Escape

A condo by the beach in Longboat Key, FL, for $635,000

This three-bedroom, three-bath condo has a fireplace and lanai, and is in Longboat Key's gated Bay Isles community.

Michael Saunders & Company

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Located just off the city of Sarasota, Longboat Key is one of Florida's best West Coast gems. The town's population is about 6,888, but is slightly more in the winter, when snowbirds flock to the pristine beaches to soak up some  Vitamin D. 

But Longboat Key is less touristy than some of the other popular beach towns in the state, and is a lovely place to recharge (though it can get pretty hot in the summer). White sand beaches stretch up and down the Key, offering up glistening views of the always-warm Gulf of Mexico. And although those beaches are dotted with resorts, the beaches themselves are open and accessible to the public. The resorts offer a slew of activities, including guided kayak tours, horseback riding, and fishing, plus you can find spots offering watersport rentals and lessons as well.

Longboat Key's just a quick drive to St. Armands Circle, an island in Sarasota Bay that's a part of Sarasota proper, and is full of fun shops and eateries (Kilwins, an ice cream and chocolate shop, is of particular note). It's also close to Tampa and St. Petersburg, the latter of which boasts the famed Salvador Dali museum, in addition to a number of places to eat and shop. Local restaurants in Longboat Key, like Lazy Lobster, brunch spot Harry's, and Mar Vista, which serves up seafood dishes alongside a breathtaking dock view, are also worth checking out.

If you're looking for a place of your own here, Bay Isles, a gated community that's home to the Longboat Key Club Harbourside golf course and tennis facilities, and a marina has a number of vacation houses available. Consider, for instance, the three-bedroom, three-bath condo at 2305 Harbour Oaks Dr., now on the market for $635,000. (You would also pay a home owner's association fee here of $1,000 a month and annual taxes of $5,527.) The condo has a large, open living area with new hardwood floors and a sliding door that leads to the lanai.

The living area also has high ceilings and a wood burning fireplace.

The upgraded kitchen's been outfitted with stainless steel appliances and white cabinets and countertops.

The kitchen also has a breakfast counter with lots of space for seating.

Just off the main living area, the screened-in lanai offers up sunny views and a space for semi-al fresco dining.

There's an indoor space for dining, as well.

The carpeted master bedroom looks like it has a vaulted ceiling.

The master bath has a tub and a glass-enclosed shower.

Here's another bedroom.

And another bath, this one with just a shower stall.

It looks like the condo's got another living space, which could probably be used as a playroom or office.

And here's a half bath.

There's also an attached two-car garage.

The gated community has a pool for residents.

As well as beach access.

It's a three-hour flight from New York to Sarasota; the house is a 25-minute drive from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.