Siesta Key is a narrow island in Sarasota County, Florida with a great beach town vibe. The beautiful weather, amazing beaches and great local restaurants offer so many fun things to do at Siesta Key, Florida throughout the year. Whether you’re visiting Siesta Key with family or friends, you’re sure to have a great time in this beautiful beach destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
We’re lucky enough to have family in Siesta Key, and it’s a place we love to keep going back to. Whether you’re planning a trip to Siesta Key, FL or the surrounding Sarasota area, be sure to keep reading for our list of some of the best things to do on Siesta Key.
Visit the Siesta Key Beaches
This is the main reason you go to Siesta Key, right? Siesta Key offers 8 miles of shoreline with several different beach access points. There are three primary beaches in Siesta Key, including:
- Siesta Beach is our favorite of the three beaches. It boasts beautiful, white quartz sand that’s cool to the touch, and it’s consistently rated one of the best beaches in the US. We love the amenities that include things like a cafe, beach volleyball, restrooms, rentals, a playground and picnic tables. One of the only downsides is that it can get crowded at Siesta Beach. There is a large parking lot at Siesta Beach, but it can still fill up fast if you wait too late during the busy season.
- Turtle Beach hosts a number of activities including volleyball, a playground and a boat launch. You can also find two small concession stands at Turtle Beach in Siesta Key. The beach isn’t nearly as long as Siesta Beach, which makes it easier to walk across. The sand at Turtle Beach is more of a typical beach sand, however, and it isn’t white and powdery like Siesta Beach.
- Crescent Beach has the same white sand and blue waters as Siesta Beach. Given that it lacks the amenities, however, it’s more secluded and less crowded. Point of Rocks is also located at Crescent Beach, and it’s a great spot to see coral formations and other sea life. It’s a popular spot if you’re looking for scuba diving in Sarasota, FL.
Go Shopping in Siesta Key Village
There are several shops in Siesta Key Village, with a combination of locally owned stores and well known brands. You can find anything from touristy souvenirs to clothing, and more. Some of our favorite shops in Siesta Key Village include:
- Gidget’s Coastal Provisions for unique gifts, homeware and specialty items.
- Island Trader for a boutique clothing store with a wide range of women’s clothing, shoes and specialty gifts
- Beach Bazaar for your typical beach finds including beach gear, swimsuits, Siesta Key souvenirs, clothing and more.
- Sandal Factory for men’s and women’s sandals, sunglasses and face masks.
Cool Off With Yummy Ice Cream
There are so many great places for ice cream in Siesta Key that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Below are some of the best ice cream shops in Siesta Key.
- Big Olaf Siesta Key is a local favorite that has been around for almost 40 years. This Siesta Key ice cream spot offers several handmade ice cream flavors that change regularly.
- Local Chill is locally owned, handmade ice cream shop in Siesta Key (and our personal favorite.) It has great seating outside as well.
- Made in Rome Gelato for organically made gelato with unique flavors.
- Meaney’s Mini Donuts in Siesta Key can also be enjoyed with ice cream for dessert.
Enjoy One of Several Restaurants With Outdoor Dining
One of the best things about being in Florida is the great weather all year round. There are several places to eat outside in Siesta Key, and almost every restaurant has some form of outdoor dining. Some of our favorite places to eat in Siesta Key with outdoor dining include:
- The Hub Siesta Key for California Baja influenced Mexican food.
- The Cottage for a diverse menu of fresh and locally sourced menu items.
- Sun Garden Cafe for a yummy Siesta Key breakfast spot that also serves lunch.
- Oyster Bar or Daiquiri Deck for happy hour in Siesta Key. (Oyster Bar in particular can get really crowded- get there early for a seat outside!)
- Flavio’s Brick Oven for Italian food and pizza in Siesta Key is offering outdoor dining post-Covid as well.
Many of the best restaurants in Siesta Key also offer live music as well!
Watch the Siesta Key Sunset
The sunset in Siesta Key is so amazing that people travel from all over to see it, and catching the sunset is one of the best things to do in Siesta Key. While it’s beautiful to witness right on the beach, one of our favorite vantage points to catch the Siesta Key sunset is on the deck at the beach cafe. Another popular spot to watch the sunset on Siesta Key is at Sunset Point, which is located at the northern point of Siesta Beach.
Pro Tip: Get to the beach at least 45 minutes before sunset to fully witness the changing sky. Siesta Key beach gets crowded on weekend evenings, so parking can be scarce during busy months.
Siesta Key Drum Circle at Sunset
If you’re lucky enough to see the Siesta Key beach sunset on a Sunday, be sure to catch the Siesta Key Drum Circle. This is another one of the most popular things to do in Siesta Key, Florida. The drum circle is made up of local drummers and dancers who perform every Sunday until the sun sets. Anyone can pull up a chair to watch and listen as the sun sets.
The Siesta Key Drum Circle typically starts around 5pm and is located at Siesta Beach by the pavilion where the main parking lot is located.
Climb Around the Siesta Beach Playground
If you’re looking for things to do in Siesta Key with toddlers, the amazing playground at Siesta Beach is sure to be a favorite. The playground is sandcastle themed and there are two different play areas: one for toddlers and one for older kids. In addition to a number of slides and play structures, there are also several swings. The playgrounds are also surrounded by picnic tables and benches, which make it great for families to gather or take a break from the beach.
Not visiting Siesta Beach with kids? Adults can also have fun playing beach volleyball and enjoying the many amenities at Siesta Beach.
Ride the Siesta Key Trolley
After our first visit to Siesta Key, the Siesta Breeze Trolley quickly became one of our favorite things about this Florida beach town. It’s a free mode of transportation offered by Sarasota County, and it makes it possible for you to visit Siesta Key without a car. The trolley in Siesta Key loops between Siesta Key Village, the beach, and back around.
Not only is it an easy way of getting around Siesta Key, but this brightly colored bus is almost an attraction in itself. While it’s especially great if you’re looking for Siesta Key, Florida things to do with kids, it’s not just for kids! It’s great if you want a safe way to get to and from the Siesta Key bars and restaurants at night as well.
For more information on the buses in Sarasota and the Siesta Key Trolley schedule, visit the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) website here.
Explore the Fun Things to Do in Sarasota, Florida
There are so many great things to do near Siesta Key beyond the beach! Siesta Key is located in Sarasota County, which is full of culture, history and the beautiful outdoors. Some of our favorite things to do in Sarasota with kids (or without) include:
- Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium for an amazing aquarium and working research lab that holds a variety of sea life.
- The Ringling Museum to learn the history of the Ringling Brother’s circus through colorful and interactive displays.
- Sarasota Jungle Gardens for fun animal experiences in a jungle setting.
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for a beautiful botanical garden with amazing views of the Sarasota Bay.
More Ideas for Things to Do in Siesta Key on Vacation
We always seem to be short on time when visiting Siesta Key. Below are additional ideas for Siesta Key things to do that are on our bucket list for the future!
- Visit the Siesta Key farmer’s market on Sundays for local goods and produce.
- Take Siesta Key sunset cruise with Key Sailing.
- Go fishing in Siesta Key by boat or from land at one of several Siesta Key fishing spots.
- Rent kayaks in Siesta Key to see the canals from the water.
- Go snorkeling in Siesta Key at Point of Rocks.
Ready to plan Siesta Key vacation? Head here to search Siesta Key beach hotels and vacation rentals in Siesta Key, FL.
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