Siesta Key is a world-renowned vacation destination, with our beach consistently recognized as one of the best in the country. The pristine white sand, serene teal water, and glorious sunsets are legendary – and draw millions of visitors and tourists annually. But those individuals who use a wheelchair, cane, or walker for mobility may wonder about the practicality of a beach vacation. The truth is that wheelchair users should book their Siesta Key area vacation with no fear – there are so many accessible areas and attractions to experience!
Let’s begin with the crown jewel. World-famous Siesta Beach Public Beach has twice dominated the annual list of best beaches, and it lives up to its reputation as a fan-favorite by laying out a 400-foot-long, five-foot-wide Mobi-mat. Stretching from the central pavilion to the water’s edge, the mat provides access for anyone who would have trouble navigating the soft sand. The mat is maintained and cleaned every day as needed, and the sand under the mat is leveled out every three weeks.
For those wheelchair users who want to explore Siesta Key Beach more thoroughly – or visit other area beaches – they can rent a beach wheelchair for the entirety of their vacation. Beach wheelchairs are designed to easily move through even the softest Siesta Key sand, allowing the entire family to completely experience the sights and sounds of the Gulf.
Accessible Facilities at Area Beaches
If you are visiting Siesta Key or one of the other area beaches, such as Lido, Longboat, or Nokomis/North Jetty, visitors will find wheelchair-accessible restrooms, shaded seating areas, and Gulf-front boardwalks. In Venice, Chauncy Howard Park is specifically designed as a handicapped-accessible beach park with access to Venice Beach, and Service Club Park provides handicapped-accessible boardwalks and beachfront picnic areas.
Beyond the Beach: Accessible Sarasota County
Many parks and nature preserves in Sarasota County provide paved pathways for all visitors. Those who wish to experience old Florida landscapes and see bald eagles, wading birds, alligators, and even dolphins along the waterways can feel comfortable visiting these accessible parks, including:
- Maxine Barritt Park, Venice – wildlife viewing
- Shamrock Park, Venice – wildlife viewing
- Lemon Bay Park, Englewood – wildlife viewing
- The Legacy Trail – ten miles of paved pathways through natural areas
- Venetian Waterway Park – five miles of paved trails along the Intracoastal Waterway
- Urfer Family Park, Sarasota – paved trails and ADA-approved fitness stations
- West Blalock Park, Venice – paved pathways through the Monty Andrews Arboretum showcasing Florida-native plants
- Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey – accessible campsites and picnic pavilions
- Lester Finley Trail, Osprey – barrier-free trail through a shady canopy and butterfly garden, accessible fishing pier
Additional Popular Accessible Sarasota Attractions
Sarasota’s famous Ringling Museum provides paved pathways that meander between the Art and Circus Museums and Ca’ d’Zan mansion. Smaller wheelchairs may be needed to navigate this century-old residence, but they are provided to visitors. The Ringling also offers tram service around the property.
One of the most beautiful attractions in Sarasota is Selby Botanical Gardens. The gardens are fully wheelchair accessible, with paved sidewalks and ramps throughout the rounds and buildings. Ramps and an elevator allow everyone to explore the iconic sprawling banyan trees.
One Call Covers All Your Vacation Equipment Needs
Imagine arriving at your vacation rental and finding everything you need waiting for you – from beach umbrellas and bicycles to your beach wheelchair. At Ride and Paddle, we deliver everything you need to make the most of your vacation, and then pick it all up when you are done. Let us show you just how easy it is to have the best vacation of your life. Call today to learn more about beach wheelchair rental and more – we are here to answer any questions you may have.