hello, Mr. Starfish, nice to meet ya!

Lido Beach Sign at St. Armands Circle
Lido Beach Sign at St. Armands Circle (Photo by Meadow Marie on Unsplash)

And if you're on the hunt for a literal treasure chest of goodies, head on over to St. Armands Circle. It's an open-air shopping mecca that's dotted with specialty stores, exotic boutiques, and, most importantly, ice cream parlors. Now that's something the kids will definitely not say no to!

Adding 'educator' to your vacation resume? The Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium should be on your radar. Let's face it, we've been creatures of the land for too long. Time for the kids (and you!) to meet some creatures of the sea!

Dining Options Everyone Will Love

Daiquiri Deck, St. Armands Circle

So you've explored, you've played, and boy, have you had fun. But now, the bellies are rumbling and it's time to feed the beasts... we mean, your beautiful family. Don't fret, Lido Key has got you covered. With dining options as diverse as your little one's moods, you won't struggle to find the perfect eatery to satiate those growling stomachs.

First up: Sand Dollar Restaurant. Your kids won't believe their eyes as they chow down on delicious meals while watching dolphins frolic in the glistening waters. And hold on to your sun hats because they offer a mouth-watering assortment of classic American fare and enchanting seafood dishes. Not to mention, they've got an excellent kids' menu featuring the ever-popular chicken tenders. So no prolonged battles over broccoli tonight!

We've all been there: little Bobby forgot his sun lotion and now you're seeking solace from the sun. Enter the Shore restaurant. Slap bang in the middle of St. Armands Circle, this air-conditioned haven offers a trendy menu that’s bolder than Aunt Marge's floral swimsuit. They’ve got everything from burgers and steaks to vegan friendly options. So even your picky eater will find something to nibble on. And If Bobby's sunburn calms down, nab an outdoor table for the full experience.

Last, but in no way least, we swing by Daquiri Deck. With live music and a fun-filled atmosphere, it's the perfect place to wrap up an eventful day on Lido Key. This isn’t just a recommended stop, it’s practically a rite of passage. Their menu is loaded with child friendly dishes and the adult cocktails aren’t too shabby either, If we do say so ourselves.

Don't believe us? Well, just take a look at the stats:

Restaurants Kid Friendly Atmosphere Cuisine
Sand Dollar Yes Casual Seafood
Shore Restaurant Yes Trendy American
Daquiri Deck Yes Fun Various

Safety Tips and Precautions for Families

Photo by Brian Beckwith on Unsplash

So, you've pried the kids away from the souvenir shop, ensured everyone's stuffed their faces at the Sand Dollar, and somehow dragged your brood away from the Shore Restaurant. Now, safety is what we're gonna blabber about. Boring you say? Think again, my friend! Your perfect vacation is just a couple of safety checks away from turning into the next blockbuster holiday disaster.

First things first, don't forget the SPF! The sun's rays don't care how great your tan is. That's why it's super important to slather on sunscreen. If you're feeling adventurous (or a bit forgetful), try using the kiddos as your personal reminder. When they're turning lobster red, it's time to reapply!

Next tip? Stay hydrated! I'm not talking about the liquid courage from the Daquiri Deck. While a tropical cocktail might seem like the solution to your vacation woes, it sadly won't quench your thirst in the Floridian heat. Keep a couple of water bottles handy - you won't believe how helpful they are when you're in the middle of a shell-collecting marathon.

Finally, be mindful of the local wildlife. No, I'm not implying your children are wild animals (although sometimes, one does wonder). The kids will probably do their best Crocodile Dundee impersonation, but this isn't about wrestling alligators, it's about respecting the natural habitat. Volunteer to be their guide in this extraordinary wilderness trek and blend in.

A little bit of levity aside, introducing these measures will not only make your Lido Key adventure a more secure one, but it's also going to guarantee more of those fun-filled wonderful family moments that you simply can't put a price tag on.

Alright, let's move on and talk about some activities and excursions that children of all ages will love. After all, isn't that what family vacations are all about?

Packing Essentials for a Family Trip

Bird on the Beach, Longboat Key FL
Photo by Brian Beckwith on Unsplash

Let's talk essentials. Packing for a family vacation is similar to preparing for the moon landing. It requires a serious amount of forethought, planning, and a checklist longer than a kid's Christmas wish list.

First up, clothing that's suitable for the sunny, coastal climate of Lido Key. You're not trekking in the Amazon rainforest or spelunking in the Arctic caverns. It's all sunshine and sandy beaches here, folks. So leave the parkas at home!

Consider these:

  • Sunhats
  • Light, cue dramatic gasp, breathable clothing
  • Enough swimsuits to start your own fashion line
  • Cover-ups, 'cause you wouldn't want to get mistaken for a lobster, would you?
  • Flip flops don't just look cool, they fend off scorching sand

Getting a sunburn on vacation is akin to ordering a pizza and forgetting the cheese—it's not something anyone plans for, but it's essential to prepare for. Thus, next on the list is sun protection. Do not be stingy with your sunscreen, even if it means packing an extra bottle or two of spray-on, rub-on, even stick-on - whatever floats your boat!

Don't forget:

  • Sunscreen, for reasons outlined above
  • After-sun care, because mistakes do happen
  • Lip balm with SPF, to keep those smackers soft and protected

Staying hydrated in the Florida sunlight is not up for debate. It's as necessary as breath, food, and bad dad jokes on a family vacation. So ensure you've packed reusable water bottles. Not only will you stay hydrated, but Mother Earth will give you a virtual high five too.

To keep the kids entertained, you might toss in a couple of beach toys. Think sandcastle-building gear, frisbees, inflatable tubes - the works!

Remember, packing is all about balance. The Goldilocks principle applies here: not too little, not too much, but just the right amount of everything you need. And hey, if you do forget something, don't sweat it, there's likely a store on Lido Key willing to take your money. Oh, the joys of traveling!

Next, we'll take a peek at the exciting activities and excursions suitable for every member of your brood...


So there you have it folks! You're now armed with all the knowledge you need for a fantastic family trip to Lido Key. Just remember, it's all about balance. Don't overstuff those suitcases but ensure you've got enough sunhats and sunscreen to make a beach vendor jealous. Keep those water bottles filled to the brim and don't forget those swimsuits! After all, you wouldn't want to be the odd one out in your family's epic beach volleyball game. With the right prep, your vacation will be as smooth as the sand on Lido Key's beautiful beaches. Now go on, get packing and let the good times roll!