VOTED THE #1 BEACH IN THE U.S. and #5 IN THE WORLD
by TripAdvisor for 2017 and AGAIN in 2020!
Siesta Beach Report
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Siesta Beach is located on the island of Siesta Key which is a beautiful barrier island about eight miles long just offshore of Sarasota, Florida. Until the 20th century, Siesta Key was basically vacant and was referred to as Clam Island, Little Sarasota Island or Sarasota Key. The Island also was not connected to the city of Sarasota in any way, so the only way to get to and from the island was by boat. Back then Siesta Key was covered in deep vegetation, and only the inhabitants were basically snakes of all varieties (including rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins and coral snakes), sand fleas, honey bees, wildcats and wild boars. It remained that way basically until around 1906 when Mr. and Mrs. Roberts opened the Roberts’ (or Siesta) Inn. This hotel became very popular for people who wanted a place to escape the cold winters of the north. The Roberts Inn also attracted a lot people thanks largely to Mrs. Roberts cooking (especially her seafood dishes). Mr. Roberts later teamed up with Mayor Harry Higel to create the Siesta Land Company, which then formed what is now "Siesta Village" they then renamed the island Siesta Key around a year after he opened his hotel. Then in 1914, Higel opened his own hotel called "Higelhurst" and used his boat to transfer guests to and from the city. Higel also worked to get the Army Corps Engineers to build a bridge that would connect the key with the city of Sarasota. He was finally able to accomplish this and the bridge opened in 1917, which connected the northern part of the key with the city. In 1927, a second bridge later opened at the southern end of the key on Stickney Point.
Currently the island has over 15,000 full time residents and another 18,000 average "snowbirds" which flock here for the mild Florida winter months. Homes on Siesta Key area range anywhere from small rental cottages and condos to large waterfront homes and private residencies.
Siesta Beach has earned itself a very honorable reputation as one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States as well as the world. It's fine snowy white sands are unlike any other beach and are composed of 99% pure quartz most of which coming from the Appalachian Mountains, which remains cool even on the hottest, Florida summer day. Shallow waters also line the shore so visitors can easily enjoy activities such as swimming, skim boarding, paddleboarding and snorkeling all with the comfort and the security of year-round lifeguards on patrol (Public beach area), Siesta's other amenities also include concessions (Opened Feb in 2016), picnic tables & grills, rest rooms and showers. 10 volleyball courts, tennis courts and a new shaded playground and let's not forget the shoreline, which is an excellent place for jogging, biking or romantic walks. Siesta Beach has it all, the which make this beach a favorite for residents and visitors alike.
Siesta Public Beach Amenities Include:
Siesta Public Beach Amenities Include:
. Public restrooms, snack bar & gift shop
. Showers and handicap ramps
. Picnic areas with & without roofs
. Picnic shelters & tables (8 - family size shelters)
. Gazebos (holds up to 60 people)
. Large shelter (holds up to 120 people)
. Free lighted public tennis courts
. Volleyball courts (on the beach)
. 20 station fitness trail
. Playground equipment
. Lifeguards on duty year round
. Handicap beach chairs/wheel chairs available
. First aid
Four Reasons Why You'll Love Siesta Key Public Beach:
Pure white sand - Siesta Beach has the finest and the whitest sand found anywhere in Florida. But it's not just any ordinary sand... No, It is nearly 100% pure quartz crystals that are almost as fine and soft as powder. In fact the sand is so pure that it often squeaks when you walk on it. And because the sand is so white, it never gets hot, even under Florida's intense summer sun. And will also find there are also no piles of sharp, broken shells, so it always feels comfortable on bare feet.
Calm, clear, safe water for swimming - Siesta Beach is famous for its gently sloping beach. The water stays shallow a long way out and is almost always clear and very calm. This means you can see what you are stepping on and you won't get knocked down by big waves. While we all appreciate these qualities in a vacation beach, older folks and families with small children will feel especially comfortable here.
Long flat beach for walking - Do you like to take long walks on the beach? Siesta Key's Public Beaches are the best Gulf coast beach for long walks because the beach is so flat, and mainly because the sand is packed so firmly by the water's edge. Siesta Key's nearly three miles of white sand beaches are perfect for riding your bike on the beach, jogging, or even pushing a baby stroller.
