The T-shirt pictured to the left speaks very loud to people who have to deal with harsh winters.
Siesta Key and its beautiful beaches were named by Dr. Beach (Dr. Stephen Leatherman) as “The Best Beach In America” in 2011. I have to agree with him. The first time I set foot on the sandy dance floor, I noticed its soft touch and glistening reflection. My feet were my barometer and they enjoyed the cushiony sensation.
The clear and sparkling turquoise Gulf water that lines its shore are not to shabby either. The beach is very family friendly and offers gentle lapping waves with very little drifting or undertow, if any. The water’s temperature was a refreshing 83 degrees in the month of October. With the sun shining overhead and the air temps hovering in the high 80’s, the constant dips keep you very comfortable.
Ocean Blvd runs parallel with Siesta Key’s beach. The Boulevard is home to the town’s central business district. This quaint area is also known as Siesta Key Village. Both sides of the street are lined with shade trees and park benches. The pedestrian friendly thoroughfare offers a variety of entertainment and accommodations. There are a few high-rises that provide fantastic views of the Gulf Sea and surrounding areas. Beach Road on the south end of Siesta Key is mostly housing and rental accommodations. Our place of stay was located across the street from the beach as you turn onto Ocean Blvd. We didn’t have a water view, but were within walking distance to all the attractions. A visit to Trip Advisor’s website would be a great place to start in finding a condo or resort/hotel.
In between the north and south ends of Siesta Key Village, you will find plenty of retail stores, specialty shops and bar & grills. A fun way to explore the town’s attractions is to rent either a bicycle, scooter or a motorized three wheel cart (pictured left).
A few shops you might want to consider visiting are the Siesta Key Wines and Spirits and Siesta Key University Gift Shop. Siesta Key Wines and Spirits gives you a local flare and blends island ambience with personal attention to your every need. They specialize in award winning wines and offer daily wine tastings.
Siesta Key University Gift Shop is a unique little home grown shop that provides nostalgic gifts with an array of artistic originals. It’s humorous themes offer such creations like the “No classes, homework or test. Just Fun!” or “We salt our Margaritas, not our sidewalks”.
The other major attraction of the business district is the food and beverage establishments. We tried to experience them all, but there just wasn’t enough time in our two nights and three days stay. However, we did manage to visit quite a few of them. The Cottage was the first one recommended to us by a few of the locals. They are located at the cross streets of Ocean Blvd. and Avenida Messina. They offer both open air and inside dining. Their menu has a tendency to lean towards an Asian styled cuisine. The main entrees are mostly centered around seafood. They prices were reasonable and the service was satisfactory.
Another place I thought was fun was Daiquiri Deck & Raw Bar. It is located towards the north end of Ocean Blvd on the west side of the street. The front patio was very roomy and offered seating for larger groups. The menu had a wide variety of sandwiches, bar snacks and casual entrees. There are plenty of TV’s to watch your favorite sports team. The service was good and I would recommend a visit.
One of our favorite spots that we visited on more than one occasion was Gilligan’s Island Bar. They offer a wide variety of salads, burgers & sandwiches along with your typical bar snacks. The prices are very reasonable and the service was very good. There is live music in the front bar, as well as in the back courtyard on a slightly elevated stage.
Gilligan’s also shares their courtyard with a quaint little coffee and breakfast placed called LeLu Coffee Lounge. They offer a modest breakfast menu, along with a variety of self-branded javas that seems to be popular with the local coffee connoisseurs. Gilligan’s and LeLu are also highly recommended stop-ins.
After all was said and done, the time we spent in Siesta Key Village was very relaxing and filled with lots of food, spirits and shopping. We even kicked up our heels to the local musicians who kept us entertained with their musical talents. If you ever visit SW Florida, it is well worth visiting the quaint little keys of Siesta, Lido and Longboat.
Author: Anthony Scopel
Photographs provide by: Anthony & Maureen Scopel
Published By: YMATD