Top 5 Best Beaches in Sarasota and Bradenton We Love #LoveFL @VisitFlorida

We’ve visited all these Florida beaches on our trips to the Sarasota and Bradenton area when we visit my parents who have a winter home in this area. Check out our list of the Top 5 Best Beaches in Sarasota and Bradenton we love to visit. Usually we stick at my parents pool, but usually take a drive to a beach for one day during our visit. All these options are great and gorgeous. I think that Siesta Key, Venice and Lido feel more VACATION while the other options feel a bit more “local”. Depending on where are you are located,  how far you want to drive to the beach, and what you’re hoping to accomplish with your day in the sand, they all have their pros and cons based on your own vacation style for the day! For instance, we love Venice Beach since it has an incredible pier and the option for us all to go shark teeth hunting along the beach!

Top 5 Best Beaches in Sarasota and Bradenton

Venice Beach

We love Venice Beach since it has an incredible pier and the option for us all to go shark teeth hunting along the beach! The water is a stunning aqua green on sunny days and my kids – and us adults – are entertained for hours by renting Venice Sand shovels so we can hunt for shark teeth. The kids love scoring these treasures and it’s the perfect family activity for a day at the beach.

Check out our article on How To Find Shark Teeth at Venice Beach here for all our tips. We’ve always had great success and leave with dozens. It’s amazing!

Top 5 Best Beaches in Sarasota and Bradenton

More Tips for Shark Teeth Hunting on Venice Beach here too.

Shark Teeth Top 5 Best Beaches in the Sarasota and Bradenton area

Lido Beach 

Lido Key is beautiful and the drive over the bridge to get there is stunning. All kinds of shopping and touristy fun is available in St Armand’s Circle too with over 140 shops and restaurants. Here’s a good link on all the shops and how to find parking in St. Armand’s Circle. 

Check out the Visitor Guide to Lido Key for more info.

Siesta Key 

Giant beach with powdery sand. The water is beautiful too! This beach is fantastic and totally a vacation destination. The beach area is HUGE and you’ll walk from the parking lot across all kinds of sand to finally make your way to the waterfront.

My photo here sort of captures how large the beach area is ….. as this is a long walk from our chairs to the waterfront but trust me there is all kinds of room (like 200 yards or more!) behind us heading out to the parking lot.

Siesta Key Huge Beach

Siesta Key blue waters

Bradenton Beach 

Just simply chill in the sands surrounding Beach House restaurant right as you arrive on Gulf Drive in the Bradenton Beach area on Long Boat Key. We always hang out here to watch the sunset and play in the sand after dining at The Beach House Restaurant. Beautiful sunsets!!!!!

Bradenton Beach Sunset

Coquacino beach

And dining at the Beach House is so fun! You can eat indoors but we usually opt to eat outdoors with our toes literally in the sand. A bit more casual but just as delish and you can’t beat the view!

beach house restaurant photo

Kids can even dig around in the sand – which mine usually do!

Beach house restaurant toes in sand at dinner

Coquina Beach 

In the Bradenton Beach area, about 1 mile down the main Gulf Drive on Longboat key from the Beach House restaurant and Bradenton Beach. Convenient location and simply a quick drive once you arrive on the island from the Beach House restaurant area. Bathrooms, Lifeguards etc. and a nice sized parking lot and very short walk to the beach area from your car.



About Colleen Padilla

Colleen Padilla, the founder and editor of lives in the Philly suburbs and is a full time mom for her 2 children, Mackenzie (7) and Kyle (5). Colleen and the Classy Mommy website have been featured on Fox News, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, The New York Post, local Philadelphia ABC, CBS, and NBC programs. Colleen has appeared in a TV special about Alpha Moms on South Korea’s NBC affiliate SBS. She also co-authored The Digital Mom Handbook (HarperCollins).


  1. Tara says:

    Siesta Key is beautiful, but so are Naples beaches only 90 minutes South. Come visit, just sayin ;)

  2. I love Lido Beach too. What beautiful bright photos that can not but inspire.
    Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing?

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