Breakfast in bed or dinner out, there's no end to the romantic things to do and places to eat on Siesta Key.
Flavio's Brick Oven Italian is one of the most romantic foods on the planet, so don't pass up a favorite local pizza joint. Flavio’s serves up the best brick oven pies on Siesta Key, so you don’t want to miss this spot. Its rustic, laid-back atmosphere complements its menu of traditional Italian dishes. Pastas and antipasti (appetizers), and, of course, pizzas make up the menu.
Café Gabbiano offers cozy fine dining in leather-backed chairs in their wine rooms – they have more than 200 varieties on site – as well as seating on their large outdoor patio.
For an appetizer, try the charcuterie plate – build your own or have the chef do it for you – with a mix of goat, brie, blue, and mozzarella cheeses and both cured and smoked meats. For a main, try one of the hand-made fresh pastas, steak, and local seafood.
Foodies might want to head to The Cottage, an Asian fusion restaurant in the heart of Siesta Key, for their Valentine’s Day dinner. This spot serves up refined seafood with an Asian flair – something different for a special night with your significant other.
But don’t be fooled – this restaurant doesn’t limit itself to Japanese and Korean flavors. Feel like South American? Try the Peruvian ceviche. Looking for something a little closer to home? Enjoy the New England Lobster Roll or the Tuscan Short Rib.
Ophelia’s on the BayFloor-to-ceiling windows line the dining room offering views of the picturesque Siesta Key scenery. The large bayside patio comes alive at night, lit up by fairy light-wrapped palm trees, and soft, modern garden lamps.
Ophelia’s has a menu that changes daily with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Mains include everything from lobster, fish and grits, coconut and macadamia-crusted mahi mahi, and succulent cuts of meat. Lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, and crab cakes are among their typical appetizers.
Hungry yet? If you need more inspiration to book your romantic getaway to Siesta Key
We want to thank everyone for hanging in there during the mandatory evacuation of Siesta Key. No one was allowed on the island as Hurricane Irma headed towards Florida, and no one was sure of what would be left when residents and visitors returned.
Thankfully, we missed the worst of the destruction. There were some trees down, some flooding, and we still are dealing with a loss of power at some of the town, But everyone was safe, and that is what mattered most.
GoSiesta.com is open with regular business hours and ready to receive guests and bookings. The famous, white sand beaches are still here and so is the Florida sunshine. We look forward to a great fall season with great events and family fun coming to Siesta Key.
If you have questions or concerns please call our office at 267-979-5765 or email Noor@GoSiesta.com
We experienced almost no damage. A few trees down, a broken window, a section of fence has flown away. All these things have already been repaired so no worries about your vacation, Just make sure your power is on before flying down here. FPL is working hard to bring everything backup fast. Thanks
You can order all your groceries and have them delivered to your front door. Call 941-349-1474 and speak with Deb!
(SIESTA KEY, Fla.) — The sand on Siesta Beach on Florida's Gulf Coast is as fine as powdered sugar, a pure, sparkling white and soft as a kitten's fur — all because it's comprised of 99 percent pure crushed quartz.
For that reason, and many others, it was selected this year as the best beach in America by a professor who's made a career ranking and studying beaches around the United States.
"The sand is outstanding," said Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, a professor at Miami's Florida International University. "Every time I go there, I've got to take a bag home with me. It's almost sacrilegious to walk on it with shoes on."
Other beaches that made the list this year, in order of ranking, are: Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii; Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina; Grayton Beach State Park on the Florida Panhandle; Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York; Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod in Massachusetts; Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida; Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii; Coronado Beach in San Diego, California; and Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
On a recent workday, Siesta Beach was packed with people, even though it wasn't particularly sunny. The turquoise water was still gorgeous, the sand still fine. The beach is about 200-300 feet (60-90 meters) wide in some places, which means people can stretch out and not feel crowded. The beach was last year's runner up and one of three in Florida on this year's top 10 list.
"It's nice and clean, that's what I look for," said Jamie Gaskin, a 59-year-old retiree from Lakeland, Florida, who was scoping out the beach for a family Memorial Day party. She especially liked the two-story pavilion, which boasts a snack bar and restrooms. It's only two years old and even offers sweet crepes for breakfast and tapas dishes in the early evening.
"There's plenty of tables to barbecue and to hang out. And the restrooms were nice and clean. I'd definitely recommend this," she said.
Siesta Beach is on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, and is located just southwest of downtown Sarasota. The water is placid on most days — Leatherman says you can measure the waves "in inches" — and is shallow and safe for swimming, with no sharp drop-offs. Added bonuses include lots of parking, a trolley service to and from the island's adorable downtown area and plenty of lifeguards. The beach also has natural dunes, which is a bit rare for Florida, and the fine sand is excellent for building sand castles.
"I look for kind of a balance between nature and a developed environment," said Leatherman, who lives on the other side of the state, closer to Miami Beach. "Fourteen million people go to Miami Beach every year. There's just too many people there. I think a lot of people are looking for more of a getaway."
Leatherman, who is director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, uses about 50 criteria to assess and rank beaches across the country. In recent years, he has given extra points to beaches that prohibit smoking, saying cigarette butts are not only environmentally damaging, but can ruin the experience for beach-goers. Safety and environmental management are other major factors, he said.
He's rated beaches since 1991.
The Maui beach that came in at No. 2 on the list, Kapalua Bay Beach, is smaller than Siesta Beach. It's crescent-shaped and flanked by palm trees. Unlike lots of Hawaii beaches, there aren't many waves at Kapalua, he said, making it perfect for safe swimming.
"The coral reefs almost go right to the beach. There are tropical fish swimming all around."
The third beach on the list, Ocracoke, is unique in both history and location. Leatherman points out that it was once the pirate Blackbeard's old haunt. And it's only accessible by a state ferry.
"The only negative I have, it seems like too many cars," he said. "I wish they would turn car ferries to pedestrian ferries."
Leatherman says he tries to select locations that are a bit off the beaten path, yet immensely rewarding once visitors arrive. Siesta Beach, he points out, is an outstanding place to watch the sun dip below the Gulf horizon — one more reason why it made the top of this year's list.
Rented this the other day for $125 for 30 minutes. Pretty cool ride with great views and exciting. Check out SiestaKeySeaplanes.com
Find out what is going on at goSiesta and hear from others about their experiences.
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- 1135 Windsong Lane, Unit A, Siesta Key FL
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- 3604 Villa Franca Ave. Sarasota Fl
- 4037 iola Drive Sarasota FL
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