6 Best Hidden Beaches in Sarasota, FL

In Sarasota, Florida, you can find plenty of beautiful, relaxing beaches, and some of them are tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world. Let’s take a look at what each of these great beaches has to offer.

Longboat Key

At Longboat Key, you won’t find many tourists. It’s about 20 minutes away from Sarasota, and its delicate white sand and crystal clear water make it ideal for relaxing peacefully. Local wildlife roams the area, and bird-watchers, fishing fans, dolphin enthusiasts, and aquatic scientists all love Longboat Key. 

Image via Flickr by chitowngal66_tx | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Parking in the area is limited, so you should show up early or late to find a good spot. When you visit in the morning or late afternoon, you can also enjoy a magnificent sunrise or sunset. People who enjoy collecting seashells will adore this string of beaches. Thanks to the wide range of nearby wildlife, an incredible variety of shells wash ashore. Some Longboat Key beaches have lifeguards, but you won’t find most other amenities. 

Hook Spit and Greer Island 

This pair of islands is at the northern end of Longboat Key, and they’re perfect for shaded relaxation, boat watching, and fishing. Hook Spit and Greer Island are right next to a busy boating lane, but they’re always headed for nearby ports or marinas, so none will bother you where you rest. The pine trees here sway in relaxing breezes, and the whole area feels like a remote tropical paradise. The trees are spaced just right for hammocks, and campfires are allowed as long as you use driftwood or fallen wood. 

Shark watchers enjoy this place because food and fishing waste from the boat traffic nearby attracts them. Residents have reported seeing some sharks as large as 10 feet long. If you take a boat out from one of the piers here, avoid swimming or interacting directly with the sharks. People often call Greer Island Beer Can Island. Both of these places have beautiful scenery that’s perfect for photographs. If you don’t have a boat, you can walk across a bridge from Longboat Key to get there. 

Turtle Beach 

Swimmers and amateur surfers love Turtle Beach for its mild waves, and you can collect fistfuls of sand dollars scattered all over the beach. It’s also an excellent place for fishing and canoeing or kayaking. This beach is near Siesta Key, a popular spot, but nonresidents rarely visit. Bathrooms, showers, a playground, picnic areas, a volleyball court, grills, and rinsing stations are available. 

Pop-up vendors often offer drinks and food, so you won’t have to go far to sate your hunger or satisfy your thirst. It’s about 20 minutes away from Sarasota, and people call it Turtle Beach because it’s a sea turtle nesting place. Visitors can watch the turtles, but you shouldn’t disturb them. You can often see manta rays as well. 

There are several comfortable cottages nearby, making this place perfect for a secluded romantic getaway. The nearby sandbar protects this area from riptides, and the water is shallow for a good distance. However, you shouldn’t swim beyond the sandbar because you could encounter lots of boat traffic and waves. 

Anna Maria Beach 

This beach has beautiful white quartz sand that doesn’t absorb lots of heat. That means it’s a great spot to visit in the afternoon, when other options may be too hot. However, you’ll still be more comfortable with a beach umbrella, some sunscreen, and some water. Anna Maria Beach has a good-sized parking lot, regularly cleaned bathrooms, and lifeguards. The area just next to the access road can sometimes be pretty crowded, but a large stretch of the beach a bit farther away is ideal for isolated relaxation. 

The sunrises and sunsets here are usually very beautiful, and not many boats or ships in the area will obstruct your view. Animal lovers should check out Manatee Beach, a segment of Anna Maria Beach. It’s a great place for spotting those docile, friendly sea creatures. There are many restaurants and shops nearby, so if you want to head to a more remote beach for part of a date or an entertaining family gathering, Anna Maria Beach is the option for you. 

Manasota Scrub Preserve 

This is the largest beach area on our list, and it covers 145 acres. It has plenty of isolated spots where you can relax or get some exercise. A breathtaking range of birds, turtles, fish, and other animals call the Manasota Scrub Preserve home, so it’s a great destination for people who love the natural world. While the coast isn’t part of the preserve, it’s nearby. There are also a few ponds. 

Oak, palm, and pine trees are everywhere, and during spring, the preserve is covered with beautiful, fragrant wildflowers. Some of the wetland areas aren’t open to visitors, so keep an eye out for warning signs. Full picnic facilities, a few hiking and biking trails, and a pet-friendly park are all available. Some of the trails are paved, but unpaved trails may be flooded after storms. 

South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve 

South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve is near a suburban area, and it doesn’t get a lot of visitors. It’s about 45 minutes away from Sarasota, and you can spot plenty of wildlife in the area, including bald eagles, gopher tortoises, river otters, Florida scrub jays, and more. You can explore more than 8 miles of hiking trails and 1.7 miles of shoreline, and the preserve covers 222 acres. 

There’s a butterfly garden, a black mangrove forest, and a canoe or kayak launch. At nearby Lemon Bay Park, you and your kids can take classes about nature and go on guided tours. Dogs are allowed, and you can visit from 6 a.m. to sunset. 

These are only some of the most secluded beaches in the Sarasota area. If we missed one of your favorite places to relax, contact us at Maxim Hair Restoration and let us know where you like to relax. We can also help you with a FUE hair transplant or non-surgical hair restoration services  for men and women to shield you from the sun while you enjoy the beach.