A short drive from downtown Sarasota, Siesta Key sits adjacent to the glittering Gulf of Mexico and its Siesta Public Beach has been named the nation’s best — twice. This quaint yet quirky 8-mile-long island offers shopping, resorts, dining and nightlife. Known for its brilliant quartz sand, turquoise waters and many beachside amenities, Siesta Key is a must-visit island paradise.
Visit Siesta Key Beach, of course!
Siesta Beach offers tennis and volleyball courts, a shaded playground, picnic area, and convenient concession stands for a quick bite or a refreshing drink. Its shallow water near the shoreline and year-round lifeguard protection make it a great beach for the whole family. Whether you want to enjoy a game of volleyball with friends, relax on the 99% quartz sand, or enjoy the plethora of watersports available, there’s always something to do on Siesta Beach and it’s all within walking distance of the many shops and restaurants in Siesta Key Village.
Catch the Siesta Key Drum Circle
The Siesta Key Drum Circle is a weekly Sunday event that has been in operation since 1996. The drummers begin around an hour before sunset and play enchanting drum beats that are great for relaxing, dancing, or just being in the moment. You can learn more about them on their Facebook page.
Paddleboard through the mangrove tunnels
A trek through the mangrove tunnels at Ted Sperling Park at South Lido Beach Nature Park gives kayakers and stand up paddleboarders unique routes for exploring a unique ecosystem.
Paddling a mangrove tunnel is a magical venture. Whether on a kayak or paddleboard, it is a quiet and cool, almost ethereal, escape where the light is subdued, the breeze flows through the shady overhang, and wildlife, above and below the waterline, flourishes.
Take it easy at Crescent Beach
Located just south of Siesta Beach and with only two public access points, Crescent Beach allows visitors to enjoy the same azure Gulf waters and picture-perfect sunsets in a quieter, more secluded setting. At the southern tip of Crescent Beach you’ll find Point of Rocks, an area rich with coral formations and colorful marine life that is perfect for snorkeling or diving. Crescent Beach is the most private, non-private beach in town.
Take a guided dolphin cruise
Siesta Key waters are home to one of the largest populations of wild bottlenose dolphins. Seeing dolphins in their natural habitat is both thrilling and serene, as well as something that you will never forget.
The beauty of taking a guided dolphin cruise is that the captain of the boat knows where to find them and will provide you with a relaxing experience to get a first-hand view.
Park and ride the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley
Hop on the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley, which runs every 10 to 30 minutes. The route runs from Turtle Beach to Siesta Key Village, and it is entirely free. You can find the stops and more information here.
Stay active at Turtle Beach
At the south end of Siesta Key, Turtle Beach offers a “sportier” beach experience with its picnic areas, playground, volleyball court and horseshoe pit. Turtle Beach has a boat launch area and fishing is permitted in the adjacent Blind Pass Lagoon. Turtle Beach is a narrow beach with a steeper incline and darker sand that carries more shells.
This beach is perfect for beachcombers and shell collectors; you might even find a petrified shark’s tooth to take home, especially after a storm. This area has restaurants, shopping and a few local night spots nearby.
Spend the end of your day at Sunset Beach
Since the island of Siesta Key faces West out into the Gulf of Mexico, you’re guaranteed a front-row seat to watch the sun sink below the horizon. Though there are many places to catch a sunset on Siesta Key, the most popular lookout point is at Sunset Point.
Located at the north end of Siesta Key Public Beach, this jut of land offers one of the best views of the magnificently lit evening skies.
Eat a meal at MADE
After all the Siesta Key adventure, you’ll have worked up an ocean-sized appetite so make sure to eat a meal at MADE. With an award-winning brunch and a food and drink menu that boasts both traditional and Sarasota-inspired American cuisine,
This award-winning restaurant is dedicated to old-school hospitality and accommodating parties and events of all sizes. So, make your reservation online to ensure you’ve got a seat at the MADE table.