Siesta Key is located west of Sarasota and is largely
a residential island, although it does have its share of tall condominiums and
small commercial districts. There is plenty of money on Siesta
Key, but there is not generally the ostentatious display of it nor the
air of exclusivity found on Longboat Key. But you won't necessarily get
that "just folks" feeling that you experience on Anna Maria Island.
is really a happy mix of everything. The beaches are extraordinarily
beautiful, so of course they draw a large crowd. So get here before
10:30 am on the weekend or you can just about forget finding a place to
park, even at the public beach parking lot.
Parking on residential streets is not allowed.
If you are staying on
Siesta Key, you are in for a wonderful vacation with lots to do and see.
If you are trying to decide where on the island to stay, check out my
new section on Siesta Key
Beachfront Vacation Rentals.
Not only is there plenty to do on the island, but you are only a
few minutes drive from all the cultural, shopping, and culinary
attractions of Sarasota.
North of Siesta Key Public Beach you'll find some
outstanding beachfront properties for rent on a very wide and fairly
quiet beach (above). This area of the beach is also a popular nesting
area for shorebirds in the spring and early summer. You can see the roped
off area at the edge of the dunes. Beachgoers are encouraged to respect the
nesting birds' need for space and to avoid getting too close.
If you'd like to look at some specific
properties, there are plenty of
websites that offer
Siesta Key rentals for you to browse. My pages about Siesta Key will
help you become familiar with the island and will help you decide which
part of the island is best for you, so you can make a more informed
decision once you start looking at island rental properties.
do not own properties and do not offer rentals myself.
Beach Web Camera - Sarasota Surf & Racquet Club on Siesta Key
just south of the public beach. EXCELLENT beach cam.
Be patient, even with cable this cam takes 20 seconds or
so to load the picture on your browser.
Beach Report by
Sarasota Lifeguards - this innovative site is updated twice daily by
the lifeguards on Sarasota's beaches. Find out the water and wind
conditions, and find out if red tide is affecting the beach today. Some
locations even post daily pictures from the beach.
Siesta Key Beachfront Vacation Rentals - my information pages on
the various areas of the island and what each area has to offer so you can
decide where to stay.
Siesta Key is known for its flat beach and shallow,
calm, clear waters. Not a lot of shells (above). It's great for
children and older folks who may have trouble walking on uneven ground.
The water stays shallow a long way from shore.
Siesta Key Public Beach weekend crowd.
Siesta Key Beach was chosen as the best beach in the nation in 2011 by
Dr. Beach (Dr. Stephen Leatherman). Even so, plans for a major
renovation of beachfront facilities are currently in the works to
increase parking and accessibility.
Near the water, the beach is packed hard enough to
ride bikes on Siesta Beach. You can ride from Point-of-Rocks to north of
the Public Access. South of Point-of-Rocks the beach sand is too soft to
ride a bike.
Siesta Key Beach has plenty of picnic
tables; Some of them are covered or shaded.
The public beach pavilion has restrooms and changing
areas, a snack bar and tables to eat on.
Pure white quartz sand on Siesta Key Public Beach.
Turtle Beach, on southern Siesta Key, has a smaller crowd, darker sand, and the
water gets deeper faster than on the beaches north of Point-of-Rocks. It
has restrooms and a picnic area, but no lifeguard.
The beach at Point-of-Rocks. These flat, smooth
limestone rocks are great for exploring and create an excellent
snorkeling spot at high tide. It's a good fishing spot too. This beach
is a little difficult to get to as there is no nearby public access
(hint: that means it doesn't get crowded). On the horizon in the
distance you can see northern Siesta Key.
Can Siesta Key Beach get crowded? You bet. On a nice beach weekend, as
many as 30,000 people can come and go at the public beach access. But
most of them congregate close to the main pavilion. You can almost
always find a quiet spot if that's what you prefer.
Siesta Beach has excellent lifeguard coverage and beach
patrol presence (law enforcement).
Crescent Beach, Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida.
Above video and below photo: Siesta Beach Drum Circle.
Every Sunday afternoon and evening, a large drum circle assembles on
Siesta Key Public Beach. Dancers, musicians and onlookers gather for the
entertainment. You can hear the drumming a long way down the beach. It's
quite a spectacle.