Siesta maintains No. 2 spot on TripAdvisor list of best U.S. beaches

Beach moves up from No. 11 to No. 9 in world rankings

This is a view of part of Siesta Beach about 9:40 a.m. on Feb. 29, via the Beach Cam viewing available from Visit Sarasota County.

For the third year in a row, TripAdvisor has ranked Siesta Beach No. 2 on its list of the top beaches in the United States.

Based on 8,583 reviews, the organization said, Siesta won 4.5 stars.

Coming in at No. 1 was Ka’anapali Beach in the area of Lahaina on Maui, in Hawaii. That ranking was based on 9,437 reviews, TripAdvisor noted.

Regarding Siesta, the TripAdvisor list points out, “Whether you want to relax or fill your day with activities, Siesta Beach delivers. Kick back on the white sand, go swimming in the clear water, play some outdoor sports, or simply admire the sunset — it’s up to you. The family-friendly beach is easy to get to via public transportation, offers wheelchair access, and has plenty of parking, restrooms, and a small concession stand. There are a variety of shops and lively restaurants nearby, too.”

Moreover, Siesta came in at No. 9 on TripAdvisor’s list of top beaches in the world. In 2023, Siesta was placed at No. 11.

The only other Florida beach in the Top 10 list of U.S. locations this year was Hollywood Beach, which came in at No. 4. Clearwater Beach was named No. 12, and Panama City Beach was No. 13.

TripAdvisor explains that its “Travelers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best title celebrates the highest level of excellence in travel. It’s awarded to those who receive a high volume of above-and-beyond reviews and opinions from the Tripadvisor community over a 12-month period. Out of our 8 million listings, fewer than 1% achieve this milestone.”

A Sarasota News Leader check of recent reviews of Siesta Beach on TripAdvisor found the following sample:

  • Feb. 20 — “Beach is beautiful and services/facilities are outstanding. You can rent cabanas, which saved us from wind in a chilly day and sun too.”
  • Feb. 4, from a couple who live in Tampa — “We came yesterday to siesta key and had an amazing day at the beach. Walking in it’s very nice looking and you feel as if you’re in a paradise.”
  • Jan. 26, from a couple who live in Woodbury, Minn. — “The descriptions of Siesta Beach are accurate. The sand is great. Felt the beach was very clean and roomy. Sand Volleyball Courts are positioned away from the water and the sunbathers, which is great. Public restrooms and snack bar are conveniently located by the parking lot. Near the parking lot were some concrete loungers, which would have been nice to have closer to the water, but a nice amenity anyways. Parking was free but can fill up fast. Getting off Siesta Key at the end of the day will take you some time if there is traffic. Definitely worth the trip.”
  • December 2023, from a High Point, N.C., resident — “Very nice public parking area, very clean and well organized, beach very wide, very clean and well maintained, many [lifeguard stands].”
  • December 2023, from a couple who live in Myrtle Beach, S.C. — “Amazing beach, white sands, well kept and groomed. People in the area super friendly, free parking, among one of the best beaches in America. We had a wonderful time enjoying the day here. I would suggest this to anyone who loves a white sand beach. The area is quiet so it is truly a wonderful time along with the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful Sandpipers wandering the shoreline.”
  • November 2023, from a Kalamazoo, Mich., visitor — Siesta Key Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to, including non-public beaches. The 99% pure white quartz sand when dry is like powdered sugar. … It really is a world class beach with great public facilities.”
  • October 2023, from a Bloomington, Ind., couple — “Had a great time with our family. Lots of space to set up chairs and umbrellas. The sand is beautiful. This was our second time so we [remembered] extra sunscreen as the white sand reflected so much on us last time that we were turned into a pair of steamed lobsters. This time we were ready and had a great time. Plus the little showers and foot sprayers were great for removing the sand on the way out. Only improvement would be more parking as that was a bit of a mess…”

A four-star post from a United Kingdom resident who came with his family in October 2023 said, “Took a trip to the beach, there are so many ones to pick, we opted for Siesta Beach. A two hour drive and we arrived, free parking on the beach front, got there before 1030. We hired a wind protector, you can take your own just make sure it is sturdy enough to withstand the wind. Not sure if it is always windy on this beach, but it was on this day. The white powder sand went on for miles, absolutely beautiful, we sat and watched the birds dive for fish in the shallows. We had a 20min walk into the local bars for some lunch, lots to choose from, excellent value for money.”

This is a view of Siesta Beach at sunset. Image courtesy Sarasota County

He continued, “As beach days go, this was a very pleasant, quiet day, the beach is huge and there are lots of areas to pitch on. Where we parked there were very clean restrooms and a boardwalk access for wheelchairs etc. onto the beach.
“The only reason this did not get a 5,” he added, was because he “had to pick sand out from everywhere. ”

The first post that the News Leader found that did not give Siesta five stars was from a woman who lives in Long Beach, Calif. She wrote in October 2023, “This Beach is Beautiful…but way tooo crowded.” She gave the beach one star.