Explore Siesta Key: Off the Beaten Path Adventures

A tropical paradise where colorful flowers bloom and exotic birds flit between tall palm trees, Siesta Key ranks among Florida’s top vacation destinations. Its beach has even been named one of the best beaches in the world by TripAdvisor. Located off central Florida’s Gulf Coast near Sarasota, the barrier island’s pristine white-sand beaches and warm Gulf waters lure vacationers who come to escape the daily grind and relax. Looking for things to do? Read how to explore Siesta Key and other towns in the area.

How to Explore Siesta Key: Area Activities for Vacationers

Swimming, boating, snorkeling, fishing and golfing are popular Siesta Key activities. Luxurious spas, boutique shops and delicious restaurants also fill the area, with nearby Sarasota offering museums, aquariums, parks, miniature golf and other popular vacation activities. Here are some more travel ideas:

  • Get nose-to-nose with affectionate miniature horses at the Fallen Pine Ranch in Sarasota. Call ahead to schedule a personal tour with the owners. Tours run year-round and welcome all ages.
  • Experience the Old South on a guided tour of the carefully restored historic Gamble Mansion in Ellenton. After touring the antebellum home, enjoy a picnic outside and shop for souvenirs at the visitor center.
  • Go back in time on a narrated train ride aboard diesel trains at the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish. Open Wednesday through Sunday, the attraction allows guest to ride and learn about the area’s rail history. Events may change scheduling, so call ahead before visiting.
  • Get a taste of Old Florida and enjoy the kitschy décor during lunch at the Linger Lodge Restaurant in Bradenton. The restaurant offers a back-country atmosphere and specializes in seafood, alligator and more. While dining, check out why it ranks as one of the weirdest restaurants in the U.S.
  • Marvel at Solomon’s Castle in Ona. Featured on Extreme Homes, the castle, complete with moat, was hand-built by artist Howard Solomon, an internationally known sculptor. Take the tour, admire the grounds and enjoy a meal at Boat in the Moat restaurant.

Gear up for a Florida adventure and start planning your Siesta Key vacation.