No one can deny that Sarasota has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. However, some beaches will let you beat the crowds on your Sarasota vacation.
What’s the least crowded beach in Sarasota?
Among the empty beaches of Sarasota are Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach, and Lido Key Beach. These beaches will amaze you with their powdery white sand and inviting turquoise waters. Whether you are spending an entire day or sightseeing, there’s a way to beat the crowds with these beaches.
I found out from several travelers that the ideal time to tour Florida beaches when the crowds are slim is September to November. Also, locals help me to find less crowded beaches.
7 Least Crowded Beaches in Sarasota
It takes a single visit to become a fan of Florida beaches, primarily the ones in Sarasota. Once you experience the pearly white sand and the breathtaking view of the aquamarine, you’ll be hooked to Florida.
With the hype of Sarasota’s greatest beaches, several nagging obstacles arise, like limited parking lots and crowds.
Looking for other hidden beaches in Florida where you can beat the crowds? Just a short hour and a half drive north of Sarasota are tons of beautiful and isolated beaches near Clearwater, so check out our guide to the least crowded beaches near Clearwater, Florida!
1. Turtle Beach
This quiet beach on the South end of Siesta Key, Florida, is usually far less crowded than other Sarasota beaches. This beach gets its name for being an active sea turtle habitat during their mating season.
Turtle Beach has plenty of family-friendly amenities. Therefore, it’s a great Florida beach to bring the kids.
You can try other Sarasota beaches if you need more confidence in swimming. Although this beach does not allow pets, it offers outdoor toilet facilities and showers with washers and dryers.
2. Crescent Beach
Located at the south end of Siesta Key Beach is Crescent Beach. This beach offers powdery white sand, plenty of amenities, and breathtaking sunsets. It Beach is lined with condos and hotels, and the crowds are lower than they are to the adjacent Florida beaches.
Crescent Beach ranks among the top Sarasota beaches popular for swimming. It has available showers and a parking lot.
3. Lido Key Beach
Like other Sarasota beaches, Lido Key Beach is worth visiting. It’s among the finest white sand beaches in Sarasota, it gives nature lovers a wonderful experience of Florida’s nature mixed with an urban setting.
This beach is less crowded than Beer Can Island Beach.
Lido Key Beach provides a picnic area where you can enjoy the sun and dine with your family. There are plenty of small motels and candy shops for the sweet tooth. Visitors can get kayaks and paddle boards to tour the natural mangrove present at this beach.
4. Venice Beach
If you are looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure, Venice Beach is among the top beaches that offer that.
With its easy beach access, people come here to enjoy the blue water. Venice beach also provides a spot to see bottlenose dolphins.
While out at Venice beach, be sure to bring a basket to collect prehistoric shark teeth. You’ll discover more of these gems while taking a snorkeling trip. The reef at Venice Beach is located a quarter of a mile offshore.
5. Caspersen Beach
With its saltwater marshes, nature trails, and a coastline full of mangroves, Caspersen Beach is among Sarasota’s best beaches.
This beach has impressive discoveries that nature lovers would like, as you can even spot dune restorations that keep the shoreline intact.
Be sure to bring your beach gear and binoculars while visiting Caspersen Beach.
6. Longboat Key Beach
Sitting at the Beer Can Island, Longboat Key Beach is among the perfect Sarasota popular beaches where you can enjoy a relaxed day basking in the sounds of nature.
The island is famous for its amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico and the opportunities to snorkel.
This beautiful beach creates a tranquil vibe due to its limited beach access to the public. You can go to Beer Can Island by boat if you want more seclusion. Alternatively, you can walk to this hidden gem.
7. North Lido Beach Park
With a beach area of over 49 acres, North Lido is a popular destination where you can have a kayak and canoe launch.
It’s a State park run by the City of Sarasota Parks and Recreation District.
North Lido Beach is located on the Barrier Island of Lido Key. Although this beach has showers and toilet facilities, they are far from the beach. The beach has easy access, and its shallow waters allow swimming and boating.
The Most Crowded Beaches In Sarasota
While some of us would prefer having a long, pure white stretch of sandy beach all to ourselves, others don’t mind sharing the beach with other tourists. Making friends, watching your kids play in the sand with other kids, grabbing a drink at a nearby beach bar are all great ways for extroverts to enjoy a day at the beach.
