12 Best Sarasota Beaches, Florida (Public Beaches)

Sarasota County in Southwest Florida is renowned for its cultural and environmental beaches and resorts. With a coastline spanning over 35 miles, nearly 7 million tourists enjoy their summers in Sarasota public beaches every year. If you’re planning your next summer getaway, Sarasota beaches should be on your list. So, what are the best Sarasota beaches in Florida?

Siesta Beach ranked twice as the number one destination by Dr. Beach. Blind Pass Beach Park has a laid-back appeal, while Lido Beach Park is near Sarasota’s best beach bars. Nokomis is the oldest public beach, and Brohard’s Paw Park is great for your dog.

Below are our top favorites among Sarasota beaches:

  1. Siesta Beach
  2. Venice Municipal Beach
  3. Blind Pass Beach Park
  4. Caspersen Beach Park
  5. Lido Beach Park
  6. Nokomis Beach Park
  7. Manasota Beach Park
  8. Venice Beach
  9. Turtle Beach Park
  10. Brohard Beach Park
  11. Palmer Point Beach
  12. Crescent Beach

Sarasota County is home to many of Florida’s spectacular beaches, and we highlighted what each beach has to offer. If you’re looking for something quiet or searching for activities to channel your energy, the following list of Sarasota beaches in Florida is a helpful guide before you hop behind the wheel.

Siesta Key Beach Sand and Waves

12 Best Sarasota Beaches, Florida

Explore the following beach destinations at Sarasota County that perfectly blends relaxation and excitement.

1. Siesta Beach

Ranked No. 1 twice by Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman as Sarasota-Manatee’s most popular destination, Siesta Beach’s soft sand remains cool even under Florida’s scorching sun. Making it happen is the sand’s main composition – pure quartz.

It’s a wide Sarasota public beach with organized pavilion housing shops for souvenirs, snacks, and beach gear. If you visit and stay until Sunday evenings, you’d witness the Siesta Key Drum Circle; an event celebrated for almost 25 years. Wildlife watching is also a crowd magnet, with species including dolphins, manatees, and pelicans.

Make sure to check out the Siesta Key Village, where you’d find popular hotspots like Daiquiri Deck, Gilligan’s, and Siesta Key Oyster Bar. While the beach’s free parking lot could accommodate more than 80 vehicles, availability quickly drops from 10 am.

2. Venice Municipal Beach

Operated by Sarasota County and is a Certified Blue Wave Beach, this Sarasota County beach’s coral reefs a quarter-mile offshore attract scuba divers from all over. You’d also find plenty of beachcombers sifting for shark teeth and fossils using a sand scoop metal detector (view on Amazon).

Amenities include a boardwalk, pavilion, picnic areas, concession stalls, and volleyball courts. If you can’t find a parking space at the beach, there are spots available at the intersection of Barcelona Avenue and Apalachicola Road.

Safety wouldn’t be a concern because lifeguards are on duty year-round.

3. Blind Pass Beach Park

Along Manasota Key Road, Englewood is a Sarasota County beach park where you could indulge in diverse activities like laidback bird watching and fishing to adrenaline-pumping canoeing and kayak launching. For out-of-the-water experiences, choose among picnicking, hiking trails, or watching the kids explore the playground.

This 3,000-foot beach is known to locals as a shelling hotspot, has a bayside with a bending trail that hugs a mangrove forest, and features a fishing dock.

Parking, which includes room for RVs, is open from 6 am until midnight, but the beach only operates until 10 pm. There are no lifeguards on this beach.

4. Caspersen Beach Park

Among the beaches in Sarasota, Florida, you’ll find this secluded beach park south of Venice Airport on Harbor Drive, Venice. Among the distinctive amenities of this Sarasota County beach is its fishing pier, where you could launch a boat, canoe, or kayak. You’d also find outdoor fitness equipment to keep you on your toes. After which, you could relax while picnicking, grilling your catch, or go wildlife viewing along the unpaved beach trails that pass through saltwater marshes, freshwater, tidal flats, and mangroves.

One of the best beaches in Sarasota, Florida, it’s a 1.5-mile beach stretch that hugs the Gulf of Mexico. Tourists flock to this beach for wildlife sightings and to beachcomb for prehistoric shark teeth and sea turtle nests. Visit during low tides to optimize your fossil-hunting experience.

Like most Sarasota beaches, this beach park is operational from 6 am to 10 pm but has no lifeguards on duty.

5. Lido Beach Park

Along Ben Franklin Drive in Lido Key is this recently revitalized beach that’s just a stroll away from Sarasota’s best beach bars like Lido Key Tiki Bar and Lido Beach Resort Tiki Bar. Once home to a historic casino from 1940 to 1969, this Sarasota, Florida beach is now family-friendly with gentle waves safe for kids.

For your food fix, try the delectable offerings of Seabreeze Café like pico de gallo and fish tacos.

