The smell of the salty air, warm sun on your face and cool breeze from the gulf is what dreams are made of. Once you step onto Siesta's white quartz sands you will understand why it is continuously ranked the number ONE beach in the country!
I know you want to get your toes in the sand as quickly as possible, and I want to help you do that! Follow these tips to experience Siesta at its finest!
Accessing the Island:
Get to the beach EARLY! Before 10am. The beach parking lots get full and the traffic on the bridge starts picking up after 10am.
There are two bridges onto the island, known by locals as the South Bridge and the North Bridge. The South Bridge is the main access to Siesta Key because its closest to the public beach and allows two lanes of traffic to enter the island. The South Bridge is located at Clark Rd/Stickney Point and Hwy 41 (Tamiami trail).
The North bridge is what locals use to access the island "in season." This bridge is typically less crowded. Head North on Hwy 41 (Tamiami trail) until you get to Siesta Dr. Make a left on Siesta and follow it over the bridge to the island. This bridge gets less of a crowd because most vacationers don’t know about it! Now you do!
Speaking of the bridges. Be prepared to wait if you are traveling on the hour or half hour (especially in season). The draw bridges go up to let large boats through at these times. Typically takes about 10 minutes for the bridge to go up and back down.
Forget the Public beach! We think you will like our favorite beach access spots better. In order to get parking at these smaller access points you need to be on the island by 9:30am (earlier in season).
Access # 5 is our top pick! (200 Beach Rd). This access has about twenty-five parking spots and they fill up fast. We like to park here because it's easy access to the beach and the Village. There is a trail that leads from the parking lot to the beach. If you are hauling lots of beach gear, I recommend using a wagon because it's a fairly long walk on sand. It's so worth it though! This part of the beach is always less crowded and has a super chill vibe. After a morning on the beach we walk down the street to Gilligan's for a cold drink and a plate of nachos for lunch.
Access #7 (402 Beach Rd.) is another favorite for us. If the parking lot at access 5 is full we try #7. This access has about fifty parking spots and is also close enough to the village to walk. Same as access five when it comes to the walk and the vibe.
Access #8 (458 Beach Rd.) and #9 (514 Beach Rd) are also great. Both access points have very minimal parking. They are great areas of beach but it's nearly impossible to find parking. If you see an open spot here, grab it, you will not be disappointed. Same as access five when it comes to the walk and the vibe.
Note: The only beach access that has a public restroom and rinse-off stations is the public beach. If you are parking at one of the access points remember you will need to drive to the nearest restroom.
If you get to the island too late to park at one of the access points mentioned above, the public beach is right up the street. The public beach access is great if you have a large group that is meeting at the beach and you need ample parking. This access has lifeguard towers, public bathrooms, picnic tables, rinsing stations, volleyball courts, a cafe, and much more. Its an awesome area if you need the extra amenities and you are OK with large crowds! This access is the only wheelchair friendly part of the beach. There is a great rubber pathway and beach wheelchair rentals.
Point of Rocks/Crescent Beach:
Access #12 (6490 Midnight Pass Rd.) is called Crescent Beach. Parking here is tricky so we recommend parking in the village and catching a trolley or getting there SUPER early! This beach is absolutely beautiful. You can walk to Point of Rocks and snorkel or enjoy a more laid back slice of the beach.
Access #13 (1000 Point of Rocks Rd.) is called Point of Rocks. The fishing here is great for people of all ages, and fishers enjoy standing on the rocks, casting their lines into the turquoise waters where fish such as Snook, and Sheepshead are likely to take the bait. This area is stunning and perfect for snorkeling! You can also enjoy clear views of dolphins, manatees, and fish from the limestone sea wall!
From Point of Rocks you can catch a glimpse of the most expensive home on Siesta! This is where the mansion featured on the “Siesta Key” show, sits. To see the house, walk down the beautiful path to the beach and look to your left. You can't miss it. Take in the whole house while standing on the beach and looking back. You might catch a film crew tapping the show in this area!
To get here park in the village and take one of the FREE trolley or golf cart rides. There is no parking at this access point!
*remember these people work for tips, so have cash handy!
FYI: You can walk the entire eight mile stretch of Siesta if you start at access # 2 and head south to access #13!
Turtle Beach (34242 beach Rd.) is unlike any other part of siesta! It is known for the large number of sea turtles that nest on its shore. There is lots of parking, picnic tables, public restrooms, and a playground. You can also launch a kayak from here (we will recommend our favorite tour later)! Turtle beach sand is completely different from the soft white quartz sand on Siesta beach, but it’s something to experience. If you are looking to get away from the crowds, turtle beach is for you!
I hope that these tips help you pick the perfect beach access for you...better yet, try them all!
Pink Pineapple Properties
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