If the name “Nokomis” sounds familiar, you’ve probably read about it with your children or grandchildren. She was Hiawatha’s grandmother in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha.” The legendary poem is an American epic which romanticizes Native American legends. Nokomis, however, is also the name of a great beach between Sarasota and Venice, on Casey Key.
My husband and I recently took the scenic drive to Nokomis that winds down a narrow road along the Gulf and offers spectacular views of opulent homes. Rumor has it Oprah owns a home there, as do other stars and big shots.
Arriving at the Nokomis Public Beach, we threaded our way along the natural shoreline, set up our gear, and baked in the sunshine so prevalent along Florida’s Gulf Coast. We also walked the beach to watch people shelling and sea turtles lounging in the shallow waters. The turtles frequent the Gulf waters in the summer where “our local beaches become important habitat for the largest congregation of sea turtle nesting on the Gulf Coast.”
Nokomis offers all sorts of pleasures, from shopping opportunities to fishing and a boat launch. It is also such a beautiful area that people opt to hold weddings, reunions, and corporate retreats by the inviting seaside.
In Longfellow’s poem, Nokomis falls from the moon and gives birth to a bewitching young woman who later bears Hiawatha, a hero who possesses magical strength. It’s impressive lineage and certainly an apt name for this alluring area.
The Sarasota Spectator
Our Sarasota Spectator is Betsy Miller, a retired high school teacher and college professor. Originally from Columbus, Betsy has fallen in love with the Gulf Coast of Florida, especially Sarasota. Blogging about the area has been a creative outlet for the writer, opening up an avenue of exploration. You may find the bon vivant enjoying happy hour at a tiki bar, shopping on historic Main Street, or seated at a concert or show at a local theater. Chances are you also might find her buried in a book on one of our beautiful beaches. Asked to give one word about her feelings for Sarasota, Betsy replied, “Smitten.”