This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy.
Are you looking for a list of the best things to do in Siesta Key, Florida?
In this article, we’ll highlight our favorite things to do in Siesta Key, as well as show you the many reasons that this U.S. vacation destination is the ultimate beach-lovers paradise.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go boating, fishing, snorkeling, or parasailing, there are literally so many fun things to do in Siesta Key.
Regardless of whether you’re dining and drinking in Siesta Key Village or dipping your toes into the aqua-blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, a Siesta Key vacation will have you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and refreshed!
Look no further for the 37+ best things to do in Siesta Key with or without kids!
Where to Stay in Siesta Key
For more options, consider staying in nearby Sarasota, Florida.
Though it is a 20-minute drive from Sarasota to Siesta Key, you may find more options that suit your family’s needs.
In addition, check out our entire 6-day Sarasota vacation itinerary for more ideas of things to do during your stay!
Things to Do in Siesta Key
Siesta Key is a barrier island off the southwest coast of the U.S. state of Florida, located between Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Along with its many memorable restaurants, there are literally dozens of things to do in Siesta Key so we’ve organized this post by the following:
- Things to do in Siesta Key on the ocean
- Things to do in Siesta Key beside the beach
- More fun things to do in Siesta Key along with things to do in Siesta Key when it rains
Be sure to check out our related posts to help you plan your trip:
Things to Do in Siesta Key on the Ocean
Here are the best things to do in Siesta Key that involve enjoying the beautiful Gulf of Mexico!
1. Relax on the Beach
With a reputation for having some of the top beaches in the United States, Siesta Key, Florida is a tropical paradise for beach-loving families.
In fact, we’ve crafted the perfect Siesta Key vacation itinerary to make sure that you experience it to the fullest.
Siesta Key’s 8-mile-long coastline features three main beaches, Siesta Key Beach, Crescent Beach, and Turtle Beach.
Though each beach in Siesta Key is unique in its own way, they all offer the same picturesque aqua-colored water, as well as 99% pure quartz sand that is magnificently white and always cool to the touch.
Here’s an overview of the 3 beaches in Siesta Key:
Though parking at the three Siesta Key beaches is free, it can be hard to get a spot, especially on the weekends or holidays. Plan to arrive at the beaches early in the morning or later in the afternoon (after 3:00 PM) when people are beginning to leave.
Also, don’t forget to bring along these important beach essentials that will maximize your fun and safety while on the beach!
Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach, also known as Siesta Beach, is the most popular beach in Siesta Key.
Likewise, it was rated the #1 beach in America by TripAdvisor users in 2015, 2017, and 2020.
The sugary-white sand found here is literally out-of-this-world amazing and is what draws families and vacation-goers here year after year.
The full line-up of amenities and things to do at Siesta Key Beach include:
- First aid center with lifeguards on duty year-round
- Public restrooms and showers
- 800 car public parking lot
- Full-service snack bar and gift shop
- Picnic areas with and without cover
- Gazebos and shelters that can accommodate 60-120 people.
Families can also enjoy all the following sporting activities at Siesta Key Beach:
- Playground equipment
- A tennis court complex
- Volleyball court
- A 20-station fitness trail
Tips for Visiting Siesta Key Beach
- Arrive early for a guaranteed parking spot. Peak tourist season can get busy!
- Bike to the beach so that you don’t need to waste time searching for a parking spot.
- Rent a cabana or beach umbrella to take breaks from the Florida sun, or bring your own umbrella.
- Use provided restrooms and showers to clean up throughout the day.
- Ask lifeguards or beach patrol officers if you need any assistance.
- Respect local wildlife, including the nesting birds. Keep out of protected areas.
- Check posted weather warnings before swimming in the Gulf.
Crescent Beach at Siesta Key
If you’re looking for something a little quieter and more secluded, head south on Siesta Key to Crescent Beach. Crescent Beach is the most private, non-private beach in Siesta Key.
This part of Siesta Key is an enclave where the beach is densely lined with condos, villas, and vacation rentals that provide direct access to the waterfront.
Midnight Pass Road provides the only (easy to miss) public access to enter Crescent Beach. From there, there’s a 25-space parking lot and walking pathway that leads out onto the beach.
Though it doesn’t have the same amenities as Siesta Beach, you can still go shelling, build sandcastles, and enjoy the ocean with a bit more privacy.
In addition, Siesta Key’s diving and snorkeling hotspot called Point of Rocks is located at the southern tip of Crescent Beach (more on that coming up!).
