While everyone likes the beach, not everyone like to sit and bake in the sun for a week straight while on vacation.
Fortunately, there are plenty of day trips near Siesta Key that get you off the island to keep the active travelers happy. From wine to natural springs to a kid-friendly wildlife habitat, we have you covered for things to do on your Siesta Key vacation.
Below are some of the best Siesta Key day trips to embark on during your next family trip – we guarantee there’s something for everyone.
About an hour outside of Siesta Key lies Solomon’s Castle, a home-turned-museum created by internationally renowned artist and sculptor Howard Solomon.
Take a guided tour of his quirky palace, walking through galleries of stain glass windows and truly strange architecture and Solomon’s humor littered throughout it. You and your group is sure to smile and laugh a plenty during this tour, where every piece of art has a story behind it.
Be sure to grab a bite to eat at the Boat-in-a-Moat Restaurant, which allows you to, as expected, eat on a ship in the castle’s moat.
The menu includes options for the kids, a variety of sandwiches, homemade hot dishes like meatloaf, chili, pot roast and lasagna, salads, and satisfying desserts including malted milkshakes, floats, key lime pie, walnut pie and more.
Florida might not be known for its wine, but it does produce it – and it’s tasty, too.
The city of Parrish, FL, is a short 40-minute drive from Siesta Key and makes for the perfect adult-only day trip from the island. Visit the Bunkerhill Vineyard, one of the region’s best wine producers. Here, you can sample wines – everything from semi-sweet, to fruity, to dry – and enjoy the beautiful views of the sun setting over the vineyard.
Warm Mineral Springs
This Fountain of Youth is a hot spring bubbling with minerals that you can visit for a mere $20. One dip in the spring and you live forever, right? Well, not quite.
But the 30,000-year-old sinkhole has one of the highest mineral contents in the United States. These minerals help improve circulation in the body, strengthen skin, relieve pain, and promote sleep, among other benefits.
The spring is about 87 degrees, and is owned by the city of North Port, that is working to both share and preserve this national resource. It has now been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Big Cat Habitat
If the wine tour is for the adults, then the Big Cat Habitat is one for the kids. The Big Cat Habitat is a sanctuary for animals big and small, with a special focus on large cats and other large mammals.
Visit with the more than 150 animals that call the habitat their home, while learning about habitat conservation and respect for earth’s species. Watch lions, tigers, bears and other animals play, eat, and swim in their habitats.
Located just outside of Sarasota, an approximately 20-drive from Siesta Key, the Big Cat Habitat is one of the best Siesta Key day trips to do with kids.
Gamble Plantation State Park
The only surviving plantation home in South Florida lies in Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, making this one of the most historically significant sites in the area.
At Gamble Plantation, a Siesta Key day trip can turn into a voyage back in time in the Gamble Family’s history, who made their fortune through the sugar trade and slavery. Imagine what it would be like to sit in a rocker on a wraparound porch and ring the supper bell.
The visitor center is open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and guided tours of the house are offered multiple times a day. Benches and picnic tables are available on the grounds.
These are just a few different things to do on your Siesta Key vacation that can spice up your traditional beach vacation. Before you head out, use Google Maps to find a scenic route to your destination, or look up a good place to eat nearby. Make a day of it so you get the most out of your road trip before heading back to our Siesta Key hotel.