Siesta Key Vs Sanibel Island: Destination To Choose!

Florida is one of the most eye-catching, beautiful, and famous states in the US. Florida is a tourist magnet mainly because of two islands- Siesta Key and Sanibel.

Both of these islands consist of multiple activities, beautiful sceneries, and wildlife in the water. You may get confused between these when choosing one for your traveling.

So, which is the better destination in siesta key vs sanibel island?

The key differences between siesta key and sanibel island are the beaches. Sanibel Island has beautiful shell beaches and more green spaces. But Siesta Key has beaches containing soft sands, clear water, and less population. At Sanibel Island, you’ll require a greater expense compared to Siesta Key.

That’s not all you need to know about these beautiful sites. Read the whole article to clearly know more differences!

Let’s get started!

Quick Comparison

Since both of these sites are islands, there are many differences and similarities! Let’s quickly compare both of these places to make the differences clear to you-

Differentiating FactorsSiesta KeySanibel Island
Place TypeIslandIsland
Population5,573 (in 2022)7,380 (in 2022)
Sightseeing SpotsYesYes
Family FriendlyYesYes
Trip Cost250-260$ each day320-330$ each day

The differences are almost similar to choosing between places to go in Montana like Gardiner and West Yellowstone. I bet overviewing the factors has intrigued you to know them in detail! These factors (and more) are exactly what I’ve elaborated on below. Check it out!


When talking about airstrips, neither Siesta Key nor Sanibel Island has one. But you don’t have to worry. Conveniently, both of these places have nearby airports! Let’s know more about them.

Siesta Key

Around Siesta Key Island, there are multiple airports. The closest 2 airports to Siesta Key are the Sarasota and Bradenton International Airports. 

The distance between the city of Siesta key and the airports is 11 miles. These 11 miles can be crossed by different rental cars and other transport services. It’ll only be a 25-30 minute drive!

St.Petersburg, Tampa, and Clearwater International Airports are some other options. These airports are 20 miles from Siesta Key. 1-1.5 hours is the time if you’re planning to reach the airports. 

Sanibel Island

At Fort Myers, the Southwest International Airport is the closest airport to Sanibel Island. This airport provides services from over 20 airlines, so you don’t have to worry!

Many rental services can be relied on to reach from the airport to the island. The distance is about 15 miles and it’ll consist of a 45-minute drive. You can use other vehicles as well.


Both Siesta Key and Sanibel Island have many resorts and hotels you can rest the night at. Have a look at some of them.

Siesta Key

When it comes to accommodation, people have different tastes. Some people like hotels, some people like resorts. In Siesta Key, you can get both! The siesta key hotels and siesta key resorts will satisfy your trip!

Hotels at the Siesta Key start from 108$ and go up to 400$ per night. There are hotels ranging from 3-star all the way up to 5-start. According to your budget, you can pick multiple hotels to stay at! 

The same goes with the resorts of Siesta Key. All these resorts have facilities like a pool, spa, etc. However, the resorts are a bit far from the beach. So, you might need extra traveling costs to go to the beach. The resort cost starts from 250$.

Let’s look at the finest hotels and resorts of Siesta Key.

Tropical Beach ResortsBegin your travels!
Hibiscus Suites – Gateway to Siesta KeyBegin your travels!
Western Plus Siesta KeyBegin your travels!
Condo with Private Beach Begin your travels!

Sanibel Island

You may be thinking, what is the best place to stay on sanibel island? Well, there are many resorts here. These resorts feature golf courses, heated pools, gaming alleys, etc. Even after you’re done visiting the island, boredom can’t get to you!

The cost of the resorts at Sanibel Island starts from 212$. Since it’s an Island, the cost is cheaper than other destinations. There are also hotels which are cheaper than resorts. 

Hotels at Sanibel Island start from 150$. These hotels provide brilliant room services. Let’s have a look at the finest hotels and restaurants in Sanibel Island.

West Wind Island ResortBook Today!
Seaside InnBook Today!
Beachview CottagesBook Today!
Holiday Inn Ft. Myers ArptBook Today!

Now, the sanibel island destination isn’t like the grand canyon and Yellowstone. The temperature will be much hotter and the hotels here can comfort you.

Do you Want a Guide?

Hiring any tour guide in Siesta Key or Sanibel Island is totally omittable! You can visit the whole place all by yourself and your family. The directions and maps are very easy. You can also ask the Florida locals for any direction, they can help you out!

Do You Want to Take the Charge of Your Whole Trip?

Having someone who can take charge of your trip is a relief.

If the decision of taking charge seems overwhelming to you, don’t worry. I’m here to help you out! Check out all the necessary and highlighting information about these two places!


You can taste different cuisines in both places. At Siesta Key, you can get American, French, and Italian cuisine. Oysters, grill, and seafood are some mention-worthy foods you can enjoy here. There are also cafes and bars, where you can enjoy beverages.

