Let’s face it, traveling with kids can be a challenge. While many can keep themselves entertained with a shovel and some toys for a while on Siesta Key beaches, there’s a good chance you’ll need to have a Plan B in your back pocket.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of things to do on Siesta Key beaches. Here are five fun Siesta Key beach activities that your kids will love and that will allow you to experience some of the best outdoor recreation that the island has to offer.
Build a Sandcastle
You can build a sandcastle anywhere in the world, but Siesta Key beaches are some of the best sites for your masterpiece. The sand here is made primarily of quartz, a mineral known for its beauty and durability for sandcastle building. The white quartz sand is fine, soft, and cool to the touch – perfect for the mini architects in your family.
The sand holds it shape well, making it perfect for building large, tightly packed castles. In fact, the sand quality here is so good, Siesta Key hosts sandcastle competitions every year, including the Siesta Key Crystal Classic, an international sand sculpture competition.
Look for Dolphins
Siesta Key beaches give you great views of the Gulf of Mexico waters along with a vast range of fascinating wildlife species. If you pay close attention just after sunrise and around mid-afternoon, you might spot dolphins leaping over the water. Dolphins are particularly active in the early morning, and can often be seen hunting their breakfast along the coastline.
Throughout the day you’ll more likely be able to spot a vast range of different shorebirds, even on populated Siesta Beach. Species you might catch include the Ruddy Turnstone, Snowy Plover, Sandpipers, Egrets and the rare Roseate Spoonbill. Head out to Turtle Beach on the island also see some fascinating species in a bit of a quieter setting.
Siesta Key beaches are famous for featuring access to some of the best fishing in the gulf. It’s a lovely place to introduce the kids to fishing because many of the beaches are not that crowded and the fishing is guaranteed. Head over to the Point of Rocks on Crescent Beach for a fabulous and scenic fishing spot and catch species like mackerel, flounder, trout, snapper, and snook. Many other excellent surf fishing spots can be found along the shores and piers. Rent fishing equipment at local providers and make sure to get a fishing license ahead of time.
Play a Game
From beach volleyball to Frisbee, a team game is a fantastic way to keep the kids busy at the beach. There’s a good chance others might want to join in the fun, so if your kids are having a hard time making friends on vacation, an active team game could be a welcomed icebreaker.
If your kids are shy, join in with them. It’s also a great way to socialize with other parents, and share suggestions on vacation rentals, things to do, and the best attractions.
Paddle the Waters
Kayaking and paddle boarding along the beach is a favorite of the many Siesta Key activities. Younger kids can get the hang of it quickly in a tandem kayak, while older kids can easily paddle solo after a quick lesson.
Explore the channels, the Little Sarasota Bay and the nearby Jim Neville Marine Preserve to find migratory birds, dolphins that are often found curiously trailing kayaks through the waters, and sometimes manatees. Choose a guided tour if you have less experience.
There are plenty of watersports rental providers in the area. On the north end of Siesta Key, you have Siesta Village Outfitters WaterSports (5200 Ocean Blvd.). For families staying on the south end, Siesta Paddle Sports (8000 Blind Pass Rd.) is a good option.
Siesta Key beaches are often ranked as some of the best in the country for many reasons. From great wildlife viewing to beach sports, to outdoor adventures, when you stay at Peppertree Bay, you’ll have tons of fun during your next Florida vacation.