Siesta Key: Home of America’s Best Beaches

The Siesta Key barrier island is perfectly located between the vast beauty of the Gulf of Mexico and the friendly city of Sarasota. The sub-tropical climate creates an ecosystem with a variety of exotic plant and animal life which transform the key into a hidden paradise. Home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Siesta Key is most notably renowned for the pristine sand and water which attract so many visitors each year.

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Life on Siesta Key

Part of the island lies within the city limits of Sarasota but a majority of the island constitutes an independent town within Sarasota County. The key remains one of the best getaways in the country as the population has stayed consistently low since the 1980’s. As of the 2000 census, Siesta Key had roughly 7,000 residents which give both travelers and homeowners the feel of a small town located on a beach but with the convenience of having an accommodating metropolitan area with Sarasota located minutes away. The area has an extensive public transportation system to bring passengers to nearly all of the sights around the island and the entire Sarasota Bay region. There are also two bridges that link the key to the mainland

Living arrangements can range from cozy rental cottages to million-dollar private homes. There are many hotels located right near the water with more economical lodging options just minutes from the beaches and nightlife. House rentals are available for adjustable durations throughout all corners of this gorgeous barrier island.

Some people simply can’t leave Siesta Key and decide to become permanent residents in one of the area’s affordable homes. Many homes and condos available near the water and become even more reasonably priced as you travel inland. Jobs are available both on the island and in the Sarasota area.

The key has two popular shopping and cultural centers with everything from tourist merchandise to fine clothing and dining. Nightlife includes several bars, some of which have festive tropical themes.

One of the more popular locations on the key is the Village. This area is full of restaurants, shops, and clubs and something is always going on. After a long day of water and sun at the beach, the Siesta Key Village is where many people go to wind down.

The history of Sarasota Bay and its surrounding cities, towns, and keys dates back thousands of years. The area was known as Zarazote to local Native American tribes, which created some of the first settlements in the Western Hemisphere near the low-lying waters around the Gulf of Mexico. Many different countries had a right to the area since it was colonized which has contributed to a rich cultural background. Siesta Key was actually still known as Sarasota Key until the 1920’s when the key was inhabited mostly by fishermen setting up lodgings.


The beaches have long-been established as having the whitest sand and clearest water. But beachgoers have more to do than laying back and working on the perfect tan. Each of Siesta Key’s beaches is different and offers a unique experience to any visitor.

The most popular beach is the public Siesta Beach. In May 2011, Siesta Beach was named America’s best beach following a national survey conducted by a Florida International University professor. The beach’s pure pulverized quartz sand extends for more than a half-mile along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The white sand is described as brilliantly bright and softer than sugar to the touch. It is always cool despite the constant sun and some believe the sand has healing powers,

For a little more seclusion, Turtle Beach is the place to go. Turtle Beach is located at the southern end of the key and has courser sand which provides the ideal spot for collecting seashells and getting away from the more crowded destinations.

Siesta Key has many other beaches as well as some other water activities. Each May, Siesta Key hosts a world-class sand sculpture contest and throughout the year sail boarding, fishing, and parasailing are permitted at most beach sites. Located on the westward side of the key, the Point of Rocks is famous for being a favorite spot for pirates to bury treasure. It is also known for having the best snorkeling and scuba-diving in all of Florida.


Life in Siesta Key and Sarasota almost go hand in hand. The laidback environment and tropical setting put a smile on any resident’s or tourist’s face. While Siesta Key is famous for its beaches and vacation atmosphere, Sarasota is known for being one of the most enjoyable places to both live and work. In fact, Sarasota was named the best American city to live and work in by Employment Review magazine.

According to the latest U.S. census Sarasota has roughly 50,000 inhabitants, a number that has relatively stayed the same over the past 25 years. The city is a haven for northerners and other vacationers to escape to one of Florida’s best secrets. The city has a small town appearance but with the benefits, entertainment, and activity of a larger city. Plus, some of Florida’s biggest attractions such as the Tampa Bay area, Orlando, and Miami are just a few hours away by car.

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