I love all three of these beaches for different reasons! They all offer something a little different, so you can find an option that best fits your needs. The one big thing they all have in common is their beautiful sunsets! No matter if you choose to stay at one all day or spend a little bit of time at each, you really can't go wrong!
Siesta Key has the softest sand that I have ever encountered! The quartz-crystal sand and the clear beautiful waves of the ocean just can't be beaten! This is a very popular beach and can get packed quickly, especially on the weekends, so I advise you to get there early! Not only so you can get an optimal spot on the beach but also to be able to find parking! It is a very family friendly environment so it's a great place for everyone! They also have a gift shop, restaurant, bathroom, and showers conveniently placed right off the beach.
If you're an early bird Siesta Key is also a wonderful spot to shell hunt. I have found many beautiful shells and sand dollars just from taking a morning stroll along the beach. Next time I go, I am on a mission to find a
shark tooth! Pro tip: to optimize the likely hood of finding any shells, I would recommend going when there is a low tide and in the morning. Low tide gives you a better chance of seeing something that hasn't floated all the way to shore yet. You can find out when the low tide is by simply googling the area you're in and the low tide chart should be the first thing to pop up. By going in the morning there are also way fewer people to compete with. It's a great, calming way to wake up in the morning, so grab yourself a cup of coffee and go get your feet wet!
While Siesta Key is the most popular beach in the Sarasota area, Lido Key is not too far behind. In addition to having all the same amenities, Lido Key also has a pool! This is great for people like me who would rather swim in a pool than in the ocean. Lido Key is known to have a slightly more relaxed vibe, but can definitely get busy. Overall a wonderful option for a fun beach day! If you're lucky you might be able to see some dolphins jumping not too far from shore!
If you want a break from the beach during the day or a fun place to grab dinner, St. Armands Circle is not too far away. Just a short walk from the beach there is plenty of shopping, from cute boutiques to gift shops! You can also go explore the mangrove tunnels near the beach! Next time we're there we are kayaking through those mangrove tunnels and crossing our fingers we find some manatees!
Englewood Beach couldn't get any more accessible! Not only does it have parking right across the street, but it's a more narrow beach so it's easier to get to the water. Englewood is a great place to see lots of wildlife and even find shark teeth. My favorite part is the unique Boardwalk along the beach! It makes it easier to get from one end of the beach to the other without having to trudge through the sand! Restaurants are also across the street so after watching the sunset you can conveniently walk to dinner! The best part though is that it is a far less populated and more relaxed beach. So if that is your vibe, Englewood Beach is the place to go.
I would recommend checking out all of the beaches! I'm sitting here trying to pick a favorite but I simply can't. They're all great for different reasons so you can decide which best suits the beach day you're looking for! From Siesta Key to Englewood it's only about a 1 hour drive (with Lido right near Siesta) so if you can hit all three I strongly recommend you do!