Siesta Key beaches are the island's premier claim to fame. From being chosen as "Best Overall" in the 1987 International Sand Contest, to being ranked the "Best Sand Beach in America 2004" by The Travel Channel, to being named the Number 1 Beach in America by Dr. Beach, Siesta Key beaches have accumulated numerous awards in recognition of their soft white sand. Siesta Beach has also been named a Blue Wave Beach by the Clean Beaches Coalition, which officially certifies it as clean, healthy and environmentally well managed. Kudos to Sarasota County's Parks and Recreation Department staff for their daily efforts to keep our beaches earning these top rankings! Check things out on our live Beach Web Cam

Turtle Beach, south of Crescent Beach, offers an entirely different experience. The beach area is steeper and narrower, but the sand is mixed with loads of shells just waiting to be gathered. It's family friendly and has good parking, restrooms, playground and picnic areas, a horseshoe pit and both a kayak and a boat launching ramp. Fishing and swimming are permitted in the Blind Pass Lagoon. Appropriately named Turtle Beach is known for its slower pace and quieter atmosphere, but there is still plenty to do. Restaurants are nearby, shops just a short drive away, and a few local spots for those who enjoy the nightlife.


Lido Beach, just a few minutes' walk from St. Armands Circle on Lido Key, stretches from New Pass in the north 2.5 miles to Big Pass in the south and offers three distinct beach-going experiences.

Lido Key's Main Beach is at Coolidge Park along Ben Franklin Drive. Recently re-nourished, Lido Beach has ample parking and yards of soft white sand with excellent shelling. A pavilion houses a restaurant, ice cream and beach shops, restrooms and a public freshwater swimming pool. Just a short walk north of the main beach is a less developed area locals call North Lido Beach. Parking is limited but the location is excellent for bird watching and beach combing.

South Lido Park is a 100-acre wildlife preserve along Big Pass with 640 feet of undeveloped gulf front beach. It has tall shade trees, cool breezes and picnic tables. Visitors can spend the day grilling, swimming and fishing or take a self-guided tour through the Lido Key Mangrove Tunnels or a paddle around St. Armands Circle by kayak or canoe. Two nature trails offer the family a short walking adventure.

Longboat Key Beach stretch for 11 miles and the drive along its Gulf of Mexico Drive is one of the most beautiful beach roads in Florida. Tall palms and flowering tropical plants line well-groomed streets that lead to world-class restaurants and resorts, elegant condominiums and spectacular houses. Longboat's hotels, resorts and beach houses maintain their own beaches, but Longboat has public accesses too. Heading north, one of the most popular public spots is Whitney Beach. Fringed with sea oats, its open shoreline invites beach-goers to take a long walk.

Beer Can Island (also known as Greer Island) at Longboat's northern tip has 2,000 feet of primitive, sandy beach accessible by shallow draft boat. Walk to the island at low tide, but take care to get back to the mainland before water rushes in on the returning high tide. Look for blue and white "Beach Access" signs or ask locals to direct you to Neptune Avenue Beach or Mayfield Street Beach.

Brohard Beach is the place to be if you want to share the beach experience with your canine companion. There is an enclosed play yard with watering station near the parking area, and a pet-friendly section of the beach where your dog can swim and romp. Brohard Beach also offers a 740 foot fishing pier for public use. The pier is complete with restrooms, a snack bar, and a bait shop. This park is located in the southern most part of the city of Venice, on the Venice Airport property on Harbor Drive.

Caspersen Beach is recognized as one of the most enjoyable shelling beaches in the area and an excellent spot to find prehistoric sharks teeth! There are nature trails traveling through freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangrove areas, and tidal flats, and excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. Nokomis Beach is Sarasota County's oldest beach. This is a family oriented beach and is popular for fishing and picnicking. We're close to Sanibel Island, Fort Myers, St. Petersburg and Orlando too. We could go on and on.