For some quality time alone, go north to New Pass. The area was once frequented by tourists who preferred ‘less clothing’ when sunbathing, but recently, a dress code has been enforced.

6. Nokomis Beach Park

Nokomis Beach

This beach west of Albee Road Bridge on Casey Key is the oldest public beach in Sarasota County.

Its Nokomis Beach Plaza was designed in 1955, restored in 2008, and recorded on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. The beach’s iconic history gives it a prominent laid-back appeal, hosting the music-and-dance event Nokomis Beach Drum Circle every Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

This 14-mile sandy beach has consistent swells, making it a favorite among surfers propped on their soft‑top surfboards (view on Amazon). Other beach activities include fishing and shark tooth hunting.

It has a 22-acre park with a boat ramp, picnic shelters, a boardwalk, and dune walkovers.

7. Manasota Beach Park

This small beach by the end of Manasota Beach Road is among the best beaches in Sarasota, Florida. It is ideal for relaxing activities like strolling and shell collecting. The park’s intracoastal side has a boat ramp, docking area, and a boardwalk that embraces a mangrove forest.

You’d find small and large picnic shelters along the shoreline, plus there always are lifeguards around.

8. Venice Beach

Venice Beach at The Esplanade is popularly known as ‘The Shark Tooth Capital of the World.’ Apart from sifting the sand for fossilized teeth, tourists favor this beach for its historical and cultural ambiance. It has a sail-type historical pavilion that recently featured an interactive sea turtle sculpture, ranking it among the best beaches in Sarasota, Florida.

Its concessions include restaurants for food and drink, although they don’t offer alcoholic beverages. Near the beach, however, are many Italian restaurants and drinking hotspots. There are lifeguards on duty while you swim, picnic, or play sports like volleyball from 6 am to 10 pm.

9. Turtle Beach Park

There are many things to do at this 2,600-foot-long shoreline located along Midnight Pass Road in Sarasota. Idle the time away while bird watching, fishing at the pier, or picnicking by the grills. You could also indulge your adventurous spirit by horseshoeing or launching a kayak or canoe via a boat ramp.

Other popular activities include watching sea turtles nest and camping under the star-studded sky.

Tucked away on Siesta Key is a specialty park with water access and a mangrove lagoon. You’ll also find guides offering tours for paddleboarding. Its campgrounds are among the few in Florida with direct access to the beach. Moreover, there are plenty of RV and tent spaces with picnic tables and utility hookups.

Try booking in advance, because it’s among the popular Sarasota beaches where equally famous restaurants include Turtles on Little Sarasota Bay and Ophelia’s on the Bay.

10. Brohard Beach Park

Of the Sarasota, Florida beaches, this beach is the only public beach in Sarasota County that’s pet-friendly, dedicating a fenced-in dog play area called Paw Park for your canine companion. It offers dog showers, fountains, and leash posts.

Nestled between Caspersen Beach and Airport Avenue, it also takes pride in its 700-foot Venice Fishing Pier, home to one of Florida’s best beach bars, Sharky’s on the Pier.

Other beach amenities include Robert E. Clark Beach Pavilion and the Maxine Barritt Park, where many festivals occur.

11. Palmer Point Beach

If you’re looking for a summer getaway minus the usual crowd, head to Palmer Point Beach.

Stroll from the Midnight Pass to the north end of Casey Key while communing with the sounds of nature. There are no lifeguards nor many facilities, but you’ll see kayakers and boaters wearing PVC-free vests (view on Amazon) as they cruise along the pass or people walking from Turtle Beach.

12. Crescent Beach

South of Siesta Key is this quiet stretch of beach that leads to a pool of rocks called Point of Rocks.

It only has one public access, wedged opposite Crescent Supermarket by the Stickney Point Bridge, but large beachfront resorts and mega-mansions surround the beach.

Famous quartz-peppered sand precedes this beach, but it’s less touristy than other Siesta Key beaches, making it an ideal summer escape.

Conclusion: 12 Best Sarasota Beaches, Florida

Siesta Beach and Turquoise Water

Let’s review the best Sarasota beaches in Florida:

  1. Siesta Beach
  2. Venice Municipal Beach
  3. Blind Pass Beach Park
  4. Caspersen Beach Park
  5. Lido Beach Park
  6. Nokomis Beach Park
  7. Manasota Beach Park
  8. Venice Beach
  9. Turtle Beach Park
  10. Brohard Beach Park
  11. Palmer Point Beach
  12. Crescent Beach

From the secluded ambiance of Caspersen Beach to the world-renowned Siesta Beach, you’ll get your summer fix at any Sarasota beach in Florida. The powerful combination of inviting turquoise water and soft white sand would transform your visit to these Sarasota beaches into memories worth keeping for a lifetime!

What’s more, many of the Sarasota beaches offer beach wheelchairs to the public for free all year round. So, if you’re looking for a summer destination sprinkled with fun and excitement for you, your family, your friends, and even your dog, take a dip into one of the Sarasota County beaches in Florida.

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