All things Siesta Key. Stories, news, and event information about Sarasota, Florida's beautiful beach.
Getting Around Sarasota and Siesta Key: Do I need a car?
Depending on your sight-seeing plans, perhaps not. There are plenty of options, some free or tip-only, some more costly but super-convenient for getting you around the Siesta Key and Sarasota area. From outdoor adventures to art museums, great local food and drinks to serene sandy beaches, there’s always something to see and do. Getting from one activity to another doesn’t need to be a challenge. The experts at Best Western Siesta Key recommend mixing and matching some of these getting around options to make the most of your time in the Siesta Key and Sarasota area on your next vacation.
Staying on Siesta Key
If you’re staying on Siesta Key and just want to get around the island, you can do so with very little expense. There are several free rides that simply accept tips for service. For the fitness-inclined, consider renting bicycles during your stay!
- The Breeze Trolley: Fun and unique, this well-known mode of transportation makes regular stops along Siesta Key, servicing Siesta Key Village, South Village and Turtle Beach. The Breeze Trolley stops every 20-30 minutes and runs from 8 am until midnight.
- Jonny’s Original Free Ride: Connecting the island from 10 am until 2 am, Jonny’s is our fun, reliable and free transport. Give them a call 20-30 minutes before you need them and be sure to ask your driver for tips on the best food, drinks and sights on the island! 941.928.9200
- Siesta Key Free Ride: Let your ride be an adventure in itself when you take Siesta Key Free Ride, the 6-seater electric car that operates on tips alone from 10 am until 2 am. Eco-friendly and open-air, these purpose-built carts help keep our beaches safe and clean. Call to reserve your pick-up time: 941.952.8294
- Siesta Key Frog Hop: With brightly-colored vehicles and knowledgeable, friendly drivers, this unique service is also tip-only and requires a call-ahead for pick up or reservations. Running from 9 am until 1 am, they can also be rented ahead for special occasions. 844.376.4467
- SurfSide Free Rides: These distinctive, Caribbean-themed beach vehicles are happy to service Siesta Key for tips-only. Call ahead to reserve your beach-ready ride! 941.961.8328
- Sun Ride PediCab: For the price of a tip, you can keep your vacay eco-friendly with these pedal-powered rickshaws for two. For a more thorough tour of historic Siesta Key landmarks, reserve a one-hour tour for $50 and see the sights, hear the legends and enjoy this majestic island. 941.343.3400
- Bike Rentals: While Siesta Key and Sarasota do not yet have a public bike-sharing program, there are several bike shops in the area that will rent their bicycles by the hour, day or week for reasonable prices. Rent from local shops like Siesta Key Bike & Kayak or Siesta Sports Rentals and traverse this seven-mile barrier island at your leisure, on your own schedule.
Venturing Out to Sarasota
While Siesta Key remains a quaint Gulf Island full of sun, sand, shopping, and dining, Sarasota has plenty to offer as well. Many of the amazing sites, including museums, gardens, and other particular tourist spots are spread out and may require heftier transportation to visit some of these sites. For travel to and from local airports, and throughout Sarasota, we recommend one of the following forms of transportation:
- Uber: If you only need a ride to and from the airport or into Sarasota once in a while, Uber services are an excellent option. Use their smartphone app and pay with your credit or debit card online.
- Lyft: Similar to Uber, this service functions throughout Sarasota and Siesta Key, making trips onto the mainland or to and from airports simple and straightforward. Download the app for more details.
- Car Rentals: Many car rental services can be found at the Sarasota airport and throughout Sarasota. Many companies will allow you to pick up your vehicle at one location and return it to another location. Plan to spend approximately $20/day for a rental vehicle. This is an excellent option for staying independent and flexible in your plans.
- SCAT Bus System: The Sarasota County bus system is a great way to traverse the entire county for a small fee. Pay cash for a one-way ticket ($1.25) or buy a one-day, seven-day or thirty-day pass for $4-$60 each. With stops near major attractions like the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Lido Beach, and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, not to mention the heart of downtown Sarasota, it’s important to note that the busses usually do not run on Sundays and offer limited evening schedules Monday-Saturday.
As you plan your vacation to Siesta Key and Sarasota, consider your plans and find the most affordable, effective transportation that will suit your needs while you’re here. There are many great ways to explore this incredible area, and choosing more than one may just give you the flexibility to see and do everything you want to on your visit to paradise. Talk to the professionals at Best Western Siesta Key about your specific plans and the best way to get everywhere you want to go while you’re here!