Best Beaches in Florida | Sarasota County

Since moving to NC over a decade ago, we’ve been to Florida more times than I can count. Like so many times that our friends have joked that we should be part-year residents. But anyway, after countless trips to Florida, from Pensacola to the tip of Key West, I can say without a doubt that Sarasota County has the BEST beaches in Florida.

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Siesta Key Beach sign

Our first experience with Sarasota beaches was at Siesta Key Beach – often named the #1 beach in the US. This beach is pure magic with its sparkling powdered sugar sand . . .

Siesta Key Beach with kids

The sand is nearly 100% quartz-crystal, and it never gets hot. Seriously, we visited in July, and the sand was cool to the touch – it reminded me of the sand at White Sands National Park (which is gypsum sand).

smiling girl Florida beaches with kids

There are hardly any waves which is great if you’re traveling with youngsters. Even though there are minimal waves to jump in and you certainly cannot surf, Siesta Key Beach is perfect if you’re looking to relax. If you are looking for those big waves, Carolina Beach on the NC coast is one of our faves!

smiling kids best florida beaches

Now, the lack of waves doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do at Siesta Key Beach. It’s quite the contrary, actually. We saw plenty of people parasailing, and there are lots of companies offering dolphin and sunset cruises.

girl on sugary sand of Siesta Key Beach

Sometimes it’s nice to just hang out in the sand . . .

best beaches in Florida Siesta Key Sarasota County

Or go out into the big, blue sea with your big bros!

Eating Wawa at the beach

And it’s always a good time for a sandwich from Wawa! While there is food available from the Siesta Key Beach Pavillion – where they have a fairly extensive menu! – we almost always bring sandwiches to the beach. With a larger family, packing our food in for the day is quite a bit cheaper, and it frees up room in our budget to get treats!

snowcone at Siesta Key Beach

The snowcones at Siesta Key Beach come in these fantastic cups designed to catch all the drips! And at less than $5, they’re not a bad deal for the size!


searching for shark teeth in Sarasota County

About thirty minutes south of Siesta Key Beach, we found a small parking pull-out off Harbor Drive and a trail to get down to South Brohard Beach. While Brohard Beach (the only beach in Sarasota County that allows dogs!) and Caspersen Beach are known for having an abundance of shark teeth, they can also get crowded. Our hope was that we’d avoid the crowds by going to a smaller beach between the two.

storm rolling in over Venice Beach

And boy, did that pay off! We had the beach virtually to ourselves, especially once a storm started rolling in.

Girl with fierce look Brohard Beach

Working on her “fierce” face. She was concerned that there would be sharks around since this beach had a reputation of being full of shark teeth. Rest assured, we didn’t see a single shark over the course of the several hours we were there.

searching for shark teeth Venice Beach

The kids spent hours coming through the sand and shells, looking for shark teeth. We didn’t have the proper equipment – next time, I’d make sure to bring something to scoop and sift – but that didn’t deter the kids at all.

Shark teeth in Venice Beach

And we were successful! We only found a couple of shark teeth, but it left the kids wanting to come back again, and that’s always a good sign in my book!

empty Brohard Beach in Sarasota County

Just as quickly as the storm rolled in, it blew by, and we were back to blue skies… and still had the beach to ourselves! The kids were getting hungry for dinner, so we packed up and called it a day, but this would be a gorgeous place to watch the sunset. In fact, I think next time we’ll pack some sandwiches and do just that!

What’s your favorite beach in Florida?? Have you ever looked for shark teeth before??

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