Siesta Key is a gorgeous barrier island right next to Sarasota, famous for its stunning beaches covered in powdery white sands, and calm blue waters. Visit the key just once and you will be charmed by its beauty and relaxing atmosphere found here! To top it off, good weather and plenty of sunshine year round will feel like paradise! Siesta Key is more than just beaches; it is a thriving community in which you can live as well, with everything you need for a comfortable and modern life, as well as enjoying the proximity to downtown Sarasota.
History of Siesta Key
It is known that both the area and bay received the name of “Zarazote” at the beginning of their history. The bay was first named as the Sarasota Key by the European cartographers that began exploring the area in 1513. The maps coming from the early 18th century confirm this aspect, as the island appears with this name on them. Since the 1920s, however, the name changed to Siesta Key, which it remains to this day. Concerning the settlements in the area, it is believed that the first one appeared in the 1880s. Despite the numerous settlers, only a few remained long enough in the area to be mentioned in history. One such person was Captain Louis Roberts as well as his wife, Ocean Hansen Roberts. Ocean Boulevard, Roberts Road, and Hansen Bayou are named after these two. In 1906, Capt. Roberts developed an addition to his current house and began calling it the Roberts Hotel. After another year, together with two associates, he founded the Siesta Land Company.
In 1910, E.M. Arbogast, one of Capt. Robert’s associates, began the construction process for the Bay Island Hotel, which was located on the north end of the island. Harry Nigel, the other associate, was digging canals throughout the island and filling low-lands with soil to make them more stable. He also excavated shell deposits, which were used in the making of roads. Nigel also ended up becoming the mayor of Sarasota in 1916, playing a key role in the decision that lead to the construction of the Siesta Key Bridge one year later. The Stickney Point Road Bridge that followed in 1926 was built by the County, ensuring that the transition from the Key to Sarasota and vice versa was much easier.
Siesta Key today
Having gorgeous beaches in their reach, sunshine every day, and the chance to spend time in such a lovely community, it’s no wonder that the people who live in Siesta Key are widely envied. Even if you don’t live on the Key, it’s just a short drive from Sarasota and enjoy its outstanding beaches. Right next to be beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Siesta Key has dream-like beaches with soft, white, powdery sands and calm waters that are suitable for swimmers of all different levels. The beaches are not the only reason to come here, however. Numerous shops, restaurants, resorts, and a rich nightlife attract large numbers of people throughout the year. Siesta Key has evolved tremendously over time, not only becoming a gorgeous resort town, but also a peaceful and beautiful community of people that have permanent residences in the area. It can be said that Siesta Key is a very modern village which seems to be on a year-round holiday.
It is impossible not to find something you’re passionate about here, as Siesta Key has something to offer for everyone. It is the perfect place for a romantic vacation, or alternatively, a great destination for families with children. It also offers a wide variety of sports and activities for those that enjoy a more active lifestyle. Let us not forget the rich cultural life present on Siesta Key: art exhibitions, concerts, theater plays, and more take place with regularity. There are high changes that you will have plenty of things to enjoy while on Siesta Key.
Things to do on Siesta Key
Enjoy boat tours and fishing on the bay or gulf
Siesta Key’s proximity to the Sarasota Bay and Gulf of Mexico ensure you will get the chance to go boating and view the island and its surroundings from a different perspective. You’ll see a wide variety of boats on the water, from yachts and cruisers, to racing boats and offshore fishing vessels. Another option is a paddle boat, allowing you to get some excercise in as well, while enjoying a day out on the blue waters. However you look at it, boating is definitely one of the most appreciated activities here. If you are into fishing, you’ve come to the right spot! The deep blue waters of the Gulf provide significant opportunities in the form of larger fish, while the inshore grass flats, canals, and passes house anything from pompano and jacks to snook. Charter a boat with an experienced guide and expect to return full of fish.
Have fun with water sports
It is impossible to get bored in Siesta Key, with a massive variety of watersports within reach. Parasailing is a popular and enjoyable activity that must be experienced at least once! In parasailing, a powerful boat will use its speed to lift a big parachute, from which you are suspended. The effect will be surreal. It is a great activity both for adults and children, because it is fun and safe. If you want more action, don’t hesitate to try knee boarding, water skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding. They all provide great excitement for families of any skill level, and are considered “tow sports”. In case you are in the mood for something calmer, kayaking or paddleboarding is the ticket. You will still spend time on water, but in a calmer and more relaxing form. Dolphins, manatees, and other sea life remains mostly undisturbed when on a kayak or paddleboard, providing more viewing opportunities!
Places to visit
Of all the beaches that are in Siesta Key, Turtle Beach is certainly one of the most interesting. It is famous for the fact that many sea turtles come here to nest. If you come in the right time of the year, you may even see them or their hatchlings heading fast towards the sea. Because it is narrower, there are fewer visitors here, so the beach is quite calm. If you’d like to spend some time on the sand without being in a crowded place Turtle Beach is right for you. It is located on the Southern end of Siesta Key.
Siesta Key Beach (Main Beach + Accesses)
This is the public beach that is famous for its soft, white sands, and provides plenty of space for everyone. If you get hungry or in the mood to go shopping after a day at the beach, do know that both shops and restaurants are within walking distance. This makes it highly convenient in case you need something or you want to do something else after basking in the sun and going for a swim.
Point of Rocks
If the beaches in Siesta Key are known for their fine sands, this place is a bit rockier. But, it is worth coming here if you like collecting shells and if you enjoy snorkeling. The beach here is quite wide, but you may need some sandals or sneakers if you want to look for shells, because there are areas with rocks, which can be quite uncomfortable for walking. Also, do not ignore this place if you want to fish, but not in the mood to take a boat. The area here is quite peaceful so nothing will disturb your activity or the fish. It is a well known spot for surfing (provided the conditions are favorable), diving, and snorkeling.
This beach is smaller than the Siesta Beach, but just as beautiful. It also has white sand and plenty of room if you want to spend the day here. It won’t be that crowded as the Siesta Beach, so if you are looking to enjoy a peaceful day, you may be in luck. It is a perfect beach for relaxing walks and even for dolphin watching, as they can come pretty close to this calm corner of the island. It definitely deserves attention for its beauty, as well as the numerous time spending opportunities, such as walking, snorkeling, kayaking, paddling, and much more.