Treasure Island got its name from an early hotel owner who buried and later re-discovered a couple of wooden chests on the beach. News of the "treasure" spread quickly. People began calling the area Treasure Island and the name stuck. Today, the real treasure is the town’s three-plus miles of white sandy Gulf beach. Here, you can swim, go shelling, sunbathe, snorkel, parasail and savor gorgeous sunsets. Beyond the beach, discover shopping, dining, nightlife and unique events.
Treasure Island is home to one of the area’s widest stretch of beach. You’ll have plenty of room to spread out, fly a kite, toss a football or play Frisbee. There are concessions and other amenities, too. It’s easy to find your own private patch of beach here, but if you want a crowd, you can find one at a beach bar such as Sloppy Joe's.
Just south of the public beach, visit Sunset Beach, one of the best-kept secrets of the St. Pete/Clearwater area. At the southern tip of this mile-and-a-half-long peninsula, the vibe is especially serene. The beach gets a little narrower than the rest of the island, and towering pines give some relief from the sun. On the north end of Sunset Beach, rowdy Caddy's and rockin’ Ka'Tiki cater, respectively, to the spring break and blues-loving crowds. Situated between two jetties, Sunset Beach’s southern tip is a GLBT hub.
You’re never limited to fried fish and burgers here. Sloppy Joe’s offers creative Key West-inspired fare, while Middle Grounds Grill features fresh, Gulf-caught fish daily. You’ll find gourmet creations with international flair at The Pearl Restaurant, and Mediterranean falafel – plus pizza and Italian classics – at Britt's Coal Fire Pizza.
If you’re looking to party beach-style, this beach town is among your best choices, home to Gator's Cafe, a three-tiered waterfront sports bar on John’s Pass that hosts some of the area’s best local bands. Further south, you’ll find Duke's, Ricky T's, Sloppy Joe’s and more clustered together for your bar-hopping convenience. Chances are you’ll come across live music in most of these places. Expect classic rock and blues. To the south, find late-night hubs with water views that attract locals and visitors alike.
Shopping options range from retro-styled surf shops to beachy souvenir shops. A couple of higher-end shops offer local art, cigars and more. Just over the bridge to Madeira Beach, John's Pass Village & Boardwalk offers more than 100 shops, from Florida souvenirs and T-shirts to beachy clothing and fine art by local artists.
Every year in November, sand sculptors from around the world come here to compete for the grand prize in the Sand Sculpting Contest. With a little time and some basic tools, they design and build intricate sand sculptures that leave many simply awestruck. The event also include food, art and craft vendors as well as live music. On Sundays, the town hosts an evening drum circle on the beach. The long-standing event has gone on for nearly two decades, attracting bongo players, hula hoopers and other mellow revelers. This is the only community around where you can legally bring your beer (or wine, or mai-tai) out onto the beach.