Top 10 Beaches of Sarasota County
Sarasota County is the beach capital of the world. With more than 35 miles of powdery white sand, year-round beach weather, and a beach ranked number one in the nation (Siesta Beach on Siesta Key), Sarasota County is unsurpassed as a beach lover’s destination. With 6 majestic barrier islands and more than a dozen beaches on the Sarasota shoreline, each island and beach has its own distinctive, innate beauty. A variety of recreational options – fishing, boating, snorkeling, skiing, windsurfing, and more – are available to beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Sarasota County’s more popular beaches, such as Siesta Beach and Lido Beach, feature playgrounds, abundant concessions, restrooms, and plenty of free parking. At the more secluded beaches, like Blind Pass Beach and Stump Pass Beach at the County’s southern tip, you’ll find fewer people and amenities, but these beaches are genuinely unspoiled and pristine, if somewhat primitive. On any of Sarasota’s beaches, you’re likely to find a volleyball game or drum circle, and spectacular sunsets can be seen every evening on every Sarasota beach. What on earth are you waiting for?
1. Siesta Beach
Where the sand looks like sugar, dazzling and shiny, and stretches as far as you can see. Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research has been ranking beaches for over 20 years. Known to TV viewers as “Dr. Beach,” in 2011 Dr. Leatherman named Siesta Beach on Siesta Key the number one beach in the nation. Siesta Beach is three miles of sun, sand, and aqua-blue Gulf waters; the entire key stretches for eight miles.
2. Turtle Beach & Campground
One of the rare remaining south Florida locations where you can park your RV or pitch a tent right beside the Gulf of Mexico, sleep next to the surf and under the stars, and wake up with the rising Florida sun. Turtle Beach has plenty of room; it’s always clean and quiet, and it’s only minutes from bustling downtown Sarasota.
3. Crescent Beach
Located mid-Siesta Key, Crescent Beach is less crowded and more relaxed. Once over the Stickney Point Rd Bridge, beachgoers are brought merely feet away from the stunning views of Crescent Beach. Hidden behind a series of Gulf-front lined condominiums, Crescent is the tranquil and serine public beach just south of the world-famous Siesta Key beach. Parking is limited but there are two main beaches accesses residents and visitors can utilize to reach the powdery white quartz sand.
4. Lido Beach
Historic Lido Beach, one of southwest Florida’s fabulous white-sand beaches, sits directly on the sparkling Gulf of Mexico. Located on sunny Lido Key, Lido Beach is the ideal spot for soaking up some sun, taking a stroll in the moonlight, or enjoying unparalleled, spectacular sunsets. It’s a splendid public beach in a community with a fascinating history.
5. South Lido Beach Park
South Lido Beach is a breathtakingly beautiful beach adjacent to a 100-acre park and nature preserve at the southeast tip of Lido Key. The beach area features grills, picnic tables, a volleyball court, a children’s playground, restrooms, and the beautiful, powdery-white sand that makes so many Sarasota County beaches so remarkable. In the summertime, lifeguards are on duty during weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
6. Venice Beach
Noted for the sharks’ teeth that are found there; Venice Beach is the home of the annual Venice Shark’s Tooth Festival and the 700-foot Venice Fishing Pier.
7. Caspersen Beach
Sarasota County’s largest beach, where sand dunes roll into the distance. The beach is only part of the fun at fabulous Caspersen Beach in Venice. Along with swimming, sand, surf, and sun, Caspersen Beach and Caspersen Beach Park feature nature trails that take you through several fascinating Florida habitats.
8. Brohard Beach and Paw Park
A pet-friendly Venice beach where Fido can join your enjoyment of the sun, sand, and surf.
9. North Jetty Beach Park
An immensely popular fishing jetty sitting right at Casey Key’s southern tip, where the Gulf meets the Intracoastal Waterway.
10. Nokomis Beach
An escape from the modern world to an “old Florida” with fewer people and no modern land development. Nature provides the fine white sand, clear blue water, and a spectacular view of both the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Gopher tortoises are a threatened species, but they live and thrive in dunes at Nokomis Beach. Sea turtles also nest on the beach in the summer.