At Sanibel Island, American, Moroccan, and French cuisine are available. Additionally, there are bars and cafes similar to Siesta Key. Seafood is also something that is very popular at Sanibel Island restaurants. 


Regarding transportation, you don’t have to worry. There is public transport like the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley. It moves from Turtle Beach to Siesta Key village. Also, there are many rental services available. 

At Sanibel Island, you can get around by bike. You can bring a touring bike or rent one from this island! However, if you don’t wanna rent bikes, you can take taxis. There are a couple of taxi companies providing cheap services here.


Unlike siesta key vs captiva island, both these sites offer a great range of entertainment. I’ve discussed them in detail below. Have a look.


Here are some activities you can enjoy at Siesta Key-

  • Boat tours. These tours can be a lot of fun because you can watch the dolphins while on the boat. Also, you can stop at many tiki bars!
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding. At Siesta Key, you can rent paddle boards/kayaks and enjoy your time in the water.
  • Snorkeling. This is one of the most popular activities you can do at Siesta Key.

Sanibel Island also offers a lot of fun activities. Here are some of them-

  • Kayaking. The water of Sanibel and Captiva are perfect for some quality kayaking experience.
  • Bike rides around the beaches. This beautiful 24-mile island can be visited by bike rides; you can get incredible views too!
  • Saltwater fishing. You can enjoy some fresh saltwater fish by fishing on the island!

What to do

There are a lot of activities to do at Siesta Key. Visiting Sarasota city is a wide range of activities! You can enjoy golf courses, botanical gardens, beaches, and whatnot! 

There are also many fishing spots around here; where you can rent boats and fish. You may also visit the farmer’s market. In conclusion, this island packs a lot more than just beaches!

Source: istockphoto

On the other hand, Sanibel Island has a range of things to do as well. You can rent bikes to visit the island around. If collecting seashells is your hobby, Sanibel Island is the perfect place to do that.

Source: worldatlas

You can also visit the Sanibel Historical Village, the east end of the island, and the pioneer cemetery. 


If you’re wondering, what is sanibel island known for? Well, Sanibel Island is known for its shell beaches and wildlife refuges. 

Bowman’s beach is a perfect representation of it. You must also visit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

On the other hand, Siesta Key also has many sightseeing options! Consider going to the Sarasota Charter. It’s a very beautiful place where you can watch the wildlife.

Additionally, you can visit the point rocks. Here, many of the activities (mentioned earlier) are hosted and held. Sunsets at Siesta Key are a sight to watch.


Siesta Key nightlife can be something you may remember your whole life! By dining out at night, you can catch happy hour drinks and special appetizers. 

You can enjoy the night at billiard centers, bowling alleys, etc. The DJs also play music at the beaches and clubs. Remember, the Siesta Key beach is nothing like Bethany or Rehoboth beach. This 8-mile beach turns into an energetic place at night!

The sanibel vs siesta key nightlife is very different! Nightlife at Sanibel Island is much quieter. You can enjoy live music and drinks at some of the resorts. Enjoying drinks at night is also an option because there are bars available on this island. 

To find a more energetic nightlife, you can drive to Fort Myers beach. This beach hosts a nightlife full of fun, music, and melody. It’ll take around 30 minutes to go to the beach. You can enjoy the nightlife there and come back to the island!

Which Is Better Between Siesta Key And Sanibel Island?

From the above discussion, you can get a hint that both these places are astounding. Siesta Key and Sanibel Island both are full of activities, food, and culture.

If you have a good budget and enjoy beaches a lot, choose Siesta Key. When it comes to siesta key beach vs sanibel island, Siesta Key beaches are better! 

Although it is an island, the city and villages are worth visiting. The nightlife here is also more intense than on Sanibel Island.

On the contrary, if you’re looking for a quieter time in nature, consider Sanibel Island. This island also has many shell beaches you can spend your time on. 

A ton of activities are available on this island as well. However, it’ll be a bit more expensive compared to Siesta Key.


Why is Siesta Key sand so soft?

The sand of Siesta Key is soft because it contains 99% quartz. Usually, dry beach sand is not that soft and doesn’t provide good walking experiences. Yet, the Siesta Key sand is super soft and squishy. It is so soft that you might have a tough time walking on it! The sand is basically pure white quartz sand.

Where is the clearest water in Florida?

You can find the clearest water in Florida at the Dry Tortugas National Park. This park has a very large area; almost 100-square miles! In 1992, this park was announced as a national park. It has 7 small and beautiful islands! This park is considered to be one of the best tropical sites in the US!

What is the best month to go to Sanibel Island?

The best month to go to Sanibel Island is between December and April. Visiting Sanibel Island just before winter is the best idea! At that time, there was very little rain and breezy weather. 


This is the end of this article. Now, you have all the necessary information to choose from siesta key vs sanibel island.

Both of these places inherit the weather attributes of Florida. So wherever you go, you’ll feel very good and comfortable!

Have a wonderful time wherever you go!

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