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EDIBLE LIVING: SIESTA KEY

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

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One of the many access points to Siesta Key Beach

WORDS BY ABBY WEINGARTEN
PHOTOS BY CHAD SPENCER

With its cool, powdery sand made of 99
percent pure quartz, the barrier island is
a coastal paradise that is home to as
many natural wonders as visitor hot spots.

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Breakfast at Sungarden Café

SIESTA KEY

A waterfront community rife with restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, boutiques, and even a Sunday evening drum circle, Siesta Key is home to the top-rated beach in the country. With its cool, powdery sand made of 99 percent pure quartz, the barrier island is a coastal paradise that is home to as many natural wonders as visitor hot spots. On Siesta Beach alone, amid the sea oats and against the glimmering backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico, there is a bevy of wildlife—from snowy plovers and seagulls to sea turtles and manatees. Onshore, in Siesta Key Village, rental outlets provide equipment for adventurers seeking to fish, kayak, snorkel and scuba dive. It is just as easy to find an upscale martini bar with craft cocktails at night as it is to discover a breakfast café with freshly squeezed orange juice the next morning. Sun-kissed patrons can experience what free-spirited life is like on Siesta Key and why the beach is unparalleled in sandy perfection.

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Sculputure welcoming you to one of the resorts on the key

WHY WE LIKE IT

Food is at the forefront of the Siesta Key experience. There are award-winning upscale restaurants interspersed with ultra-casual seafood spots throughout the village. Diners can indulge in the Edible Lifestyle while wearing flip-flops and Bermuda shorts or stilettos and little black dresses. Pocket change can buy a scoop of homemade ice cream at a local parlor, and a truly authentic and high-dollar Italian entrée is just footsteps away. At the end of a decadent dining night, there are cozy cottages and inns as well a luxurious homes and apartments for rent. Whether visitors are soaking up the rays, sipping drinks in the restaurants or spying on shorebirds at sunset, Siesta Key offers a slice of heaven for every taste.

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Clockwise: Carved wooden head sits in the village; Infused pineapple vodka at Eat Here;
Casting a net out for some bait; Oyster’s at Siesta Key Oyster Bar { SKOB},Photo by
Kathryn Brass-Piper; the iconic yellow lifeguard stand at Siesta Key’s public beach.

THE CHARM FACTOR

Few beaches are as well preserved and naturally majestic as Siesta Beach—which can be walked barefoot any time of year without burning one’s soles. The sand, like the community, is perpetually cool. The charm is in the villagers—those who live on the Key year-round and those who have vacationed here seasonally for generations. Siesta Key has real estate options for every buyer or renter. Quaint bungalows, Old Florida–style beachfront hotels, high-rise condominiums and grandiose modern mansions keep Siesta Key’s real estate enviable and diverse. Waterfront villas with stunning sunset views are nestled near penthouse suites that overlook the entire Gulf of Mexico. With easy access to the beach and a truly pedestrian-friendly village, visitors can be car-free as well as carefree.

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Clockwise: Tuna at Ophelia’s on the Bay, Photo by Peter Acker; Pizza at Flavio’s
Brick Oven, Photo by Kathryn Brass-Piper; Craft cocktails at Eat Here;
grab a cup of coffee at Lelu’s in the village; Photo by Peter Acker

THE EDIBLE LIFE

A seafood seeker’s dream, Siesta Key features some of the most mouthwatering Gulf-grown menu items in all of Southwest Florida. Fresh catches are integral to the Siesta Key culture, and raw bars filled with oysters and other ocean-picked delicacies are peppered throughout the landscape. Fish tacos, lobster rolls, grilled shrimp, seared scallops and grouper sandwiches pair with tropical daiquiris and fruit-infused martinis. With its island ambiance and eateries that suit both the laid-back foodie and the sophisticated gourmand, Siesta Key is a flavor mecca to be savored.

 

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