Secluded Bungalows with Views of Lagoon and Tropical Palms
Little Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico define the prevailing coastline of Siesta Key, a barrier island near Sarasota, Florida. Siesta Key Bungalows resides near these vast shorelines but faces neither of them; it is instead perched along the banks of Heron Lagoon, a narrow waterway in the middle of the island. Mangroves line the banks, providing seclusion for those kayaking through the waves or fishing from the private dock for ladyfish, snook, and mullet. The inn maintains a quiet, old-Florida feel, but is still close to the popular Siesta Beach, which noted coastal researcher Dr. Beach named America's Best Beach for 2011.
Much of the layout of the resort helps hone the focus on kicking back and relaxing: lounge chairs line the dock and sundeck, and floating rafts are provided for the outdoor pool. Tropical landscaping, including hibiscus bushes and 30 kinds of palms, provide a shady counterpoint to the sunshine. If guests have an itch to leave their reclined position, Siesta Key Bungalows rents out kayaks and pool gear. It's also possible to borrow bicycles at no charge to explore local beaches, stop in cafés, and jump into heaps of sea salt.
Brick paths weave between the 10 bungalows; each has a unique layout, but all share details such as white wicker furnishings and palm-themed décor. Among the accommodations, the Ringling bungalow features a private deck that juts over the lagoon, and the Coquina extends into a private, walled-in garden with a decorative birdcage.
Siesta Key, Florida: Renowned Beaches and Active Arts Scene
Dr. Beach frequently names Siesta Key Beach to his annual list of America's Best Beaches, thanks in part to its sand, which is made up of blindingly white, fine-grained quartz crystals. Patches of sea oats, a tall grass-like plant, sway atop dunes in the area, and birds such as pipers, plovers, and egrets dart in and out of the waves. Toward the southern end of the island, Turtle Beach offers a more secluded shoreline—the sand here is coarser, but shells are also more abundant.
Due to the subtropical climate, the entire Sarasota area has proven popular with affluent retirees, who have helped make the city a significant cultural hub. Striking purple tiers mark the building of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, which puts on dance, music, and theater performances inland of Siesta Key. Farther north, the Ringling museum campus commemorates John Ringling, one of the founding brothers of the eponymous circus. The campus comprises two museums, including the Ringling Museum of Art, which shows Baroque paintings such as Velázquez's Philip IV and occasional live-action exhibits such as Child Climbing on Expensive Statue.