If you live in Florida, a beautiful beach is never more than a 1 to 2 hour drive away. Beaches, just like people, all have unique characteristics, and they are all beautiful in their own way.
On the Atlantic (East) side, you have the incredible surf and the waves that are so fun to ride with a float, a boogie board or a surfboard. The kite-boarders love the windy days.
The Gulf coast on the west coast is the quiet side, is very relaxing, and in some areas the water is so clear,you can walk out to your neck and see your toes. Paddle boarding and swimming are very popular in the calm water, and small boats are plentiful in this warm water all year round.
In the panhandle, you have the emerald coast, very scenic, and the water has beautiful green hues. Then there are the keys on the southern tip. Lots of clear turquoise Caribbean waters.
Its hard to pick a favorite. But for a day trip or a weekend, we tend to gravitate over to the Gulf Coast to the Longboat Key to Siesta Key area. The Siesta Key public beach has one of the nicest facilities on the Gulf Coast, with a wide white beach, lots of sand volleyball courts, lifeguards, snack bar, and nice public restrooms. They have a fantastic parking lot, but if you don’t get there fairly early on the weekend, you will be driving around until someone leaves.
Siesta Key Beach touts the bragging rights to the #1 Beach in the USA. The beach is so clean and beautiful, it almost looks like a Disney Creation. The water is so clear and warm that bathers tend to just go in the water and soak like its a bath.
When we stay for the weekend, we like to stay at the Holiday Inn in Lido Beach, just a few miles north of Siesta Key. It overlooks the ocean in the front, and right out the back door is the famous St Armand’s Circle in Sarasota, an easy walk. St. Armand’s shops are a real treat to visit, and the circle has some fabulous restaurants. The people watching is one of our favorite pastimes, as the Circle attracts visitors from all over the world.
It’s worth a weekend trip to enjoy the area, visit the Ringling Brothers Museum, see the gorgeous yachts in the harbors, the Mote Aquarium, and have a delicious meal or two. A Top Quality Weekend for sure.