Siesta Key is famous for its jewel green waters, quartz-crystal white sands, breath-taking sunsets, light waves and amazing wildlife. The sand on Siesta Beach is tested 99% pure quartz, soft and cool on the feet, it's so nice that it is has been consistently ranked as the "finest, whitest sand beach in the world."
Siesta Key is a barrier island eight miles long, just offshore of Sarasota; in fact it was originally called Sarasota Key by European explorers who came to the area, in 1513. It wasn't until the 1920's that the name was changed to Siesta Key. There are three main beaches on the island: Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach.
runs from a site named Point of Rocks, north to the Siesta Village region. It covers 40 acres of land making it one of the biggest beaches in the area. Siesta Key's Siesta Beach has accumulated numerous awards in recognition of its soft, clean, pure-white sand and is consistently rated among the top ten beaches in Florida
, the U.S., and the world.
Unlike most beaches that are made up of crushed shells, rocks or lava, this sand is pure white and has a finer texture than most refined sugar. The sand has been described as "dazzling" and it has been said that it never feels hot, which is amazing for summer sand in Florida. After a morning of building sand castles and playing in the surf, discover what gives Siesta Key it's name; stretch out on the powder soft sand and just try not to succumb to the urge to nap....
to the north shows one the many wonderfully different sides of Sarasota
. You can dine by candlelit or outdoors at one of the many cafes, and shop the beach boutiques that line this quaint little village. While visiting, be sure to stay a full weekend, because almost every Sunday night the Siesta Key Drum Circle will play. This not to be missed event is where the locals invite guests to become part of the family and enjoy as the wild rhythm of drums, maracas and bongos fill the evening air.
Point of Rocks,
which marks the beginning of Siesta Beach, is a shallow formation of limestone rock that goes out into the Gulf of Mexico, from the middle of the western shore of Siesta Key. This is a very distinct site and very unusual for Southwest Florida
, a wide variety of fish can be seen here and is it, perhaps, the only good snorkeling beach on the west coast of Florida. Mariners for centuries have been using the Point of Rocks as a landmark and legends say it was used as the starting point for many maps used by pirates to find their buried treasures.
Unlike the vast expanse of Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach
is a relatively narrow strip of sand. It has the same plush sand, emerald waters, and stunning sunsets; the difference however, is that this beach is relatively secluded and quiet. It share's the Point of Rocks with Siesta Beach, and has only one public access road, which helps make it much more peaceful and private. Visitors call it the best "non-private private" beach they've ever seen.
is at the southern tip of Siesta Key and near the end of the key. It has a narrow beach, with a slight incline, and a small mangrove-surrounded tidal lagoon called Blind Pass Lagoon, where there is a boat launch so you can really explore the lagoon. Unlike the powder soft sand of the other two, Turtle Beach is covered with seashells, which makes it perfect for shell collectors and beach combers; sometimes after storms you'll find shark's teeth there too.
Siesta Key has three wonderful beaches that stretch for miles and all are breath-takingly beautiful. You can play volleyball, throw a Frisbee, jog, ride a bike, have a picnic in the shade, eat at a concession stand or just relax and walk along the water's edge. They have sailing charters, sport fishing opportunities, jet ski rentals, parasailing, boating, snorkeling - take your pick! They'll even provide a wheelchair when needed to help special needs visitors cross the sand. You can shop from the trendy and elegant to the hip and funky; they offer all types of fashion. You can get beach accessories and souvenirs, eat in restaurants where you can go to get a quick breakfast or lunch while wearing your flip-flops, then relax in style over a fantastic dinner; there's simply nothing you can't do.
No matter which of our gorgeous beaches you choose to visit, you'll never forget your time here in our sunshine and tropical breezes; the feel of digging your toes in the powder sand, watching the pelicans and shorebirds, keeping an eye out offshore for dolphins or enjoying the splendor of our glorious sunsets. You are invited to come and discover the unique charm of this amazing island.
By Beverly Martinez-Collins – PlacesAroundFlorida.com