Neville Preserve Launch. Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Neville Preserve Launch. Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.
Photo Credit: Robin Draper.

Capturing Siesta Key Memories

Deck: Siesta Key is one of the most popular destinations on the Florida Gulf Coast for good reasons — one of which is that it is very photogenic. Here's 5 spots you'll want to visit for a photo on Siesta Key.

Sarasota's Siesta Key is heralded as #1 beach in the country for its spectacular beauty, pure white quartz sand and sweeping vistas of the aquamarine Gulf waters. It's no wonder it has become a top photo spot. Cell phones now offer high quality cameras to record an instant vacation memory. Whether using your phone or bringing your camera - you are sure to love Siesta Key.   Here are five photo locations on Siesta Key that are "hidden gems" for you to discover.

1. Big Sarasota Pass Sandbar

Big Sarasota Pass Sandbar
Big Sarasota Pass Sandbar

Big Pass separates the north end of Siesta Key from the south end of Lido Key. Where its waters meet the Gulf of Mexico, a new permanently exposed sandbar has emerged. Boaters, kayakers and SUP'ers (Stand Up Paddleboarders) love it. It's like having your own private island to enjoy flocks of birds, great shelling and shallow clear water for swimming. Turquoise water, framed by deep blue skies and the brilliant white sand make a dramatic Florida photo. Siesta Key Village Outfitters will deliver your equipment to Shell Beach, an easy paddle or boat ride to the sandbar.

2. Siesta Key Bird Rookery

Bird Rookery Up
Siesta Key Rookery Up Close

In South Sarasota Bay is an uninhabited mangrove island that is home to a protected bird nursery, or rookery. Hundreds of birds nest there. Hatchlings pop tiny heads out of nests as mothers and fathers tend to their babies. White pelicans, egrets, roseate spoonbills, cormorants, herons (15+ bird species) are within photo range on guided eco-boat tours by the Sarasota Bay Explorers.

3. Jim Neville Marine Preserve, Turtle Beach

Jim Neville Marine Preserve
Jim Neville Marine Preserve

Siesta Key's south end, historically known as Turtle Beach because many sea turtles nest there each summer, provides the access point to Jim Neville Marine Preserve, a beach-to-bay area between Siesta Key and Casey Key. Local Siesta Key outfitters provide stand up paddleboards and kayaks for access to the stunning nature preserve and its wildlife. Glide around mangroves amongst dolphins and manatees, while viewing coastal birds and underwater marine creatures.

4. Terrace Beach (Siesta Key Access #5)

Siesta Key Beach Access #5, Terrace Beach
Siesta Key Beach Access #5, Terrace Beach

Siesta Key Beach Access #5, locals call it Terrace Beach, is steps away from Siesta Key Village.  Walk down the path and then head north. In the last few years, new wetlands have emerged creating a shallow sanctuary for birds. Here you might find a pink roseate spoonbill, a statuesque blue heron, or hundreds of varied species of shorebirds wading in the waterway, or hundreds more gulls flying overhead.

5. Sunset at Siesta Key Beach

Sunset at Siesta Key Beach
Sunset at Siesta Key Beach

The primary beach on the island is Siesta Key Beach. It has become one of the most photographed beaches anywhere. Here the setting sun melting into the horizon brings applause, but also makes a great shot. Watch the transformation of sky and clouds from orange and yellow to tangerine, pink and violet as the sunlight fades to twilight. The many hues are especially dramatic when offset by the crystal white sand. Compose your shot with one of the bright colored lifeguard stands and you will have a perfect Siesta Key memory.

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