While a few estate-type luxury homes in the Sarasota real estate community are found along the north beach exposure, dozens of private homes are tucked away on lush tropical avenues.
While a few estate-type luxury homes in the Sarasota real estate community are found along the north beach exposure, dozens of private homes are tucked away on lush tropical avenues. Low-rise and stately condominium towers stand watch over the beach and small family-style villas and motels welcome repeat visitors year after year. Developments of neighborly cottages and duplexes line the bay-front, most with docks for year-round boating and fishing.
Undeniably the liveliest of the keys, Siesta Key real estate sports a vibrant night life with many restaurants and favorite clubs. Its spectacular wide, sugar-soft quartz sand beach is the locale for many events, including an international sand sculpture exhibition and beach volley ball competitions. The biggest attraction is the 40 acre beach itself, with soft lapping surf and many breath-taking sunsets. Each Sunday evening a crowd gathers at sunset to salute the setting sun with rhythmic drumming, chanting and dancing. The good natured crowd sometimes numbers in the hundreds. Year-round population is approximately 24,000, with 350,000 visitors coming to Key annually.
In 2011 “Dr. Beach” named Siesta Beach the Best Beach in America, something its residents had been fully aware of for decades. But back in the early 1900’s the island was not so hospitable. It was covered with dense vegetation, produced clouds of hungry mosquitoes, was inhabited by wildcats, wild boars and lots of snakes! It was called Clam Island, Little Sarasota Island or Sarasota Key.
Its rise to tourism fame began modestly in 1906 when Captain Roberts and his wife converted their boarding house to a hotel. She was an excellent cook and word of her tasty fare, particularly her clam chowder, spread quickly. Over the years, the Robert’s Inn (later named Siesta Inn) brought vacationing Hollywood elite, such as Cecil B. Demille, Bette Davis and Dorothy Lamour to the little key with the beautiful beach.
Roberts and two partners founded the Siesta Land Company and platted Siesta Village in 1907. A prominent member of the group was Harry Higel, then Mayor of Sarasota. He was instrumental in improving the infrastructure, dredging canals and marketing the Key. The Bay Hotel, the Key’s first real hotel was built in 1912. The first bridge was built in 1917 and the north bridge was built in 1927.
Siesta Key Real Estate is very unique because our community is boasting with an artistic island lifestyle vibe while being a top rated vacation destination that is a close drive to all your modern day conveniences.
Enjoy a sunset beach walk on the powdery white sandy beaches of Siesta Key or take a boat tour around the key and you will understand why Siesta Key real estate is in such high demand. Siesta Key Beach continually ranks as one of the world’s most sought after prettiest beaches.
The island has a good mix of working professionals, retirees and second home owners who venture down in the winter time to enjoy the beautiful weather. Many who purchase Siesta Key real estate do so for vacationing purposes, with the goal of eventually retiring to this island paradise.
There are a number of options for Siesta Key homes–everything from a modest abode to a luxurious bay or beach front mansion. Waterfront homes in Siesta Key that can accommodate boats and are within a short walk to the beach are the most popular properties on the key.
The many awards Siesta Key Beach has earned include:
- “the whitest and finest sand in the world” (The Great International Beach Challenge, 1987),
- “The Best Sand Beach in America” (The Travel Channel, 2004),
- “The Best Beach in America” (Dr. Beach, 2011).
- 2015 awarded #1 U.S. Beach (TripAdvisor source Orlando Sentinel February 18, 2015)
Siesta Beach is located on Beach Road on Siesta Key. Siesta Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the world. At the “Great International White Sand Beach Challenge” held in 1987, it was recognized as having the “whitest and finest sand in the world.”
Unlike beaches elsewhere that are made up mostly of pulverized coral, Siesta Beach’s sand is 99% quartz, most of which coming from the Appalachian Mountains. Even on the hottest days, the sand is so reflective that it feels cool underfoot. It’s estimated that the sand on Siesta Beach and Crescent Beach on Siesta Key is millions of years old, having its origin in the Appalachians and flowing down the rivers from the mountains until it eventually was deposited on the shores of Siesta Key.
Shallow water depth in the near shore area together with year round lifeguard protection, makes this one of the safest beaches in the county and great for small children.
The southern portion of Siesta Beach is alternatively called Crescent Beach, which extends to the sea wall and Point of Rocks, an area with coral and active marine life.
Siesta Key Beach History.
Up until the 20th century, Siesta Key was virtually vacant and was referred to as Clam Island, Little Sarasota Island, or Sarasota Key. The Island was not connected to the city of Sarasota in any way, so the only way to get to and from the island was by boat. It had deep vegetation, snakes of all varieties (including all of the venomous ones found in the United States – rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins and coral snakes), sand fleas, wildcats and wild boars.
It remained that way until 1906 when Mr. and Mrs. Roberts opened the Roberts’ (or Siesta) Inn. This hotel became very popular for people who wanted a place to escape the cold winters of the north. The Roberts’ Inn also attracted many people because of Mrs. Roberts’ cooking (specifically her seafood dishes). Mr. Roberts teamed up with Mayor Harry Higel to create the Siesta Land Company, which formed Siesta Village and renamed the island Siesta Key around a year after he opened his hotel. In 1914, Higel opened his own hotel called Higelhurst and used his boat to transfer guests to and from the city. Higel also worked to get the Army Corps Engineers to build a bridge that would connect the key with the city of Sarasota. He was finally able to, and that bridge opened in 1917, which connected the northern part of the key with the city. In 1927, a second bridge opened at the southern end of the key on Stickney Point.
In 1954, Sarasota County first purchased property on the key for a public beach. Slowly, Siesta Key began to grow in population, and now around 350,000 tourists visit it every year. In 1988, the movie Jaws 5 was filmed at Siesta key Beach. Due to the abysmal sales of Jaws 4, Jaws 5 was never released.
Enjoy this quick Visual Tour of Siesta Key Village…