Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida. Chances are it’s the first place you take out-of-town guests who are looking for a day in the sun and it’s often one of the top locales national beach gurus think of when they check off the best beaches in the country-sometimes the world. Siesta Key Public Beach is a symbol of our area and its mascot is the sugary soft sand that makes up its long, wide expanse. “It’s the finest, lightest-sand you’ll find,” says Troy Syprett, 16-year co-owner of Siesta Key’s Daiquiri Deck and former Siesta Key lifeguard. “The fine sand is great for building sand castles.” In addition, the sand is 99 percent pure quartz and its lighter-than-usual color makes it more than bearable to tread sans sandals during the hottest times of the year.
The Travel Channel rated the Siesta Key beach “Best Sand Beach in America” from 2002 to 2004. Dr. Beach named it third best in the country on his 2008 list-and it made his 2007 list well. So what is it about Siesta Key that bears the gift of such great sand? For starters, a low energy coastline line Florida’s west coast is more conducive to keeping the fine grains in place. Head to the east side of the state and you’ll notice all that’s left are the coarser granules due to the Atlantic’s battering waves. Curtis Smith, project scientist for Sarasota County’s capital management services, explains that Siesta’s sand secret lies in Point of Rocks, a jet of rocks south of the beach that reaches about 200 feet into the Gulf. As the current moves in its general north to south direction, the wall holds the finer, lighter grains in place, rather than letting them carry their journey further down the coast. With all this working in its favor, its no wonder the Siesta Key beach has never needed renourishment and is actually expanding.