Friday, March 21, 2014

2014 - Motorcycling along Casey Key Florida

March 20 - From quaint to extravagant… 

Casey Key - Nokomis Florida
I chose our motorcycle tour to Casey Key after I did a little research on the history of how it came to be. The rich history of its past and the descriptions of a quaint beachfront community had got me intrigued to experience a ride through it for myself. (Not all by myself, my other half was happy to accompany me J  ) 

Across from the quaint mainland town of Nokomis you will find the enchanting Casey Key in Florida

View Larger Map

History of Casey Key
It was in 1849 that Army Captain Charles Casey arrived to move the Seminole Indians, who were the original inhabitants, off the island. Over the next sixteen years he assisted with mapping and surveying the surrounding coastal area. From what I have read, it was either a mistake or it was because of his involvement with mapping the area that the name changed from Chaise’s Key to Casey Key back in 1865 when the map was published. (Personally, I think it was probably the latter – guess it all depends on how you perceive it J )

Treasure Island Bridge
After the Civil War settlers arrived on Casey Key in Florida’s land boom of the 1920’s. At that time a savvy real estate developer changed the island’s name to Treasure Island in order to enhance the sale of properties and spread rumours that treasure was buried on the island. However, the existing settlers would not allow their beloved island to have the name changed. (Probably more to keep out the fortune hunters, can’t blame them J) In 1923 on the north end of the island a one-lane rotating swing bridge was built and named Treasure Island Bridge (I guess that developer got one small victory J)

Over the years the joint efforts of the residents and small businesses of Casey Key have preserved the beachfront community feel and charm of this island. (And its name) Later in the early 1970’s, the Florida State Legislature designated it as a conservation area.

At 10:15 am the fog was still heavy in the air, its cool damp mist penetrating into my bones. The weatherman had assured me that it was to be a beautiful day. (I put a lot of faith in him this morning! – he eventually didn’t let me down J)  We started up the bikes and pulled out.

Once we finally got out of Fort Myers we took a much needed break at the Prairie Pines Preserve on 41 (okay, probably more me needing the break – it gave me a chance to warm up a bit, and clean the faint mist that had formed on my sunglasses. J ) We then continued on with our 2-hour excursion along the sometimes very congested Tamiami Trail (41).

There are two ways to access the narrow
900 feet wide, 8-mile long island of Casey Key. Coming in from the South along 41 (Tamiami Trail) we took Albee Road. 

As we drove across the Blackburn Point Bridge we passed one of two public beaches. North Jetty Park; it spans the tip of Casey Key from the Intra-coastal Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. Nokomis Beach sits on the opposite end of the island and also offers a boat launch along with a restaurant called the Casey Key Fish House among other water toys that might strike your fancy.

Turning right we headed north to travel the length of Casey Key. The island has majestic views that sporadically peaked from between the massive mansions that dominated each side of the street. (What happened to the quaint beachfront community I read about?)

You definitely feel like you are among the rich and famous, and actually you are, I heard that Stephen King the master of Horror stories lives here part of the year. – by the way, one of my favourite authors J (Strange, I never did see him; maybe he was laying on the beach when we went by…)

Hiding behind thick wrought iron gates and concrete walls are luxurious over-sized mammoths that tower over the more modest of dwellings. Despite this, there was just a reminiscent feeling of the laid back atmosphere of a beach community by the spattering of much older beach cottages that were struggling to co-exist. (I am sure in a few years those little “beach shacks” of yesteryear will fade with the morning mist). I started to think that the executive style of homes here would definitely put some of the competing island homes of Marco and Sanibel to shame. (Now I know why so many people wanted to change the name to Treasure Island over the years – you would need one to be able to afford a home here!)

Could this be Stephen Kings mansion??? 
Naw, not gloomy enough :)
There was one little road that veered off to the left at the southern end of the island; so adventurous as we are, we took the road less travelled. The road narrowed, barley large enough for two cars (lucky we were on motorbikes J) and signs were posted every 500 feet or so to proclaim how much further until the public road ended. I got the feeling the ultra wealthy lived on this end. As we meandered along, the mansions turned into colossal estates with some spreading their grandeur onto the opposite side of the road.  

