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Siesta Key: Where It’s All About the Beach

Visit New York and you’re likely to return home humming a Broadway tune. Visit Sarasota and you may depart singing the praises of Siesta Key, who’s renowned Crescent Beach is perennially ranked among America’s ten best by Dr. Stephen Leatherman—better known to coastline connoisseurs as “Dr. Beach.”  With what must surely be the world’s finest sun-bleached sand, Crescent Beach could scarcely offer a more spectacular calling card for the eight-mile long barrier island.  From its northern end, the powdery-white beach stretches two miles south to the outcropping of flat, smooth limestone and coral rock formations known as “Point of Rocks,” a popular gathering spot for snorkelers and fishermen.

These days you’re just as apt to leave Siesta Key singing the praises of something else; something of rare but fleeting beauty—the incredibly-priced buying opportunities that (for now) exist in virtually every segment of Sarasota’s most multi-faceted resort setting.   We say “for now” because, as everyone is well aware, prices have fallen dramatically and increased activity at every price point has confident buyers scooping up the island’s best buys like so many fish in a net.

By joining today’s Siesta Key Open House Tour—today from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m.—you can do a little fishing yourself and net the very real possibility of living on or near America’s best beach.  For while Crescent Beach ranks third in Leatherman’s most recent ranking—which the Tampa Tribune says is to beaches what an Oscar is to an actor—his top-rated pick, Caladesi Island State Park (also in Florida), is only accessible by private boat or passenger ferry for short visits.  There are no overnight accommodations, and no opportunities to actually live there.  To visit his second pick, you’d have to wing your way to the Hawaii, then island-hop to Hanalei Beach on Kauai.  By process of elimination, therefore, Siesta Key is the most beautiful beach in the continental U.S. that you can actually live on—and get to with relative ease.

With so many vacationers beating a year-round path to Siesta Key, revenue-producing condominiums in all sizes, shapes and locales—with proven rental histories—are among Siesta Key’s most coveted commodities; especially selling as they are at today’s vastly reduced prices.  They join a spectacular array of seaside homes in lush secluded neighborhoods; newly-completed luxury condominiums in the middle of everything, and gated enclaves of home sites—in need of nothing more than your choice of custom builders.

There are two central hubs of activity on the island, which you can elect to live as close to—or as far from—as you wish; remembering that you can bask in total seclusion on Siesta Key and still be surprisingly close to everything.  Siesta Village—toward the north end of Crescent Beach—and the South Village, near Point of Rocks (at mid key), are filled with restaurants, nightclubs, specialty shops and boutiques; and enjoy the colorful street life you expect in a bustling resort town.  In between is every sort of residential opportunity you could hope for; with the choices decidedly favoring those who want the turn-key convenience of a condominium with the added premium of earning rental income when they can’t be there.  To experience the finest in barefoot luxury first hand, be sure to visit the elegant new Summer Cove on Siesta and tour this beautifully situated, fully-amenitized bayside community of just 45 condominium residences.  The majority has been sold, but a good selection is still available.

A quieter hub can be found at Turtle Beach, another spectacular strand at the island’s southern tip.  Siesta Key insiders often prefer this beautifully re-nourished beach for its more laid-back atmosphere and lesser-used recreational amenities. Here again, the residential opportunities favor those in search of turn-key convenience in a waterfront condominium; but there are plenty of single-family homes as you approach the neighborhood.

No description of Siesta Key would be complete without waxing poetic on the many one-of-a-kind waterside neighborhoods—tucked inside dense jungles of tropical flora and winding mangrove tunnels—that truly give the key its island flavor. Venture down almost any side street and you’re apt to find yourself driving beneath leafy canopies through such aptly named enclaves as Sandy Hook, Hidden Harbor and Mangrove Point. Especially significant among Siesta Key’s most noteworthy neighborhoods is The Sanderling Club, a private Gulf-side community on Midnight Pass Road between the South Village and Turtle Beach.  The community traces its roots to the early 1940’s; and began its storied existence as a winter resort with small carriage homes and a row of appealing beach cabanas. The gated neighborhood is beautifully planned with spacious home sites, congenial residents and an unparalleled—but casual—beach lifestyle. The cabanas were designed by acclaimed Sarasota School architect, Paul Rudolph, who later became dean of the Yale School of Architecture. The Sanderling Beach Club, also the brainchild of Rudolph circa 1952, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and provides residents with cool respite from the beach and the community’s three tennis courts.  In the same vicinity of Midnight Pass Road, Spice Bay offers buyers intent on a new home a West Indies-inspired version of contemporary island living.   Its 14 home sites, situated on eight scenic bay-front acres, have infrastructure in place and are builder-ready.   Similarly, within a short stroll of Siesta Key Village is Coronas Park, another builder-ready enclave of 13 home sites; with homes planned in the British Colonial style.

Take your time. Explore Siesta Key.  Then follow the “Open House” signs to preview some of the best buying opportunities this side of 2001.  Some say the Siesta Key experience evokes the legendary lifestyle of Key West.  We think its better.  Key West doesn’t have Sarasota on the other side of a short bridge.

  • User Gravatar Miami Beach Homes
    March 17th, 2009

    Siesta Key sounds very appealing and its name is certainly appropriate based on what you’ve stated above.

  • User Gravatar Ascent Vaporizer
    July 9th, 2014

    I absolutely love Turtle Hub! One of the most beautiful places on Earth. Everywhere in Siesta key is gorgeous. I’m contemplating purchasing yet another property there for my family.

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