Secluded Bungalows with Views of Lagoon and Tropical Palms
A barrier island west of Sarasota, Siesta Key is sandwiched between Little Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Siesta Key Bungalows sit along the banks of Heron Lagoon, a narrow waterway in the middle of the mangrove-lined island. It's a secluded spot where you can go kayaking on the water or fish from a private dock for snook and redfish. Tucked away as it is, the property is still just a short drive from the popular Siesta Beach, and it’s within 1 mile of Turtle Beach, a good spot for collecting seashells.
Hibiscus bushes and 30 kinds of palms surround Siesta Key Bungalows’ pool-deck area, shading it from the bright Florida sunshine. Feel free to borrow pool gear free of charge. You can borrow bicycles and kayaks, also at no charge, to explore the nearby coast.
Brick paths lead to the property’s 10 bungalows. Each has a unique layout, though all feature palm-themed decor and white-wicker furnishings. The Tortuga bungalow has a french door leading to a screened porch overlooking Heron Lagoon. Another unit, the Coquina, has its own private, walled-in garden and original 1950s tiles in the bathroom.
Siesta Key, Florida: White-Sand Beaches near Sarasota's Arts Institutions
Dr. Beach frequently names Siesta Key Beach on his annual list of America's Best Beaches. Indeed, once you’ve set foot on the wide swath of sugarlike sand—scientifically proven to be 99% quartz—it’s hard to argue with his praise. The beach is one of a few on the 8-mile-long Siesta Key, which floats off the Gulf Coast just south of Sarasota. Most of the action here centers on the island’s northern tip, where the best beaches are found, near the small but lively Siesta Village. You can shop and dine at family-friendly restaurants in town or rent equipment to go fishing and kayaking. Wildlife sightings—think dolphins, egrets, and manatees—are pretty common.
If you’d like a quieter beach, head toward the southern end of the island to the more secluded Turtle Beach. The sand here is coarser and there aren’t any lifeguards, but it’s usually less crowded. The beach is also a good spot for gathering seashells.
Those looking to get away from the beach will find plenty to do around Sarasota. You can see local dance, music, and theater performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Farther north, the Ringling museum campus commemorates John Ringling, one of the founding brothers of the eponymous circus. Here, the Ringling Museum of Art displays artwork from several famous painters, including Velázquez, El Greco, Rubens, and many more.