Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beaches of Manasota Key

One of our favorite beaches is at Stump Pass, at the far south end of Manasota Key.
Since we are a bit ahead of "The Season", and it was cold (72 degrees) all the beaches were nearly deserted and it was easy to find a parking place in any of the beach parking areas.
We usually go to Stump Pass Park via boat, as the park is popular and crowded in January through April when we are here.  There is a nice channel in the bay behind the Key where we can park the boat and take a short walk across the island to the Gulf of Mexico.
You can see the Mangrove roots on the bay side always trying to extend the Mangrove swamp.
Englewood Beach Park is the first park after the bridge that comes onto the island from Englewood at the south end.  Shops and restaurants and seasonal rentals abound in this area.
A boardwalk along the beach connects the various areas of Englewood Beach Park.  Several walkways allow access to the sandy beaches.
The Hermitage is a retreat for professional artists, writers, painters, composers, sculptors, poets and playwrights who come from all around the country and the world to live and work for 2 to 6 week residencies.  It is located just south of Blind Pass Park on Manasota Key.
Blind Pass is one of the most popular beaches on Manasota Key. 
 Manasota Beach Park is the northernmost public beach on the Key.  A large parking lot is located just after the bridge that crosses onto the island on the north side of the road.  Boats can be put into the bay at a boat ramp on the south side of the road.
A wheelchair accessible ramp runs from the washroom facility and parking lot to the beach.
He has found about a half of a water bottle full of prehistoric sharks' teeth.  These teeth can be found on all of the beaches of Manasota Key.
This man is more serious about finding things, with a metal detector in one hand and a shark tooth sieve in the other.  You can find teeth without the scoops, but serious collectors all have the screened scoop on a long handle to make the task easier.
We even found a few shark teeth and a couple of interesting rocks.
It was just about a perfect day on the beach - not too hot, sunny and breezy, and nearly deserted.