Siesta Key Beach Guide

Siesta Key Beaches

imageSiesta Key is home to the beach with the whitest and finest sand in the world. Unlike sand on many other beaches in Florida and around the world that is composed of material from coral, shells or rocks, Siesta Key's sand is 99% pure quartz which gives it such a white tint and makes it so reflective that even on hot days it feels cool under your feet. You will not be hopping across the hot sand or needing sandals or flip-flops when you walk on the beach here.

The main public beach on Siesta Key is the most popular. Siesta Key Beach was selected as the #1 beach in the United States for 2011.

Shallow water depth in the near shore area together with year round lifeguard protection, makes this one of the safest beaches in the County and great for small children. Although there are 800 parking spaces, you better get there early if you want one.  Many days dolphins can be seen feeding and playing just off the beach along with the occasional manatee.

Lifeguards are on duty year round. The lifeguard stands have been painted in primary colors to make it easier to keep track of where you and your children are. The stands are yellow, blue, green and red. Siesta Key Beach also offers special needs visitors help via these free beach "wheelchairs." Be sure to look for one near the main parking lot walkover. Two concession stands are available at the beach for food and souvenirs. If "beach grub" like burgers, dogs, etc. isn't for you, it's about 2 miles to Siesta Village to the north where there is a wide variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. Everything from lobster to subs and sandwiches to Japanese food. There's also a small supermarket in the village with a deli counter offering both hot and cold foods. 
If you're at the south end of Siesta Beach, known as Crescent Beach, there are several places nearby for lunch and dinner in the Stickney Point Road area and south along Midnight Pass Road.

Feel free to bring your cooler and food to the beach. There are lots of picnic tables and some picnic shelters available. Some of the shelters can accommodate large groups and can be reserved in advance.
It is legal to drink alcoholic beverages on Sarasota County beaches, but please, no glass containers. When you're planning your trip to beach, buy plastic or aluminum only. Public beaches in Sarasota County are also non-smoking. For information on renting picnic shelters call 941-861-5000.

The beach's amenities include:

  • Rest rooms
  • Picnic tables
  • Tennis courts
  • Ball fields
  • Volleyball courts (on the beach)
  • Soccer field
  • 20 station fitness trail
  • Playground equipment
  • Tennis courts (4 lighted)

If you're staying on Siesta Key, there are plenty of public access points to the beach so it's a short walk from most of the north end of the key. Unfortunately, beyond the fire station near the intersection of Midnight Pass and Beach Road, the next public beach access south is near Stickney Point Rd. When looking for accommodations, be sure to ask about beach access as many of the properties on the east side, (odd number addresses), of Midnight Pass Rd. do not have beach access. Below is a list of public beach access points on Siesta Key.

  • Beach Access #1 - Shell Road
    Siesta Drive, west to Higel, west on Shell Road
    No Swimming
  • Beach Access #2 - Avenida Messina
    Ocean Boulevard, west on Avenida Messina
    No Swimming
  • Beach Access #5 - Ocean Boulevard
    Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road Intersection
  • Beach Access #7 - Calle de la Siesta
    Beach Road and Calle de la Siesta
  • Beach Access # 8 - Plaza de las Palmas 1
    Off of Beach Road, north of Siesta Beach
  • Beach Access # 9 - Plaza de las Palmas 2
    Off of Beach Road, north of Siesta Beach
  • Beach Access # 10 - Calle del Invierno
    Beach Road, north of Siesta Beach
  • Beach Access #12 - Stickney Point
    South on Midnight Pass Road, west on Stickney Point Road
  • Beach Access #13 - Point O' Rocks
    Midnight Pass Road,
    south of Stickney Point Road, west on Point of Rocks Road
Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach is located on Midnight Pass Road near the south end of Siesta Key. It features a large picnic shelter and is very popular for family outings.
In the center of the park is Blind Pass Lagoon which connects to Little Sarasota Bay. Free boat ramps allow easy access to and from the Bay.
Although the sand at Turtle Beach isn't as fine as it is farther up the key, it makes up the difference in privacy. Here you'll be able to walk for miles down the beach. Since the closing of Midnight Pass, you can walk all the way down Casey Key.
Look carefully in the sand, and you'll find prehistoric petrified sharks teeth that are millions of years old. Although the petrified sharks teeth you'll find on Turtle Beach won't be as nice as what you can find on Caspersen Beach in Venice just a little way south, a little searching can turn up a nice souvenir.

Turtle Beach's amenities include:

  • rest rooms
  • a building for meetings
  • boat ramps
  • large group picnic shelters
  • small picnic shelters
  • horseshoe courts
  • volleyball court
  • playground equipment
  • dune walkovers

There are no lifeguards on duty. For shelter rental information call 941-861-5000.

Palmer Point Beach

Palmer Point Beach begins at the southern tip of Siesta Key and continues onto the north end of Casey Key. The northern part of the beach was the former home of Mote Marine Laboratory. Since the closing of Midnight Pass in 1984, the beach allows uninterrupted walking all the way down Casey Key. The beach is a popular spot for boaters and kayakers who beach their vessels in the area of the former pass as well as for people who walk there from Turtle Beach seeking some privacy.
Keep in mind there are no lifeguards and no facilities.

Things to Remember!

At beaches where lifeguards are on duty you'll find information on water conditions and temperatures.
Be sure to pay attention to the flags flying and their color:

Good swimming conditions.
Green

Use caution
Yellow

Dangerous swimming conditions
Red

Beach is closed to swimming
Double Red

Hazardous Marine Life
Purple

Be careful with any food you have on the beach or at the concession area. Do not leave your food unattended. Gulls have very little fear of people and will swoop down from behind you and knock that burger or fries out of your hand.

All Sarasota County beaches are designated as non-smoking. Smoking is allowed in designated picnic areas, parking lots and at the pavilion on Lido Beach. Look for the sign on the left and other cigarette disposal containers that post non-smoking areas.