Sunday, August 23, 2009

Top beaches in the Sarasota Area from a locals opinion

This is a brief list of some of my favorite Beaches the Sarasota area. I will provide a brief description of what you can expect to see and experience at the following beaches. I am still amazed at how each beach is almost completely different from another beach that is only 5 - 10 miles away. There are certain beaches good for finding shark's teeth and shells, others that are great because of the seclusion and lack of crowds and some that are great because of their proximity to great dining and shopping. You can also follow me on Twitter @justinedmonds to stay informed on places to eat, things to see and which beaches to visit.

(Be sure to scroll down to view my top 5 beachy places to dine)

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is my #1 choice because it is a beach that has it all. Anna Maria has beautiful white sand, a little restaurant called the "Rod & Reel" for a quick lunch or a couple of beers, very secluded and a great spot to snorkel when the water is clear. There is one catch, in order to enjoy all that I described you must park at the Rod and Reel and walk about 1/4 - 1/2 mile north then watch for a FL parks trail cut-in on the right hand side, follow the trail to the beach and head north to the tip of the island. The only downside to this beach is the lack of facilities on site.

Nokomis Beach/ Casey key, Nokomis FL

Nokomis beach is located on Beautiful Casey Key. Casey Key is known to have some of the most prestigious homes in the state of FL, a long day at the beach is easily followed by a slow drive north on Casey Key Road where one is able to see homes owned by such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Victoria Gotti and Stephen King. Nokomis beach is typically a pretty quiet beach, there are a few restaurants located within walking distance, great fishing and a "drum party", which is celebrated every Saturday night (shown on left). The Saturday night drum party is attended by all ages and has become a fun family event, it includes several people playing bongo drums in harmony and belly dancers who encourage the audience to join the festivities. Nokomis is a great walking beach; the south side is a location known as the "Jetty" as is about a 1/4 mile walk south from the public beach. The Jetty has a fish camp, which sells snacks, bait and beer, they also have facilities on site. A typical walk on this beach will reveal several shark's teeth, especially during a low tide or just after a storm. The public beach has facilities on site as well.

Siesta key, Sarasota, FL

Siesta Key is probably the most well-known beach in Sarasota, thus the busiest also. The beach sand is 99% pure quartz and is said to be the whitest sand in the world, it was recently rated the 3rd best walking beach in the entire U.S. The sand is always cool to the touch and is as soft as flour. Siesta Key is known to host more events such as Professional Volleyball Tournaments and live music. There is a concessions and restrooms on site. I would recommend arriving early to ensure you are able to secure a parking spot.

Casperson Beach, Venice, FL

Casperson beach is known as the bet beach in the area to find large shark's teeth. It is not completely unlikely to find an ancient Megalodon tooth while walking the beach. There are large rocks that line the entire beach, there are 3 or 4 points where the rocks have been placed out into the water and provide a great place to snorkel with various coral and breeds of fish. A long walk north on this beach will lead to Sharky's restaurant and Pier. Please scroll down to see a review of Sharky's Restaurant. This beach has facilities on site.

Holmes Beach and Coquina beach, Bradenton, FL

Holmes Beach and Coquina Beach are both located within a 10 mile proximity to my #1 rated beach Anna Maria. Both of these beaches offer phenomenal views and are within a short walk to the quiet fishing village of Cortez. Please scroll down to see a detailed review of the BeachHouse, a restaurant located near these beaches. This beach has facilities on site.

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