A Sweet Escape to The Siesta Key: Things to Do, Places to Eat and More!

A Sweet Escape to The Siesta Key: Things to Do, Places to Eat and More!

  • Victoria Turner
  • 11/10/22

The gorgeous white sand beach of Siesta Key, a barrier island off the coast of Florida, makes the Gulf of Mexico hot spot one of the most coveted places to live and play in the nation.

Found off the coast of Sarasota, the Gulf Coast locale is a splendid place to relax and unwind, and there is so much to do, even if you never leave Siesta Key Beach, which in 2020 and 2022 was named the top beach in the U.S.

It’s a rightfully deserved title, as many things make Siesta Key Beach truly special. Along with the warm Florida sun, the beach features turquoise water and soft quartz sand that stays cool to the touch, making it an ideal backdrop for beach volleyball, romantic walks along the shore, and building sand castles with the kids.

Siesta Key attractions

If you’re looking for entertainment, Siesta Key does not disappoint.

There are myriad Siesta Key attractions, whether you’re vacationing at the Gulf Shore spot or entertaining visitors and want to show them the best Siesta Key offers. Fun Siesta Key things to do include parasailing (which gives you an aerial view of the entire island), kayaking tours, dolphin sighting tours, and so much more.

For a great day on the water, consider taking a Dolphin Sightseeing Tiki Bar Hopping Boat Tour, a private, luxury tour of the island, with stops at local tiki bars along the way.

Among other hot Siesta Key attractions, visit art galleries such as the Ringling Museum of Art, built by circus founder and art collector John Ringling, who had architects design 21 galleries filled with the works of classic and modern artists. You also can visit the Ringling Circus Museum, a nostalgic return to the big top, and The Gallery on Siesta Key, a co-op featuring the work of local artists, all of which is for sale.

Relax and unwind

The amenities are lovely on Siesta Key, and a trip to a spa is a tranquil choice for relaxing and rejuvenating following a day of high-energy activities such as surfing or parasailing.

Spa Experience Siesta Key is one of the area’s best locations for a massage or an anti-aging facial. Other Siesta Key spa opportunities include Hands of Light Massage Therapy, Bloom Organics Day Spa, and the Inner Circle Spa.

For those who prefer retail therapy to unwind, Siesta Key shopping opportunities are fantastic. First, check out Siesta Key Village, a shopping center in the center of Siesta Key, highlighted by designer clothing boutiques, outdoor outfitters, and various restaurants.

Other Siesta Key shops include playful beach-inspired shops, boho clothing boutiques, jewelry shops, art galleries, and gift shops.

If you’re relaxing with your partner, there is more to do than take long walks on that glorious quartz sand beach. Consider bike tours of the island, live music after a day in the sun, or checking the restaurants and pubs that comprise the region’s vibrant nightlife.

Fine dining

Fine dining in Siesta Key ranges from steakhouses like Fleming's, which features seafood and signature steaks topped with butter, to seafood establishments that are a must when visiting any oceanfront community.

Ophelia's on the Bay, for example, is an award-winning restaurant featuring a wide range of innovative seafood dishes, including tuna tartare nachos, Escargot Bourguignonne (inspired by Julia Child’s famous masterpiece), tiger shrimp, scallops, yellowfin tuna, and a host of other ocean items, along with filet mignon with sweet onion jam, rack of lamb, and other meat dishes.

Summer House boasts steak and seafood, making it a must for surf and turf lovers. The transitional restaurant’s relaxed vibe and complex menu (think charcuterie, lobster bisque, potato-crusted fish filet, and 40-day aged steaks) are completely delicious and perfect after a day rambling around getting to know Siesta Key.

For cocktails, check out pubs like The Hub Baja Grill, Gilligan’s Island Bar and Grill, and the Daiquiri Deck. The latter features a wide range of fruity drinks perfect for an afternoon cocktail (there are no open container laws here, so feel free to return to the beach, cocktail in hand).

As for sweet treats, the beach is packed with candy shops. Try Dulcefina Chocolate & Sweets for an afternoon sugar fix and specialty food spots, including the popular Meaney’s Mini Donuts and Made in Rome Organic Gelato.

Siesta Key family activities

Families will fall in love with Siesta Key, especially those who love lounging on the cool beach sand.

In addition to Siesta Key Beach, where you’ll find a children’s playground, there are other nearby beaches. Turtle, Crescent, and Shell are enticing for shell hunters, while Point of Rocks is best known for snorkeling excursions. Exotic fish, octopi, and more have been spotted by those who’ve been on the family-friendly adventure.

The more time you spend in Siesta Key, the more attractions you’ll find that are fun for the entire family. Check out the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, a nearby research facility featuring a wide range of exhibits with manatees, otters, sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish, and more.

Looking to relocate?

If the peaceful yet vibrant scene at Siesta Key appeals to you, look into Siesta Key homes for sale. Here you’ll find uber-modern, Mediterranean, and more spectacular homes. The relaxed beach vibe exudes modern luxury, from waterfront views to opulent outdoor living spaces that offer a spa-inspired experience (in case you don’t get the opportunity to book a massage).

If you’re interested in making Siesta Key your home, contact respected real estate agent Tori Turner to help you find the luxury home of your dreams.

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