On Day 1 we walked to Ted Sperling Park for Sunrise and Day 2 we toured the Lido Shores neighborhood where the Umbrella House is located. Day 3 we saw mermaids and Day 4 we walked to Ken Thompson Park sunrises. Today's walk is a bit longer (5.2 miles) but you'll have some beautiful views of downtown as you cross over the bridge and of Lido Key on the way back.
As with the previous routes we are starting at the directional sign in south Lido Key in the vicinity of South Boulevard of the Presidents and Garfield Drive (see day 1 route). For the route I've provided a MyPacer link when I did the route which shows you the route details, time, steps, calories and pictures I took along the way. You can download the route and follow it or make your own.
Route 5 - The Ringling Bridge
The Ringling Bridge is, without a doubt, the number one destination for walkers in Sarasota. Key sites along the way include St. Armand's Circle, South Washington waterfront neighborhoods, the Sarasota Yacht Club, Bird Key, the bridge itself and views of downtown are beautiful!
Starting in the south Lido Key neighborhood walk north on South Boulevard of the Presidents through trendy St. Armand's Circle or turn east on South Washington before the circle and walk by the beautiful waterfront homes of South Washington (see map). Either way you'll end up on The Ringling Causeway and need to head east towards downtown. The good news is the sidewalks on the south side of the Ringling Causeway have just been replaced with 10 foot wide ones so it is easy to distance from other walkers. Eventually the north side sidewalks will be completed and the entire route from the Circle to the Sarasota Yacht Club at Coon Key Bridge will have lush landscaping and shade trees.
It's about 1.5 miles to Bird Key Park at the base of the bridge and another mile across the bridge to the traffic light at Golden Gate, the turnaround point. Bird Key Park has benches if you need a rest before you walk the bridge. There are also water fountains if your'e thirsty and available parking if you're just walking the bridge. The only restroom on the route is at Harts Landing at the end side of the bridge. When walking the bridge please be sure to walk in the direction of traffic to help socially distance from other walkers. The views of downtown from the top of the bridge at sunrise can be spectacular as are the views of Lido Key on the way back!
You can learn more about the history of the John Ringling Causeway here.
That's all 5 routes and I hope you found this information useful. We walked almost 20 miles in 5 days and you explored a lot of Lido Key. Send me your favorite routes and I'll put together another blog in the future. Enjoy the island!