Siesta Key is located on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida, about an hour drive south of Tampa. The small, 3.5 square mile barrier island is known for its white sandy beaches and clear Caribbean blue water. It’s been recognized as one of the best beaches in the world by Dr. Beach.
Siesta Key Village is where you’ll find most of the restaurants, entertainment and shopping, although there are also some restaurants near the highway 72 bridge as you enter the island. Between the two areas, you’ll find mid-level hotels and condos both on the beach and bay sides of the narrow island so almost every
When to Visit
Siesta Key is a popular spring break destination for both families and some colleges. You won’t find the craziness of other spring break destinations, but the bars and restaurants in the village certainly cater to the college spring break crowd during the 2-3 weeks in March / April. Otherwise, Siesta Key caters to families and snowbirds so the environment is a little quieter, but still provides plenty of entertainment for everyone.
Everyone has their own opinion on the best time to visit Siesta, here are a few points to consider when planning your trip.
November – April: This is considered busy season because of the snowbirds staying for the winters and spring breakers flocking in the spring. In general, the temperature between December and March is hit and miss if you are planning to get a tan or swim in the water, but the humidity and precipitation is low.
July – September: Hurricane season. The crowds will be less, but the rain and humidity will be higher with a chance of a hurricane.
If you are planning to stay on the island for most of your trip, there is no need for a car after you arrive. Check out Jonny’s Original free Rides for free trips to and from Siesta Key village in either a golf cart or minivan. They operate year round and almost all day so there is certainly no need for a car. The ride is free, but remember to tip your driver! Another great FREE option is the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley that runs from Siesta Key Village to Turtle Beach (7 days a week, 8am – midnight).
Parking in Siesta Key Village can be tricky. There isn’t much parking and it fills up fast during the busier months. Even if you do have a car, it may be worth the walk or ride to avoid the mess with parking.
Your Siesta Key Packing List
In addition to your regular clothes, undergarments, and toiletry items; consider packing the following to take advantage of all that Siesta Key has to offer:
For being active…
For relaxing on the beach…
Full Disclosure – Planes, Trains and Treadmills may get a small commission on the purchase of these products.
Sunday Night Drum Circle
If you are in Siesta Key for a Sunday evening, we highly recommend checking out the drum circle. It’s not an official or commercial event, but something of a tradition that takes place on the beach about an hour before sunset. Check out the videos here
Where to Stay and What To do
What Else Is there?
Our guide focuses on the island of Siesta Key, but the city of Sarasota offers the amenities of a small city as well as other beaches and barrier islands to visit. Check out the the visit Sarasota travel website for more info.
Also – don’t forget to enjoy the sunsets, which draw plenty of spectators to the beach to unwind!