Sarasota is a city located in Sarasota County on the southwestern coast of the state of Florida in the United States. Its current official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico.These islands separating Sarasota Bay from the gulf near the city, known as keys, include Lido Key and Siesta Key, which are famous worldwide for the quality of their sandy beaches.
Today the keys that are included in the boundary of Sarasota are Lido Key, Saint Armand Key, Otter Key, Coon Key, Bird Key, and portions of Longboat Key and Siesta Key. Previously, Siesta Key was named Sarasota Key. At one time, it and all of Longboat Key were considered part of Sarasota and confusing contemporaneous references may be found discussing them.Longboat Key is the largest key separating the bay from the gulf, but it now is evenly divided by the new county line of 1921. Most of the portion of the key that parallels the Sarasota city boundary (at that county line) along the bay front of the mainland was removed from the city boundaries at the request of John Ringling in the mid-1920s, to avoid taxation of his new developments at the southern tip of the key.