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24 Amazing Things to Do in Siesta Key You Can’t Miss

You’re going to absolutely love Siesta Key, Florida! This beach town near Sarasota is busy and full of life, yet has a small town feel. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Siesta Key, here’s your list!

things to do in siesta key florida white sand beach teal water red lifeguard stand
Gorgeous Siesta Key Beach 😍

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Just one visit to Siesta Key and you’ll fall in love with this island. It’s the perfect getaway for families, couples, friends’ trip (hello bachelorettes) or solo travelers. This barrier island is one of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast, and offers so much considering it’s size.

Use this guide to plan your perfect beach vacation to Siesta Key. Of course there’s gorgeous beaches, but this fun island has so much more to offer!

👉Don’t have time to read the whole article? This is the best kayaking tour near Siesta Key if you’re looking for adventure!

What you need to know about Siesta Key

things to do in Siesta Key with aerial view of white sand beach and teal water along coast
Crisp, white sand beaches of Siesta Beach (taken with my drone)

First, let’s go over some important info – how to get here, where to stay, etc.

Best time to visit Siesta Key

I mean, you’re going to a beautiful beach in Florida – is there really a wrong time? Likely not.

However, if you’re looking for the absolute best time to go to Siesta Key, it’s April to May. The weather is warm but not too hot, the crowds are less than during peak summer tourism and those looking to escape the winter. And to top that, prices are affordable comparatively.

September and October are also great months to visit Siesta Key based on crowds and affordability. However, hurricane season peaks in August-September, so consider that. And if you do take advantage of the lower prices this time of year, just be sure to have good travel insurance just in case!

Of course, a winter getaway just might be the best time of year to visit. The gorgeous beach views and plenty of Siesta Key activities is the perfect warm winter vacation spot. 🙂

sunset on siesta key beach florida with bird by the water and sun dipping onto the sky
Sunset at Crescent Beach on Siesta Key, Florida

Closest airport to Siesta Key

The closest airport to Siesta Key is in Sarasota, Florida. That’s the SRQ airport or Sarasota Bradenton International. Fly into SRQ and rent a car. It’s about a 45 minute drive from the airport, all located in Sarasota County

By the way, when renting cars my favorite cheap car rental spot is Discover Cars. I typically save 10-30% and it’s a free service. They search the top car carriers to find the best deal. Search cheap car rates now.

You could also fly into Fort Myers or Tampa for a longer drive to Siesta Key.

Pro tip: use Google Flights for the lowest price dates!

Best Siesta Key Hotels

view of dock over water from condo near Siesta Beach
Bay view from Siesta Key condo

Alright, you may not want to hear this, but there’s not really big-name hotels in Siesta Key. This is awesome for the locals who want to keep the island more natural and reduce large crowds.

It also means you’ll need to look at smaller, local hotels or vacation properties. I loved the options on and ended up finding a lot of condos to rent. I absolutely loved our view and location, too!

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    You’re excited about this trip, right? Let’s get to the list!

    Things to do in Siesta Key

    Whether your vacation style is laid back or on-the-go, you’ll find a bit of both on this list. I’ll start off with some of my favorite experiences on the island!

    1. Siesta Key Beach

    things to do in Siesta Key view of white sand beach teal water red lifeguard stand
    The stunning Siesta Key Beach, Florida

    Rated one of the top beaches in the USA by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards™, this beach is absolutely deserving of that title!

    It’s incredibly soft sand is like walking on a fine powder. It truly doesn’t even feel like sand! The sand is actually made up of 99% quartz, making it the softest sand you’ll ever step foot on.

    Siesta Key Beach is one of the most family friendly beaches in Florida for this reason, and certainly one of the best places in Florida for vacation!

    It’s the perfect place to spend a day soaking up the sun, building sand castles, wading in the crystal clear water, watching the kite surfers or simply enjoying this fabulous sand.

    The parking lot the size of a convention center lot, so this beach gets busy! On a Saturday afternoon, I witnessed easily over 2000 people there at once. Good thing it’s an extremely large beach!

    Tips for visiting Siesta Key Beach

    • Get there early or go late. The peak of the day (11am – 4pm) is the most crowded. If you want a more peaceful experience, go early or stay for sunset.
    • Walk to the north or south end of the beach for the least people. We found the most space the furthest away from the main entrance.
    • Take beach chairs with you. If your vacation rental has beach gear, be sure to grab it!
    • Wear eco-friendly sunscreen so as it wears off, those fish and reefs are safe.

