Vacationers from all over congregate in Siesta Key to spend their annual vacation on the long stretch of white sand that flanks the barrier island’s gulf coast. In fact, Siesta Key’s beaches are so perfect that they have been repeatedly ranked Number One in the U.S. across multiple publications.
It’s no surprise that most Siesta Key vacationers want to spend the majority of their time soaking up the sun, splashing in the warm ocean, and engaging in beach activities and watersports. While all are beautiful, each beach has its own amenities.
Here’s our guide for things to do on Siesta Key’s three main beaches:
Siesta Beach is the key’s main – and busiest – beach, located on the north end of the island at 948 Beach Road.
Siesta Beach proper is about a mile southeast of bustling Siesta Village, where you’ll find a number of restaurants, shops, and rentals. The beach itself is stunning, known for its pristine sand, turquoise waters, and, of course, colorful sunsets. But before the sun dips before the horizon, be sure to enjoy the daytime activities, both exciting and relaxing, that the beach has to offer.
Swimming is a popular activity on Siesta Beach as the waters are calm, clean, and warm. For a kid-friendly day in the water, buy a few floaty toys from one of the local shops – a surefire way to keep children entertained all day.
Skip the nearby restaurants one day and enjoy a family picnic. Make a meal at your Siesta Key vacation rental before you hit the beach or order lunch to go at Morton’s Siesta Market (205 Canal Rd.), spread out a blanket, and prop an umbrella for the perfect vacation meal.
When you’ve had enough of the water, check out Siesta Beach’s public volleyball and tennis courts. Get your heart rate up with an hour or two of beach volleyball in the powdery sand or tennis on one of the beach’s four public courts.
While the sand at Crescent Beach may not be quite as white or soft as Siesta’s, it’s a lot less busy.
This long strip of sand just south of Siesta Beach boasts the same warm waters, beautiful sand, and fewer people.
Because of this, it makes a great spot for sandcastle-building – one of the best kid-friendly activities. On Crescent, there’s ample space to build your sand palace with without worrying that it will get stepped on by a neighboring sunbather.
Crescent Beach is also home to Point of Rocks, a rock formation at the stretch of beach, which is known for its incredible snorkeling. Dive under and watch fish swimming by and see live coral – brown, green, and pink. The best time to go is early in the morning – partly for the clear view and partly to get a parking spot – on a sunny day.
Continuing down the Gulf Coast you’ll find Turtle Beach, located on the southern tip of Siesta Key.
Turtle Island is much quieter and more laid-back that Siesta Key’s other beaches. It is located between two bodies of water – the gulf on one side and Blind Pass Lagoon on the other.
This tranquil beach doesn’t have the same white sand as its northern sisters but is a fantastic place to comb the beaches. Here, you’ll find shells, sea glass, and other marine treasures as you walk the beach. Be sure to come at low tide for the best finds.
Turtle Beach is unique in its access to Blind Pass, a lagoon that opens up to the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Launch your boat at Turtle Beach and head up the waterway for great fishing and views of wildlife, such as birds and manatee. This lagoon is the perfect place for watersports like kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, as well.
Turtle Beach also adjacent to a campground for those looking for a rustic night under the stars away from Siesta Key vacation rentals and hotels.
There’s much to do on Siesta Key, but the beaches are the defining feature of the island. Hopefully, you’ll be curious to check them out along with the other beautiful natural attractions of the area such as the Jim Neville Marine Preserve, the Lido Key mangrove tunnels, and more.