Siesta Key is a beautiful island on the west coast of the Florida peninsula and one of Florida’s most popular travel destinations.
These pristine white sandy beaches face the Gulf of Mexico, making the water clear blue and the sand powdery white.
There are many things to experience in Siesta Key because the island is full of fun activities and exploring places. This article will reveal 21 of our favorite things to do in Siesta Key, Florida!
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How to Get to Siesta Key
While journeying to Siesta Key, it is best to know all of the avenues while planning your trip to Sarasota.
The nearest airport is Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. If you are driving to Siesta Key after your arrival, you can pick up your car at the airport car rental, and take the scenic route along the coastline.
- From the airport, you will head west on University Pkwy toward Airport CirStreet.
- Follow N Tamiami Trail to 10th St
- And then take N Orange Ave and Siesta Dr to Midnight Pass Rd in Siesta Key
You can also reach Siesta Key by diving from anywhere in Florida. Once you are on the island, there are plenty of ways to get around and experience all it offers.
How to Get Around Siesta Key
If you’re staying in Siesta Key, there are many ways to tour the island. First off, there is free parking almost everywhere. However, Siesta Key is only 3.46 square miles, so you don’t necessarily need a car to get around, depending on your site-seeing plans.
For example, there are areas in Siesta Key with shops, restaurants, and beaches within walking distance. In addition, if you wish to get around from one end of the key to another, there are various options you can choose from.
First, if you do not have a car, bike rentals and the Siesta Key Breeze trolley are available. In addition, there are also free services like Siesta Key Frog Hop, SurfSide Free Rides, and Jonny’s Original Free Ride.
Related: Best Places to Airbnb in Florida for an Amazing Vacation
Best Things to Do in Siesta Key
Now that you have made it to Siesta Key, here are our top 20 things to do.
1) Visit Siesta Beach
Siesta Key Beach stretches about eight miles down the coastline. A couple of amazing beaches you can visit are Turtle Beach and Crescent Beach.
As its name states, Turtle Beach is known for its sea turtles. You can find them basking in the sun or swimming in the water. Crescent Beach is a great place to look for shells, and it’s also kid-friendly because of its shallow waters.
Crescent beach is also great because of its emerald green water, white sands, and beautiful sunsets.
Related: The Best Things to Do in St. Petersburg, Florida
2) Siesta Key Village
Siesta Key Village is a very popular spot because of its shopping mall and dining. You can enjoy delicious Mexican food at Hub Baja Grill. Then, sip on delicious daiquiris at Daiquiri Deck while watching the sunset. If you are in the mood for fine dining, you can check out The Cottage.
Also, you can listen to live music and try the famous beer-battered hot dogs at The Old Salty Dog Siesta Key.
Another great choice is Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill, which has a tiki-style environment with a great happy hour.
3) Siesta Key Drum Circle
Dance under the moonlight in the Siesta Key Drum Circle on Sunday evenings! This is a place where artists, dancers, locals, tourists, children, and adults gather for a night of dancing, music, sand, and sunsets.
The Siesta Key Drum Circle has been going on for twenty years and gathers on the public beach to the left of the concession stand. 948 Beach Rd, Siesta Key, FL 34242.
Related: 7 Best Central Florida Day Trips near Orlando
4) Sunset Point
Sunset Point is named after its most amazing sunset. You can easily access Sunset Point through Siesta Key Beach Access 2.
Related: Top 19 Romantic Getaways in Florida for Couples
5) Go Snorkeling at Point of Rocks
Snorkeling is an activity you must try while at Siesta Key. The best place to snorkel is Point of Rocks because of its beautiful marine life.
Point of Rocks is a series of limestone rock formations located on the south end of Siesta Key. Here, you can expect to see small to medium-sized fish, crustaceans, crabs, red sponges, various types of algae, snook, and all kinds of shells.
If you go in the early morning, the visibility in the water can range up to 20 feet in the deeper areas. Closer to the rocks, the water depths vary up to around 6 feet and increase the further you go out from the shore.
Related: How to Go Snorkeling in St. Pete Beach, Florida
Parasailing is a very exciting activity to experience! You can go high in the air to see the beautiful open ocean and shoreline. You may even be able to spot some dolphins or manatees while you’re up there. A reliable place you can parasail is with Parasail Siesta.
