There’s a wealth of beach options on Florida’s gulf coast and it regularly occupies several slots on the list of top beaches in the US.  This choice meant it was difficult to pick a destination to stop for a few days but our eye – like this heron’s – was on Siesta Key. 

  

Leaving the photo challenge behind, the fame of Siesta Key is the cool feel of its 99% Quartz sands.  Even under a scorching sun, the sand is still cool and even refreshing to walk on.  The beach can get busy but is of such a size that it doesn’t feel crowded, and it has such convenient facilities to allow maximum enjoyment of a beach visit.

  
Another point of fame is the Sunday drum circle, as regulars and passing tourists alike join in a mini-music and dance festival as the sun goes down.  It really is a must to catch if you happen to be there for it.

  
  
  
It’s also worth cycling along Siesta Key to it’s other major beaches Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach (where our heron and jet powered friend above were found) and indeed into its fun and compact centre with a range of bars, restaurants and boutiques. One pit stop to recommend is the Siesta Key Oyster Bar or SKOB, which serves food, beers and cocktails til late, opposite Gilligans Island – also a blast when there’s a live band.

  

We drove down from Orlando – a long enough haul but certainly manageable and stayed just off Siesta Key in Hibiscus Suites, technically in Sarasota, but with the benefit of a free golf cart service to and from the Key proper. Only a few hundred more beaches left to try along this fabulous coastline.

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