Winter on Lido Key, Florida

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During the winter months in southwest Florida the term "white Christmas" always refers to the state's pristine, ivory beaches with little thought given to the cold, ice and snow most of us contend with until spring arrives.

Lido Key, one of the area's five barrier islands situated just west of downtown Sarasota, Florida, is home to one of those snow white, sandy beaches that seem to go on and on forever.

Lido Key is surrounded by the sparkling, cerulean waters of the Gulf of Mexico offering gorgeous scenery and plenty of activities with countless new discoveries for both residents and visitors alike.

The charm and sophistication of Lido Key are simply unrivaled. Conveniently located near the best amenities in Sarasota just a short drive on the Ringling Causeway, the 12 mile long key is also chock full of its own diverse appeal.

With daytime temperatures averaging in the mid 70s to the low 80s and staying relatively warm in the 60s at night, Lido Key winters are perfect for all types of outdoor adventures.

Naturally water sports abound on the key including boating, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming. Or for something a little slower paced, sunsets in the Gulf are like no other and can be enjoyed from anywhere on Lido Key each and every evening.

Twilight cruises are a memorable way to see the sunset and tour the nearby waterways of Sarasota which is famous for being home to more canals than Venice, Italy.

Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the area's selection of other outdoor activities to choose from such as bicycling, fishing, golfing and hiking.

Numerous nature trails in South Lido Park are the ideal spot for picnicking and catching stunning views of the water. There's also Sarasota's Myakka River State Park featuring two of the area's biggest lakes, the Myakka River, a river marsh, boardwalk, visitor's center and nearly 40 miles of back-country just waiting to be explored.

When it comes to wildlife, Lido Key and her surrounding islands offer an incredible assortment of sights and sounds to behold during the wintertime. The deciduous trees shed their leaves revealing an interesting array of animals including armadillos, bobcat, deer, fox and, of course, alligators basking on the warm banks of the shore.

Florida's "colder" months bring a bevy of waterfowl to Lido Key including ducks, geese, red-tailed hawks, warblers, white pelicans and wood storks. Do not forget to bring the binoculars to see some of the area's bald eagles up close and personal. These majestic migrant birds can be spotted soaring over the neighboring waters from the months of October through May.

Indoors off the Sarasota coast there is an equal number of accommodations, attractions and activities to choose from such as dancing, fine dining, food and wine shows, live entertainment and shopping.

For snowbirds who love to shop, world renowned Saint Armand's Circle is the perfect place to visit with a great selection of sidewalk cafes, clothing boutiques and quaint shops nestled against a backdrop of towering coconut palm trees.

Whether it is marveling at the gorgeous architecture dotting the sands, exploring the many waterways, hitting the links, or simply just basking in the warm, welcoming weather, the spectacular winter season on Lido Key offer something for everyone year after year.

Marc Rasmussen is broker/owner of boutique brokerage DWELL Real Estate in Sarasota, Florida. Check out Marc's Google Plus profile where he is an avid contributor. 941-822-0708 Office

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