7) Dolphin Tour
Siesta Key is a great place to spot dolphins. There are even dolphin-watching tours you can visit! One of the places we recommend is Siesta Key Dolphin Tours. They have a vast charter you can ride on.
8) Jet Ski
Jet Skiing is one of the best water sports to experience. You can take the wheel, splash on the waves, and cruise the shoreline by renting your own. There are many places to rent a jet ski. Keep in mind that you must have a boating license or you can take a quick test before you rent.
Kayaking in Siesta Key is a popular activity for tourists and locals alike, with its calm waters, beautiful scenery, and abundant marine life. Here are some things to know about kayaking in Siesta Key:
- Rentals: There are several rental companies in Siesta Key that offer kayaks for rent, including single and tandem kayaks. You can rent a kayak for a few hours or a full day, and some rental companies offer guided tours.
- Launching Points: There are several launching points for kayaks in Siesta Key, including Turtle Beach, Bay Island Park, and South Lido County Park. Each launching point has its own unique features and scenery, so do some research to find the one that’s best for you.
- Safety: When kayaking in Siesta Key, it’s important to wear a life jacket and stay aware of your surroundings, including any boats or other watercraft. Be sure to check the weather and water conditions before heading out, and avoid kayaking in rough waters or strong currents.
- Marine Life: Siesta Key is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, manatees, and a variety of fish and birds. Keep your distance from any wildlife you encounter, and avoid disturbing their natural habitat.
- Scenery: Kayaking in Siesta Key offers stunning views of the island and the surrounding waters. You can paddle through mangrove tunnels, explore hidden coves, and soak up the beautiful Florida sunshine.
There are many kayaking rentals in Siesta Key. However, our favorite is the Sarasota Guided Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Tour. On this tour, you can see the famous mangroves and kayaks with dolphins and manatees.
Here are some more kayak rentals in the area:
10) Dolphin Cruise
One of our other famous dolphin tours is the Dolphin and Donuts tour with Fun Boat Tours. This tour features donuts and coffee from a locally owned and operated business. While you enjoy your snacks, the boat heads south from Siesta Key Marina to find dolphins, manatees), and a wide array of aquatic birds. You may even be lucky enough to spot bottlenose dolphins!
11) Visit Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is one of the barrier islands in Siesta Key. It is known for its broad beaches. On Anna Maria Island, you can also visit Pine Avenue, a lineup of shops, galleries, and eateries. Nearby, you can also visit Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum, which features restored cottages from 1920.
12) Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Downtown Sarasota is overflowing with beautiful plant life, ponds, and birds. This garden is on 15 acres of land you can enjoy.
Related: What is Unique to Florida? 20 Unique Florida Attractions
13) Sarasota Jungle Gardens
The Sarasota Jungle Gardens is another beautiful place to visit. This garden has flamingos, reptiles, a petting zoo, and animal shows for children to learn. Here, you can experience nature close up and learn about the diverse wildlife in Sarasota.
14) Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a nonprofit marine research institution located in Sarasota, Florida. The aquarium features exhibits of local marine life, including sharks, stingrays, and manatees. It also offers educational programs for students of all ages.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is committed to protecting and conserving our marine environment through research, education, and public outreach. In addition, they are dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge and its application to managing marine resources.
15) Take a Bike Tour
Siesta Key is a great place to explore by bike, with several rental companies available. You can ride along the beach, through the village, and around the island to see all the sights.
16) Visit St. Armands Circle
If you’re looking for a charming place to spend an afternoon in Sarasota, look no further than St. Armands Circle. This beautiful plaza is home to some of the best shopping and dining in town. You’ll find everything from high-end boutiques to casual eateries here, so there’s something for everyone.
Related: 15 Best Places to Hangout in Orlando
On Siesta Key, you will find some of the best restaurants! Here are a few of our favorites.
17) Captain Brian’s Seafood Market & Restaurant
Captain Brian’s Seafood Market & Restaurant is a great place to get fresh seafood in town. The market has a wide variety of fresh fish, and the restaurant has some of the best seafood dishes around. So if you’re looking for a great seafood meal, check out Captain Brian’s Seafood Market & Restaurant.
