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Learn About Siesta Key

Siesta Key, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is the place that most consider the gem of Sarasota County. This barrier island attracts a significant number of visitors from around the world each year.

People visit Siesta Key to experience its breathtaking atmosphere and its world famous beaches. Siesta Key is connected to Sarasota through one of its four main districts. The Key is easily accessible and tourist-friendly.

Similar to many other keys and islands in Sarasota, Siesta Key also started out as simply as an uninhabited patch of land. It was not until the 20th century that people began to discover the beauty and potential of this area. Siesta Key was initially called Clam Island or Little Sarasota Island. Back then, it was more a touristic destination rather than a residential area.

Visitors were attracted here by the natural beauty of the barrier island. The first homes to be built on Siesta Key were temporary beach homes where people could retreat for vacations. Very few people chose to live on the island year round; most of them fishermen and their families who earned a living by exploiting the abundant waters of the Key.

However, more people soon started to inhabit the area as full time residents. Many of them started creating orange groves. An entrepreneur even started a fertilizer plant in the area in 1848, attracting much attention to the island.

Life on the barrier island was far from easy when the area was first discovered. The island was home to swarms of mosquitoes and dangerous animals. There were many venomous snakes, wild cats, and wild boars. Also, there was no connection at that time between the island and the mainland. Everything had to be shipped to and from the island via boat.

However, in 1906, Captain Roberts and his wife opened a hotel in the area out of their boardinghouse. The warm hospitality here as well as the seafood prepared by Mrs. Roberts made the hotel famous.

The Roberts’ Inn, known also as the Siesta Inn, became one of the main attractions on the island. One year after opening the hotel to the public, Captain Roberts joined with two associates from the Siesta Land Company, a main event that contributed to the development of Siesta Key.

One of the associates, Harry Nigel, a developer and mayor of Sarasota later on, was extremely passionate about transforming the area. He contributed much of his effort to the transformation of the key. Nigel, together with Roberts and another associate, named the island Siesta Key.

Canal Aerial-min

Siesta Key in present days

Today, Siesta Key is a beautiful, flourishing community home to more than 24,000 people. More than 350,000 visitors visit the Key every year to see its stunning beaches and lovely weather. There are many fine restaurants on Siesta Key to choose from with breathtaking views of the beach. Artists commonly sit by the shoreline trying to capture and recreate the magnificent beauty before them. The fine, white, powdery sand made of pure quartz against the vibrant blue ocean is an unforgettable view. The beaches on Siesta Key are welcoming no matter the time of year. Even in winter, the weather is  gentle enough to allow a pleasant walk on the beach.

What To Do In Siesta Key

Visit one of the most beautiful and sought after beaches

Siesta Key is home to some of the most beautiful and sought after beaches in the world. Above all the other beaches here, however, Siesta Key Beach is the most popular. The sand is like white flour and any basic necessity can be found on this beach. Showers, bathrooms, beer, wine, pizza, ice cream, hot dogs, and beach chairs and umbrellas for rent are only a few of the convenient and pleasurable finds on Siesta Key Beach. It’s no wonder why tourists swarm the beach almost every day of the year. The atmosphere here is very calm, being suitable also for families with children who are looking for a peaceful way to spend the day.

Siesta Dunes
Siesta Header

Check out Turtle Beach for shells and turtles

Turtle Beach is another beautiful beach that can be found on Siesta Key. It is not as big as Siesta Key Beach and therefore even more peaceful and calm. Turtle Beach is famous because sea turtles come here to nest. Each year, an impressive number of turtles come to this beach to lay their eggs. If you’re lucky, you might see some of the turtles that inhabit Turtle Beach.

Don’t hesitate to engage in some water sports

Some very exciting activities here on the key are the various water sports. Snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, parasailing, paragliding, boating, and fishing are just a few. Another exciting option is watching the dolphins in the ocean. There is something for everyone here at Siesta Key. The possibilities are both endless and unforgettable.

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MFRMLS data last updated at December 17, 2017 7:54 AM ET