Sunrise Key is a private island north of Las Olas and south of Sunrise. It is located in the center of Middle River, a wide riverway which splits off from the ICW and meanders northward. Northward of Sunrise Key, Middle River ends at a low overpass of Sunrise Blvd, continuing only for small power boats, jet skits, and kayaks. Southward of Sunrise Key are Hendricks and Isle of Venice. Westward is Victoria Park. Eastward is the main ICW. Sunrise Key provides great, deep water dockage.
Sunrise Key is another land fill development. In 1952, two islands lay in the Sunrise Bay north of the Lauderdale Isles. Victor Nurmi was in heavy development of the Nurmi Isles including Isle of Venice. In October 1957, Eastern Properties Land Developers announced their development of a man-made key. They fixed up the land into the graceful designs of John O. Brendla.
By February 1958, Eastern Properties had sold rights to all but 17 of the 82 waterfront lots on Sunrise Key, the last undevelopment land along the intracoastal waterway. Sunrise Key became known as one the most expensive and exclusive communities in Fort Lauderdale.
In 1995, Sunrise Key created some stir over introducing a gate. Although a public road, the civic association sought to prevent crime by gating the single bridge on Sunrise Key Boulevard which marks the entrance to the island. The gate would deter unwelcome visitors. The city allowed a gate stipulating that it must automatically open for all visitors. It slows cars low enough for a survailance camera to clearly tape them. Also, a dedicated patrol car roams the area checking on slow to leave visitors.
The entrance bridge is off Sunrise Blvd on 20th Avenue. Go all the way until 20th dead ends, curve southward to the right, and watch for the entrance. You will see the automatic, unguarded gate. The gate slows cars down for survelliance. The isles lie to port, 1st through 5th Key Drive.
On Sunrise Key, the private houses rent dockage along 4 canals off the ICW. The dockage is offered behind the million dollar homes which are for sale or renting. The water holds megayachts. These docks are deep water with no problem 10 feet. The docks have pilings, cleats, and vary from house to house.
To exit return the way you came, out the automatic gate and up towards Sunrise/US1.
- Kayak Trip on July 12, 2009
- Fort Lauderdale Historical Society Files: Sunrise Key on September 9, 2009