Sarasota's Siesta Key beachfront vacation rentals come in all sizes, shapes, locations, and price ranges. But they all have one thing in common: They are all located on the most beautiful beaches and water on the lower Gulf Coast of Florida. I get a lot of email from people trying to figure out which beaches are the best and which parts of the island are best to find a great beachfront vacation rental. It is my hope that these pages on Siesta Key will help you to make your decision.
You may choose to deal directly with the owner of a property, or more likely, you will find it necessary to work with a rental agent of some type, perhaps a Sarasota real estate agent or a vacation rental property manager. These pages should give you a better idea of which part of Siesta Key will offer what you are looking for. If you're looking for an extensive list of rental properties on Siesta Key and the nearby islands, visit SiestaKeySarasotaVacation.com
On Which Part of Siesta Key Do You Want To Stay?
Siesta Key's residential north end is connected to Sarasota by a bridge a few miles south of downtown Sarasota. The popular area for beachfront rentals starts near Siesta Village, on the northern third of the island. The whitest beaches are on the northern half of the island, from Point-of-Rocks northward.
The island can also be reached from south Sarasota by way of Clark Road / Stickney Point Road, which connects to the island at another small "village," just north of Point-of-Rocks. The beaches of Siesta Key can be divided into two distinct types:
- The beaches north of Point-of-Rocks are flat, brilliant white, firm near the water, and soft and powdery where dry. Siesta Key has the largest amount of fine white soft powdery sand of any beach in Florida.
- The beaches south of Point-of-Rocks are light brown and have a high content of crushed shell. They are also much steeper. The sand is very soft and when you walk in it your feet sink in. Walking long distances takes more effort than on the northern half of the island. You cannot ride a bike on the southern beaches. Turtles love this soft sand, so they build a lot of nests on the southern half of the island during nesting season.
Siesta Key has several areas that are distinctly different from each other. Northern Siesta Key is entirely residential, with some pretty impressive homes on the beach and very limited beach access. The Siesta Village area is THE hangout unless you are on the beach.
Between Siesta Village and the Public Beach there are many excellent beachfront vacation rentals, as well as quite a few excellent choices across the street from the beach
The Siesta Key Village area is a small but busy commercial area located very close to the beach where Ocean Boulevard curves south and becomes Beach Road. In the Village you'll find restaurants, a small grocery, boutiques, and service businesses that are convenient to the islanders and visitors. The Village is quite convenient to several of the public accesses, but is a bit too far from the main public beach to walk to for lunch. It would probably be a 30 minute walk. That's not bad in the winter or in the early morning or evening, but on a hot summer day it's too far. It would be an easy bike ride though.
South of Siesta Public Beach is a resort area that has both high-rise vacation rentals and single story multi-unit beach motels, resorts, and other vacation rentals. A bit further south is Crescent Beach. This is an absolutely gorgeous beach with fantastic water and swimming and is bordered on the south by Point-of Rocks, which is an outcropping of flat, smooth, limestone rock that provides the best snorkeling in southwest Florida. Above is a wide-angle photo of the Crescent Beach area. It has very limited parking for the public, so most of the people you see on the beach are staying in one of the many Siesta Key beachfront vacation rentals or are residents that live nearby, or they know where the parking spots are.
Further south still is the Turtle Beach area. Siesta Key becomes very narrow indeed toward its southern end on Midnight Pass Road and the sand on the beach changes in character from the gleaming white powdery sand of northern Siesta to light brown sand textured with a high content of finely crushed smooth shell. The beach also changes from the wide, flat, firm beach of northern siesta to a much steeper, softer beach that requires more effort to walk on. Turtle beach can get crowded, but the crowd is mostly limited to a small area.
South of Turtle Beach there are also small resorts, and a few resort condominiums, only one of which is directly on the beach. The rest are on the bay side of the island. Palmer Point Park, an undeveloped area at the southern end of Siesta Key is unreachable by car. You either have to walk along the beach or arrive by boat. Below is a photo of Palmer Point Park. The fishermen on the beach arrived by boat from the bay side of the island, just out of view to the left.