Sarasota and Siesta Key…a perfect combination!

SIESTA KEY is a barrier island eight miles long and parallel to the city of Sarasota on the mainland. It lies 55 miles south of Tampa and 255 miles northwest of Miami. Two bridges link the island to the mainland. The north bridge, Siesta Drive, provides convenient access to the city of Sarasota, while the south bridge, Stickney Point Road, provides access to South Sarasota, and Interstate Route 75.


Many species of tropical trees and flowering shrubs thrive here, as well as exotic parrots and numerous varieties of native birds. Along the beaches and bays you will see gulls, terns, plovers, pelicans, egrets, herons, ibis, spoonbills, storks and cranes. Offshore dolphins and manatees are often spotted frolicking in the gulf and bay waters.


World Famous Beaches

Renowned for its powdery white sand, Crescent Beach was entered in the World Sand Challenge in 1987, and awarded for having the world’s “finest and whitest” sand. From the parking area, cross over sea oats and sea grapes by wooden footbridges and view wild rabbits enjoying a morning feast. The facility includes sheltered picnic areas, restrooms, concession stands, lifeguards, volleyball courts, tennis courts, a softball field, playground and fitness trail.


Along Midnight Pass Road to the south and Beach Road to the north of Crescent Beach are several public beach accesses and limited parking. At the south end of the key is Turtle Beach. The sand is less impressive but the beach is not as crowded and has a great abundance of seashells. South of Turtle Beach is Palmer Point Beach, a remote stretch of sand and sea oats.


Water sports abound on Siesta Key. For the energetic you’ll find excellent sail boarding, fishing, snorkeling; or how about a little Parasailing? If you prefer more relaxation in your vacation, a personalized Sailing Charter might be more enticing.


There are almost 50 miles of canals and waterways inside the Key which is also surrounded by water the Intracoastal waterway, Sarasota Bay, Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Temporary docking is available at several local restaurants and many of the condominiums have boat docks available for renters. For your convenience, there are many marinas offering charters, guided tours and boat rentals.


There are many fishing challenges found year-round in Sarasota waters. There are about 1000 species of fish in the Gulf of Mexico, bays, lakes, rivers and streams. You can go deep-sea trolling, drift fishing, surfcasting, bridge fishing, or wading into grass flats.


Saltwater fish that you may catch are barracuda, black drum, bonita, dolphin, grouper, jacks, mackerel, mangrove snapper, pompano, whiting, red-fish, sheeps-head, snook, speckled trout, and tarpon. The best time to fish is when an incoming tide coincides with a rising barometer. This combination coupled with information provided by fish maps and charts sold locally is sure to make each fishing excursion a grand success.


Non-residents need a fishing license unless you are less than 16 years of age or on a charter boat. There are minimum lengths, limits and closed season restrictions. Licenses are available at the Sarasota County Courthouse or at local bait shops and sporting goods stores.


Rounding out the recreational offerings there’s rollerblading, bicycling, Golf and tennis. For spectator sports baseball is the main attraction. Sarasota offers a choice of major league teams in spring training, known as the Grapefruit league, and the minor league “farm club” teams, called the class A Gulf Coast League and Florida State League. The Cincinnati Reds have their spring training in Sarasota, while the Sarasota Red Sox offer an exciting summer schedule.


Visitor access to Siesta Key is by using one of two bridges that connect to the mainland Sarasota. Once on the island, there are numerous options for getting around. Free and paid parking lots are scattered across the Key


Siesta Key Breeze Trolley – The Siesta Key Breeze Trolley is free for all riders. Additionally it operates seven days a week making getting around convenient. The Trolley route follows Ocean Boulevard to Beach Road and down Midnight Pass Road. Hop on the Trolley at the Gazebo in Siesta Key Village, at any Trolley stop between the Villages, or flag down the Trolley south of Stickney Point Road.


Trolley hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Download the Trolley app from the Google Play or App Store. Then you can see where the Trolley is and the approximate time it will arrive at your location.  Click here for more info


Sarasota County also offers OnDemand service between the Key and the mainland (at both the north and south bridges) and from tip to tip of Siesta Key. OnDemand operates daily and is only $1.25 per person, per trip. Visit the OnDemand webpage for more info, to review the Siesta Key zone map, and to access the OnDemand app and booking phone number.


There are also a number of free on-demand services using electric cars.


Whether you are looking for a week without a rental car or leaving the car at your condo while you enjoy dinner and drinks, there are some great alternatives.


Shopping and More

Siesta Key is not only a tourist destination, it is also a prime residential area. With miles of canals, lush tropical foliage, and spectacular beach and bay views, Siesta Key is the perfect place for a permanent or seasonal home.


In case you didn’t bring just the right things to wear, need a souvenir, or are just in the mood to browse, you’ll find a wonderful selection of boutiques on the Key with gifts and T-shirts, the finest haute couture as well as Good Eating. Cross the north bridge and you’ll discover Southgate Plaza, Sarasota’s upscale shopping location.


The South Bridge leads to quality finds at bargain prices. If you feel adventurous, head for the city and discover magnificent art, antiques, jewelry, and boutiques as well as numerous cafes and Restaurants.


Out of the way, out of the ordinary and easily accessible, come and be dazzled by this enchanting paradise.