Longboat Key, Florida | May 15th, 2017 – Here’s something to look forward to this coming summer. Our town expects to officially reopen Bayfront Park in June after a year-long improvement of its facilities, which surely are community assets that are also of great help in selling real estate in Longboat Key.
As of mid-May, construction of the park’s outdoor play areas—the tennis, basketball and pickleball courts—have been completed and are already available to players. Notably, the new layout of the park puts all these active sports facilities on the north end. The location of the facilities for passive activities like fishing are on the south end which abuts the residential neighborhood of Longboat Key Estates, an upscale enclave of luxury single-family residences.
Among the only items remaining in the park improvement project’s to-do list are finishing touches on the pavilions and the dog parks. Already nearly complete are the electricals and some of the park’s amenities like water fountains.
Something for Everyone
The Bayfront Park project, which began in June last year, is budgeted for $3.5 million and provide facilities for all ages. Other features in the 8.6-acre park’s improvements include a shell-paved kayak launch, rubber-surfaced children’s playground shaded by two old oaks, and picnic area with shelters. In addition, the park offers access to a paved pathway for bikers and joggers, and fitness classes and a technology hub at the park’s recreation center.
Across Gulf of Mexico Drive, construction is set to begin for the gulf-side phase of the project. This entails the construction of beach access and an observation deck accessible to people with disabilities.
Kayak Vendor Named
For rentals of nonmotorized watercraft at the park’s kayak launch, a vendor was picked this May—Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures which already has a launch point and retail space north at Whitney Plaza. Happy Paddler will also launch fishing charters to the nearby mangroves which are popular local fishing spots. It has also committed to conduct environmental cleanup programs and kayak races between its two Longboat Key locations.
Such endeavors aptly complement similar activities at the Joan M. Durante Community Park which is located only about two miles north of Bayfront Park. The 32-acre Durante Park is a nature park featuring wetlands and a wide variety of colorful Florida foliage.
Besides its bounty of ornamental grasses, sabal palms, live oaks, and banyan trees, this park has a charming pavilion and beautiful fountains. Leashed pets are allowed at Durante Park and most of its areas are handicapped-friendly.
The park also features a fishing pier, playground, picnic tables, and restrooms. Entrance to Durante Park is free and so is its parking.
More Neighboring Delights
About one and a half mile south of Bayfront Park, the best of summertime in Longboat Key can likewise be spent at the Bicentennial Park at 2730 Gulf of Mexico Drive, near the Town Hall. A popular place to reflect and refresh, this park is well shaded and features benches just off the bike lane.
Visitors of this park can sit beneath a canopy of trees and enjoy the refreshing view of a butterfly garden that the Longboat Key Garden Club created. Noted for its eco-friendliness and low maintenance, Bicentennial Park is a state-recognized Model Garden which stands as yet another jewel supplementing the new delights at the Bayfront Park.