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Five Spots: Lido and Longboat Keys

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Shore

Shore on St. Armands Circle / HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

St. Armands Circle on Lido Key offers some of the best shopping in the area while more hidden and exclusive treasures can be found on Longboat Key.

EAT: Maison Blanche
2605 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key; 383-8088; themaisonblanche.com
Maison Blanche is not only one of our area's best restaurants, it could easily qualify as one of Florida's best dining destinations, largely thanks to the culinary talents of owner/chef Jose Martinez. The former owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, Martinez’ modern French cuisine is precise in a way that few chefs can manage, each dish aimed at perfection every time he puts it in the hands of a waiter, from soup to dessert. – Brian Ries

DRINK: 15 South Ristorante Enoteca
15 South Blvd. of the Presidents, St. Armands Circle; 388-1555; 15southristorante.com
An ideal place for sipping smartly made martinis or wine from an impressive collection while enjoying freshly made pizza cooked in a handsome wood-burning oven or a tasty dish of tuna tartare. Sit at the downstairs bar and listen to an Italian gentleman play ebullient jazz music or go upstairs at night and dance to a band blasting red-hot Latin salsa. Either way, expect a great drinking (and eating) experience at 15 South. – Wade Tatangelo

SHOP: Shore
465 John Ringling Blvd., St. Armands; 388-3535; shorebrand.com
Shore’s extensive collection of clothing and accessories goes well beyond “resort wear” into a realm of timeless but modern fashion that can appeal to all age groups. Whether you’re planning on lounging in a cabana or hitting the swells on your board, dining al fresco on St. Armands or planning a picnic in the park, Shore will make you look good while you do it. – Brian Ries

PLAY: Mote Aquarium / Save our Seabirds
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota; 388-4441; mote.org
See sharks, manatees and sea turtles, plus more than 100 other species of marine life while then also exploring the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and interactive exhibits. During the same trip, stop by Save our Seabirds (388-3010; saveourseabirds.org), it's right next door, shares the same parking lot as Mote and features a mostly shaded boardwalk from where you can observe approximately 250 birds consisting of more than 30 species. – Wade Tatangelo

STAY: The Resort at Longboat Key Club
220 Sands Point Road, Longboat Key; 383-8821; longboatkeyclub.com
One of the most famous hotels in Florida, The Longboat Key Club offers a 460-acre resort, featuring 45 holes of golf, numerous tennis courts, a 291-slip marina, spa, eight distinctive restaurants and lounges, and a private beach for guests. – Wade Tatangelo

Last modified: February 19, 2014
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