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      2. Play beach volleyball

      things to do in Siesta Key like playing sand volleyball with view of court and net
      Sand volleyball court on Siesta Beach

      While you’re at Siesta Beach, grab a volleyball and some friends and hit a few. It’s a fun way to get some exercise while taking a break from the water and the crowds.

      The volleyball courts are located near the southern end of the Siesta Beach parking lot.

      3. Ride the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley

      Siesta Key Trolley view of green and blue trolley on road
      Ride the free Siesta Key trolley!

      Guysssss! I didn’t know there was a free trolley before I arrived on the island and man it was amazing! Providing vacationers and locals free rides, the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley runs daily 8am – 10pm.

      It runs from the Village to Turtle Beach and will pick up or drop off anywhere along the route. The Siesta Key Breeze Trolley website says it runs every 30 minutes, but I found it was more like every 10 minutes! Just be prepared to hop on the last trolley of the day at least 30 minutes early so you’re not stranded.

      If you have a hotel or vacation rental right on Beach Road / Midnight Pass Road, it’s an easy way to get around the area.

      It’s one of the most fun things to do that’s also so simple and free. And for all ages, too. 🙂

      4. Siesta Key Village

      Siesta Key Village with view of gazebo and palm trees with shops in the distance
      Siesta Key Village circle

      Full of shopping and dining, the Siesta Key Village is a really cool spot on the island. It’s busy with vacationers and locals alike, enjoying the quaint town square.

      Take a walk around the village and find the perfect spot to eat, check out an art gallery, hang out in the village circle or grab a souvenir for a loved one.

      Grab groceries for a budget-friendly getaway at the local market. Or find the perfect lunch or dinner spot during your island vacation or Florida road trip.

      Siesta Key Village has some of the best nightlife on the island and it’s kind of the thing to do after the sun goes down. Lots of people enjoy the sights and sounds of this area, so just be prepared for crowds and long wait times at restaurants.

      5. Bike rentals Siesta Key (favorite way to see the island)

      bikes resting along tree near beach
      Rent bikes and ride around the island

      Whether you rent bikes for the day or even an electric bike tour, this is a great way to see the sights of Siesta Key quickly. The island is completely bike-able, with a bike lane to choose on the street or just ride directly on the beach! If you want to take it easy, opt for the electric bike sunset tour.

      Biking the island is by far one of the top things to do on Siesta Key!

      Book it now: electric bike tour of Siesta Key

      6. Photo shoot (one of the most unique things to do in Siesta Key FL)

      family on the beach parents and two kids at sunset
      My family’s Flytographer photo shoot pics😍

      One of the best ways to capture memories with those you’re traveling with is by booking a photo session. Whether you’re on a family vacation, traveling with your significant other or friends, booking a photo session on these gorgeous Siesta Key beaches is a fun souvenir!

      It’s been one of the most fun things I’ve done on vacation, and I love that our photos are displayed in our house.

      I love using Flytographer when I travel. They are easy, affordable, and in most destinations – like Siesta Key! You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code SSST.

      7. Crescent Beach

      beach with teal water and light sand at Crescent Beach near Siesta Key Beach
      Crescent Beach, Florida – just down the road from Siesta Beach

      More white sandy beaches? Yes please!

      Just to the south of Siesta Key Beach is Crescent Beach. It’s along the main strip and easily accessible via the trolley. With the main attraction on the island up at Siesta Beach, it leaves Crescent Beach desirable for less crowds.

      This is a great place to hang out if you want a bit more space!

      The sand isn’t quite as fine as it’s famous neighbor, and there’s a few more seashells hanging out too. But the nice thing about Crescent Beach is that it’s a short walk to several restaurants and bars, providing lots of options for entertainment.

      My favorite break from Crescent Beach is up next…

      8. Daiquiri Deck

      If you’re a fruity drink lover, then Daiquiri Deck is your spot! The lineup is fully blended cocktails in early every flavor imaginable. With fun drink names like Banana in the Bush, Monkey Berry, Voodoo Love Shake and so many more, this place is a good time!

      The two-story restaurant offers excellent open air seating, perfect for half-wet swim apparel. And bonus – it has great food here too. Some of my favorite blacked fish I’ve ever eaten was at Daiquiri Deck!

