Siesta Key is a barrier island by Sarasota, FL, which is located at about the midpoint between Tampa, FL and Ft. Myers, FL. You can see the location on Google Maps by clicking here.
While most of our guests fly into Sarasota, FL Tampa, FL or Ft. Myers, FL, there are six airports you can consider. The one you select depends mostly on where you are coming from and your vacation itinerary. Since there is seldom a charge in Florida for returning a rental car to a location that is different from where you pick it up, you may also evaluate flying into one airport, and flying out of a different airport.
The typical drive from the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (airport code SRQ) is approximately 30 minutes. SRQ is served by most major airlines and is very easy to navigate and typically has shorter waits for TSA security than the major airports noted below.
The typical drive time from the Tampa International (airport code TPA) and Fort Myers International (airport code RSW) is about one hour and thirty minutes. The drive time from Tampa is more traffic dependent and the route is more complex than driving from Ft. Myers. It is also easier / more convenient to refuel your rental car when returning it to Ft. Myers. Please note that Ft Myers airport is also referred to as Southwest Florida International Airport.
The typical drive time from Orlando International Airport (airport code MCO) is 2.5 hours, but that is traffic dependent. Since it is served by non-stop flights from many locations, it is often used by guests coming from outside the U.S. (guests coming from large Canadian cities can usually find non-stops to Tampa, Ft. Myers and during winter months, Sarasota) as well as for guests coming from western U.S. states. MCO is fairly easy to navigate for arriving passengers, but departing passengers often complain about long lines for TSA security checks.
The typical drive time from St. Pete / Clearwater International Airport (airport code PIE) is one hour and twenty minutes. Allegiant Airlines has expanded its nonstop service to quite a few cities, but I think it is the only significant airline serving the airport. Allegiant currently offers free checked and carry-on baggage for U.S. Veterans and their families. That policy is subject to change, but if it applies to you, it’s worth asking. The typical drive time from St. Pete / Clearwater is about ten minutes less than the drive time from Tampa, but is also traffic dependent.
The typical drive from Punta Gorda Airport (airport code PGD) is a little over one hour. It is served by Allegiant and Frontier. Allegiant currently offers free checked and carry-on baggage for U.S. Veterans and their families. That policy is subject to change, but if it applies to you, it’s worth asking.
Renting a Car in Florida
Some of our guests choose not to rent a car. It is easy to arrange for a shuttle from the airport to the condo and then use the Breeze Trolley, free ride services and/or Uber to get around. However, if you want to explore the many beaches and attractions in the area, you’ll probably find it more convenient to rent a car. We provide our guests with a reserved parking spot and can usually arrange for a second parking spot too.
Rental car prices can vary more than you might expect from airport to airport. Due to this, I think it’s a good idea to compare rental car prices before deciding what airport you will use. We’ve also seen situations where it was more economical to pick up a car at one airport and return it to a different airport.
Getting Around Siesta Key & Sarasota
Even if you have a rental car that doesn’t mean it will always be the best choice – particularly if you plan to have a few drinks while you are out or don’t want to deal with the parking hassles that are common in Siesta Key Village.
Municipal Bus System SCAT: The city of Sarasota has a fairly robust public bus system that serves Turtle Beach (the public beach immediately to the north of our condo).
Breeze Trolley (Free): In 2017 SCAT introduced the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley that serves the entire length of Siesta Key. I’ve also seen it in Gulf Gate, but at the time of this publication I did not see that schedule covered in the map. The Breeze Trolley service is totally free, and you can find route and times of service by clicking here. This is a good way to get to the northern beaches, Siesta Key Village and various restaurants along the way.
On Demand Free Ride Services:
There are two free ride services serving Siesta Key. These services operate on a tips only basis (please be generous with your driver). You can either wave to a free ride driver that has room for you / your group, or call ahead of time to order a ride.
Johnny’s Free Ride Service: 941-928-9200
Frog Hop Ride Service: 844 376-4467
Vacation Planning Guide and Personalized Support
We provide all of our guests with a comprehensive Siesta Key Vacation Guide. We are also happy to provide personalized planning support.
Our Guide Includes the Following Information:
- What’s next – Reservation confirmation, payment schedule & your rental agreement
- Trip Cancellation / Travel Insurance information
- Things to consider bringing with you
- Driving directions to condo
- Getting around Siesta Key and Sarasota
- Quick supply stop – Coffee for your first morning
- Shopping for groceries and adult beverages
- Upon arrival – Checking in, getting keys from lock-box, parking and condo location
- Any problems – Numbers to call 24/7
- Condo operations – WiFi, TVs, etc.
- Restaurants, meat and fish markets – Includes address, phone number, web addresses and commentary about our favorite dishes at approximately 30 great restaurants
- Things to do – Includes information about shopping, golf, tennis, fishing, where to rent boats, kayaks, etc., as well as many things you can do for free. Also covers numerous activities for families with kids
Please feel welcome to email or call us with any questions