Exploring Siesta Key

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Siesta Key, Florida

Every year about this time, my family begins the same discussion: where do we go on our summer vacation? Last year, we went to New York. This year, I demand two things: sun and beach.

My son decided we should find the best beach, so I told him to research it and report back to me. I figured he’d learn a little by reading up on different locations – sort of a geography lesson – and maybe he’d come up with a location we hadn’t considered. He did: Siesta Key, Florida. According to my son, this has been officially named the best beach in America.

Truthfully, even though I grew up in Florida, I preferred the east coast. I’ve never visited the west coast and I never heard of Siesta Key. I decided to look into it, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Siesta Key is about an hour south of Tampa. The beaches are brilliant white sugar sand that is nearly pure quartz – which, in addition to being stunningly beautiful, means visitors can walk on the sand all day long and never burn their feet because the sand is always cool. A side benefit? Quartz supposedly has healing powers and is known to produce calmness, clarity, energy, and harmony – all the things I hope to find while on vacation!

Framing the dazzling white sands is vivid turquoise water. Crystal clear, calm … peaceful. I warned my sons that the west coast doesn’t have the waves they are used to. I explained that the Gulf side of Florida is much calmer – not ideal for their boogie boards and body surfing. They seemed fine with this – and truthfully, the water is just too gorgeous to care … perhaps some snorkeling is in order this time around. And a huge bonus to those gently lapping waves? No need to worry about an undertow or rip currents, which, as a mom with kids who love being out in the water, is usually a major concern.

Of course, as gorgeous as the beaches are, I wondered if we would be able to find other things to do. One of my favorite activities while on vacation is sight-seeing. I like to explore historic sites, find a local market, browse antique stores, and stroll through a downtown plaza.

Siesta Key is just minutes from Sarasota, a beautiful city with plenty to do. There’s the restaurants in Southside Village and the live entertainment, outdoor cafes, and more in Siesta Village. Events and festivals are plentiful, as well, so we could possibly find an art show, a sand-sculpting contest, or other events to attend. My son, who plays percussion, will appreciate the Siesta Key Sunday drum circle.

Overall, Siesta Key looks like an amazing place. I think, from now on, I’ll let my son choose all of our vacation spots.