Siesta Beach. Just the name invokes thoughts of days spent without a care in the world – no email, no bosses and no deadlines. You've totally forgotten about that obnoxious guy three cubicles down that hums the A-Team theme song on regular intervals throughout the day. For a little while, at least.
Dr. Beach has named Siesta Beach the best beach in the country for 2011, and with world-class beachfront comes awesome shops, restaurants and hotels. But the really cool thing is that Siesta Key is a terrific place for us outdoorsy types, too.
Pack up your gear and head for Siesta Key's Turtle Beach Campground, a 14-acre park with 40 sites for both tents and RVs. Turtle Beach Campground is a full-service county park that features 2,600 linear feet of beachfront, a canoe and kayak launch, electrical hookups, shower and restroom facilities. There's even free Wi-Fi – perfect for uploading Facebook pictures to make your friends back home jealous.
Find a good section of exposed limerock at Point-of-Rocks beach, a great spot for snorkeling. The water's shallow, and there's usually good visibility in the summer months. This is a nice spot for families who want to check out colorful fish and other sea life, and to add a little adventure to their getaway.
Wildlife and Watersports
Rent a kayak or paddleboard from several outfitters on Siesta Key, and explore the Jim Neville Marine Preserve, a group of islands in Little Sarasota Bay. Weave your way through hidden lagoons, keeping a lookout for herons, egrets and roseate spoonbills. Don't forget to bring along your camera – dolphins and manatees are also a frequent sighting.
Want a look at Siesta Key before you go? Check out these live webcams and get a peek at what's waiting for you.