Sarasota Beach Guide – Sunshine and Sandy Toes

Your Guide to Sarasota Beaches

When shopping houses for sale in Sarasota, one big question buyers want answered is, “How far will my new Sarasota, FL home be from the beach?” After all, when you live in Florida, the beach is simply part of the lifestyle.

In this post, Taylor Morrison dishes out the low down. All the top beaches and the best things to do there. From long walks along gorgeous sandy shores to shell collecting, sunbathing or cooling off on a hot summer’s afternoon, we’ll tell you where to go and how to get the most out of your day in the sand.

Find Your Underwater Adventure

Sarasota’s Siesta Key is consistently ranked among the top ten beaches in the United States1 – but it’s not just soft sand, blue water and awe-inspiring views from the shore that hook beach-goers in. At Siesta Key, you’ll have just as much fun in the water as you will out of it.

Home to some of the finest snorkeling in the area, here’s how to get to the top spot for pulling on your mask and sliding into your fins:

Head to the south of Siesta Key Public Beach until you reach Crescent Beach. At the southwest end of Crescent Beach, look for a formation of limestone jutting up out of the surface of the water offshore. It’s called Point of Rocks and underwater you’ll find a gorgeous coral reef packed with a wide variety of fish and other marine life. Look for parking at Beach Access 12, just south of the Stickney Point Bridge.

Another great choice is Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island, ask around to find the sunken molasses freighter, the USS Regina. It’s about 100 yards offshore and it’s been underwater for nearly 80 years!

Pro Tip: Being a beach that caters to tourists, Crescent Beach also offers an excellent selection of other water-based thrills including jet skis, parasailing and kayaking

Additional Helpful Information: Flip-Flops & Swimsuits – A Fort Myers Beach Guide

More About Siesta Key

A visit to Siesta Key Beach offers the quintessential Florida beach experience. Not just stunning vistas and white sand as far as you can see but also charming shops, delicious eateries and an incredible array of amenities. In fact, the beach has recently been upgraded and now features:

  • A 15-foot wide pedestrian esplanade
  • Restored historic pavilion
  • Expanded parking, restrooms, picnic areas and playgrounds
  • A new multipurpose structure for events
  • Tennis courts and improved landscaping

Siesta Key Beach

  • 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL

Pro Tip: For a quieter beach experience on Siesta Key, Turtle Beach offers 2,500+ feet of water frontage without the crowds. It’s also a fantastic spot for camping with dozens of campsites. If you’ve got a boat, a pair of launches are available.

Keep your beach bag at the ready, our Sarasota Communities are just over eight miles from Siesta Key.

The Two Sides of St. Armand’s Key

Just across from Siesta Key, St. Armand’s offers a pair of gorgeous beaches within walking distance of shopping, dining and historical ambiance of the always popular St. Armand’s Circle. With well over one hundred retailers, shops, cafes and eateries, there’s something for everyone.

St. Armands Circle

  • 300 Madison Drive, Suite 201, Sarasota, FL | (941) 388-1554

Parking is fantastically inexpensive, too. There are approximately 1,600 parking spaces in the area priced from $0.50 to $1.50 per hour, including nearly 200 spots at the new parking garage located on North Adams Drive across from St. Armands Key Lutheran Church.

Be sure to check out both sides of Lido Beach.

South Lido Beach Park

  • 2201 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL | (941) 346-3207
  • A great beach for shelling and family outings, the park provides bathrooms and showers and safe shallow waters to play in. Perfect for nature lovers, South Lido Beach also offers excellent bird watching and hiking through forested areas.

North Lido Beach Park

  • 400 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL | (941) 861-5000
  • Launch a canoe or wet your line from the fishing pier. North Lido Beach is pet friendly and a beautiful place to take your four-legged friend for a walk.

Beach it up in Bradenton

Living at The Heights or Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch means you’ll be spending plenty of time exploring all the sandy options available on Anna Maria Island. After all, Bradenton beaches are well known for featuring perhaps the most spectacular sunsets in the state.

Anna Maria Bayfront Park

  • 310 North Bay Boulevard, Anna Maria, FL | (941) 742-5923
  • A quiet spot at the northern tip of the island, head here for free parking and access to excellent grilling and picnic facilities. The beach is open from sunrise to 10pm.

Coquina Beach

  • 2650 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, FL | (941) 742-5923
  • This excellent swimming beach also offers a fun selection of sports amenities including beach volleyball and well-maintained walking trails plus a full-service concession stand. Be sure to check out the eclectic beach market on Sundays and Wednesdays. Note that the parking lots are currently being upgraded and expanded. Beach-goers are recommended to use Manatee County Area Transit’s popular Island Trolley to get to the beach. Riders can connect to the free trolley from MCAT’s Beach Express route on Sundays and holidays and there’s a trolley stop immediately at Coquina Beach.

Manatee Public Beach

  • 4000 State Road 64 and Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL | (941) 742-5923
  • Another gorgeous place to swim and also on the trolley line, Manatee Public Beach features 900 feet of sandy Gulf of Mexico shoreline and nearby Cortez Beach offers additional undeveloped beach.

For your swimming safety, both Coquina and Manatee Public Beaches are staffed every day of the year with lifeguards. From 9am to 5pm during the winter and until 7pm in the summer.

When you’re not soaking up the sunshine by the sea, there’s more waterside fun to be found along the famous Bradenton Riverwalk. Mark December into your calendar for the annual Blues Festival.

Bradenton Blues Festival

  • Bradenton Riverwalk | 452 3rd Avenue West, Bradenton, FL | In December

Be sure to explore Historic Main Street and the Farmers Market at 400 12th Street, Bradenton, FL every Saturday from October through May from 9am to 2pm.

A Great Place to Relax

New homes at Bellacina by Casey Key are just three miles from the tranquil escape of Nokomis Beach. Located at 201 South Casey Key Road, this quiet beach is great for laying out a blanket to sunbathe as there’s lots of space but not too many people. Shell and shark teeth collectors will find plenty of treatures to fill their bags, too.

With minimal condos and commercial endeavors, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful views and a wealth of wildlife. Watch the pelicans dive and keep your eyes peeled for a passing pod of dolphins.

Keep Reading: Discover the Historic North Jetty Fish Camp at North Jetty Park | Spend time watching boats, renting a kayak for the day, eating snacks and more.

See Them All

Don’t forget that all these Sarasota area beaches are within a short drive of your community. Be sure to explore them all and find your favorites.



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