All the amenities - Siesta's Public Beach facility has you covered. Our lifeguards and beach patrol are second to none. There is a full-service food and drink concession along with covered tables will make sure you get all the nourishment you need without having to leave the beach. And if you want to leave the beach for lunch but don't want to lose your parking spot, just call one of the open-air, free (tips only) electric taxis which serve the entire island. If you are mobility-challenged and need a little help getting across the sand, special beach wheelchairs are available that will easily get you down to the water's edge. Showers, restrooms, changing areas, volleyball nets, picnic tables, a children's playground; Siesta Key Public Beach has it all.
These Siesta Key locations have beach access, a parking area and swimming (unless otherwise notes).
No Lifeguards on duty at any of these "Access" Points! (#1 - #13) ONLY Siesta Public Beach Has Lifeguards On Duty
Beach Access #1 - Shell Road. Siesta Drive, west to Higel, west on Shell Road - No Swimming. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #2 - Avenida Messina. Ocean Boulevard, west on Avenida Messina - No Swimming. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #3 -100 Beach Rd. (aka) Sunset/ The Piers. Road is blocked to car traffic. Must get there on foot. No Lifeguards
Beach Access #3B - 136 Beach Road - No Parking- NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #4 180 Beach Road- NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #5 - Ocean Boulevard. Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road Intersection. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #7 - Calle de la Siesta. Beach Road and Calle de la Siesta. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #8 - Plaza de las Palmas 1. Off of Beach Road, north of Siesta Beach. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #9 - Plaza de las Palmas 2. Also off of Beach Road, north of Siesta Beach. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #10 - Calle del Invierno. Beach Road, north of Siesta Beach. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #12 - Stickney Point Road. South on Midnight Pass Road, west on Stickney Point Road. NO Lifeguards
Beach Access #13 - Point O' Rocks. Midnight Pass Rd, south of Stickney Point Rd, west on Point of Rocks Rd. NO Lifeguards
Siesta Key Public Beach - 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key. Pavilion, Play ground, Ball fields, Tennis courts, Concessions, Picnicking
Turtle Beach Campground - 8862 Midnight Pass Rd, Siesta Key. 40 camp sites for both RVs and tents. Free Wi-Fi. Boat ramps, Canoe launch
Turtle Beach Park - Midnight Pass Rd, Siesta Key. Boat ramps, Fishing, Canoe/Kayak launch, Picnic area, Playground, Swimming
Palmer Point Beach - South end Siesta Key and the north end of Casey Key. Boating, Fishing, Swimming, No Facilities, NO Lifeguard
Siesta Beach Facts:
Geologically Siesta Beach sand originated in the Appalachian Mountains and flowed into the Gulf of Mexico millions of years ago, then moved down the coast to its present location.
It was recognized at the "Great International White Sand Beach Challenge" in 1987 for having the "whitest and finest sand in the world."
Siesta Beach originally contained 9-acres and approximately 1200 feet of Gulf frontage.
In the early 1970's, the county purchased additional acres to the south, increasing the beach size to about 101-acres.
The Beach Pavilion, originally designed by Tim Siebert from the Sarasota School of Architecture, was dedicated in the spring of 1960. This building was recognized for its use of low maintenance materials.
Siesta Beach is a National Healthy Beach, and is certified as a "Blue Wave" beach by the Clean Beaches Council.
Rated "One Of The Best Walking Beaches in the USA," by USA Today International Edition; and “The Best of the Best Sand” by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.
In 2004 the Travel Channel named it "The Best Sand Beach in America" because of its 99% pure quartz sand that stays cool under your feet.
In 2011, Siesta Beach was rated as the #1 beach in the United States by "Dr. Beach", a.k.a. Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, director of Florida International University's highly respected Laboratory for Coastal Research.
Voted No. 2 in US on Dr. Beach's annual list 2016
VOTED #1 BEACH in the U.S. and No. 5 in the world by TripAdvisor 2017 and 2020