Monday, January 6, 2014

Biking Casey Key

Dorrit outside the entrance to a solarium 
Remember the expression "seeing how the other half lives"?  The phrase came to mind today when biking with a group from the Isles Yacht Club on Casey Key in Sarasota County.   All I can say is, "Wow!!!"   With the waters of the Gulf of Mexico lapping at their doorsteps, these homeowners know how to choose a place to live.  (I use the term "live" loosely, as I suspect that the residents of Casey Key--who number fewer than 400 and include the likes of Stephen King and Rosie O'Donnell -- have more than one place to lay their heads down at night.)   And Anne and Jeff Peltier, our leaders for the day, know how to choose a place to bike.

The house proper that goes with the solarium
Our outing took us down Casey Key Road, a somewhat narrow road that meanders more or less five miles from the Casey Key Fish House to North Jetty Beach Park.   Traffic is sparse, though, so there wasn't any concern about a speeding car plowing us down.

The ride was very leisurely -- the equivalent of an afternoon stroll.  There was just too much to gawk at to have a need for speed.   At times I actually wished I were on foot so that I could more easily stop and take pictures and appreciate the details of the homes and our surroundings.

The white sandy beaches on Casey Key are gorgeous, and the good news is that there are several ways for us mere mortals to enjoy them.  Nokomis Beach Park is a free public beach, with restrooms, a concession stand, and free parking.  North Jetty Beach Park is an option if you like to fish or, if the tide's up, surf.  (You can buy your fishing license on site if you neglected to tend to this detail in advance.)  And if you want more than an afternoon of fun and sun, there are a number of motels of the Mom and Pop variety that were grandfathered in under the zoning laws.

After our ride, we met up at the Casey Key Fish House for lunch.  It's basically a beach shack, with cute decor and standard fare.  I had a blackened grouper sandwich that was quite tasty.  And the service was unexpectedly excellent (which definitely is not always the case with these group rides).   All in all, a great outing -- and a definite destination to add to my list for future visitors.  The welcome mat is out!

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