Few cities combine beachfront living and commerce as organically as Siesta Key. Savvy tourists know that this island in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the hidden gems of the south. When visiting here, you’ll play in the sun and shop to your heart’s content. Here are four things you should do during a weekend in Siesta Key.
Head to the Village
Siesta Key Village is the heartbeat of the city. A designed tourist mecca, it’s a place that city officials describe as “a quaint little beach village.” You can walk through several blocks of merchants, discovering marvelous shopping and dining options. Some of the retailers are recognized brands, while others are local to the island. You’ll find terrific value at both, as Siesta Key doesn’t have the massive price gouging that you’ll find at many tourist traps.
Instead, Siesta Key Village is an insular community where the locals want their island guests to have an unforgettable time. You can even barter with some of the local vendors. Remember that a kind word and a positive attitude are your best-negotiating tools.
Eat Delicious Island Cuisine
While you’re in the village, you’ll have more than 20 dining options out of the 75+ businesses in the area. Sure, you can eat a hot dog or deli food if you like, but seafood is the island’s best dining option. Eateries like Big Water Fish Market and The Cottage Restaurant deliver delicious dishes at reasonable prices.
When you want a more upscale experience, choose Ophelia’s on the Bay, Café Gabbiano, or Table Restaurant Creekside. All three places offer haute cuisine and an exotic island view. Two of them are directly on the water, while Café Gabbiano is only a short walk away from the beach. Wherever you decide to eat, you should order the catch of the day. The chefs here pride themselves on accentuating the flavors that fisheries provide each day.
Visit the Beach
This suggestion is obvious, but you shouldn’t overlook it. Instead, you must plan your days around beach time. The city has 35 miles of beaches, and it’s frequently cited as one of the best island getaways in Florida. In the beachfront area, you’ll find all sorts of aquatic activities like surfing, diving, and sailing. Beach volleyball is also a popular option among residents and tourists alike.
Stay at the Beach
Something you should keep in mind about the beaches is the parking situation. This city doesn’t have a lot of beachfront parking available. All of the spaces fill up quickly in the morning and stay that way throughout the day. You shouldn’t drive to the beach. Instead, use a ride-sharing service like Uber, which does operate in nearby Sarasota.
Alternately, select one of the great Siesta Key Hotels on Hotel Planner that are at or near the beach. You’ll save money by staying a couple of blocks away from the ocean, but it’s your vacation! Splurge for an oceanfront room! You deserve it, right?
A Siesta Key vacation is an unforgettable experience. These four suggestions merely hint at the wonderful memories you’ll make during your exotic trip to the island.