Planning a beach vacation to Southwest Florida? Leave plenty of space on the itinerary to laze on the white-sand beaches in Siesta Key. Located on the beautiful Gulf Coast, Siesta Key is known for its serene coast, calm water, and tranquil vacation vibes.
From the north to southern ends of Siesta Key are seven distinct beaches, each offering something different for travelers. Discover fine quartz sand, excellent shelling, and secluded dune-backed beaches along the pristine stretch of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline.
Ready to plan the perfect Siesta Key beach experience? Find exactly what you’re looking for at one of these favorite Siesta Key beaches!
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The quartz sand and shallow waters of Siesta Beach have made it the most beloved of all Siesta Key beaches. The public beach provides a front-row seat to elegant turquoise waters, flowing in and out as if petting the coast of the barrier island.
Siesta Key Beach features an enormous parking lot befitting its popularity. But despite the crowds of families, couples, and solo travelers that often flock to go swimming at this exceptional beach, voted among the finest in the United States by authorities like Dr. Beach and TripAdvisor, the parking spots rarely fill up. After finding a spot along Beach Road, wander down to the sandy shores to find a just as spacious beach.
Lifeguard towers dot the Siesta Key Beach, letting lifeguards watch over you whenever you dive into the balmy waters of the Gulf of Mexico. At Access 2, you’ll find Sunset Point, a quieter section of the beach and the perfect place to catch the golden hour.
If you’re traveling with friends or family, there are plenty of fun attractions to keep you busy here, too. Challenge the gang to rack up the points on the volleyball courts, sweat it out with a match on the tennis courts, or take a stroll on the boardwalk. Or set the kids loose at the playground while you enjoy your own fun in the sunshine. Pack some delicious food to enjoy a meal with everyone in the picnic areas.
From Siesta Beach, you’ll also be a short walk from Point of Rocks, one of Siesta Key’s most popular fishing and snorkeling spots.
Need more excitement on your journey? Several companies around the island, including Siesta Key Watersports, offer exciting boating tours, including excursions to spot dolphins splashing around the crystal-clear waters![/prop]
After capturing the sunset or wrapping up a fishing adventure, enjoy a walk, taxi, or trolley ride to Siesta Key Village. The commercial heart of the barrier island town, the Siesta Village strip is full of boutique shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s the perfect setting for a relaxing dinner and beer or cocktail, soaking up the island vibes.
If you’re visiting on a Sunday evening, be sure to carve out time for the Siesta Key Drum Circle. The fun weekly event assembles a collection of musicians and dancers to entertain the crowds with live music and dancing to a backdrop of epic sunset views.
Running south from Siesta Key Beach, Crescent Beach is a popular spot for those staying in the many nearby hotels and vacation rentals. The golden sand provides many similarities to the renowned Siesta Key Beach. But without the steady influx of locals, it’s one of the quieter destinations in the area for visitors looking for peace on their trips to one of the most popular islands in the U.S.
With just one public access road, Midnight Pass Rd, it’s a secluded setting. But there’s limited parking, so arrive early to guarantee a parking spot. If you’re staying along Crescent Beach, your accommodation may provide roped-off sections of glorious white sand for your enjoyment. (As these are some of the most popular hotels on the island, be sure to book your hotel room well in advance!)
From Crescent Beach, you’ll have even better access to the lively Point of Rocks. Not just a place to fish, it’s a great snorkeling and diving destination, home to rich marine life and colorful coral formations.
After a memorable day of sunbathing and swimming at the beautiful beach, take a few steps to Midnight Pass Road, where you’ll have a plethora of delectable restaurants to choose from to add a delicious bite to eat and a drink to the experience. Stickney Point Road also offers a smattering of restaurants and bars for dinner and drinks, including the Daiquiri Deck.
Tucked away at the southern end of Siesta Key is Turtle Beach. With golden sand, sun, and petrified shark teeth on one side and Blind Pass Lagoon on the other, it’s one of the best beaches in Siesta Key for your vacation.