Whether you’re looking to join the crowds or avoid them, these are the 3 most crowded beaches in the Sarasota area.
1. Siesta Key Beach
Whether you are a Florida local or a visitor on vacation, Siesta Beach is one of Sarasota’s must-visit attractions. Everyone thinks so, which makes it one of Sarasota’s most popular and bustling beaches.
The turquoise waters at Siesta Key Beach are clear, and the shoreline is characterized by quartz sand.
Siesta Key Beach is within walking distance from Siesta Key Village. You can visit this beach and snorkel, sunbathe, stroll on the boardwalk, or relax and enjoy the sunshine.
Siesta Key Beach has a parking space, offering a trolley that helps take visitors across the Siesta Key Village and the beach. It’s right off the main strip in Siesta Key and is very clearly marked.
The nightlife in Siesta Key is favorable for people interested in lively restaurants and pubs.
2. Coquina Beach
Coquina Beach, located at Anna Maria Island, offers 22 acres of beach with clear shallow waters, lifeguards, powdery white sands, beach chairs, and other convenient amenities. It lies on the northern tip of Sarasota, about 45 minutes from downtown Sarasota, but this beach is definitely worth the drive.
Coquina Beach has sand dunes that create a barrier that separates it from the town nearby. You can find beach access at Coquina Beach by climbing the dunes in designated areas. There is also a wide opening near the parking lot.
3. Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach is relaxed and welcoming. It is located in the Southernmost city on Anna Maria Island, so this one is another short drive away from Sarasota proper. But if you don’t mind a short Florida road trip, this is a great beach near Sarasota.
There’s a lot of history and natural beauty to discover on this beach. Bradenton Beach has a lot of dunes that make a picturesque beach area.
While at Bradenton, make sure you enjoy a view of all the thrilling attractions nearby. You can even book a parasailing tour for bird watching.
About Sarasota Beaches
Florida beaches are famously welcoming year-round, and this popular destination is no exception. Some of the best beaches in Sarasota are hidden gems.
Sarasota is located on the West Coast of Florida and overlooks the warm and inviting Gulf of Mexico. Sarasota Bay separates a few notable and easy to access barrier islands that have been welcoming sun worshippers in droves for decades.
Unlike the rough ocean waters of the East coast of Florida, the Gulf Coast is characterized by calm, blue waters and wide beaches. That’s not to say a place like Miami beach is not worth visiting, but you get a very different vibe in the Sarasota area.
Its white sand beaches with powdery white sands, nature trails, and natural beauty make it the perfect place to relax if quietude is what you seek. While beautiful beaches like Siesta Key Beach (Siesta Key), Bradenton Beach (Anna Maria Island), and Coquina Beach are dependably crowded year-round, these are the best bets for avoiding crowds in Sarasota.
When is the Most Uncrowded Time for Sarasota’s Beaches
Of course, Florida’s beaches attract crowds year-round. However, there are ways to strategically avoid feeling like you’re packed like a sardine among tourists.
The most crowded time of the year in Sarasota is “high season,” from late February to May. This also happens to coincide with spring break (March and April) when barrier islands like Siesta Key see a flood of college students.
Frankly, most Florida beaches get pretty crowded. Whether you’re in the far north of Florida visiting Panama City Beach in spring or to the southeast visiting Haulover Beach in late Summer, a good rule of thumb to remember is this: if it’s a warm, sunny day in Spring or Summer, expect to have company at the beach.
Ideally, you’ll find a pocket between September and November when the crowds are lighter, the accommodations are reasonably priced, and the weather is still ideal for watersports and beach lounging.
The most crowded time of day is the in the late morning and early afternoon, before the sun gets too hot. If you want to get the best out of your trip to a secluded Sarasota beach, be sure to arrive as early in the day as you can!
- Sarasota is a popular destination with some of the best beaches in the world.
- Among the less crowded Sarasota beaches are Crescent beach, Turtle beach, and Lido Key beach.
- Most of the Sarasota beaches are family-friendly because they have amenities on site.