Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach often ranks near the top of most travel publications “best of” beaches lists. Travel Channel rated it “The Best Sand Beach in America,” in 2004. This is because the sand is 99% quartz. The sand is absolutely soft and beautiful, and it doesn’t get too hot to touch. Mike and I decided to make a trip out to Sarasota to check another Florida Gulf Coast beach off our list.

As soon as we drove in, we already knew it was going to be a better beach day, as we did not have to circle around attempting to find parking! There is a large lot here with plenty of spaces available. Also, the roads leading into the beach were much less congested.

A nice tropical palm tree lined entrance leads you to the beach

Tropical entrance to Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida

White sand & crystal clear water

The beach itself was very beautiful: long and wide with gorgeous smooth white sand and clear water. The water was a bit cooler and there were more waves than other Gulf coast beaches, thus leading to fun swimming conditions.

Plenty of room to spread out at Siesta Key

Nice wide stretch of sand at Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach

99% Pure Quartz sand…so soft and white!

Gorgeous smooth white sand at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, FL
Relaxing on the smooth white sand of Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach

Gorgeous clear water

Beautiful clear water at Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach

Although crowded, it wasn’t half as congested as I expected based on my experiences at other Gulf coast beaches. It is possible that it appeared less crowded due to the wider stretch of sand, regardless the beach vibe was much more attractive than many other West Coast Florida beaches. We felt like we got to stretch out and enjoy the day without other couples/families sitting close enough to listen in to our conversation.

I didn’t notice many shells at Siesta Beach, however, the south end of the beach (Turtle Beach) is a more rocky section known for ample beach-combing opportunities.

Summer Thunderstorm Season!

We were set to stay until sunset, unfortunately a random thunderstorm rolled in. A bit frustrating as we checked the weather report before leaving and the chance was only slight. Nevertheless, we were able to capture some really cool pictures of the storm clouds. Also, we enjoyed the nice break from the sun and heat!

Check out how dark the skies got in such a short period of time!

Dark storm clouds at Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach
A view down Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach on a stormy day
A stormy day on Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach
Super dark clouds on Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach
Dark clouds prior to a storm on Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach
Extremely dark clouds on Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach

Check out how green the water looks in contrast to the dark storm clouds

Dark storm clouds and greenish looking water on Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach
Greenish looking water against the dark storm clouds at Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach
Dark storm clouds making the water appear green at Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach

That’s Florida for you…sunny one minute, stormy the next!

The beach-goers started to exit in droves, and we happily took advantage of the deserted grounds for as long as we could.

The beach after everyone left

An empty Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida

Why visit Siesta?

I recommend a trip to Sarasota for a relaxing summer afternoon at Siesta Beach. Here you will be treated to: great views, smooth sand, and plenty of space! On top of everything, parking is free…an unusual find on Florida’s Gulf coast!

Amenities at Siesta Key include: volleyball nets, tennis courts, restrooms, and a restaurant.

Location: Siesta Key Beach is located at: 948 Beach Road in Sarasota, Florida

Volleyball nets at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida

Where to Stay

Tropical Breeze Resort

Tropical Beach Resorts

Beach Club at Siesta Key

Where to eat

Columbia, Florida’s oldest restaurant, opened in Ybor City in Tampa in 1905. Columbia at St. Armands Circle in Sarasota is one of many locations which has opened. This fine restaurant serves excellent Cuban cuisine in a beautiful dining space. The Cuban Black Beans are amazing and so is the Paella. And do order the Black Bean cakes as an appetizer! Bonus – they offer a nice patio dining area.

Vegetarian Paella at Columbia Restaurant in Tampa's historic Ybor City

Also check out my guide to the best things to do in Sarasota!

Have you ever visited Siesta Key Beach? How would you rate it in comparison to other Florida Gulf coast beaches?