The barrier island of Siesta Key is located off the southwestern coast of Florida in the United States. It is is a crescent-shaped , 8 mile long barrier island connected to the Mainland of Sarasota by two draw bridges. The sprawling island is between the Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico with the majority being in Sarasota County, although there is a section that falls within the city borders of Sarasota. and, although a portion of it falls within the City boundary of Sarasota. Siesta Key is respectively known as "Sarasota's Favorite Island." It is approximately 55 miles south of Tampa, Florida and was originally named "Sarasota Key" by Europeans during its exploration beginning in 1513. That name can be seen on maps from the early 18th century as well as on all local maps drawn before the 1920s when it was changed to "Siesta Key."
Siesta Key has four distinct areas; Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach and Siesta Key Village, each one offers a slightly different beach experience, but they all share the same azure gulf waters, picture-perfect sunsets, and soothing breezes. Siesta Beach is an active area with a shaded playground, tennis and volleyball courts, shallow waters and year round lifeguard supervision, making it a great family beach. Crescent Beach is a more secluded, intimate, quieter beach with Point of Rocks, where you can explore the coral formations and marine life by snorkeling or diving. It is the most private, non-private beach on the island. The area of Turtle Beach is great for beach combing and shell hunting. It also offers a boat launching area with fishing permitted in the Blind Pass Lagoon. The most ideal place to shop or grab a bite to eat is at the quaint Siesta Key Village. It's has everything from high-end boutiques and beach souvenir shops to casual bafes and fine dining.
With an approximate population of 6,565, in a community that swells to more than 20,000 in season with its snowbirds, Siesta Key still remains a charming beachside community, although it has changed dramatically over the years, their breathtaking crystal white sand beaches still remain the same. A study, done by Harvard University's geology department, found that it consists of 99% pure quartz, over the period of time, derived from the southern Appalachian Mountains, carried down to the Gulf Coast by various rivers. This soft and cool to the feet grains of quartz are fine and do not have any fragments of shell or coral in them, creating a soft, powdered sugar like texture.
The characteristic white sand that has made Siesta Key famous has earned the "The Whitest, Finest Beach Sand in the World" in 1987, at the Great International Sand Challenge, beating more than 30 entrants including those from the Bahamas and Grand Cayman. The Travel Channel recognized it as one of the top ten in their "The Best Sand Beach in America" in 2004, while USA Today Reader's Choice of 2011 rated it one of the Top Beaches in Florida and Dr. Beach, Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, director of Florida International University's highly respected Laboratory for Coastal Research, in his confident annual ratings, ranked it "America's Best Beach." It has recently won first place in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards for Beaches, Siesta Key's beaches are continually recognized for their cleanliness, water quality and safety.
A community with lots of restaurants, hotels, shops and realtors, Siesta Key has a median income of $69,541, creating a vibrant economy of its own. The core of Sarasota County offers a wide variety of additional employment opportunities for the residents of the area with its ranking of 11th, by Forbes' rating of "Best Cities for Jobs" and 8th in the list of "Boomtowns" by Inc. Magazine.
The residents of Siesta Key are served by the Sarasota County School District, with the children attending Phillippi Shores Elementary School, Brookside Middle School, and Sarasota High School. Of Florida's 67 school districts,Sarasota County School District ranked second highest in 2014 with its students performance and is one of the ten graded an "A" by the Florida Department of Education offering schools for gifted students and magnet programs for arts and sciences. There are also many private and parochial institutions available in the area.
With beautiful, pristine, award-winning beaches, awe-inspiring sunsets and a magnificent lifestyle, Siesta Key is an amazing place to call home or have a tranquil trip of a lifetime!
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Updated: 19th March, 2019 4:42 PM.