Longboat Key is south of Anna Maria Island, between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is almost equally divided between Manatee and Sarasota counties. The town of Longboat Key was incorporated in 1955 and is part of theBradenton–Sarasota–Venice Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Much of the land area of Longboat Key is occupied by either single-family homes or condominium apartments. Most of the condominium associations co-own common elements which comprise pools, tennis courts, sites with water views and access to beaches.
Almost the entire land area of Longboat Key is now occupied. The remaining older, singly owned houses are as much as 45 years old, annexed to comparatively small parcels, again an outgrowth of the 1/2 acre limitation on homestead property area within municipalities as set forth in the Florida Constitution. In the last few years, these properties have been purchased by new owners who sought to and did demolish them in order build small, ornate homes worth much more, many being valued to amounts on the order of as much as a few million dollars, a peculiar outgrowth of the unlimited-in-value homestead exemption for principal residences from forced sale provided to homesteaders under the Florida Constitution. This diverse mix of homes owned both singly and in condominium line the many cul-de-sacs and boulevards branching off main roads towards both the bay and the gulf, with the length of the island served by Gulf of Mexico Drive.