From reindeer and polar bears to teddy bears and Santa Claus, plenty of holiday visitors have made a temporary home in the lawns of Longboat residences.
| 8:30 a.m. December 20, 2017
There’s no snow, and the temperatures haven’t been below freezing for a long time, but Longboat Key recently turned into a winter wonderland.
We went on our annual search for the best Christmas lights and were not disappointed. Gulf of Mexico Drive had several bright spots to lighten our spirits, and St. Armands Circle made us want to stop for a cup of cheer.
From reindeer and polar bears to teddy bears and Santa Claus, plenty of holiday visitors have made temporary homes on the lawns of Longboat residences. Even Olaf, the snowman from Disney’s “Frozen,” is calling Longboat home this season.
Here are the lights that got us in the holiday spirit.
St. Armands Circle
It’s hard to drive through St. Armands Circle during December and not get in the holiday spirit. With the tallest Christmas tree on the Gulf Coast of Florida greeting visitors as they enter the Circle, and giant light fixtures hanging throughout the spokes, St. Armands really shines this holiday season.
Le Colonne Ristorante
ike last year, Le Colonne Ristorante stood out on St. Armands Circle. The snowman on the roof and lights bordering the tiles make it a stop for anyone searching for the area’s brightest and boldest Christmas lights.
The south Bay Isles gates are sparkling this year. The palm trees are elegantly lit, including the fronds. We were big fans, and we think anyone driving by will be, too.
3475 Gulf of Mexico Drive
This home is traffic-stopping. Not only because of its location right on Gulf of Mexico Drive, but also the blue lights draw attention from a mile away. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get it. The owners really know how to deck the halls, and we were impressed.
Longboat Harbour Condominiums
Also a showstopper on Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Harbour has it all. Polar bears, a teddy bear, candy canes, you name it, and this entrance has it. On either side of the gates, holiday decorations twinkle.
Spanish Main Yacht Club
If there was an award for most charming holiday lights, we’d give it to Spanish Main. Once through the entrance, illuminated snowmen, gift packages and reindeer greet residents and visitors. Need a smile? Take a drive here.
5920 Emerald Harbor Drive
We didn’t venture far into Emerald Harbor before we were stopped in our tracks. With a wide lawn, this home had plenty of room for lights, and the owners took advantage. They get bonus points because Santa Claus is sitting front and center.
Olaf in the Village
The village was quiet this year in terms of lights, but that didn’t stop Olaf, the snowman from Disney’s “Frozen,” from making an appearance. We found him on Fox Drive next to a dog and snowman friend, and he made us smile. If only we could have given him a warm hug without raising the eyebrows of the neighbors … maybe next year.