Slip your toes into the cool, powdery sand at Siesta Key Beach and there is no disputing its ranking as one of the nation's best beaches.
Beach guru Stephen Leatherman has included this beach several times on his list of "American's Best Beaches."
The sand and water here are postcard-picture perfect. The sand is so soft and white, it's as if someone sifted flour along the coast. The blue-green water is impossible to resist.
The beach is an oasis for the buff and not so buff. From sunrise to sunset, walkers and joggers lace their sneakers, slather on the sunscreen and get some exercise on the packed sand near the shore. Mile markers help you keep track of your stroll or workout.
Tennis and volleyball are other options with courts near the public beach entrance. A wide bicycle path also weaves through the key.
Definitely plan a walk to the quaint Siesta Key Village, which includes beach shops, boutiques and restaurants.
Although the village is small, choosing a place to eat can be difficult with the variety and quality of eateries.
Free parking is available off Beach Road at the public beach. The south end of the beach is reserved for condominium residents and doesn't include parking for daily visitors.
At the public beach, beachgoers will also find a concession stand and picnic tables in the shade. Lifeguards are also on duty.
The key is an eight-mile barrier island connected to Sarasota by two bridges. Many condos rent to winter visitors from December to April. Best Western Siesta Beach resort is the only hotel on the key, but there are a number of quaint bed-and-breakfasts and small cottages.