18) Anna’s Deli
Anna’s Deli is a delicious place with a juicy history. It is one of the oldest eateries on Siesta Key and is famous for its specialty sandwiches. The signature Surfer Sandwich is made with ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, and cucumber slices on our distinctive “canned bread.”
19) Big Olaf Creamery
This family-owned operation has been around for over 25 years. You can come to Big Olaf Creamery to eat ice cream handmade from their local creamery. This world-famous ice cream attracts from far and wide because of its homemade waffle cones and mounds of hand-packed locally made ice cream.
20) Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar
Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar is known for its delicious seafood. The menu features a variety of items, including crab legs, oysters, and lobster. The restaurant also has a full bar and offers a variety of cocktails and beers.
21) Crescent Club
Crescent Club offers a hip atmosphere, cheap drinks, and a fun environment with live music. This spot is the place to go if you are craving nightlife.
Is it Worth Visiting Siesta Key?
Sarasota County, located in Central Florida, offers so many wonderful places to see and explore. Sarasota is home to Barrier Island, which houses some spectacular beaches. Siesta Key Beach, Bird Key, and Anna Maria Island are among them.
One of the most popular places in Sarasota is Siesta Key. It is known for its white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters. However, some of the reasons it’s so popular are its long coastal lines, crystal water, and delicious dining.
If you are asking yourself if Siesta Key is worth visiting, rest assured that you won’t be disappointed. Visiting this area is definitely the perfect destination for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. Either way, this article will help you discover some of the best things to do while on your next vacation.
Related: The Best Beaches in Siesta Key, Florida
Why is Siesta Key so Popular?
Siesta Key has some of the best beaches in Florida because of its turquoise waters and diverse wildlife. This key has a variety of beaches to explore, each packed with fun things to experience.
Some popular activities in Siesta Key include:
- Kayaking in the mangroves
- Watching animal life such as dolphins, manatees, and aquatic birds
- Sunbathing on top of the pearly white sand
- Snorkeling in crystalline water
- Taking a charter or renting a boat
- Bolting across the coast on jet skis
- Flying high on a parasail
- Guided tours and more!
There are many other reasons why Siesta Key is such a popular destination in Florida. The weather is gorgeous year-round, the beaches are clean, and there’s so much to do.
I recommend spending a few days here on your next vacation. You won’t regret it!
When is the best time to visit Siesta Key?
The best time to visit Siesta Key is during the shoulder seasons of fall (September to November) and spring (March to May) when the weather is mild, the crowds are smaller, and the prices are more reasonable. During these times, you’ll still be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches and all the fun activities on the island without the summer heat and humidity.
Summer is the peak season in Siesta Key, with hot and humid weather and large crowds. However, if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, bustling beaches, and plenty of events and activities, then summer may be the best time for you to visit.
Winter is also a popular time to visit Siesta Key, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. However, prices can be higher during this time, and some of the seasonal businesses may be closed.
Overall, the best time to visit Siesta Key depends on your personal preferences and priorities. If you prefer smaller crowds and more comfortable weather, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons. If you enjoy a lively atmosphere and warm weather, summer may be your best time.
Is Siesta Key a party town?
While Siesta Key is known for its beautiful beaches, lively atmosphere, and bustling nightlife, it is not typically considered a party town in the traditional sense. The island does have a reputation for being a popular spring break destination, with many college students visiting to enjoy the beach, bars, and other activities.
During the peak tourist season (summer months and spring break), Siesta Key can be quite busy and there are many events and activities happening throughout the island. However, outside of these times, the island tends to be quieter and more laid-back.
There are several bars, restaurants, and nightlife venues in Siesta Key, particularly in the Siesta Key Village area. These establishments offer a variety of entertainment options, including live music, karaoke, and dancing. However, the island is generally known more for its beach culture and outdoor activities than for its party scene.
Siesta Key is a fun beach in Florida with something for everyone. Sarasota has it all if you’re looking for great food, beautiful beaches, or a fun night out on the town. In addition, the west coast of Florida is the perfect place to visit if you want to experience white sandy beaches with the entire family.
Be sure to save this article for your next Siesta Key vacation! We hope you’ll get to visit soon and experience everything our wonderful city has to offer.
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