Siesta Key Beach
In 1987, Siesta Key Beach was judged "the
World's Finest and Whitest" beach. Made from 99% pure quartz, the beach sand is soft, floury and
cool to the touch.
It is a favorite among people from all over the world. The beach facilities
include picnic areas, restrooms, concession stands, playground, trails, and
tennis and volleyball courts.
Siesta Key Beach has been
ranked the #1 beach in the U.S. May 27, 2011:
Siesta Key Beach Named the Nation's Best! As the AP
put it, "After years as a head-turning bridesmaid in the best-beach rankings,
Sarasota's Siesta Beach is finally the bride." The wide slice of brilliant
white sand and warm, emerald water on Florida's southwest Gulf coast was named
the best beach in the United States today in an annual survey by
Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman, aka "Dr.
Siesta Key Beach, 40 acres of almost pure quartz sand on the
Siesta Key barrier island, was runner-up in Leatherman's rankings the past two
years (2010 & 2009) and was third in 2008.
"The sand is like sugar," said Leatherman, director of FIU's
Laboratory for Coastal Research. "Some people can't believe it. You have
to have sunglasses because it's so bright. It's super soft, super fine. I use 50 criteria to rate every beach, and in terms of
sand alone Siesta Key is definitely the best in the
world,” Dr. Leatherman said. Science backs up the hyperbole:
Siesta Key’s beach is 99 percent limestone quartz, which stays consistently cool
and silky. Why the other archipelagic islands nearby didn’t
get the same sacred sand is harder to explain. Hop over to Lido Key to the
north, or Casey Key to the south, and you’ll find the more typical crushed-shell
that are beautiful but make bare footing a painful
proposition when the sun is searing. Leatherman's 50 criteria include the
look and feel of the sand, water quality, weather, facilities and crowds.
The highest possible score is 250. Siesta Key Beach scored in the 230s.
Now that Siesta Beach has reached the pinnacle of
Dr. Beach's list, it has been retired from consideration for future rankings.
Travel Channel named Siesta Key Beach as the "Best Sand Beach in America" for 2003. Siesta Beach was chosen to the "Elite"
list by a panel of beach experts using various criteria including cleanliness, sand quality and surrounding areas. The panel experts praised
the sand's color, powder-soft touch and cool temperature.
Turtle Beach on Siesta Key
If you enjoy collecting shells and sharks teeth, try Turtle
Beach, at the south end of the island. A good place for taking children,
swimming is permitted in the lagoon. Fishing in the lagoon & docks is also
permitted. While not as powdery as Siesta Beach, it is less crowded and has restroom
facilities, picnic shelters and a boat ramp. The sand on the beach tends
to carry more shells, making it perfect for beach combers and shell
collectors. Many find petrified sharks' teeth to take home and treasure,
especially after a storm.
First Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic
November 2010 brought the first annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic - a
Master sandsculpting competition to benefit the Mote Marine Sea Turtle
Conservation Program. It was held on Siesta Key at Siesta Key public beach Twenty-two artists and 40 tons of sand, just as
Michelangelo created his masterpieces from blocks of marble, these masters of
sand produced amazing works of art from 99% pure quartz (sand). Tens of
thousands came out to Siesta Key Beach to enjoy this spectacular show... The
contest also included amateur entries and one of our guests won first place!
Enjoy the slides below and try to make it to Siesta Key for the next
competition - or just to enjoy our amazing beaches.|