      Oh, and did you hear open containers are legal here? Grab some drinks to go and hit the beach! I recommend taking a reusable, insulated mug to keep your drink cool. It worked out great during my days on Siesta Beach and Crescent Beach!

      Here’s that tumbler link again…and don’t forget the reusable straws too!

      Siesta Key: things to do

      Can you believe this list? We’ve barely scratched the surface of all the awesome things to do in Siesta Key! One of my favorites is up next…

      9. Mangrove kayaking (perfect activity for your Siesta Key vacation)

      kayaks on water through low hanging trees
      Kayaking through the mangrove forests

      Okay, this on isn’t exactly on the island, but it’s so close – and so much fun – that it has to be included on this mega list!

      Located on Lido Key, this kayaking experience is like no other! You’ll kayak through the mangrove tree tunnels at Ted Sperling Park and nature preserve. Bring your own kayaks or take a mangrove tour with knowledgeable guides.

      You’ll want to spend a few hours on the water, which by the way, is easy to row and not too intense of a workout. Plan a morning tour or afternoon over on Lido Key exploring the natural environment.

      Watch for wildlife as you kayak your way through mangrove tunnels. It’s such a cool experience!

      Book it now: kayak tour through the mangroves.

      things to do in Siesta Key taking a kayak tour with kayakers paddling through mangrove forests
      Seriously one of the most fun experiences🤩

      10. Catch live music

      I mean, with open containers and beachy vibes, you knew there was nightlife, right? Well this small island is mostly residential, vacation rentals and restaurants, but there are a few places to catch live entertainment.

      Live music on Siesta Key:

      • The Hub Baja Grill
      • Gilligan’s Island Bar and Grill
      • Capt. Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar
      • Daiquiri Deck
      • The Beach Club Siesta Key

      11. Dessert for breakfast: specialty donuts

      If you have a sweet tooth, are a donut lover – or both, then this is the spot for you! Meaney’s Mini Donuts & Coffee House in the heart of Siesta Village is a must visit!

      With flavors like strawberry cheesecake, apple pie, chocolate delight, peanut butter cup and bavarian cream, you really can’t go wrong!

      The restaurant is just a walk-up and no matter when you go there’s likely going to be a line. It’s that good.

      Get them to go and grab a seat at the village center. Meaney’s Mini Donuts is a local favorite and you’ll wish you had this gem back home.

      Pro tip: you absolutely must get the cinnamon and sugar donut holes. Simple – but the best they offer.

      12. Go parasailing (one of the most epic things to do in Siesta Key)

      things to do in Siesta Key Florida with view of teal water and white sand photo from a drone
      Beautiful turquoise water at Siesta Key Beach😍

      If you love extreme sports or high adrenaline activities, then parasailing is for you! My favorite part was floating a hundred feet above the water, you can practically see the whole island!

      There’s several parasailing tours and spots to choose when in the area. You’ll depart from Sarasota or Anna Maria Island – and get gorgeous views of the Gulf!

      Book it now: parasailing over the beach

      13. Kids playground at Siesta Beach

      what to do in Siesta Key with kids
      Playground at Siesta Beach

      Alright, back at the main beach, there’s quite a bit in the area. And if you’re traveling with kids, there’s a park right at the beach, awesome for young kids.

      Partly shaded, the playground is perfect for a break from the beach or even on a cool day where you don’t want to spend time in the water. Siesta Key has so many things to do for the entire family – it really seems like there’s a bit of everything here!

      14. Lunch with a view

      things to do in Siesta Key like eating lunch with a view with two tables yellow umbrellas overlooking Siesta Key Beach
      Food with a view overlooking Siesta Beach

      And when the kids (or let’s be honest – the adults) get hungry from all that play, it’s time for some food with a view.

      There’s a couple of restaurants right on the the main public beach complex at Siesta Key Beach. There are public restrooms and showers right there too.

      On the northern end of the complex is a food kiosk with drinks. Towards the southern end is a second level restaurant, which has a great view of the beach and the Gulf of Mexico.

      Fill up on snacks or lunch and then hit the beach! It’s truly one of the best ways to spend a day in Florida.

      15. Kiteboarding

      things to do in Siesta Key like kiteboarding with view of person on kiteboard on the water
      Kiteboarding in Siesta Key, Florida

      Wondering what to do in Siesta Key? What about kiteboarding? One of the most popoular water sports in the area, actually.