The wide variety of fun activities will give you plenty of things to do. The half-mile of sand is tranquil and the perfect choice for a day of reading under an umbrella and swimming in the bright blue water.
A walk along Turtle Beach will provide for some great shelling, with the chance for shell collectors to find both shells and shark teeth and discover mini coves created by the waves along the coastline. As the name implies, the shoreline here is also famed as a prime nesting location for sea turtles from March until October.
On the other side of the popular Siesta Key beach is Blind Pass Lagoon. You’ll find a boat launch area for small craft and kayaks, along with a picnic area for lunch.
Looking to capitalize on some of the most epic sunsets in town on your trip? Pitch a tent at the campground, one of the only beach camping spots in the Sarasota area.
Point of Rocks
When we think of the Gulf Coast, we often picture unperturbed white sand that stretches for miles along turquoise sea. But Point of Rocks Beach provides a point of difference. The unique beach destination is the perfect spot to snorkel in Siesta Key.
Packed with beautiful marine life and wild coral formations, Point of Rocks sets you up for an exceptional Siesta Key snorkeling experience. As you dive down, you’ll explore a world that’s over 4,000 years old.
The best time to explore the Point of Rocks is at high tide and, preferably, in the morning. Before noon, the visibility will be at its greatest, and there will be a smaller amount of swell. However, if you have some ocean shoes handy, another option is to discover this natural world at low tide to find tidal pools and exposed reef, home to starfish and mollusks.
Palmer Point Beach Park
Further south of Turtle Beach is Palmer Point Beach Park. Visitors will be blessed with a pristine dune landscape away from residential and resort developments. A single trail leads through the thin but scenic beachfront park where coastal vegetation comes to life in the sunshine.
Palmer Point Beach Park has no amenities. It’s the perfect place to go in Siesta Key to enjoy some seclusion, and those arriving with everything they need will be set for a memorable day.
On the other side of the beach, an estuary leads to the Jim Neville Marine Preserve. Palmer Point is also one of the most popular places to bring a kayak or paddleboard. Embark on a fun kayaking or paddle boarding adventure to discover local ecosystems up close. With its peaceful location, the beach also provides amazing sunset views with a gentle sea breeze.
On the northern end of Siesta Key, Shell Beach is another place to go for a quieter beach day in the sun. Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, it’s a laid-back beach with bright white sand and shallow water.
You can enjoy beach access via North Shell Road. However, there are no major parking lots, so parking capacity is limited. Bring along your beach chairs and umbrella and enjoy roughly 500 feet of ocean frontage with rarely a crowd to speak of. With its launch point, it’s also a popular place to go kayaking and paddle boarding.
From the sand, you’ll have a pleasant view across the channel to Lido Key, and the water is lovely for floating and staring up at the heavens.
Lido Key Beach
On the other side of Big Sarasota Pass from Siesta Key lies Lido Key. The island’s top public beach is Lido Key Beach, a picture of relaxation. From Siesta Key Village, it will take travelers around 30 minutes to make their way to the gorgeous stretch of beach. Upon arrival, you’ll discover a family-friendly beach with white sand, blue water, and gentle waves.
There’s a large parking lot and a paved walkway that’ll bring you to Lido Key Beach. Along the way, you’ll find restrooms, showers, and equipment rentals such as chairs and umbrellas.
For lunch, you can grab some food at the resident concession stand. Or embark on a brief walk to the shopping center at St. Armands Circle. Top off a shopping excursion with a dinner at one of the area’s excellent dining options, including the famed Columbia Restaurant.
Want to soak up some of the area’s natural beauty? Drive up to South Lido County Park for a fun kayaking adventure through the mangrove tunnels at Ted Sperling Nature Park.
Pump up the adrenaline along the coastline by trying out popular water sports like surfing, jet skiing, parasailing, and kiteboarding. Or take a journey to cast out a line (or just go strolling) at the fishing pier off the John Ringling Causeway, just east of St. Armands Circle.