This year, Longboat Key is making it "rein" with Christmas lights. From the Longboat Key Club to Longbeach Village, the island is very merry and bright. With all the time spent at home, it seems some residents took it upon themselves to give that same-old, same-old home a bit of brightness and change for the most wonderful time of the year. The Observer took to the streets to see "watt's" up this year.
Longboat Key Club
No palm tree was left untouched along the entrance to the Resort at the Longboat Key Club. Twinkling white lights spiral up the trunks of each tree and even the fronds are festive with a strip of green lights running on their underside. These lights are a beauty to behold as you enter Longboat Key on the south side. They're also symbolic of a goal for St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, who decorated their own palm trees for the first time this year and want to match the club bulb for bulb one day.
Did a giant lose a few baubles this year? The entrance to the Aquarius Club is decked with giant ornaments fit for a tree much taller than anything on Longboat Key. Inside the neighborhood are more giant glowing globes, alongside a few resplendent reindeer.
Your presence is a present at this display. The entrance sign is wrapped with a bow and the rest of the display is calming and classic with its merry white lights around the flowerbed and a white Christmas tree made of lights.
5920 Emerald Harbor Drive
This house is so decked out with Christmas cheer, it's hard to know where to direct your eyes first. Perhaps the puppy getting mail from Santa? The festive flamingoes? The radiant reindeer? This house was on last year's list of brightest spots on Longboat Key and seems to have upped the wattage of cheer this year. Santa won't get lost getting to Emerald Harbor with this landing spot lighting the way.
Looks like the Village got a little "light" snow. This house is decked with dripping white lights and a friendly, stubbornly un-melting snowman keeps watch by the door.
This section of street facing the harbor is decked out, but 820 Spanish Drive S. is probably the brightest spot of them all. Lights and decorations are splashed all over the front yard and front of the house, from the small Santa in the yard to the glittering reindeer in the corner. Nearby is 796 Spanish Drive S. with a balance of Christmas colors from green to blue to white with its Christmas tree, dangling lights and snowman, while nearby 892 Spanish Drive S. features a classically bright display of strings of lights and projected twinkles on the front of the house. Turn around and you'll see Santa in his Floridian sleigh — a decked-out boat in the harbor.
668 El Centro
This house in the center of Spanish Main is the anchor of another sparkling street. The trees are wrapped in multicolored lights while the eaves drip with the closest Longboat Key residents can get to icicles.
729 Fox St.
This house brightens spirits no matter the season, as it had a delightfully dreadful Halloween display in October. For Christmas, they've got stockings for the fish, a sea turtle and merry banners across the yard. Up north, you sometimes get icy blue Christmas displays. In Florida, it's Gulf of Mexico blue.
6341 Gulf of Mexico Drive
The candy cane-colored palm trees in front of this house add a wintry touch to the Floridian landscape as you traverse the key. It's just another example of the bright spots all along the island's main road, which is rife with Christmas cheer this year.
Rolling Waves Cottages
There aren't as many Christmas lights at Rolling Waves this year as there have been in previous years, but no Christmas would be complete without at least a little good-natured glimmer. The classic Christmas tree, built around a light pole near the back of the property, is a sprightly sunset spot for those staying in the cottages. Have yourself a beachy little Christmas.
3370 Gulf of Mexico Drive
If you've been a reader for a few years, you've almost certainly seen this house. It's almost hidden from view by trees lining the front of the Island Court neighborhood, but the red and green windows act like a beacon for cheer-seeking celebrators. Glowing inflatable characters populate the yard and balconies of the house, which has been on our list for years.