What was once a secret gem known to only a few, has rapidly become America's darling beach town.
Siesta Key, located in Sarasota County and about an hour south of the Tampa Bay Area, is an eight-mile island accessible by two bridges from the mainland. Sandals and swimming suits are accepted - even expected in virtually all of the restaurants and boutiques that populated the island - especially so of those located in Siesta Key Village. The atmosphere is as cool as the white quartz sands in the daytime, and while libations and celebrations can warm up the evening, you are never to far from a tiki-esque style bar and the quiet sounds of ocean waves gliding up and down the beach.
In 2011, Dr. Beach named Siesta Beach No. 1 in the nation for its sugary white sand. Siesta Key beach is, in fact, almost entirely composed of crushed quarts crystal. This unique composition not only makes this sand sparkle under the Florida sun, but also keeps the sand cool on even the hottest of Florida summer days. The sand is perfect for sculpting, and every year Siesta Key is home to world-class sand sculpting competitions.
Despite its popularity, there are still quiet corners of Siesta to sneak off to and explore.
Turtle Beach located at the southern end of Siesta Key has sand that's a bit coarser. This beach is a great fishing and snorkeling hot spot. The beach has a steeper incline and carries more shells. After a storm beachcombers might even find a petrified shark's tooth. Nearby are restaurants, shopping and a few local nightspots.
Crescent Beach is another quieter spot, just south of Siesta Key Beach. Enjoy the same blue waters in a secluded atmosphere. This area contains coral formations and bright marine life - perfect for diving.
Siesta Key is perfectly fit for families, singles, and couples alike. Lodging accommodations can be found throughout the key, including hundreds of vacation rentals. Though active year round, Siesta Key's peak season runs January through April. Plan to book your stay as soon as possible if your vacation is planned within that duration.
Information provided by:Visit Sarasota County