In addition to a wide, white beach that’s been named the nation’s best, Siesta Key has a lively little village at the center of the island, with beachy bars, restaurants, shops and lodging. Steps away from wave- and dolphin-watching, you can catch lunch, buy a new bathing suit or cool off at watering holes like The Old Salty Dog, Siesta Key Oyster Bar and The Beach Club, where musicians rock the night.
Chill out at the Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar. In addition to burgers and seafood, they whip up famous frozen daiquiris. Unless you’re Superman, try the Kryptonite—a powerful mix of Electric Lemonade and Green Parrot with grain alcohol. 5250 Ocean Blvd., (941) 349-8697, daiquiridecksiestakey.com
“Farm to fusion. Foodies serving foodies.” That’s the creed of The Cottage—a casually welcoming restaurant known for seasonal, globally inspired dishes (steak with Peruvian mole, nori-crusted lobster “lollipops). 153 Avenida Messina, (941) 312-9300, cottagesiestakey.com
Another Broken Egg serves all the breakfast basics. You can also order baked brie delight with Grand Marnier butter sauce, blackberry grits with real warm berries, or crabcakes Hollandaise. Here, breakfast is not just the most important meal of the day—it’s the coolest. 140 Avenida Messina, (941) 552-8320, anotherbrokenegg.com
Blasé Café & Martini Bar is never blasé. There’s awesome art, intimate nooks, outdoor seating, live music most nights and a tempting menu that includes seafood and vegetarian specialties. 5263 Ocean Blvd., (941) 349-9822, theblasecafe.com
Beach Bazaar is a little bizarre and a whole lot of funky Florida fun. We’re talking Siesta Key T-shirts; sand dollars, sea shells and starfish; rubber sharks and real sharks’ teeth. You’ll also find swimwear, sunglasses and sandals from well-known designers. 5211 Ocean Blvd., (941) 346-2995, beach-bazaar.com
Morton’s Siesta Market offers topnotch regular and gourmet groceries, along with fresh-baked artisanal breads and pastries, and a great wine and beer selection. Not in the mood for cooking? You’ll find gourmet-to-go meals and both a cold and a hot deli. 205 Canal Road, 941) 349-1474, mortonsmarket.com.
Locals travel from the mainland to shop Foxy Lady’s collection of clothing, shoes, and accessories from hot designers, including Analili, Bailey 44, Joseph Ribkoff, Red 23, Vince Camuto and more. 209 Beach Road, (941) 349-6644, foxyladysarasota.com
Fish love light, and nighttime is the right time. Enjoy a C.B. Saltwater Outfitters snook fishing night expedition to Intracoastal docks with underwater lights. The shop offers fishing gear, tackle, bait, rentals and charters. 1249 Stickney Point Road, (941) 349-4400, cbsoutfitters.com
Parasail Siesta will get you up, up and away with United States Coast Guard (USCG) certified boats driven by licensed USCG captains. Located at CB’s Island Outfitters, 1250 Stickney Point Road, (941) 346-8200, parasail-siesta.com
Book a dolphin tour at Siesta Key Watersports. You might also spy shark, stingrays, tarpon, osprey and the occasional bald eagle. If you enjoy toys with noise, they’ll also rent you jet skis and power boats. 1536 Stickney Point Road, (941) 921-3030, siestakeywatersports.com
From shady streets to sunny beaches, Siesta Key is waiting to be explored. Siesta Bike & Kayak Rental is where to launch your expedition, with beach bikes, road bikes, hybrids, tandems and kid’s bikes. You can also rent scooters, kayaks and paddleboards. 1224 Old Stickney Point Road, (941) 346-0891, siestakeybikeandkayak.com