There was a stark contrast of architecture
from the classic colonial style, which gave an air of sophistication and a nod to the history of its tranquil surroundings to the ultra modern concrete glass cube, which looked as out of place as a fish in a sand box. (Obviously my opinion J)

directly across from the house

Before the last sign warned us not to go any further, the claustrophobic line of mansions gave way to a breathtaking view of the gulf. Birds perched on weather beaten dock pilings, awaiting the opportunity for their next meal. The teal ocean melded into the horizon; allowing you to loose yourself in a gaze. 

As the foaming waves pounded the shore, a lone sandpiper scoured the beach - I finally found the majestic beauty of the island I was looking for!

Most of the ride through Casey Key felt like we were on a tour for the ‘Homes of the Rich and Famous’. However, one cannot help but to be enchanted by the natural beauty that Casey Key has as you make your way through the narrow winding road and catch glimpses of the exquisite wildlife co-existing amongst the stately homes with their incredible captivating albeit private scenic views. 

We ended up making it back to the house at 5:10 pm and I promptly poured myself a drink 
(Of course it was of the alcohol variety J ) and flopped on the couch.
Another great day in paradise…

Acknowledgements while researching the history of Casey Key 
Visit Sarasota 
Dwelling well 
Casey Key Real estate 

Buy Sarasota 


  1. We have been to Fort Meyers many times and usually head down to Marco Island. We have never been to Casey Key and plan to put it on our list of places to go. There are so many beautiful places in the US and that is what we are focusing on now, Finding new places right here in our own country.

  2. Very nice description and pictures to go with it. I may have to put this on my list of places to visit when I visit my family this summer. Thanks for sharing

  3. Great cameo of Casey Key and excellent photos. PS is the frozen before Canuck a bit redundant ! Not good biking weather here in Truro but at least the potholes are full of snow !

  4. Hi Paul, actually the "frozen" is how I am most of the time, it refers to my normal body core temperature LOL

  5. Hello; thanks for sharing your trip to treasure island. am a blind blogger and business owner focusing on the amusement industry. never been on a motorcycle but do want to start traveling more for my business. hope you didn't bring any more of that canadian winter with you. smile have a say journey, max

    1. Hi Max, No worries, I left the snow back in Canada where it belongs lol I am certainly enjoying my time in Florida this year seeing spring decided not to make an appearance back home this year!

  6. It's been awhile but I have actually been there (in a car and walking... LOL). I have a friend who lives near there so it was fun reading and seeing your pictures. It brought me back to that place and time. :-)

    1. Hi Susan, I had a wonderful time exploring the island. Glad I could bring back some memories for you :)

  7. Beautiful area, beautiful photos! Amazing how many folks aren't aware of ALL the Keys-- tend to think of Key West only :) I doubt that Stephen King was hiding from you...probably writing :)

    1. Hi Jacquie, thanks I love taking photos (not a photographer by no means :)
      You are right, I almost overlooked this place when I was looking for a place to visit :) Would of been quite the story if I had seen Stephen LOL

  8. I'm one of the frozen Canucks you left behind and very envious of your time spent in the south and your trip to Casey Key. I love your writing style and the pictures are amazing. All the best out there - we'll keep things on ice here for you.

    1. Hi Lenie, thanks!
      LOL - yes, from what I hear, Canada is still in a deep freeze. Hope it melts soon :)

  9. I worked two winter seasons in Flamingo down in the Everglades in 1998 and 1999. I can't recall specifically visiting Casey Key, but I may have. Spending that time in Florida as well as recently living in Charlotte, NC had made me a hater of cold weather that is for sure ;)

  10. Nice that the motorcycles let you go through some tight squeezes and see nice views.

  11. I really liked the way you have given each description about your travel and the photos are really nice.,.... I thought that I am in Casey Key
    As you mentioned you have taken some new routes .... I am happy that there were sign boards , but I am always very afraid to take any new path...
    Amazing Photos and beautiful architecture and very nice post.

  12. A girl after my own heart! Although I prefer vehicles of the four-wheeled variety : )) Sounds like you've found a little bit of heaven and a whole lotta sunshine. Your charming descriptions of the grand houses and fabulous beach have me hankering to head down south!