Siesta Key is the most famous barrier island in the Sarasota area. It boasts Siesta Beach which has been rated the #1 beach in the United States in 2015 by Trip Advisor. The Travel Channel also rated the sand at Siesta Beach the best sand in America. But there is more to Siesta Key than just Siesta Beach.
We stayed in a hotel on Crescent Beach, just a little south of Siesta Beach. Crescent beach still has the beautiful white sands that come from quartz. No matter how hot it is outside, the sand is still cool to walk on. It is fine and soft.
Crescent Beach is a smaller beach than Siesta Beach. It also has a calmer and smaller crowd. We found this beach perfect for snorkeling. The best place to snorkel is near the Point of Rocks.
We tried to Stand Up Paddle Board but with the wind and waves, we did not do so well that day. It is recommended to watch the sunset on Siesta Beach. There is a drum circle on Sunday nights. However, we were there on a Saturday night so we watched the sunset from Crescent Beach. It was beautiful!
Turtle Beach is a calm beach, but the sand is not white like the other two beaches. Turtle beach is actually one of my favorite beaches because it is more natural. The sand is made up of many shells. The water is clear. There are several sea turtle nesting areas on this beach so be careful not to disrupt any areas marked off.
Siesta Beach is the most famous and largest of the three beaches. The sand goes on and on, and it is powdery white sand. It feels like baby powder between your toes. This beach has the most infrastructure. There are picnic tables, a small snack bar, overlooks, restrooms, showers, volleyball, etc. This beach is popular with young people that want to be seen and mingle.
Siesta Key has great entertainment and a lively nightlife. Siesta Key Village has many bars, restaurants, gift shops, beach rentals, and coffee shops. At night, it becomes busy with young people enjoying live music and cocktails. Dale and I had a fabulous dinner at a restaurant called Eat Here. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was amazing and we highly recommend this place.
Siesta Key has many accommodations. Don’t be afraid to look on Airbnb and at some of the lesser known hotels. Do be prepared for the price to be twice that on the Key itself than down the street in Sarasota. Also, if you plan to come during high season or a holiday, be sure and book your room far in advance. Our tip: if you want to save money, book a room in Sarasota and drive 5-15 minutes into Siesta Key each day. This trip we splurged and stayed in a hotel on the beach and loved it. It’s not necessary though. There is a lot of parking at all three of the main beaches. Just be sure to arrive before noon if you want a parking space.
Spend a few days on the beaches of Siesta Key and you will start to understand the hype that surrounds it. The more you dig your toes into the powdery, white sands, and splash in the clear waters, and you’ll be wanting to cast your vote for one of the top beaches in America!