Just a few miles south of Bradenton lies beautiful Siesta Key Beach. It is located off Siesta Key, a barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. It is a popular vacation destination and the home of less than 10,000 residents. There are three beaches on Siesta Key, including Turtle Beach, Crescent Beach, and Siesta Beach. The sand on Siesta Beach is 99 percent pure quartz that is crystal white. This beach has been named as the best sand beach in America by different sources for several years. The water just offshore is shallow and perfect for family swimming. The area along the beach is designed to offer sunbathers and swimmers concession stands and picnic areas. There is a lifeguard on the beach year-round. Volleyball courts and tennis courts are also available for vacationers. With Siesta Village within walking distance, it is easy for vacationers to reach shops and restaurants.
Average temperatures on Siesta Key Beach average between 71 and 77 degrees. Low temperatures are between 50 and 60 degrees in the winter months of December, January, February, and March. High temperatures in these months average in the 70’s, keeping water temperatures in the mid to upper 60 degree temperatures. High humidity levels keep the air and water feeling up to 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. Tourists visit the beach all year round, and it is a popular destination for Spring Break when college students have their break time and head to the Florida beaches.
Vacationing families and college students who are on Spring Break can find many activities when they head for Siesta Key Beach. There are kayaks available for rental, and parasailing is also a popular activity. A charter boat ride can be taken to enjoy some time fishing in the Gulf or Bay any time of the year. Golfers can drive a short distance to Sarasota, Bradenton, or Venice to tee off at one of the championship golf courses that are situated along the coast. There are also additional golf courses in North Port, Parrish, Englewood, Palmetto, and other areas on the Florida Gulf Coast.
Siesta Key is home to many fine restaurants, including Italian, French, Japanese, and American-style cuisine. Seafood is a specialty in many of the restaurants, but there are also pizza parlors, delis, and cafes. After a day of swimming, many guests have dinner and then head for one of the ice cream shops or to New York Italian Ices. The parking lot along Siesta Key Beach can hold 800 cars, and the restaurants in the town area can accommodate about as many dining guests. Parks and picnic areas are also available for tourists who would rather picnic in the open air.
Shopping opportunities are also located in the town area, where guests can find souvenirs or buy clothing, jewelry, or bath items. Various shops carry all of the supplies that sunbathers forgot to bring, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, beach towels, and used books. A grocery store is also there for those who want to buy soft drinks or beer. The beach is only minutes from Sarasota, an area rich in culture with museums, theater, jazz clubs, and performing arts. Sarasota is also the home of Sailor Circus where children become students and are trained to perform as clowns and other circus characters.
Tourists who visit Siesta Key have the choice of staying near the beach in one of the hotels on Siesta Key, or they may opt to stay in Sarasota. Many tourists want to spend time at the beach in the daytime and enjoy the culture of Sarasota in the evening when the Sarasota Ballet of Florida or the Sarasota Opera are performing. Sarasota has many night spots and bars that are often crowded year round, especially during Spring Break time.