A Beach for Every Mood

Whether you’re looking for a lively game of beach volleyball or quiet wildlife viewing, you’ll find the perfect beach in the St. Pete/Clearwater area.

In St. Pete/Clearwater, each sunset over the Gulf of Mexico paints a scene as unique as the beaches that line its shores. The spectrum presents many possibilities for beach getaways near Tampa – from remote islands and laid-back beach towns to scenes saturated with sun-seekers. Which fits your mood?

Note: Beaches are reviewed from north to south.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Vibe: Lively. Honeymoon Island State Park balances undeveloped beaches with amenities, making it one of Florida’s most visited parks.

What to Do: Stop in at the nature center, where you can learn about the history, flora and fauna of the island. Spy shorebirds and St. Joseph Sound from the observation deck.

Caladesi Island State Park

caladesi island

Vibe: Serene and pristine. Caladesi is accessible only by public ferry or private boat. However, there’s a convenient marina and concession near the white sands and maritime hammocks.

What to Do: Drift away from the popular areas. The tip of the island is good for shelling, and on the inland side, you might lock eyes with an osprey.

Clearwater Beach

clearwater beach

Vibe: Social and active. Water sports, sand volleyball and the scenic, winding BeachWalk promenade keep things moving (the pedestrian path passes the ocean, seafood restaurants, surf shops and hotels). These are just a few of the reasons USA Today readers voted to name Clearwater Beach the "Best Beach Town in Florida" in 2013.

What to Do: Sunsets at Pier 60. The nightly event features crafters, buskers and live music at Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach. Read more about what to do in Clearwater Beach.

Sand Key Park

sand key clearwater

Vibe: Beach/park hybrid. Divide your time between splashing in the Gulf along the undeveloped beach and taking advantage of Sand Key Park amenities, including a playground, concession, kayak rentals, trails and a dog park.

What to Do: Keep an eye on the jetties, where surfers sometimes find waves big enough to ride.

Redington Shores

redington shores

Vibe: Fishing party. Sure, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio vacationed on the wide Redington Shores beach once upon a time. But with a nearly-all-hours fishing pier, it's a fine place to spend the evening with friends, a cooler and a rod.

What to Do: Angle for tarpon and snook off the thousand-foot-long pier.

Madeira Beach

madeira beach

Vibe: Classic beach boardwalk. “Mad Beach,” in local-speak, is home to John's Pass Village & Boardwalk, a hoopla of shops, restaurants and water sports outfitters.

What to Do: Get out on the water. From the John’s Pass boardwalk, you can rent a WaveRunner, board a sightseeing cruise or join a fishing charter. Read more about what to do in Madeira Beach.

Treasure Island

treasure island

Vibe: Nostalgic. Mom-and-pop accommodations still rule Treasure Island beach with a reputation among kite-flyers, who gather here many weekends and during a January kite festival.

What to Do: Enjoy sweeping beach views and a cocktail at the Thunderbird Beach Resort bar, or spread out a beach blanket to be nearer to the kite action. Read more about what to do in Treasure Island.

Sunset Beach

sunset beach

Vibe: Backyard party. The mood comes in part because Sunset Beach is separated from the mainland on its own peninsula south of Treasure Island.

What to Do: Choose any establishment in the small cluster of rustic outdoor bars and restaurants for a beer, grouper sandwich and live music just a step from the sand.

St. Pete Beach

st pete beach

Vibe: Urban yet quaint. TripAdvisor's No. 1 Beach Destination in the U.S. (and No. 5 in the world) for 2012 has all the resorts and restaurants you want – wrapped in small-town charm.

What to Do: After the beach, stroll Corey Avenue. St. Pete Beach’s two-lane main street is cozy with eclectic shops and a vintage theater. Read more about what to do in St. Pete Beach.

Pass-a-Grille Beach

pass a grille beach

Vibe: Low-key. You won’t find large crowds or high-rises here (Pass-a-Grille's building height restrictions help retain its Old-Florida flavor).

What to Do: Walk through the Eighth Avenue Historic District to the sea grass-sheltered beach and out to the island’s tip, where the Intracoastal and Gulf surround you with water. Read more about what to do in Pass-a-Grille.

Shell Key Preserve

shell key

Vibe: Castaway island. Shell Key is only accessible by public ferry or private boat and features zero development. You’ll swear you’ve found paradise, but don’t forget the essentials (sunscreen, water and an umbrella, to start).

What to Do: Few visitors venture beyond sight of the ferry drop-off, but you’ll find solitude, doplphins, birds and shells on the other side of the island.

Fort De Soto Park

fort de soto

Vibe: The beach with it all. Choose from paved, paddling and nature trails (rent bikes, kayaks and canoes inside the park). Camp. Fish. Tour the military fort-turned-museum. And stage an epic family picnic beneath a pavilion.

What to Do: Take the kids to North Beach, named America’s best family beach by Parents magazine in 2011. (If dogs are your children, note that Fort De Soto has a beach for them, too.)

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Honeymoon Island State Park

City: Dunedin
Category: Beaches

Address
1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone: 727-469-5942

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Caladesi Island State Park

City: Dunedin
Category: Beaches

Address
1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone: 727-469-5918

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Clearwater Beach

City: Clearwater Beach
Category: Beaches

Address
10 Pier 60 Dr.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Phone: 888-799-3199

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Sand Key Park

City: Clearwater
Category: Beaches

Address
1060 Gulf Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33767

Phone: 727-582-2100

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Redington Shores

City: Redington Shores
Category: Beaches

Address
18200 Gulf Blvd.
Redington Shores, FL 33708

Phone: 727-588-4882
Toll Free: 727-464-3379

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Madeira Beach

City: Madeira Beach
Category: Beaches

Address
14400 Gulf Blvd.
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Phone: 727-549-6165
Toll Free: 727-464-3379

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Treasure Island

City: Treasure Island
Category: Beaches

Address
10400 Gulf Blvd.
Treasure Island, FL 33706

Phone: 727-549-6165
Toll Free: 727-464-3379

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Sunset Beach

City: Treasure Island
Category: Beaches

Address
9000 W. Gulf Blvd
Treasure Island, FL 33706

Phone: 727-547-4575

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St. Pete Beach

City: St. Pete Beach
Category: Beaches

Address
4700 Gulf Blvd.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

Phone: 727-582-2267
Toll Free: 727-464-3379

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Pass-A-Grille Beach

City: Pass-a-Grille
Category: Beaches

Address
1000 Pass-a-Grille Way
Pass-a-Grille, FL 33706

Phone: 727-363-9247

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Shell Key Preserve

City: St. Pete Beach
Category: Parks

Address
Mouth of Tampa Bay
St. Pete Beach, FL 34688

Phone: 727-453-6900

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Fort De Soto Park

City: Tierra Verde
Category: Campgrounds

Address
3500 Pinellas Bayway S.
Tierra Verde, FL 33715

Phone: 727-552-1862

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