The world is rife with “perfect beaches” – places remote and removed where you can travel in time and space. Problem is, they are, well, remote and removed. To really register, a beach needs to be comparatively accessible, as well as consummately wonderful.
As for the first criteria, how ‘bout Sarasota? It’s close, on Florida’s lower Gulf Coast. As for wonderful, Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a.k.a. ‘Dr. Beach) labeled Siesta Key Beach the number one beach in the country last year.
The folks at Visit Sarasota County echo Leatherman’s lauding of this eight-mile long swath of sun, sand and sea oats on the Gulf of Mexico. The west side of the barrier island is where you want to be. The white sand beach is dazzling, your bare feet making a satisfying silica‘scrunch, scrunch’ and you head to the water beyond.
The area is perfect for constructing your own personal sand castles, launching that colorful kite you’ve always wanted to fly, or merely chilling out and listening to the sound of the surf wash away the noise of a workaday world back on the mainland.
A day in paradise tends to work up an appetite. To that end, Visit Sarasota County recommends some places to feast and imbibe. Among them are SKOB – the Siesta Key Oyster Bar. There’s live music nightly, and plenty of pet-friendly outdoor seating. There’s more to SKOB than just oysters and crayfish, although these succulents are available for half price daily from three till six during happy hour.
Prefer elegant dining by the sea? Ophelia’s On the Bay is tucked away on the shore of Little Sarasota Bay, on the southern tip of Siesta Key. No newcomer, Ophelia’s has been around for a decade-and-a-half now.
(Featured image: Robert S. Donovan)