Siesta Key is a sun-soaked island, famous for its soft white sand and pristine water. Its incredible beaches and numerous water activities have made it popular for romantic getaways and family vacations alike.
There’s no shortage of sights and things to do here, but which ones are must-dos for your Siesta Key trip? Read on to find out the best attractions and activities in Siesta Key!
Where Is Siesta Key?
The barrier island of Siesta Key, Florida, is just off Florida’s southwestern coast. It’s found between the stunning Gulf of Mexico and Roberts Bay.
Siesta Key is only 15 minutes away from downtown Sarasota and an hour and 15 minutes away from Tampa. The nearest airport is Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, which is a half-hour drive from Siesta Key.
Top Sights & Things To Do In Siesta Key, Florida
Planning your itinerary? Whether you’re traveling solo or going with a group of friends, you’ll want to cross these sights and activities off your Siesta Key bucket list.
Take A Kayak Tour
There are several companies offering kayak tours of Siesta Key. Some help you get up close and personal with certain local species, such as manatees and dolphins. Others highlight key locations, such as the mangrove tunnels or lagoons.
Kayak tours are commonly done during the day, but we highly recommend that you go for a night tour in a glass-bottom kayak. Many marine species are more active after the sun has set, and the weather is much cooler – perfect for a tour.
Chill At Siesta Beach
Siesta Beach is consistently rated on top tourism sites as one of America’s best beaches. With its soft, sugar-white sand and beautiful turquoise waves, it’s easy to see why tourists continue to flock here during the summer. The beach also has many amenities for a comfortable day, such as on-duty lifeguards, showers and restrooms, and a full-service snack bar.
It’s a picturesque beach for swimming and getting a great tan, but there are other fun activities for groups as well. Several tour companies offer jet skiing, paragliding, and sunset boat charters here.
It can be hard to get parking, so we recommend you stop by early in the morning or late in the afternoon to secure the perfect spot to chill.
Shop At Siesta Farmers Market
Siesta Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. There are plenty of local artists and businesses selling their work here. We highly recommend that you go here to buy handicrafts, art, and other souvenirs – visitors particularly rave about the infused local rum, spiked pickles, and scented soy candles.
Go Snorkeling At Crescent Beach
Siesta Key boasts eight miles of beautiful coastline with three beaches: Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, and Turtle Beach. Crescent Beach is quieter and doesn’t have the same amenities as Siesta Beach. However, it offers two major advantages: incredible privacy and Siesta Key’s best spot for diving and snorkeling.
Known as the Point of Rocks, this snorkeling spot is found at the southernmost part of Crescent Beach. Climb the huge sea wall, and you’ll be greeted by ethereal tide pools and a five-foot-deep spot teeming with marine life. Put on your water shoes and swim amongst shells, schools of Florida’s native fish, and red sponges!
Swim At Turtle Beach
The sand is a little grittier at Turtle Beach, making it a less-favored stop for sunbathers. However, it’s less crowded and has the same crystal-clear water as Siesta Beach. If you’re looking for a better swimming spot and a quieter environment, Turtle Beach is the right choice. Take the free Siesta Key trolley – it’ll drop you off right at Turtle Beach.
Go for a leisurely stroll by the shore and look for seashells, or keep your eyes peeled for turtle nests. This serene beach is also dog-friendly, so it’s a good destination for those planning to bring their furry friends on vacation.
Go Shore Fishing And Boat Fishing
Fishing is a popular activity in Siesta Key, as anglers can catch a variety of species all year round in the right conditions. Note that clear water is important if you’re planning to fish at Siesta Key’s three gorgeous beaches – fish won’t be keen on snapping up bait if the water is muddy and churning.
Bay Island Park is a top spot for fishing for pompano, trout, and snapper from the Siesta Drive Bridge or sea wall. Those who want to fish from a boat should head to Robert’s Bay to snag redfish, snook, and ladyfish.
Join A Sunset Bike Tour
Work up a healthy sweat while sightseeing by joining a scenic bike tour of Siesta Key. Endless Summer Eco Tours offers an electric bike sunset tour for bikers of all experience levels. Start your tour at Old Stickney Point Road, where guides will help you learn to use the bikes. Water bottles will be supplied throughout your tour to keep you nice and hydrated.
Ride through the entire length of Siesta Beach, then enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne at the halfway point. On this bike tour, you can snap incredible photos of the majestic Siesta Key sunset from its magnificent shoreline.
Visit Siesta Key Village
Siesta Key Village is just a short walk away from Siesta Beach. Because it has plenty of restaurants and bars, this is a great stop for a hearty meal or refreshments.
We suggest grabbing a bite at Flavio’s Brick Oven Pizza, which is famous for its thin-crust pizza made from scratch. For an upscale atmosphere and fresh seafood, locals and visitors alike sing praises for The Cottage. The Peruvian Ceviche made with mixed seafood and aji amarillo is a must-try!
Party animals should go to Siesta Key Oyster Bar for fresh oysters, draft beer, and great live music. The Daiquiri Deck is another popular spot for drinks. While all the frozen daiquiris are icy and refreshing, the Spiked Watermelon and Rum Runner Frozen Daiquiris are especially recommended.
Plan The Perfect Siesta Key Vacation
Siesta Key is known for its beautiful beaches, incredible wildlife, and exciting watersports. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day or an action-packed time in the great outdoors, Siesta Key has plenty of great things to see and do. Look no further than these activities and attractions to have an unforgettable stay in one of Florida’s top vacation destinations!
**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.