First ... the beach — as perfect as a stretch of sand could be. Whether you curl your toes in it, run your fingers through it or bask on it, the allure of Siesta Key sand is contagious. Beach lovers flock to these silky shores to take advantage of the wide expanse of sand and the tranquil gulf waters. Siesta Key Beach is perfect for strolling, shell collecting, or picking up more active pursuits like renting a catamaran or kayak from one of the many beach concessionaires.
Sarasota County's Siesta Key and Siesta Key Beach keep popping up on the shortlists of prestigious surveys choosing the best places to work and live in America. Here are some praises the area has recently received:
2010 - Siesta Key Beach is the 2nd Best Beach in the Nation.
2009 - Siesta Key Beach is once again the 2nd Best Beach in the Nation.
2008 - Siesta Key Beach is the 3rd Best Beach in the Nation.
Travel Channel's "America's Best Beach 2003"
Here is what the Travel Channel had to say about Siesta Key's Beaches - "Relaxing is easy on Siesta Key; sand soft and white as sugar, brilliant sunshine and azure waters abound. But be prepared — with so much to see and do, it's almost impossible to lie idle on this island!
Sarasota has been named in CityWatch magazine as one of its annual Top 100 Cities in which to live. CityWatch regularly analyzes cities across the country based on a number of statistics and lists them in order of desirability. The magazine's yearly ratings compilation issue came out on stands December 2002.
Expansion Management magazine chose the Sarasota-Bradenton area as the only community in Florida worthy of its Five Star Community ranking. For executives at companies looking to move or expand their businesses, Sarasota-Bradenton scored high for its "Quality of Life Quotient," judging crime levels, housing affordability and availability, education levels, cost of living, employment opportunities, continuing education opportunities and accessibility to air travel. Sarasota schools also received a BLUE RIBBON, the highest rating of any school system in the state.
CNN/Money Magazine choose Sarasota as one of only eight cities for the "Best Places to Retire" in their May 10, 2002 issue. Here is what they said "Lots of sun, activities, and culture. Florida retirement without the "Old folks at home" feel". They went on to say "It had the best of the Florida cliches: warm weather, proximity to water, no state income tax and tons of outdoor activities. Sarasota prides itself on its cultural offerings. There's the opera, symphony, film society, aquarium, classic-car museum and dozens of galleries -- an extraordinary amount of culture for such a small town. There's even a permanent circus, as befits the memory of the late Sarasotan John Ringling of Ringling Bros. fame. (The Ringling Museum of Art, part of Florida State University, is on his former estate.)"
Sarasota made it into the Top 20 on Employment Review’s "Top 20 Best Places to Live and Work" list, published in June 2000, and again in 2001. The editorial staff looks at more than 300 cities comparing population, unemployment rates, cost of living and job opportunities for professionals on the move.
Entrepreneur magazine rated Sarasota-Bradenton the 6th best medium-sized city in the U.S. for small business, and the 8th best place in the south for entrepreneurs.
Money magazine placed Sarasota schools in the Top 100 in the nation as well as naming the Sarasota-Bradenton area as the 21st Best Place to Live in the U.S., and one of the Top 20 Places to Retire.
A New Business Opportunity Index developed by two professors in the College of Business Administration at the University of Texas at El Paso ranks Sarasota 7th among 316 metropolitan areas in the U.S. for a variety of key conditions that positively influence business climate.
Siesta Key and Sarasota County’s Further Distinctions Include:
The Sarasota County region was ranked the number one market in the south for expansions and relocations by Southern Business & Development magazine.
Money magazine included the Sarasota County School District on the list of Top 100 Schools in the U.S.
Entrepreneur magazine placed Sarasota as the 6th best medium-sized city in the U.S.
Entrepreneur magazine also named Sarasota as the 8th Best City in the South (regardless of size).
Sarasota County has been ranked among the country’s best employment generators by DRI/McGraw Hill and the University of Arizona.
PC World and Money magazine named Sarasota as the 23rd best place for telecommuting (working from home).
Time magazine and Money magazine both named Sarasota’s New College as the 2nd Best College Bargain in the Country. New College outranked such schools as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The U.S. Housing Markets "Hotness Index" has ranked Sarasota 20th in the United States.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Sarasota/Bradenton ranked 3rd in the nation in job growth.
The Economist magazine ranked Sarasota 7th best for private sector job growth.
The Kiplinger letter reported a lifestyle study by management consulting firm Runzheimer International, showing "upscale" Sarasota 2% below the U.S. average cost.