Tips for Visiting Crescent Beach
- Parking fills up fast, so get there early if you’re visiting on the weekend.
- Protect nesting birds and sea turtles by respecting posted signs.
- Restrooms and outdoor showers are available for use.
- Find some shade and relax under one of the many palm trees.
- Enjoy a delicious meal after your beach day at one of Crescent Beach’s nearby eateries.
Turtle Beach at Siesta Key
Turtle Beach is located on the narrow southern end of Siesta Key.
The water is just as clean and clear as a few miles north, while the sand tends to be a bit coarser than the white quartz powdery sand in Crescent Beach and Siesta Key Beach.
With that comes the opportunity to find great shells and shark teeth!
Turtle Beach, like Crescent Beach, has limited amenities. However, it does provide:
- Public restrooms
- Volleyball courts and horseshoe pits
- Playground equipment
- 300-car public parking lot
- Picnic areas
- A boat ramp – Perfect for small boats and kayaks, located on the east side of the beach that feeds out to Little Sarasota Bay
- Camping at the beach – Turtle Beach Campground is one of only a few campgrounds in Florida with direct beach access!
Tips for Visiting Turtle Beach:
- Turtle Beach has a steeper incline that drops from ankle to waist-deep water.
- Note that there are no lifeguards on duty at Turtle Beach.
- Visit Turtle Beach for a quieter beach atmosphere.
- Bring your own beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas for a comfortable beach day.
- Pack your own snacks to keep you energized, or take advantage of the nearby concession stand.
- Take advantage of the great shelling options along the beach shores.
- Before your visit, check the tide schedule. Low tide is best for exploring tide pools and shelling.
More Great Beaches Near Siesta Key
- South Lido Beach
- Sarasota Beach
- Caspersen Beach
- Nokomis Beach
2. Snorkel at the Point of Rocks
Though a bit difficult to get to, the Point of Rocks is known as the best place to snorkel in Siesta Key.
It is also one of the best family activities in Siesta Key.
The easiest way to find Point of Rocks is to walk to the southernmost end of Crescent Beach until you reach a gigantic sea wall. You must then climb along the sea wall, turn a corner, and walk down 3 steps into the water.
By now, you will see the amazing tide pools and snorkeling area complete with an array of gigantic moss-covered rocks that protrude from the ocean.
The water is no more than 5 feet deep here, and there is a vast amount of marine life that includes fish, crabs, and red sponges.
There are also large distributions of seashells, making this a perfect spot for shell picking.
Wear water shoes when visiting Point of Rocks, as the terrain is made up of crushed shells and coral. Also, the rocks can get quite slippery.
There are only 10 – 12 parking spots at the alley access for Point of Rocks which is why it is best to park at Crescent Beach and walk from there.
3. Go Parasailing!
One of the most fun things to do at Siesta Key is to take part in water sports via watersport rentals on the island.
Popular Siesta Key activities include kayaking, jet-skiing, boating, and our favorite, parasailing!
Parasailing in Siesta Key is an exciting and unique way to experience the epic scenery and aerial views of the turquoise-blue ocean that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
As you parasail, it’s not uncommon to spot dolphins, manatees, and other native seabirds and wildlife frolicking in the crystal-clear water.
Plus, you get to glide through the sky over Siesta Beach, the #1-rated beach in the United States.
Be sure to check out our complete guide to parasailing in Siesta Key to learn all about where to go, how to dress, and what to expect when parasailing here.
The best places to rent from Siesta Key watersport outfitters include:
- Parasail Siesta – Parasailing ($90/flier)
- CB’s Saltwater Outfitters – Jet ski and boat rentals (family-owned and operated, an amazing reputation for boat rentals)
- Siesta Key Aqua Adventures – Banana boat and aqua spinner rides
- Robinhood Rentals – Paddleboard and kayak rentals
- Siesta Paddlesports – Paddleboard and kayak rentals
- Siesta Key Paddleboards – Paddleboard rentals
3. Take a Dolphin Cruise
By far, one of the best things to do on Siesta Key is to watch dolphins jump and play in their natural environment on a guided dolphin cruise!
Siesta Key waters are home to one of the largest populations of wild bottlenose dolphins. Seeing dolphins in their natural habitat is both thrilling and serene, as well as something that you will never forget.
The beauty of taking a guided dolphin cruise is that the captain of the boat knows where to find them and will provide you with a relaxing experience to get a first-hand view.
