Below you will find four Siesta Key galleries; Our Condo, Our Beach, Crystal Classic and Out & About. If you click on any picture in a Gallery, it will open a viewer that automatically sizes pictures for PC, tablet and smartphone viewing. If you are using a smartphone it is best to turn it sideways for a landscape view.
You can navigate forward or backwards through the Gallery by using the arrow keys. You can also remove the caption at the bottom of the pictures by clicking the “x” next to the caption, and bring it back by clicking the three dots that will appear in the lower right when the caption disappears.
The first two pictures in the Gallery are aerial views of our condo complex. It is hard to appreciate how close we are to the Gulf and bay without seeing it from the air. Our condo sits on a VERY narrow strip of sand. That gives us the unique advantage of having direct beachfront Gulf views across the west side, and direct views of the bay inlet across the east side and from the balcony.
The distance from the lanai to the Gulf varies a little with the tide, but it’s typically about 200 feet, and even during the peak of tourist season, you’ll find plenty of room to set up your umbrella and chairs for a day on the beach.
Immediately to our north is a public beach area that is popular with locals that want to escape the crowds that flood the northern Siesta Key beaches. Given in part to its limited parking capacity, the crowd there numbers only in the low hundreds during even popular holiday weekends.
North of the public beach you can walk about 1.5 miles to what it known as “Point of Rocks;” a rocky outcropping that separates us from northern Siesta Key. To the south you can walk farther than your legs will probably take you. I’ve made it as far as five miles before turning back, and I don’t know of anything beyond stamina that would stop you from walking the entire 13 miles to the southern tip of Casey’s Key.
Midnight Pass, which once separated Casey’s Key from Siesta Key was closed off by a hurricane decades ago. With the islands so narrow, there is a mile or so of totally undeveloped beachfront to explore. If you keep walking past that, the next house you’ll see set well back from the Gulf belongs to Steven King.
The Crystal Classic
The Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival is nothing short of amazing. While we are always booked far in advance, and have a waiting list for this event, it is not unusual for local or even traveling artists to sculpt masterpieces on any given weekend. Maybe the pictures below will inspire your young sculptor to build a masterpiece, or at least use the various sand molds and toys we keep for kids in the entry closet.
Out & About
This Gallery includes a diverse group of pictures. There are several pictures from my favorite scenic drive in Casey Key where beachfront homes typically sell for $5 to $20 million. However, it’s not just the homes that makes this an enjoyable drive; it’s the winding road that is over-arched with trees, the lush landscaping and often stunning Gulf views that we enjoy most. You can couple a drive through Casey Key with a visit to the Casey Key Fish House or to the Casey Key Drum Circle that celebrates sunsets Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
At the southern tip of Casey Key you’ll find the North Venice Jetty. This is a popular area for fishing and also good for snorkeling in the areas that are close to the beach. The beach that extends to the north is a favorite with locals, and great for walking. Across from Casey Key you’ll see Venice to the south, but unless you have a boat, you’ll have to go back out to the highway to get there.
If you want to see even larger estates, take a drive through Gasparilla Island where it is said the billionaires have chased the millionaires out. While the scale of the estates is impressive, the drive through isn’t terribly scenic. However, you are rewarded at the southern tip with a nice pub and whimsically styled Adirondack Chairs on the beach.
If you are in the mood for upscale dining, you might consider Ophelia’s By the Bay, the Lobster Bisque there is amazing. It’s walking distance from our condo and just south of the Turtle Beach Grill and Turtle’s Restaurant; both of which offer al fresco and indoor dining options.