Manasota Key – It’s nesting season for the threatened gopher tortoises at the Manasota Beach Club. Mid May to mid June is nesting season for these rare descendants of the prehistoric land tortoise and a wonderful opportunity to see them undisturbed in their natural habitat. The Manasota Beach Club has been serving guests from all over the world for over 50 years on the Florida Sun Coast, but the most popular residents of all seem to be these gentle threatened species who’s ancestors have been around for over 60 million years! What attracts the gopher tortoise to Manasota Key is no different than what has attracted the tourists. It’s the rustic, secluded, cool shade of the oak hammock, the safe and private beach access across the rambling coastal dunes, and the beautiful flora and fauna. The gopher tortoise has made this place a permanent home and consider the shade of the historic cottages and the sandy soil a perfect place to burrow its nest. However, Manasota Beach Club guests don’t have to dig their own den or forage for food. During season a traditional American Plan (all inclusive) is offered and individual cottages have full service with magnificent views and soothing waves to lull you to sleep.
An amazing trait of the gopher tortoise is it shares its burrow with more than 350 other species, including burrowing owls, Florida mice, indigo snakes, opossums, rabbits, gopher frog, and gopher crickets. For this reason it is called a “keystone species” since it contributes to the support system of other wildlife. While many other Florida inhabitants depend on the gopher tortoises’ burrows for survival, the Manasota Beach Club has become an environmentalist’s and nature lover’s paradise.
The staff, members and guests have all come to cherish their relationship with these lifetime guests and have fostered a safe habitat that allows these threatened species a chance at survival as well as coexist with the state’s number one industry – tourism.
Conservation of gopher tortoises depends on the efforts of places like the Manasota Beach Club and other conservation groups. It also relies on the awareness and support of Florida’s residents and visitors. There are many ways to co-exist with these gentle land creatures. The Manasota Beach Club welcomes anyone to call and set up a time to visit the property and observe these rare creatures during their nesting season. Come witness the beauty of untouched rustic and secluded Florida.
The Manasota Beach Club is a unique 25-acre beach resort located on Manasota Key between the Gulf of Mexico and Lemon Bay on the Southwest Coast of Florida. Cottages with Gulf and Bay views surround the historic Clubhouse, nestled in the palm trees and moss covered oak hammock. Activities include swimming in the gulf waters or heated pool, fishing, shell collecting, fossil collecting, tennis, croquet and shuffleboard. Sailing, kayaking, nature walks, children’s programs, basketball and an onsite playground are also part of the activities offered on the secluded property. Seasonal fine dining and a full American Plan is offered February – March. Cottages with kitchens are available year round. Manasota Beach Club serves as a destination for weddings, family reunions and small conferences in this natural environment.
7660 Manasota Key Rd.
Englewood, FL 34223