SARASOTA AREA BEACHES
Stretching over 35 miles along the west coast of Florida, Sarasota’s award-winning beaches frame the warm, gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico and offer year-round relaxation, sport, and recreation to residents and visitors alike. Six diverse barrier islands boast a variety of experiences on innumerable beach access points, and Sarasota residents grow accustomed to sightings of dolphins, manatees, pelicans, and turtles. Home to an array of marine and bird life, as well as breathtaking, colorful sunsets each evening, Sarasota’s many beaches offer postcard-worthy vistas and vacation experiences in every season.
Located just a half mile from the upscale St. Armand’s Circle, Lido Beach is one of numerous sandy beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico on this barrier island. This popular beach is a relaxing and relatively uncrowded option compared to the better-known beaches on nearby Siesta Key. Featuring more than a mile of beachfront extending through North Lido, this is a great beach for a leisurely waterfront stroll, or an all-day family picnic.
Known as a private island paradise, this eleven-mile island is located between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay and is home to both seasonal and year-round residents. The luxurious lifestyle on this plush island is unsurpassed, and while public access to its beaches is limited, the stretch of uninterrupted, uncrowded beach is worth finding an entry point.
A favorite among visitors and residents alike, Siesta Key Beach is consistently ranked among the top beaches in the world due to its pure quartz sand. This fine, powdery white sand attracts visitors from all over the globe, while the beach’s shallow near shore water depth and year-round lifeguard patrol makes it one of the safest beaches in the county. Close proximity to Siesta Village allows visitors enjoy a host of dining, shopping, and recreational activities close by. The southern portion of the beach, known as Crescent Beach, includes Point of Rocks—an active marine life spot favored by both snorkelers and anglers, and further down the island is Turtle Beach, a more remote spot named for its large population of nesting sea turtles.
ANNA MARIA ISLAND
Encompassing the three main cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach, along with their respective beaches, Anna Maria Island is seven miles of local establishments, sparkling waters, and soft sandy beaches. The entire island is a bird sanctuary, and pelicans, multiple types of cranes and herons, wild parrots, sandpipers, osprey, hawks, vultures, seagulls, and crows share the island with humans along with a nesting pair of bald eagles. A bit of a drive from downtown Sarasota, this island is always worth the visit.
The narrow island of Casey Key is one of Sarasota’s hidden gems—an isolated and exclusive enclave that includes Nokomis Beach. Nokomis Beach is Sarasota’s oldest public beach and is well-liked by families and fishing enthusiasts. It offers some of the best surfing on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and those keen on it can occasionally find shark teeth washed up on the beach.
As the only public beach in Sarasota County where dogs are allowed, Brohard Beach Paw Park is a favorite beach among dog parents across Sarasota County. Located in Venice, Brohard Beach also includes a wetland area ideal for fishing and bird watching. Just north, the Venice Fishing Pier extends 700 feet and offers a spectacular spot for fishing and sunset views.