Siesta Key dolphin cruises vary in length, time of day, and overall experience.
Here are two attractions in Siesta Key that offer dolphin cruises:
- Siesta Key Watersports – $30 Adults / $15 Children 10 and under
- Siesta Key Aqua Adventures – $65 for 21 years and up / $45 for under 21 years of age (2 Hrs.)
Additional planning tip: I’m sure you’re starting to realize just how epic your Siesta Key vacation will be! Check out our complete Florida packing list to find out the clothes, accessories, and important Florida extras that you can’t forget to pack!
4. Go Fishing!
If you’re looking for more Siesta Key things to do…go fishing!
Due to its shallow waters and multiple species of fish found in the area, fishing is another one of the best things to do in Siesta Key, Florida!
Whether you choose a guided fishing charter or prefer to find a good fishing area on your own, there are plenty of options when it comes to fishing in Siesta Key.
Options include deep-sea fishing, bridge fishing, and surfcasting for species such as mackerel, flounder, bluefish, snapper, and grouper.
Non-residents ages 16 and up require a license when fishing from public spots onshore. Licenses can be picked up at local bait shops and sporting goods stores, as well as online.
Read all about the best public fishing spots on Siesta Key here!
5. Attend the Siesta Key Drum Circle
The Siesta Key Drum Circle is a popular tradition that gathers large crowds of artists, dancers, locals, tourists, children, and adults for an evening of dancing and music as an act of judgment-free unity and peace.
It’s, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Siesta Key.
This free family fun event takes place each Sunday year-round about 1-hour before sunset on Siesta Key Public Beach.
Depending on the time of year, the timing of the sunset changes. Regardless, listen for a siren and loud drumming sounds signaling its start.
There is no mandatory involvement, but hula hoops, costumes, and instruments are handed out to onlookers, and you can both participate as well as come and go at your leisure.
Additional planning tip: The Siesta Key Drum Circle can be found south of the main Siesta Beach pavilion between lifeguard stands three and four.
Things to Do in Siesta Key Besides the Beach
One of the best things about Siesta Key is that there are plenty of dry-land activities to take part in to diversify a family vacation here.
In fact, if you’re looking for things to do in Siesta Key beside the beach, most of the land activities are conveniently located within walking distance of one another.
Here are our favorite fun things to do in Siesta Key that don’t involve the beach.
7. Explore Siesta Key Village
Siesta Key Village is a hub of approximately 100 different boutiques, cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops located in the central part of Siesta Key.
Because it is not overly large, Siesta Key Village can be explored by simply walking around on foot.
There are a lot of fun shops with knick-knacks and souvenirs, tennis, surf, and snorkeling gear, as well as swimsuits, sunscreen, or a hat or t-shirt that says Siesta Key on it!
The best restaurants in Siesta Key Village include Another Broken Egg Cafe, Bonjour French Cafe, and Meany’s Mini Donuts for breakfast, and the Siesta Key Oyster Bar (+ live music), Baja Hub Grill, and The Old Salty Dog for lunch or dinner.
Be sure to hit up Big Olaf Creamery for ice cream and the Daiquiri Deck for drinks and live music on the patio.
All of these restaurants and bars get more and more exciting as the day wears on, making Siesta Key Village one of the best things to do in Siesta Key at night!
More Restaurants Near Siesta Key Village
- The Lobster Pot – Tasty seafood, including crab cakes, lobster rolls, and lobster bisque.
- Clayton’s Siesta Grill – Upscale with a delicious menu of steak, seafood, and imaginative dishes.
- Big Water Fish Market – Nearby Sarasota fish market serving dishes made from fresh catches. Expect grouper sandwiches and incredible fish tacos.
- Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar – Seafood with amazing clam chowder, a tiki bar, and regular live music.
- Sun Garden Cafe – A family-oriented restaurant with garden-to-table eats and patio dining. Expect classic American fare with an especially tasty breakfast menu.
- The Cottage – Local seafood and contemporary fusion with a lively atmosphere. This location also has two outdoor patios to enjoy. Must-tries include the grouper sandwich, crab cakes, and tempura shrimp.
Last, if you want to enjoy local artisans, beautiful beach paintings, and handcrafted jewelry, visit the Siesta Farmers Market located in Siesta Key Village every Sunday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
Or click here to find out things to do in Siesta Key this weekend.
8. Experience Siesta Key Nightlife
Beyond the hub of Siesta Key Village, there are plenty of exciting nightlife options in Siesta Key.
