ABOUT SIESTA KEY
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.