If you’re an outdoorsy type of person North Jetty Park is definitely a place to check out when you’re in the Sarasota area. Bring along family and friends for there’s lots of room to spread out.
The park is in a beautiful setting with the sparkling Gulf of Mexico nearby and tall Pine Trees that spread their shade throughout parts of the park.
The park is well maintained and has wonderful amenities, of which I'm about to write.
Though it’s called “North” Jetty Park, it’s on the “south” end of Casey Key, which is also where you’ll find Nokomis Beach, to the north, just over the Albee Road drawbridge.
I'd like to be able to tell you that it's just "our little secret place." But it's not. It's quite popular. Especially during the height of "season."
This has been the location of many a family reunion, graduation party and after wedding party, as well as a quiet romantic spot for a special picnic for two.
It’s a lovely enough place. All it needs is your unique imagination.
It’s called “North Jetty Park” because it is located on the northern side of the Venice Jetty, which is the waterway that flows from the Intracoastal out into the Gulf of Mexico.
North Jetty Park has several parking lots making it convenient to the picnic and playground areas.
It would help, though, to have along with you your ice cooler on wheels.
The lovely North Jetty Park sits along south Nokomis Beach, which you can see from many areas of the park.
The beach and water is just over the small sand dunes and the beach is easily accessible via the numerous walk-over bridges that lead from the park area to the beach area.
I have received numerous questions over the years as to whether or not there are charcoal grills at North Jetty Park. The answer is yes; lots of them.
Plus there are picnic tables; lots of them. And usually there’s a charcoal grill nearby or within a cluster of picnic tables.
There are clusters of picnic tables, stand alone picnic tables, and picnic tables under shelters.
The shelters are constructed with heat reflecting rooftops and there are picnic tables in the shade under stately old pine trees.
There are picnic tables placed into little alcoves. They are everywhere. And so are charcoal grills.
Almost everywhere you look, in every direction, you'll spy a picnic table.
You can even bring along your portable Smokey Joe gas or charcoal table top grill just in case all the charcoal grills are spoken for when you arrive.
There’s also a fun little playground for tots including a fun looking slide and swings.
For the older folks there’s an outdoor volleyball court and a horseshoe game pit plus a large, roofed picnic shelter that can be reserved in advance for your celebratory gathering.
And, yes, nearby the covered picnic pavilion there are charcoal grills available.
The park was acquired by Sarasota County Parks in 1979. In 1985 a hard freeze claimed more than 500 Australian Pine trees and the park was redesigned and fully renovated after that.
And the park was updated again in 2013 with a new building with new restrooms, outdoor showers and a sheltered, covered area with picnic tables as well.
This is a great location for numerous activities; bird watching to boat watching, picnicking to sun bathing or swimming at the nearby beach, canoeing and kayaking to fishing off the Jetty to just simply enjoying the trees and nature.
There’s even a bait shop nearby and a Concession shop where you can get something to eat and drink right at the Jetty.
In case you’re wondering, here are some things you can’t do at the park: No animals, no glass, no open fires, no camping.
Something to know in advance is that this is a very popular park. During the height of the winter snowbird season along with spring break it can be tough to find parking space let alone a free picnic table. Going earlier is usually better. Just a word to the wise for you.
North Jetty Park is open year round with parking allowed from 6 a.m. to midnight.
For more information call 941-861-5000.
Directions: from I-75 take Exit 195 for Laurel Road toward Nokomis, turn left onto Laurel Road E., continue onto Bayshore Drive, turn right onto Albee Road W., turn left onto S. Casey Key Road, park will be on the right.
From downtown Sarasota follow Rt. 41 south into Nokomis, turn right onto Albee Road, go over the drawbridge, turn left onto S. Casey Key Road. Park is on the right.
1000 Casey Key Road, Casey Key, 34275