For a unique experience, I recommend embarking on the Siesta Key Trolley Pub – a bar on wheels complete with fun music and tasty drinks.
The catch? You’re doing the pedaling on this pedal-powered trolley!
For a more traditional bar experience, check out Crescent Club for casual drinks, Blasé Café & Martini Bar for a sophisticated cocktail, or Daiquiri Deck for a lively atmosphere and frozen daiquiris.
If you’re traveling with kids, we recommend you take advantage of a beautiful beach sunset, go stargazing, or visit the Siesta Key Drum Circle.
Other family-friendly nightlife includes mini golf at Smuggler’s Cove in Sarasota or a peaceful nighttime walk, with ice cream in hand, of course!
9. Take Advantage of Free Rides
In order to lighten the traffic on Siesta Key and save you the hassle of having to find a parking spot, Siesta Key offers several free transportation and rideshare options.
The Siesta Key Breeze Trolley, otherwise known as the Siesta Breeze Trolley, offers free round-trip service from Siesta Key Village to Turtle Beach, with many stops along the way.
Likewise, Jonny’s Original Free Beach Rides operates a fleet of electric vehicles that seat six and can transport your gear, like beach chairs, coolers, and shopping items. They’ve become a tourist attraction in their own right and are frequently featured in photos of the island.
Other free, convenient, and eco-friendly transportation options include Siesta Key Free Ride and Siesta Key Frog Hop!
Additional planning tip: Some of these options require you to call and reserve a pickup time. Also, though they are free to ride, these companies are all greatly appreciative and reliant on tips.
10. Rent a Bike or Other Land Rental
If you’re trying to determine what to do in Siesta Key, I highly recommend renting bikes!
It is no secret that cruising around the island on a bike, scooter, golf cart, segway, or scooter coupe car, is one of the best things to do in Siesta Key Florida!
The gorgeous weather, friendly streets, and laid-back feel of Siesta Key make getting out and exploring the island in this way a fun and memorable event.
For longer rides and additional exercise, some of the best bike trails in the state are located right outside of Siesta Key. These lengthy and scenic trails are well worth a visit for cycling enthusiasts.
The following businesses offer dry land rentals for cruising the streets and sidewalks of Siesta Key.
Along with the mentioned amenities, many of them also offer other rentals such as strollers, beach wheelchairs, and other beach gear such as chairs and umbrellas.
They also offer pick-up and delivery from where you are staying.
- Robinhood Rentals – Bikes, scooters, golf carts, segways, and scooter coupe cars
- Siesta Key Bike and Kayak – Bikes and electric bikes, scooters, and scooter cars
- Ride and Paddle – Bikes and scooters
- The Toy Barn – Golf carts, bikes, and bike trailers
11. Don’t Miss Sunset Point
Sunset watching is more than just one of the best things to do in Siesta Key – it’s a necessity!
Since the island of Siesta Key faces West out into the Gulf of Mexico, you’re guaranteed a front-row seat to watch the sun sink below the horizon.
Though there are many places to catch a sunset on Siesta Key, the most popular lookout point is at Sunset Point.
Located at the north end of Siesta Key Public Beach, this jut of land offers one of the best views of the magnificently lit evening skies.
Though you can see gorgeous sunsets anywhere along Crescent and Siesta Key Beach, Sunset Point is a great place where many other tourists come together each evening.
Additional planning tip: Keep a close eye out, for there’s a possibility that you’ll catch a rare sight known as a “green flash.” The green flash is a quick spot of green seen at the top of the sinking sun.
Also, don’t forget to bring along a beach chair, as this is a common practice if you’re looking to relax and stay awhile.
12. Visit Local Beach Communities
When talking about the best things to do in Siesta Key, it is necessary to mention its close proximity to so many other amazing coastal communities.
Siesta Key is only a short drive from places like Sarasota, Lido Key, Bradenton, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria Island – all of which are great places to explore if you have a rental car.
Next, if you’re willing to go a bit further but are still looking for things to do within 2 hours of Siesta Key, head to Tampa Bay, Clearwater, or St. Petersburg, Florida.
If heading towards Tampa Bay, check out Busch Gardens, Lowry Zoo, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which are three of our favorite things to do near Siesta Key.
And finally, travel 2 hours and 15 minutes North, and you’ll find plenty of things to do in Orlando – the amusement park capital of the US!
