AN ENCHANTED ISLAND... A WORLD APART
Where ‘Forgotten Florida’ is Alive
By Leigh Cort
west into the blazing sunlight that reflects in the shimmering Gulf of Mexico and then
along Gulf of Mexico Drive to the Sandpiper Inn on Longboat Key, it becomes apparent that this is the forgotten Florida and a truly unique
destination. The privacy and serenity of Sandpiper Inn sweeps you away into a little piece
of paradise as you walk under the arched entry. Although the islands historical
benchmarks date in stages from centuries past when the island hosted Indian vacationers,
Spanish soldiers seeking gold, Cuban fisherman and finally settled by pioneer families in
the early 20th century, one can still feel as if they were the first people to
arrive. The extreme splendor and quiet that surrounds you on Longboat Key, particularly in
the Sandpiper Inns garden, takes you along a path to the majestic
The Sandpiper Inns 11 accommodations bring guests back to a time when vacations meant relaxation, reading a book, beachcombing where there are more birds than people, watching a changing sunset every night that takes ones breath away. Each is an efficiency (from studios to 1- and 2- bedrooms) with full kitchen, a vacation where you dont have to dine out or make menu decisions. The Sandpipers guests enjoy waking with the chirp of birds and sipping coffee on their private veranda nestled in their own little garden. However, others can walk across to the street to some of the best breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurants on the island then have the option to shop for groceries and prepare their own dinner on the dunes of the Gulf.
The Sandpiper Inn is a place where one can do everything or nothing and vacation where Money magazine identified one of the four wealthiest ZIP codes in the country. Yet despite the affluence, the casual island character remains, especially at the Sandpiper. The excellent care extended by Mary Lou and Richard, Sandpipers resident innkeepers, is what brings guests back year after year. Long-term guests, from a week to three months, experience gatherings at the beach, personalized names on each rooms patio, impeccably spotless accommodations without the fanfare or anonymity of a 4-star hotel ~ even a shuffleboard challenge.
Walk out the door and youre in the garden with resident egrets, 200 species of birds, exquisite tropical foliage and a petite heated pool for enjoying the average year-round 73 degree temperature.
Key, a slender barrier island nestled between the Gulf and
a little salt air and sand in their toes with the cultural jewels of
Returning at the end of the day to a spectacular explosion of vibrant sunset colors along the beach, there is a safe haven from the rest of the world, a quiet refuge waiting at the Sandpiper. The BBQ and outdoor tables are ready to use and the aromas of steaks or fish on the grill are alluring. And for the foodie enthusiast, tucked away under mangrove trees, along bayous, beaches and bays are fabulous restaurants that are a world away from glaring neon, towering billboards and massive mini-malls. Bait shops, marinas, open air verandahs, fine exclusive dining there is a warm welcome awaiting everyones taste for upscale, yet down to earth dining.
the Sandpiper Inn, there is an unspoken policy of preservation ~ a tradition of friendly
hospitality that once experienced, makes time stand still. Here the guests let their
vacation unfold, allowing the forgotten
Bury a bounty of beautiful shells under a gargantuan banyan tree for safekeeping and it may just be there some day when you return~
The Sandpiper Inn
One of the most secluded tropical beach settings on Longboat Key
Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.
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