Detroit Mom’s Travel Series: Siesta Key, FL

Siesta Key, Florida has been my home away from home for as long as I can remember.  From family vacations to my own wedding . . . Siesta Key holds a very special place in my heart. Year after year, Siesta Key Beach is rated one of the top beaches in the U.S., and for good reason. With sand the texture of baby powder that never gets hot and crystal clear water, what is there not to love?

For this trip my daughter (two years old) and I traveled down to Siesta Key to visit my aunt who lives just off the key in Sarasota. We planned to keep our trip very low-key and spend lots of time in the pool and swimming at the beach. Our whole family will be back to Siesta Key in June for vacation.

Breakfast Spots

Another Broken Egg | 140 Avenida Messina, 941-552-8320
Your classic breakfast spot–just a bit elevated. Try anything from the lemon blueberry goat cheese pancakes, to the crab cake benedict, to chicken and waffles.

Bonjour French Café | 5214 Ocean Blvd, 941-346-0600
A classic French bistro with crepes, small pastries, and decadent coffee.

Sun Garden Café | 210 Avenida Madera, 941-346-7170
Enjoy your breakfast in the nicely shaded patio surrounded by native greenery.

Lunch Spots

Anna’s Deli | 6535 Midnight Pass Road, 941-349-4888
Head down to the south part of the island and enjoy one of the many sandwich options that are big enough to share.

Big Water Fish Market | 6639 midnight pass road, 941-554-8101
Enjoy some of the freshest seafood you will find on the key.

Siesta Beach Sun Deck | 948 Beach Road
Step right off the main beach and head up to the sundeck for a quick bite while you take in the ocean views.

Dinner With The Family

Daiquiri Deck | 5250 Ocean Blvd, 941-349-8697
A fun atmosphere for the whole family. With more frozen daquiris than you can count and kids meals that come with a frisbee, this is a restaurant that can cater to the whole family.

The Hub | 5148 Ocean Blvd, 941-349-6800
The Hub has live music seven days a week on the patio and features fresh Baja cuisine.

The Old Salty Dog | 5023 Ocean Blvd, 941-349-0158
What kid doesn’t love a hot dog? The Old Salty Dog features an American menu with many seafood options. For a water view, be sure to visit their City Island location near St. Armand’s Circle.

Date Night Spots

Ophelia’s on the Bay | 9105 Midnight Pass Road, 941-349-2212
One of the only restaurants on the key with a water view! Ophelia’s waterfront dining is sure to add that special touch to your date night.

Summer House | 149 Avenida Messina, 941-260-2675
The keys’ very own steak house. It is highly recommended to make a reservation.

The Lobster Pot | 5157 Ocean Blvd, 941-349-2323
A seafood lovers dream! Be sure to try the Baked Lobster Duchess.

Sweet Treats

Meaney’s Mini Donuts | 201 Canal Rd, 941-960-1133
After a night out at dinner and shopping, stop by the donut stand for some fresh hot donuts.

Orange Octopus Ice Cream | 1220 Old Stickney Point Rd, 941-346-0202
In the south end of the island, Orange Octopus offers 24 handmade, slow-churned ice creams to choose from.

Sub Zero Ice Cream | 219 Avenida Madera, 941-349-4062
Custom-create your ice cream combinations and watch as they blast your concoction with liquid nitrogen to turn it into ice cream perfection!

Top Playgrounds

Ashton Trailhead | 4301 Ashton Road
One of the newer parks in the area, it features a three-story climbing structure.

Payne Park | 2010 Adams Lane
Payne Park pays homage to Sarasota’s deep history with the circus at this fun circus-theme playground.

Siesta Beach Playground | 948 Beach Road
What’s better than walking right from the beach to a nicely shaded sand castle playground?!

Must-Do Attractions

Drum Circle | 948 Beach Road
Every Sunday, meet at the public beach just before sunset to listen to the sounds of drums as locals meet to create music where you can dance the night away right on the beach.

Mote Aquarium | 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, 941-388-4441
One of our family’s favorite aquariums! With many touch tanks, boat tours, and an indoor/outdoor museum model, the aquarium is fun for the whole family.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens| 3701 Bay Shore Road, 941-355-5305
The Jungle Gardens features over 200 native and exotic animals and allows families to take part in many interactive exhibits.

Getting Around Town

Johnny’s Free Rides | 941-928-9200
Operating from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. daily; just give Johnny’s Free Ride a call and they will be there within 15 minutes. Although the ride is free, the drivers work for tips.

Robinhood Rentals | 5255 Ocean Blvd, 941-554-4242
This rental company offers daily and weekly rentals for bikes, golf carts, scooters, and scoot coupes.

Trolley | 941-349-3800
The free trolley runs from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily, and runs the entire length of the island.

Bonus Tips For Siesta Key

  • Do not be afraid to try the SCAT (Sarasota city bus) if you want to get to locations in Sarasota off the key.
  • You have many airport options to fly into, so be sure to check all options. You have Sarasota, Tampa, Fort Myers, and St. Pete.
  • During high season traffic can make parking very difficult when it comes to parking at the different beaches or restaurants, so be sure to take advantage of the trolley and free ride options!
  • There are a few small grocery stores on the key, but you will also find a Publix and Walmart right across the south bridge.
  • There are several baby rental companies on the key that offer rentals from everything from pack and plays to high chairs.

Where’s your favorite vacation spot? Check out our previous travel series location–Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky!


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