Where to Stay in Siesta Key, Florida
Siesta Key is an 8 mile long barrier island off the coast of Sarasota, Florida known for its white sand beaches and clear Caribbean blue water. There are four main areas of the island when considering where to stay and each has its own unique characteristics. We’ve done our best to outline the pros and cons of each, but make sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Siesta Beach was rated the #1 beach in the United States by Dr. Beach in 2011 and 2017. Siesta Beach is on the north end of the island and only a short walk to the restaurants, bars and shopping at Siesta Key Village . The beach also offers amenities such as public parking, volleyball and tennis courts, year-round lifeguards, shaded picnic and playground areas, beach rentals (chairs, wheelchairs etc.) and a snack shack for light refreshments. Depending on the time of year, parking can be difficult to come by, especially during spring break.
- Amazing white sandy beaches, consistently voted a top beach by many ranking systems
- Amenities at the public access point (refreshments, beach rentals, bathrooms)
- Beach Volleyball courts and Tennis Courts
- Year-round lifeguards
- Short walk to Siesta Key Village
- Crowded beach and parking lot, especially during Spring Break
- Most of the condos for rent are across the street from the beach
Connected to Siesta Beach to the south, Crescent Beach is far less crowded due to the one public access road and many private beach areas in front of the beach-front condo buildings that line the beach. The condos that sit directly on Crescent Beach are the most popular places for vacationers to stay due to the proximity to the beach, however there are also great options across the street on the bay side of the island. Depending on where to stay along the ~2 mile beach, you’re further away from the entertainment in Siesta Key Village, but there is free transportation to and from the village (just remember to tip!).
- The beach is far less crowded and much quieter
- Plenty of beachfront condos to rent, many including private beach chairs, parking and ocean views
- No parking and only one public access point so it may be difficult to get to for people not staying at the condos that line the beach
- Further from Siesta Key Village restaurants, entertainment and shopping
- No public amenities (e.g., restrooms, refreshments, beach rentals)
- No lifeguards
Turtle Beach is located about 4 miles south of Siesta Village and is pleasantly not connected to the other beaches and areas. It’s remoteness offers an entirely different locals vibe compared to the touristy Siesta Beach. The first thing you’ll notice is that the sand isn’t nearly as nice as the other beaches, but the water is just as clear and blue.
- Free Public parking – easy to find and within steps of the beach
- Less crowded than Siesta or Crescent Beach
- Amenities (volleyball, horseshoes)
- Great for snorkeling and shelling
- Fishing permitted
- The sand is much darker in color and shelly compared to the other beaches
- Water isn’t as shallow
- No lifeguard
- No food or drinks sales so make sure to bring your own
Siesta Key Village
Siesta Key Village is the only area we are recommending that isn’t beachfront, however as with all of siesta key, the beach is only a short walk away. This is where you want to stay if nightlife is more your interest than the beach. Restaurants, bars and shopping are at your door steps while Siesta Beach is less than a 10 minute walk down the road. There aren’t many traditional hotels or high rise condos here so you’ll most likely be looking for home rentals and smaller condo complexes.
- Beach town feel with plenty of outdoor restaurants, bars and shopping
- Short walk to Siesta Beach
- Not the place to be if you want to be beachfront
- Loud and crowded during spring break
- Parking is a challenge if your accommodation doesn’t have reserved parking.