Siesta Key Beach Tips

Siesta Key is known for world renowned beaches, excellent dining and a strong influence of the arts. As a Siesta Key photographer we have fallen in love with Siesta Key’s picturesque scenery and we know that you will too. With these Siesta Key beach tips, we hope that you enjoy your Florida vacation. 

Siesta Key Beaches

Siesta Key beaches are known worldwide for pure quartz sand that feels soft and cool. The Gulf coast waters are calm, warm and inviting. There are 13 beach access points in Siesta Key, we have a post that covers parking in Siesta Key.

Siesta Key is divided into sections: Siesta Key Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach. 

Siesta Key Beach is the most well-known with pure white sand and touted as the World’s best beach. Crescent Beach is small and uncrowded but doesn’t have as much access. Turtle Beach is secluded and less crowded than Siesta Key Beach but doesn’t have the famous white sand. Turtle Beach is a key location for wildlife viewing and paddling. 

One of the best Siesta Key beach tips that I have to offer is to avoid Siesta Key during spring break. Spring break can be extremely busy throughout all of Florida which means limited parking and more crowded beaches. 

restaurant in siesta key fl called sun garden cafe

Where to Stay

Siesta Key has plenty of Florida vacation rentals near the beach that have all of the laid back charm you could want. There aren’t a lot of traditional hotels on the island but there are plenty of condo rentals like this newly remodeled condo rental in Siesta Key, FL. Many vacation homes in Florida offer everything you need like kayaks, bikes and full kitchens. Here are some of the top accommodations in the area:

  • Tropical Beach Resorts
  • The Sea Spray Resort
  • Hyatt Residence Club
  • The Capri at Siesta
  • Turtle Beach Resort 

What to do in Siesta Key

Wondering what to do in Siesta Key? Siesta Key in Sarasota isn’t just about lazy beach days and watching sunsets. 

  • Wind Surfing
  • Biking
  • Paddling
  • Shelling
  • Mote Aquarium
  • Ringling Museum of Art
  • Selby Botanical Gardens
  • St. Armands Circle

Ringling Museum of Art offers discounted admission to college students, teachers, active military and visitors with SNAP benefits. Children 5 and under are free. This is one of my favorite things to do near Siesta Key because I am passionate about the arts – however, there is lots to do here beyond viewing John Ringling’s art collection. You can view his historic Sarasota mansion, learn about the history of Sarasota and there is a Circus museum that is perfect for children. 

5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL

Mote Aquarium & Laboratory

Group rates are available. This is a great opportunity to get up close with more than 100 marine species  like sting rays, sharks fish, sea turtles, manatees and so much more. Children will enjoy the movie theatre and touch tank. This Aquarium takes in injured sea turtles, dolphins and manatees in addition to doing research and educating the public about marine life and conservation. 

1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 

A tranquil thing to do near Siesta Key is Selby Botanical Gardens. Immerse yourself in tropical foliage and enjoy feeding the koi fish, all with a view of the bay. This is the perfect way to spend the afternoon on your Siesta Key vacation. Selby Botanical gardens is a historic and cultural epicenter of Sarasota. 

900 S. Palm avenue, Sarasota, FL

About 15 minutes south of Siesta Key lies the shark tooth capital of the world. Yes, the world. Head down to Nokomis beach for a day with a sand sifter and hunt for shark teeth and unique shells. 

They also host a wide variety of events throughout the month like poetry readings and art related activities. 

siesta key beach by siesta key photographers

Best restaurants in Siesta Key

  • Summer House Steak & Seafood
  • Big Water Fish Market
  • The Cottage
  • Sun Garden Cafe
  • Village Cafe
  • The Old Salty Dog
  • Siesta Key Oyster Bar
siesta key the old salty dog wings
photo of siesta key beach
selby botanical gardens sarasota fl

Banyan Tree Photo by Colleen McMahon, Food photos by Larry Hoffman  and Siesta Key wave photo by Eric Haake