The Florida Gulf Coast is known for its amazing beaches, but they are not all the same. People gravitate to different beaches for various reasons, from the size of the adjacent town to the chance to see marine life. Some beaches are definitely more famous than others, but we think that they are all worth visiting. Here is a rundown of some of our favorite Sarasota area beaches – if you are visiting the area, spend some time exploring!

Sarasota Area Beaches You Should Visit

  1. Siesta Key Beach: We start off with the crown jewel, as Siesta Key offers one of the most famous beaches in the country. If you are visiting the area, this beach is likely on your itinerary, but no list of beaches is complete without it. The impressive expanse of powder white sand is not to be missed – especially with year-round lifeguards, restrooms and concessions to ensure a safe and enjoyable day for the whole family. There is also an extensive playground for the kids and plenty of parking.
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  2. Turtle Beach: At the south end of Siesta Key is Turtle Beach, a favorite among the locals for its ease of access and more intimate, natural setting. Turtle Beach boasts a relatively short distance from your car to put your feet in the water (especially when compared to Siesta Beach) and is typically frequented more by locals than tourists. The sand is coarser and rockier, but the water, views, and sunsets are just as beautiful as you would expect. There is a small playground and a lagoon with lots of water birds. Across the street is a popular kayak launch as well as dining options.
  3. Lido Beach: Just north of Siesta Key is Lido Key, with a beach boasting similar sand to its famous sister beach just a few miles away. Natural dunes protecting turtle nests and a secluded walk up to New Pass provide beachgoers with gorgeous big water views with fewer tourists than most beaches in the area. Lido Beach itself has a shady pavilion, restrooms, showers, and concessions. Lido Beach is within walking distance of St. Armand’s Circle, a renowned shopping and dining enclave in Sarasota.
  4. Nokomis Beach: Located on Casey Key to the south of Siesta, Sarasota County’s oldest public beach has a plaza designed and built in the 1950s by Jack West of the renowned Sarasota School of Architecture. The area was renovated in 2008, providing not only a popular beach with lifeguards but also picnic shelters, a playground, volleyball, beachside restrooms, bayside portable restrooms, and parking.
  5. North Jetty Beach Park: At the south end of Casey Key and just south of Nokomis Public Beach is North Jetty Beach Park. The highlight of this beach is a jetty flanking the channel from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. The park is popular for fishing, as tides through the channel bring in the fish. Beachgoers can enjoy watching the boats come through the channel, explore the tide pools around and among the rocks, and can usually see dolphins playing in boat wakes and just off the jetties. Visitors are also often treated with visits from manatees, who congregate around the rocky jetties. Amenities include a bait shop for fishermen, as well as concessions, picnic shelters and tables, restrooms, showers and a playground. Expert Tip: South Jetty Beach Park, also known as Hegel Park, is just across the channel. Although you have to drive to the next island to get there, it is another fantastic place to view fish, birds, dolphins, and manatees.
  6. Venice Beach: Across the channel is Venice Island, where you can visit Venice Beach, a Certified Blue Wave Beach. The unique “sail” style pavilion is an iconic vintage landmark built in 1963, along with the beach restroom building. Venice Beach offers scenic vistas, including the Venice Public Fishing Pier, where visitors enjoy watching the many varieties of shorebirds and are often treated to dolphin sightings. Venice beaches are known to be home to a significant number of marine turtle nests during the season. (May through October.)
  7. Caspersen Beach: On the southern end of Venice Island is Caspersen Beach, one of the best beaches in Sarasota County for shelling and for finding prehistoric sharks’ teeth. Caspersen also offers a nature trail through a coastal hammock and a beachfront largely left in its natural state. Other habitats at this beach include freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangroves, and tidal flats.

Click here for information on these beaches and many others.

Beach Gear for Every Adventure

Ride and Paddle rents everything you need for a memorable beach vacation. Rent beach chairs, coolers, bicycles, umbrellas, even games – and take them along with you wherever you travel while you are here.

We invite you to browse our extensive inventory and give us a call before you arrive. We will deliver everything to your rental property and pick it up at the end of your trip.

If you are visiting a Sarasota beach, you need Ride and Paddle.