      I spent one windy afternoon on the beach, watching the kite boarders. With shallow water and a beach as far as the eye can see, it’s perfect for kiteboarding!

      Rent some gear, grab a guide and get ready for the experience of a lifetime!

      16. Siesta Key drum circle

      Ok, you’re going to love this one! Since 1996, every Sunday a group of musicians have gotten together to play music. What was once a locals thing has shaped into a locals and tourist event over the years.

      Unfortunately, I haven’t spent a Sunday evening in Siesta Key so I haven’t been. But I hear it’s awesome! It’s on every Sunday, regardless of holidays or the weather. Check out their Facebook page for more updates.

      The drum circle location is even on Google Maps, making it really easy to find! You’ll want to get there about 60-90 minutes before sunset to take part in the fun!

      More things to do in Siesta Key

      Well we’re over half way done with this mega list. Hopefully you’ve added a few Siesta Key attractions to your vacation plans. Let’s keep going. 🙂

      17. Day trip to Anna Maria Island

      view of entrance to beach with palm trees and umbrellas
      Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island

      When you’re in the area, you absolutely must visit Anna Maria Island. About 30 minute to an hour’s drive from Siesta Key is Anna Maria Island. It’s got a small-town vibe that’s simply different.

      There’s quite a bit of things to do in Anna Maria Island, and more than enough to fill an entire day, including more beautiful beaches. So if you’ve got some time to explore, head north to the island!

      A few of my favorites on Anna Maria Island include:

      • Hanging out at the beach on Bean Point
      • Grabbing lunch at Poppo’s Taqueria
      • Bradenton Beach and the Historic Bridge Street Pier

      Pro tip: start your day early. Traffic in and out of Anna Maria Island can create quite the delay. Plus, you’ll want to find a parking spot for Bean Point early. 🙂

      18. Shopping in the Village

      store with items for souvenirs in Siesta Key Village
      Shopping in the Siesta Key Village

      Back in Siesta Key Village, be sure to check out the best shopping spots. If you’ve left any beach gear at home, this is the place to find the replacement.

      Grab a souvenir to remember your trip – or for a loved one. Find beachy or even bohemian style dresses, craft jewelry or ocean-inspired decor. There’s even an art gallery with pieces made by local artists.

      If you love shopping while traveling, this is your spot!

      19. Ice cream at the beach (one of my favorite Siesta Key activities)

      hand holding ice cream cone with strawberry on top of chocolate best things to do in Siesta Key
      Grab ice cream in Siesta Key Village

      Ice cream and vacation go together like peanut butter and jelly! You’ve got to take a beach break with ice cream. In the Siesta Key Village there’s a few places to grab a refreshing cool treat. And what’s more fun than ice cream?

      Walking around the village, it’s easy to spot ice cream in just a couple minutes. But a favorite in Siesta Key is Big Olaf Creamery.

      20. Dolphin tour Siesta Key

      things to do in Siesta Key FL view of dolphin in water
      Take a dolphin tour!

      What better time to see some wildlife and have an unforgettable experience than on vacation?

      Well taking a boat out for half a day, watching for dolphins and seeing the local sights will be a highlight of your trip! Being on the beach is fun, but being on the water is an adventure all it’s own, too.

      So take a boat tour to top off your fabulous vacation to this incredible part of Florida. If you go in the springtime, you may even see manatees, too!

      Book it now: 1/2 day boat tour.

      21. Turtle Beach

      view of sandy coastline with some seaweed and people sitting on the sand
      Turtle Beach on Siesta Key, Florida

      This hidden gem is a local’s favorite. It’s on the southern end of the island, and is the last stop for the island trolley. There’s a large park with an outdoor pavilion, plenty of picnic tables and of course, the beach!

      Even though it’s just a few miles down the coast from Siesta Key Beach, the sand is more course, is darker in color and has more seaweed. Turtle Beach also has a more cliff-like shoreline, which makes for a great seat and fun to play in the sand.

      So if you’re looking for a bit of isolation, choose Turtle Beach!

      22. Snorkel at Point of Rocks

      underwater world with fish and coral teal water
      The beautiful underwater world 😍

      One of the best areas to snorkel in the entire region is the Point of Rocks, which is on the very south end of Siesta Key Beach. There’s a bunch of limestone formations which create unique marine life for the area.

      Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler and have been to the best snorkeling beaches in Kauai or you’re new to snorkeling, this is a fun spot to explore for sure! The shallow waters and relatively calm waves here are perfect for snorkeling!

      There’s not a lot of places to rent snorkel gear locally, so I’d recommend packing your own. This is the snorkel set I use and my kids love this gear for snorkeling.

      Anyway, to get to the Point of Rocks, navigate to 6900 Point of Rocks Road and park at the Beach Access 12 parking lot.

      23. World-famous sandwiches at Anna’s Deli

      You might be thinking…really? A sandwich on a list of things to do in Siesta Key? But yes, it made the list. It’s literally world famous!

      Family owned since 1971, the signature ‘surfer sandwich’ which includes Anna’s famous sauce. In addition to the sauce, this place is known for their hefty portions, perfectly shaved meat and fresh baked marbled bread.

      24. Sarasota sightseeing tour

      aerial view of sarasota bridge
      Gorgeous turquoise waters of Sarasota, Florida

      Alright so the last thing on this list of Siesta Key attractions is in the neighboring town of Sarasota. Because you’re likely spending so much of your time on the island, this is a fun alternative to see the Siesta Key area a bit more.

      Get to know Sarasota’s colorful history with this sightseeing and food tour. From the Ringling Brothers history to the downtown area with the best restaurants, you’ll have such a good time in Sarasota.

      Book it now: tour of Sarasota.

      Best things to do in Siesta Key

      what to see in siesta key beach drone photo of white sand teal water and people on beach
      Drone photo of the northern end of Siesta Key Beach

      Well, that’s a wrap! Siesta Key is beautiful and inviting, with fun, food and activities for all ages. So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, you’ll fill your time easily!

      Let’s take a look at what to do in Siesta Key again, in a quick list…

      Siesta Key things to do:

      1. Siesta Key Beach
      2. Play beach volleyball
      3. Ride the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley
      4. Siesta Key Village
      5. Bike rentals Siesta Key
      6. Photo shoot
      7. Crescent Beach
      8. Daiquiri Deck
      9. Mangrove kayaking
      10. Catch live music
      11. Dessert for breakfast: specialty donuts
      12. Go parasailing
      13. Kids playground at Siesta Beach
      14. Lunch with a view
      15. Kiteboarding
      16. Siesta Key drum circle
      17. Day trip to Anna Maria Island
      18. Shopping in the Village
      19. Ice cream at the beach
      20. Dolphin tour Siesta Key
      21. Turtle Beach
      22. Snorkel at Point of Rocks
      23. World-famous sandwiches at Anna’s Deli
      24. Sarasota tour

      So, what will you do first when you get to Siesta Key, Florida? Assuming the best beach in Florida is on your list…what else?

      Be sure to download this beach packing list for your trip!

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        Real quick: we all love the turquoise green water on Siesta Key Beach. But in recent years there’s been red tide, toxic algae blooms, seagrass die-offs and fish kills due to 150-year old decisions of water mismanagement in Florida.

        Captains for Clean Water is trying to change that by providing education and funding for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which restores Florida’s natural waterways, and reduce these toxic (not to mention unpleasant) extreme algae occurrences. Consider supporting this non-profit to ensure future trips to Siesta Key are enjoyable. (And bonus – they rate 80 by Charity Navigator, so give with confidence. 😊)

        Related content:
        25 Things to Do in Anna Maria Island
        26 Beaches Along the Gulf Coast You Need to See

        21 Best Beaches in Florida for Families
        Destin vs. Gulf Shores – Which is the Perfect Spot for You?
        22 Florida Keys Road Trip Stops You’ll Love

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        Monday 19th of July 2021

        Love, love love Siesta Key! Keep your eyes peeled when you visit the beaches! You may just see a manatee or dolphin!


        Tuesday 20th of July 2021

        It's such a fun surprise, right? Siesta Key is awesome :)


        Sunday 18th of July 2021

        Siesta Key Beach I'd my absolute favorite beach. That sand is just so soft! I haven't been there in years, I need to plan a trip soon!


        Sunday 18th of July 2021

        Sounds like it's time for a trip back, Sue!


        Sunday 18th of July 2021

        Siesta Key is such an iconic beach town in the south! I love that it really offers all of the best beach activities like parasailing, dolphin tours, beach volleyball and more! <3


        Sunday 18th of July 2021

        Totally agree, Lisa! You can't go wrong here!