Recently we had a chance to get back to Siesta Key. In the past it was voted America’s #1 Beach.
There, we enjoyed our second stay at a little retro place called Captiva. It’s one of a group of lodging facilities on Sara Sea Circle, The facility has the feel of a 1960’s-style motel with all the creature comforts we need.
Visit Retro Florida
Walking across the courtyard is your first hint. Where usually is grass, it instead is covered with a lush coat of astroturf. The plush fabric feels great between the toes and there’s no chance of sandspurs or ant hills to spoil the experience.
Around the expanse of green are a variety of sitting areas. There are umbrella-covered tables and chaise lounges, There’s even a number of beanbag chairs to add to the ambience.
Everything You Need is There
Our lodging was a three room suite with a kitchenette, a nice sized bathroom and a living area dominated by a king-sized bed. The bed was very comfortable, and situated in front of a large, flat screen TV. We never did turn it on, but it was there in case we needed it.
In fact, there’s so much to do at Captiva we did not need electronics. The motels on the Sara Sea Circle share a wonderful pool area, which is ringed with palm trees and an array of natural flora. That both shields the pool for privacy and gives it a true tropical feel. For those who don’t actually want to get into the water, there’s plenty of seating on the brick deck around the pool. Folks can lounge with their favorite beverage and soak up the sun.
We observed several couples leafing through local brochures to see what all there was to do in the area. Just down from the pool is a small shuffleboard court. By small, I mean there were only two lanes. As we strolled by there was a 30-something couple trying their hand at the sport. (In training for their “golden years” we presumed).
The Gulfside Beach is The Thing
However, the big attraction is the private beach area, It was just a hop, skip and a jump from our suite. More accurately, it was about a two minute walk. It wound down a brick pathway, then out into the sand. Along the way there were benches to sit where you could take off your shoes, There also was a foot wash for when you were done in that beautiful sugar white, quartz sand.
Walking through the sand there was an alcove lined by seagrapes and other vegetation. There also were sand dunes for sitting. We opted to walk out onto the wide expanse of hard beach that leads to the warm waters of the Gulf. It is a favorite place to gather in the evening to watch the sunset.
It was an amazing and diverse crowd the night we were there. Young children ran to and fro – one was practicing cartwheels. Young lovers stood arm in arm silhouetted against the orange sunset absorbed in each other. There was one lady in a long Hawaiian print dress who emerged with a giant cocktail glass. There was even a guy sitting on the dunes playing his ukulele. “Is this Hawaii?” she asked him. “No, this is Florida with a ukulele,” he responded.
In addition to watching the sun go down, Crescent Beach at Siesta Key is a great place to find treasures. There’s a myriad of different shells and even some occasional driftwood. We brought home some of each. It’s also a great place to take a walk. But keep your eye on the time. It is easy to find yourself far down the way simply enjoying the sea breeze and the gentle sound of the waves.
One of the nice things about Siesta Key is that in addition to its own variety of restaurants and other eateries, it is close enough to Sarasota for a quick trip. We began by going to Morton’s Gourmet Market to stock up for a quick breakfast for a morning repast in our room.
Morton’s has a wonderful deli. There’s plenty of hot selections and an extensive bakery. We got everything we needed for a quiet breakfast together.
For dinner, we visited Bob’s Train. Hidden in the back of an industrial park, it is a succession of railway cars with a circus theme. Old circus videos play at each end of the dining area. There is a second car with the kitchen and a private dining area. A third car set up for large gatherings.
All are festooned with circus posters, pictures and memorabilia.
Bob himself comes out and talks about his work with the circus and a number of other activities in which he was involved. On our visit, he took us out back to see a new sculpture. It’s an 1870s steam locomotive he is building from scrap pieces.
Still to come are a coal tender and an engineer. We really enjoy this area and have blogged in the past about the famous Sarasota Farmer’s Market, the “Unconditional Surrender” statue and other attractions – but stay tuned there are some other places we have yet to visit and we will be sharing them soon.
Siesta Key is a great place to relax and enjoy. We give it five stars.