Snorkeling at Point of Rocks on Siesta Key

By Vanessa Caceres

It’s a clear day with a brilliant blue sky. The turquoise waters of Siesta Key await, so you walk along toward the water on the beach’s white quartz sand, put on your snorkel mask and slip on some fins once you’re in the water. 

You start to swim and put your head under water to see what awaits—and that’s when the adventure begins. There’s some colorful coral along with snapper and tiny crabs. It’s a relaxing part of your Sarasota, Florida vacation. 

That’s exactly what you can experience when you go snorkeling at Point of Rocks on Siesta Key.

The waters on Siesta Key are always beautiful, but one spot in particular attracts beginner and seasoned snorkelers to return again and again.

The area is called Point of Rocks because it has limestone rocks below the surface as well as rocks on an area of land that jettisons out into the water. Point of Rocks is located on one end of Crescent Beach on Siesta Key. The water is calm and usually remains just a couple of feet deep. Visibility ranges from six feet to much more, depending on daily water conditions.

Naturally, the attraction of Point of Rocks is your underwater show. The rocks have interesting plants, algae, coral, and shells growing on them, and you can see a multitude of fish, crabs, and even small sharks. Snook, snapper, sheepshead, and nurse sharks are just some of the local fish and marine life observe. Many also spot dolphins and manatee nearby. The experience can make you feel like you’re on an exclusive tropical snorkeling trip on a private island when really, all you need is an inexpensive snorkeling set, and you’re just steps away from civilization.

Tps for snorkeling at Point of Rocks near Crescent Beach in Siesta Key, Florida.
Shutterstock photo

Tips for Snorkeling at Point of Rocks at Crescent Beach on Siesta Key

There are a few pointers to follow to get the most out of your snorkeling experience at Point of Rocks:

  • Arrive early if you are coming by car. Vehicle access to Point of Rocks is at Beach Access 12, which only has about 20 parking spaces. (The main Siesta Key beach area is about a 5-minute car ride away.) The spots get filled up quickly, so best to start earlier in the day to get a spot. You’ll walk about 10 minutes from the parking area to Point of Rocks, veering toward the left once you reach the beach.

If you are staying nearby and walking, you can access Point of Rocks from Beach Access  13. Also, the Siesta Key Trolley can drop you off nearby.

  • Take advantage of warmer temperatures. Experts recommend snorkeling at Point of Rocks between June and September to get the warmest water. That said, spring and fall also can be suitable, as the average water temperature at Pone of Rocks during those seasons is about 72 F. In the winter, you’ll need a wetsuit.
  • Pack lightly. Unless you are staying somewhere near Point of Rocks, you’ll need to walk a distance to get there. Additionally, the beach area gets smaller the closer you get to Point of Rocks. Bring only the minimum of what you need.
  • Wear swim shoes, especially if you don’t have fins. The water has a lot of crushed shells and smaller rocks that you may be stepping on.
  • Check out local tides. Low tide is the best time to visit and see the most. Visibility may vary from day to day as well.
  • Bring a diver flag if you plan to venture out a little farther. That’s because kayakers, boaters, and stand-up paddleboarders also share the waters near Point of Rocks. If you go anywhere but close to shore, you’ll want to alert them to your presence.
  • Return later in the day for a beautiful sunset view. You’ll get some perfect pics after your snorkeling adventure.

More things to do on vacation in Sarasota, Florida

Tips for snorkeling at Point of Rocks near Crescent Beach in Siesta Key, Florida. Must Do Visitor Guides |

Written by: Vanessa Caceres | Author Website

Vanessa Caceres is a Bradenton-based travel, food, and health freelance writer, specializing in writing about Florida. She regularly writes about Florida food and travel for Visit Florida, Edible Sarasota, Forward Florida, and other media outlets. Her work has appeared on the Today Show website, The Huffington Post, USAToday's GoEscape, and other venues.