I knew about Little Gull from living on Longboat Key years ago, as one of the smaller, cozier groups of cottages right on the Gulf of Mexico. I had been living in Sarasota for 25 years, taking many trips elsewhere and suddenly realized a quick, attractive, familiar "getaway" was just 20 minutes drive from my house in the city: Longboat Key is another world, a quiet, private, clean, meticulously maintained and secured island where night skies are clear and bright with stars, no sirens, loud car stereos, or other disturbing elements. Just you and the silky waves of the Gulf (too cold for swimming in January), but seated on the sand, hearing the waves, watching the splendid sunsets, was so refreshing and relaxing. The one bedroom cottage I had, #5, "White Ibis", was well designed, and had a fireplace in the LR, so I burned 4 hour "logs" two nights in a row and it really added atmosphere and warmth and general coziness for a solo visitor. Usually rented by the week, owners will sometimes make shorter stays available. Although the cottages had been there for many years, all inside conveniences were modern (the coffee maker too modern, could hardly figure it out but finally did). Interestingly, management has you come in on a Saturday afternoon, then they close at five and are not open on Sundays so you're on your own. There are many beach chairs, cooking facilities and a covered outside picnic table with perfect view of sunset. Bicycles are available, there's a rec room with billiards and pingpong across Gulf of Mexico Drive, the main road through town, on the Bay side (where there are more cottages with more bedrooms and a very nice heated pool).