All waterfront homes have navigable waters for large boats, including on the canals, which are wide and deep. For interior homes, access to the Bird Key Yacht Club is a great option for housing your sailboat or yacht. Home prices in the subdivision run from the high-hundred-thousands to the millions. Three types of homes are situated on Bird Key:
Garden homes, which are interior and non-waterfront
Canal homes, which are on interior waterways
Bayfront homes, which are on the open waters of Sarasota Bay.
Bird Key is nestled between the John Ringling Bridge, granting easy access to downtown and all its amenities, and St. Armands Circle, the sprawling shopping and dining district. Yet another aspect that sets Bird Key apart from its sister keys in the area is the fact that there is no commercial business on the island at all: no businesses, no condos, no apartments, no high-rises... just an unparalleled collection of estate homes housing many of Sarasota's elite, including some resident celebrities.
The Bird Key Yacht Club
The Bird Key Yacht Club offers a full array of social, boating, tennis, and lifestyle activities. By land, the Yacht Club is situated just over the Ringling Bridge from downtown; by sea, you're just a few minutes away from the many Sarasota beaches, keys, and other boating clubs and docks. The social memberships give residents of the key every excuse to get out and mingle with their neighbors: with food and wine events, athletic activities, parties, and holiday celebrations, there's always something to do!
History of Bird Key
Bird Key is steeped in interesting history. Originally just a tiny island, it was purchased in 1906 by Thomas Worchester, who then expanded the island from 12 acres to over 250 by dredging the surrounding waters to create depth and channels, to create an island oasis as an homage to his wife's castle in Scotland.
The key was purchased by the Ringling family in the 1920s, with the intent of turning the Worchester home into the winter home for President Warren G. Harding, who sadly passed away prior to this plan being put into action. John Ringling's sister Ida moved in instead, and she re-named the key for the sheer volume of birds that she saw flock to the island each season. Bird Key still remains a destination for wildlife to this day, with no shortage of gorgeous, tropical birds to see.
From the Ringling family, Bird Key was purchased in the mid-1950s by developer/community designer Arvida. Arvida was quoted in a January 17, 1960, edition of the Herald-Tribune as saying, "Who hasn't dreamed of living on a tropical island? Where the climate is always mild, where the beauty is everywhere, where silence is broken on by the rustling of the palms and the sound of the sea as it washes the shore. All of this is yours on beautiful Bird Key, set like a jewel in the waters of Sarasota Bay."
One of the most sought-after and exclusive communities in Sarasota, Bird Key developed from the private estate of the Ida Ringling North to its current capacity over the last 50 years. The original buildings were demolished and waterfront utopian community of 500+ waterfront homes was developed.