Siesta Key is a barrier island with a population of approximately 6,000, located off the west coast of Sarasota. The island shows on maps dating back to the 1700’s where the map names the area ‘Zarazote’. By the 1850’s the area’s name had changed to Sarasota and the island was known as Little Sarasota. The island was also known as Clam Island until the name Siesta Key was established in the 1920’s, which is when the mostly uninhabited island became a visitor’s attraction.
Harry Higel gives his name to the street that runs from Siesta Drive to Sandy Nook. Harry Higel was one of the first developers of the area and became the first mayor of Siesta Key in 1913. Mr Higel was murdered in 1921 which remains unsolved to this day.
Siesta Key’s first bridge from Stickney Point Road on the mainland was completed in 1917, with the 2nd bridge completed in 1927. This encouraged a development boom on the island. In 1960 the first zoning code for Siesta Key was created to protect the area from the construction chaos of the mainland.
The Siesta Key Community Plan was developed in 1999 and the Siesta Key Overlay District was adopted in 2002 which provided additional protection for Siesta Key through zoning regulation.
Siesta Key Beach is famous across the world for its white quartz sand. Legend has it, hundreds of years ago the Native Americans discovered the fabulous white sands and believed them to be sacred. Therefore, the Chief blessed the island to protect it from storms. Native American bones were later discovered on Siesta Key during a construction project on Midnight Pass Road.
The unique Siesta Key Beach sand consists of 99% of quartz rather than the usual coral sand. Therefore, as quartz reflects the heat, the sand remains cool to the touch even under the hottest of Florida sunshine. The sand is estimated to have originated in the Appalachians millions of years ago and flowed through the rivers to be eventually deposited on the shores of Siesta Key
These fabulous white quartz sands have honored with multiple awards, in 1987 the ‘Great International White Sand Beach Challenge’ Siesta Key Beach was recognized as having the ‘whitest finest sand in the world. Since then, Siesta Key Beach has been awarded the #1 beach in the US and Worldwide by numerous publications.
The properties on the island range from the historic, to state of the art modern accommodations that cater to the many American and international residents and visitors. Approximately 64% of the current population were born outside of Florida and found their forever home on Siesta Key. Therefore, the Siesta Key community offers an eclectic group of personalities and activities.