Siesta Key is a barrier island eight miles long, parallel to the city of Sarasota. Two bridges link the island to the mainland. The key was originally named Sarasota Key by European cartographers during exploration beginning in 1513. That name can be seen on maps from the early 1700s as well as on all local maps drawn before the name change to Siesta Key in the 1920s. The population was 7,150 at the 2000 census.
It is famous for its crystal-white, powdery sand beaches that stretch for miles. Crescent Beach has been rated as one of the "Top 10 Beaches in the World" and Florida Trend Magazine has named Siesta Beach "The Best Beach in the State of Florida". Farther south on the island is Turtle Beach, featuring a small mangrove-surrounded tidal lagoon and is noted for its abundance of seashells.
The shops of Siesta Key range from the chic and elegant to the hip and funky, with all sorts of fashion, beach accessories and souvenirs. There are restaurants where you can go to grab a quick breakfast or lunch in your flip-flops and sandy toes, or to relax in style over an extraordinary dinner.
With the balmy breezes, there is also abundant wildlife such as dolphins, manatees, pelicans, egrets, osprey, seagulls and a variety of shorebirds. You can walk the beach or stretch out in the sun. There are also other activities such as tennis, volleyball, bike riding, and even kite flying. The tropical climate of Siesta Key makes every sort of outdoor activity available and enjoyable nearly year-round.