A history of a very popular beach destination near Sarasota on the Gulf coast of Florida. Reviewing the past century of Siesta Key development in the context of Florida's ancient and recent emergence, this book explains how one small Gulf coast barrier island has become world famous as “#1 Beach in the USA." Beginning with Amerindian settlers, the “First Floridians," all of the seminal pioneers and a steady stream of pivotal leaders are described with emphasis on their families, motivations, and challenges. Both historical triumphs and tragedies are covered to provide a balanced perspective. Lastly, the current and future threats are analyzed in detail, including the environmental controversies with nearby keys, the menace of increasing red tide, and the risks of rising sea levels associated with global warming.