In short, you will definitely not be at a loss for things to do when visiting Siesta Key and the surrounding area!
More Fun Things to Do in Siesta Key
Here’s a recap, plus some additional Siesta Key things to do that the entire family will love!
All of the best things to do in Siesta Key detailed above are listed here, as well as a few additional Siesta Key activities that we’ve discovered on subsequent visits!
Siesta Key Attractions
- Go to Siesta Key Beach
- Spend the day on Crescent Beach
- Visit Turtle Beach
- Snorkel at the Point of Rocks
- Go parasailing with Parasail Siesta
- Rent jet skis or a boat from CB’s Saltwater Outfitters
- Go on a banana boat ride with Siesta Key Aqua Adventures
- Rent a paddleboard from Siesta Key Paddleboards
- Rent a kayak from Robinhood Rentals
- Go on a dolphin cruise
- Rent a Scooter Car from Ride and Paddle
- Go shore fishing
- Attend the Siesta Key Drum Circle
- Go shopping in Siesta Key Village
- Have breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe
- Dine in Siesta Key Village
- Eat mini donuts at Meany’s
- Have ice cream at Big Olaf Creamery in Siesta Key Village
- Listen to live music at Siesta Key Oyster Bar, The Cottage, or the Daiquiri Deck
- Ride the free Siesta Key Breeze Trolley
- Rent bikes or an electric bike to cruise the key
- Rent a golf cart to get around the island
- Watch the sunset at Sunset Point
- Visit nearby towns like Sarasota, Lido Key, and Anna Maria Island
- Check out Siesta Key’s annual events and festivals
- Visit the Siesta Key Farmers Market that is open every Sunday from 8 AM – 12 PM in Siesta Key Village
- Get a massage at locally renowned Hands of Light Massage Therapy
- Go kiteboarding at Big Pass, a body of water located between North Siesta Key and South Lido Key
- Hunt for shark teeth at nearby Venice Beach
- Play at a local playground
- Stay at our favorite, Siesta Key Surf & Racquet Club
- Dine and check out the 1,000-gallon fish tank at Summer House Steak & Seafood
- Go to “Oyster Happy Hour” ($8 for 1 dozen oysters from 3 PM – 6 PM every day!) at Siesta Key Oyster Bar
- Take a kayaking tour through Jim Neville Marine Preserve
- Shop local goods at the Florida Keys Farmer’s Market
- Watch a circus performance in Sarasota at The Circus Arts Conservatory
- Visit the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
People Also Ask
There is a lot to do in Siesta Key in terms of beaches, land and watersport rentals, and casual dining options. There are not a lot of fine dining options, fast food chains, nightclubs, or shopping malls.
I feel that Siesta Key is worth visiting because of its beautiful beaches. The pure white sand and aqua-blue water are very unique to this area. We also love the laid-back and casual atmosphere of Siesta Key vs. that of a big city or somewhere where you always need to be dressed up to fit in.
March through May are the best months to visit Siesta Key for the pleasant temps in the 70s and 80s. These are also the busiest months, however. If you’re looking for fewer crowds and affordability, consider visiting Siesta Key in September and October.
The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ Airport) is 11 miles from Siesta Key. Another major airport, Tampa International Airport, is 62 miles away.
Other than visiting the shops in Siesta Key Village, there are not many things to do in Siesta Key on a rainy day. In neighboring Sarasota, however, there is a movie theater, bowling alley, aquarium, and several museums to explore.
*All photos courtesy of VisitSarasota.com unless otherwise noted.
What activity or attraction do you most look forward to in Siesta Key, Florida?Jen
If you like our article on the best things to do in Siesta Key, Florida, click here to check out our Related Posts:
- Complete 6-Day Sarasota Vacation Itinerary For Families
- 11 Best Things to Do in Sarasota While on Vacation
- Sarasota Kayak Tours (+Best Tips)
Siesta Key, Florida:
- The Ultimate Siesta Key Vacation Itinerary + Tips For Your Visit
- Siesta Key Parasailing: A Complete Guide for Kids & Adults
- 11 Best Restaurants in Siesta Key That You Must Try
The surrounding area:
- 8 Best Beaches to Find Shells in Florida
- 11 Best Things to Do on Anna Maria Island
- 11 Fun Things to Do in Tampa Bay (+3-Day Itinerary)
- The Ultimate Orlando Family Vacation Itinerary
- 9+ Fun Things to Do in Orlando That You’ll Love!
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*