Florida Snapshots: Point of Rocks, Siesta Key

This unique rock formation is a favorite with snorkelers and beachcombers


Siesta Key is famous for it’s powder-fine white sand beaches. But there’s another, lesser-known feature of this Gulf barrier island that attracts locals and vacationers alike. Just south of popular Crescent Beach, a series of limestone ledges known as Point of Rocks provides one of the only beachside snorkeling sites on Florida’s west coast.

Unlike the featureless sand bottoms swimmers find when wading off most Gulf beaches, these submerged rocks provide habitat for corals, sponges, and a variety of fish, crustaceans and possibly even a pod of dolphin. Depths are shallow, making this an ideal location for youngsters and novices, but it’s best to check the weather before packing the gear, as the water becomes cloudy when wind and waves are up.

The rocks are more secluded than the beaches to the north and south, as there is no direct access from shore. Getting there will involve a walk of several hundred yards from beachfront hotels, or from a small public parking area. Shell collectors also enjoy this area, which has yielded many rare and colorful specimens. Late afternoon is also a great time to plan a stroll to the rocks, as there is a good chance you will have sunset views all to yourself.