Siesta Key Beach, FL – one pearl out of a string of beautiful subtropical Barrier Islands in the Gulf of Mexico

Flock of Birds

Flock of sea birds

Sunny beaches with crystal-white, powdery sand that stretch for miles and miles. You can stroll through shops with all sorts of fashion, beach accessories, and souvenirs. You will find restaurants where you can grab a quick breakfast or lunch in your flip-flops and sandy toes, or where you can relax in style over an extraordinary candlelight dinner while watching the sea birds go to rest.

Originally, the place was named “Sarasota Key”. In the late 1920s this 8-mile long, crescent-shaped Gulf Coast barrier island was renamed to “Siesta Key. This does sound more interesting. Furthermore, the new name reflects the laid back island lifestyle perfectly. The word “Siesta” means “mid-day nap” in the Spanish Language (the noon of the Roman day, coming six hours after sunrise. Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper). This does not mean that everybody is falling asleep at noontime, but on Siesta Key the clocks seem to tick a little slower than someplace else.

While its gulf beach waters are clear, aquamarine and turquoise blue, Siesta Key Beach is made of pure white, powdery, soft sand. The sand consists actually of 99 percent quartz, it is cool to the touch and cool on bare feet in the height of summer which makes the beach a great place to escape the heat on a mid-summers day.

Because of the unique sand content, the beach has consistently been rated “the 2nd Best Beach in the Nation” by the Travel Channel. Finally, in 2011, Siesta Key Beach was named the “Number One Beach” in the USA in the annual ratings by Dr. Beach (aka Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University).

Balmy breezes in the wintertime, dolphins and manatees, pelicans, egrets, osprey, seagulls and a variety of shorebirds – on Siesta Key you are still in contact with Mother Nature. You will see dolphins playing in the water, and sometimes, you will be lucky to see manatees floating by. At first, you might be scared when you see their massive shadows in the water, but they are very gentle animals.

There are three beach sections on Siesta: Siesta Public Beach is the main attraction, located mid-island off Midnight Pass and is the perfect spot to find all the action. Facilities are numerous and include a concession stand, restrooms, volleyball nets, tennis courts, and year-round lifeguards. Once in a while, there is an outbreak of craziness on the beach. On certain dates (spring break or Easter, for example) expect up to 15,000 people in that area with no space to park your car.

Siesta Key’s Turtle Beach is a relaxing beach situated two and a half miles south of Stickney Point Road. It is not as crowded as the Public Beach. The third beach – Palmer Point –  begins at the south tip of Siesta Key and continues until the north end of Casey Key. Although there are no Lifeguards on duty, no concession stands, and no tennis courts, it is a beautiful spot to be if you want to avoid the crowd and catch some rays.

Siesta Village is only a 5-minute walk away from the public beach. Here is where the heart of the island beats. The Village is a mostly pedestrian village area ideal for “People Watching” from sidewalk cafes while sipping on a nice cold drink. Stores, shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars thrive in the midst of commercial and residential activities. You’ll find a drug store with a post office and also a well-equipped grocery and hardware store in this village area.

Homes for sale on Siesta Key open the door to a lifestyle that’s more attitude than routine. Everything about Siesta Key reflects relaxed, fine casual living at its best. As a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly town, Siesta Key is easy to get around. You will fall in love with this unique little island in front of the Sarasota mainland. On this island, you can quickly find everything you’re looking for.

Siesta Key homes for sale begin at the $300,000 level and can be priced as high as $16 Million. The north end of Siesta Key is considered by many to be the most desirable because of its prime location. The draw bridge provides quick and easy access to the mainland and downtown Sarasota area. However, it is a question of preferences. We like the lush tropical vegetation on the south end of the island just as much and there is a second draw bridge that connects the island with the mainland.

If water is your love, Siesta Key is really where you want to be. Yes, you sense it already dear reader, homes directly on the Bay or with Ocean Front require a larger wallet, but with almost 50 miles of canals, there are plenty of possibilities that may fulfill your dream and still stay within your budget.

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movie: Siesta Key in November

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