Siesta Key’s Sandy Gems: The Best Beaches to Explore

Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, these scenic beaches offer shallow water, powdery white sandy beaches, and fun activities such as snorkeling, biking, and dining.

This article will explore the best beaches in Siesta Key, Florida, for your next vacation. As you will see, the Siesta Key Beaches are some of the best in the entire country!

Siesta Key Beach

signs that says "Siesta #1 Beach in the USA!" in front of beach entrance

Siesta Key is located in Sarasota County and has one of the whitest sands on Florida’s beaches. It is also rated one of the top beaches in the United States (source).

Siesta Key public beach offers visitors fun activities and amenities such as;

  • Sunday evening drum circle
  • Volleyball courts
  • Picnic areas
  • Concession stands
  • Free parking (parking spots fill up fast)
  • Barrier Island to be explored (flipflops recommended)

There are plenty of fun activities and scenic beaches, and Siesta Key is also home to the great International Sand Challenge.

Come to Siesta Key during this spectacular event. You will witness mind-blowing sand sculptures creatively crafted by 20-25 different competitors that come to participate from all over the world.

In addition, if you make it to the Southern tip of Siesta Key, you will encounter quiet and serene beaches such as Crescent Beach.

Sarasota Beach

people swimming in the Gulf of Mexico along Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach

If you’re looking for a breathtaking beach to relax in while in Florida, look no further than Sarasota Beach. This serene spot is well known for its soft white sand and sparkling blue waters. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, or taking a walk along the shoreline to take in the amazing views.

Eating & Shopping

Besides relaxing and enjoying the view, Sarasota Beach is home to Siesta Key Village. This village is a hot spot for shopping, dining, and nightlife. You can find everything from souvenir shops to art galleries in this vibrant area.

In Siesta Key Village, we recommend checking out Daiquiri Deck. This restaurant offers delicious seafood and frozen cocktails.

daiquiri in a plastic cup

Other restaurants in Siesta Key Village we recommend are;

  • The Seafood Joint: This seafood restaurant is small with nautical decorations that emphasize fresh fish purchased at the retail counter and cooked to order.
  • The Old Salty Dog: If your looking for something quick to eat with an entertaining atmosphere, this restaurant is a British pub with bar snacks, including beer-battered hot dogs, as well as live music.
  • The Cottage: Lastly, for something more upscale, The Cottage is a seafood restaurant with an island-inspired atmosphere and American and Japanese influences on the menu.

Activities & Attractions

If you’re looking for a more active beach day, you can also partake in windsurfing, kitesurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding at Sarasota Beach.

In addition, while you’re here, make sure to take a short walk around the neighborhood and explore the beautiful homes in the area. There are so many cute beach cottages and other types of rentals.

Lastly, make sure to check out Patriots Pier during sunset. You will experience a flag ceremony in honor of US service members who gave or give their lives to protect the United States. Here is a Google Review;

“An evening service happens at sunset nightly that honors the US service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice and those who still serve.  A very touching and beautiful service.  The flag is lowered and stowed away while patriotic music plays.  Any and all visitors are welcomed.”

Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach is one of the best places in Siesta Key, Florida. This beach is known for its wide variety of seashells that can be found on the shore. Visitors can also find a number of turtles basking in the sun on the sand.

Eating & Shopping

Turtle Bay does not have a huge selection of restaurants. However, here you will have some unique finds with beautiful views.

  • Ophelia’s on the Bay: Ophelia’s has a bayside patio with floor-to-ceiling windows and a casually elegant seafood restaurant with views of the marina.
  • Turtles Restaurant: This restaurant has an indoor-outdoor setting with a wide selection of seafood dishes, as well as happy hour specials and an ocean-side view. Turtles Restaurant is also affordable and a great place to go with large groups.

Activities & Attractions

This beach is known for the large number of sea turtles that nest on the shore. If you make it during sunrise, you may be lucky to witness baby turtles hatching and making their way to the water.

Turtle Beach also offers campgrounds, picnic tables, a children’s play area, and over 2,600 feet of beach.

In addition, in Turtle Beach, you can;

  • Rent a boat and sail off from the available boat launch areas
  • Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard
  • Rent snorkeling or diving equipment and explore the offshore coral formations
  • Fish for your dinner on the fishing pier
  • Enjoy a picnic with your friends or the entire family on the picnic facilities
  • Take your kids to play on the children’s playground
  • Observe the wildlife and watch the seabirds

Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach is another one of the top pristine beaches in Siesta Key. This beach is known for its clear turquoise waters and soft white sand. This beach is less crowded, and visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and fishing at this beach.

Activities & Attractions

Hermit crabs and numerous strange species that thrive between algae-coated rocks and shallow waters call this tiny bay home. It’s a one-of-a-kind location to visit. While you’re here, you can rent snorkeling equipment and experience the best view possible.

At Crescent Beach, on the southern end of the island, a flat, smooth limestone formation known as “Point of Rocks” is a beautiful snorkeling attraction.

Eating & Shopping

Photo Courtesy of Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar

After having an action-packed day of swimming and exploring, here are some delicious restaurants we recommend.

  • Orange Octopus Ice Cream Shop: Orange Octopus has ice cream and milkshakes are prepared on the premises, while hot and cold coffee drinks are available.
  • Toasted Mango Café: Breakfast and sandwiches are served in a laid-back, bright environment in the daytime. This place is perfect for a quick bite.

Getting Around Siesta Key

Exploring Siesta Key is easy and accessible thanks to its trolly services. Visitors to Siesta Key may enter the island from one of two bridges that connect it to the mainland’s main road of Sarasota.  Visitors can travel through the north and south tips of the Key.

For everyone aboard, the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley is complimentary. It operates seven days a week, making traveling easy.

Trolley hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In addition, you can stay updated with the trolly’s schedule by downloading their app from the App Store or Playstore. The app will let you know the approximate time it will arrive at your location.

Lastly, bike rentals are available for you to explore the Key.

Places to Stay in Siesta Key

Although the island is small, there are plenty of accommodations for you to choose from.

On Siesta Key, there are old Florida-style beach hotels lodged among palms and huge vacation homes with views of the bay, beachfront condos that sleep two to twelve people, small cottage rentals on the sand dunes that border the Gulf of Mexico, and more.

Some of these places also offer free beach gear to use.

Some of our favorite places are;

  • The Cottages at Siesta Key: The Cottages at Siesta Key are a set of cottages that offer visitors a serene experience. These cottages are perfect for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or just some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The cottages are situated on the beach, so you can enjoy the sand and waves right outside your door.
  • Banyan Tree Beach Resort: Banyan Tree is a quiet retreat in an island setting with lush tropical vegetation – it’s within walking distance of Siesta Beach and Village. The units are fully provisioned and some are pet-friendly.
  • Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club: The Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club is located in Siesta Beach, just a few blocks from the world-famous Siesta Key Village, where you will discover a variety of restaurants, shopping options, and parlors to suit your needs.

Siesta Key is known for its beautiful beaches, and these accommodations are no exception.

The white sand and crystal-clear waters make this one of the most sought-after destinations in Florida.


There you have it! You are now ready to explore the best beaches in Siesta Key, Florida. Siesta Key is a great place for beach lovers to enjoy their time in Florida.

Its white sand, beautiful blue waters, and activities such as kitesurfing and windsurfing have something to offer everyone.

Siesta Key provides many popular places to visit like Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach, Sarasota Beach, and so many activities to enjoy. Be sure to write your favorite places down so you can visit them on your next Siesta Key vacation.

For more Florida travel destinations, check out these guides!

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