Weekend on Florida’s Gulf Coast

My sister and her kids were visiting, so we decided to take a trip over to the Gulf Coast to get in some beach time. We booked a hotel room for one night, packed up the car and headed out.

Our first stop was Turtle Beach. It is a little south of Siesta Key but unlike Siesta’s sand, it is coarse and much darker. It has really pretty, multi color sand that has a mix of black, tan and white colorings.

Turtle Beach

The sand looks almost gray when the water hits it. Against the blues of the water, it made for some beautiful pictures.

Turtle Beach

There are lots of turtle nests on this beach so you have to be sure to check the rules you will see posted before you enter.  Take care of those little turtles and keep the beach clean!

Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach is a nice relaxing beach. They had good parking and bathrooms available. It’s a short walk to the water which is also nice and it’s not too crazy crowded.

After checking into the hotel and eating dinner we went to Lido Beach for the sunset. It was a little too cloudy to get a full on sunset but still pretty.  The sand here is soft and cool (like temperature cool), similar to Siesta Key Beach. It is like walking on flour, so soft!

Lido Beach

Lido is a great beach to watch the sunset! You can walk through a small section of knee deep water to a sand bar, almost a little island, and walk out into the water towards the sunset. Very pretty.

Weekend Trip to the Gulf Coast

There is limited free parking and showers to hose off, but we didn’t see any restrooms. We had parked at St. Armands Circle for dinner and walked to Lido beach from there.

The best part of enjoying the sunset here was walking back to St. Armands to get some ice cream! After a recommendation from a friend, we went to Settimi’s Gelato. Yum, yum oh my gosh yum! I got half chocolate and half cappuccino. The cappuccino flavor was amazing, it had chocolate pieces in it and a delicious coffee flavor. The chocolate was a little boring in comparison but still good.


The next morning we woke up to storms and rain in the forecast. We decided to drive the 30mins south to Caspersen Beach know as “The Shark Tooth Capitol of the World” hoping to get past the storm.

Caspersen Beach

The beach is short, rocky and really beautiful. We picked a random boardwalk down to the beach and started digging around the rocks, not really knowing what we are looking for. We didn’t have any luck so we walked up the beach a little. Luckily a local came up to us and taught us how to do it. He even lets us use one of his homemade gadgets for shark tooth searching! It was wire mesh surrounded by a pool noodle. You put it under the water and scoop a bunch of the sand and shells into it. Then you shake it under the water bring it up and put it down again and keep shaking to get as much of the sand out as you can; think gold mining. Then you look through the shells you have left for shiny black pointy teeth. The top part of the teeth are rough, rounded and matte and the bottom part is sharp and shiny. This guy was so nice, he wanted to make sure the kids didn’t leave without finding a tooth.  I found one pretty quickly with his help!

Caspersen Beach

There are bathrooms and free parking so I will hopefully be heading back there in September to go on the hunt for more teeth. This time I will bring some equipment, a strainer or maybe a sieve of some sort? Unless I get crafty and make one.

We then headed to Siesta Key Village to get Meaney’s Mini Donuts. There will probably be a line but that just means you are in the right place. Trust me the cinnamon sugar donuts are yummy!

Meaney's Mini Donuts

It was still rainy and overcast but I wanted my family to see Siesta Key Beach since we were there and it’s the #1 beach in the USA. This was a mistake. It was packed, which is normal but the path to the beach was ankle deep in water. I assume it was rain water because it was cold but I’m not sure. It was dirty and you had to walk through it, no way around it.

Siesta Key

We got through that and kept walking, but there were trash and cigarette butts all around and it was just overall not pretty. The sand was wet from the rain so you couldn’t enjoy the normally soft and amazingness that is that sand. We finally get up to the water only to smell the strong stink of sulfur. You don’t smell it anywhere else just right when you get to the edge of the ocean. We decided to leave because we weren’t sure the kids should be swimming in it as we don’t know where that smell was coming from. I won’t be coming back to this beach probably ever.

With the rain, we decided to drive North a little to find a place to eat lunch then head back to Orlando.  Overall it was a fun trip and a perfect place for you to enjoy a great weekend trip.

Melissa P.

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Next Post —-> Rocky Attempt at Hiking Mount Major


Weekend Trip to Sarasota, Siesta Key, Turtle Beach and Shark Tooth Beach!



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