Beaches

Let's Go! This Way to Beautiful Beaches

It's all right here: all the reasons you should come explore the beaches of St. Pete/Clearwater. We've hand-curated info about 12 of our best beaches so you can craft your very own vacation in paradise. Scroll to find out about St. Pete Beach's powdery white sand, or why Clearwater Beach is consistently awarded top marks by TripAdvisor.

Learn about the Old Florida vibe you'll find on Treasure Island or Pass-A-Grille, or just how family-friendly Fort De Soto really is. Craving an island getaway? There’s no place quite like Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island, completely undeveloped Florida beaches where you’re guaranteed a blissful break. With so many direct flight options and an easy drive from Orlando, your ultimate, relaxing Florida vacation is here on the Gulf Coast.

Pick your paradise now from all the beaches below!

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Honeymoon Island State Park

This undeveloped 385-acre barrier island off Dunedin has four miles of sandy beaches, hiking trails and bird-watching opportunities along the Osprey Trail. Upon arriving, visit the Rotary Centennial Nature Center to learn about the island. Swim, hike, bike, kayak, or simply relax.

Top Tip: Honeymoon Island boasts one of the prettiest dog beaches around!

Discover Honeymoon Island State Park

Don’t Miss: Enjoy outdoor activities along this serene, undeveloped beach like shelling, kayaking in St. Joseph’s Sound, and playing with Fido on the popular dog beach.

Don't Miss: Hiking along the long stretch of beaches. 

Don’t Miss: Part of the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail, Honeymoon Island is perfect for taking in nature. Keep an eye out for osprey nests and shorebirds.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi landed on Dr. Beach's Top 10 Beaches of 2016 and was voted No. 6 Best Beach in Florida by USA Today in 2015. The island is accessible only by boat—ride the ferry from Honeymoon Island, or rent a kayak and tour the mangrove trails. Natural beauty meets modern amenities with an on-site concession, showers and changing rooms. 

Top Tip: Bring beach chairs and a cooler, or rent a beachside cabana.

Discover Caladesi Island State park

Don’t Miss: The unspoiled sandy beach with views of the Gulf of Mexico. Get a taste in our Caladesi Island video.

Don’t Miss: This uninhabited barrier island—only accessible by ferry—is a perfect spot for camping on the beach, and features amenities like a café, rental shop, showers, bathrooms and grills.

Don’t Miss: The four-mile-long kayaking trail through mangroves; exit the trail and finish your journey kayaking through the Gulf.

Caladesi Island State Park

Clearwater Beach

Fun-loving Clearwater Beach was voted the No. 1 beach in America in 2016 and No. 20 in the world in 2016 by TripAdvisor. Wide sugar-sand beaches and emerald-clear surf dotted with dolphins make this an active beach scene. Soak in the sun, then dust off the sand and enjoy all this city-beach has to offer from downtown Beach Walk's shops, to waterfront restaurants like Frenchy's, and rooftop bars including Jimmy's Crow's Nest. 

Discover Clearwater Beach

Don't Miss: Burying your toes in the soft, sugary white sand that somehow doesn’t seem to get hot.

Don't Miss: Sunsets at Pier 60, a nightly gathering at this walkable entertainment area filled with crafters, buskers and live music. Stroll the pier while watching the sun sink into the Gulf.

Don't Miss: Staying right on the beach in one of the brand-new resorts like Opal Sands or Wyndham Grand.

Don't Miss: A particularly famous dolphin: Winter, the star of Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Cruising Clearwater Beach

Sand Key

If you prefer solitude with spectacular gulf views, quiet and romantic Sand Key Park is just a bridge away from the lively Clearwater Beach. Pack a picnic and set up camp at the tables on the north side of the island, or grab a fishing pole and kick back at this 95-acre county park with its wide beach, picnic pavilions and bathhouses. Explore the trails and boardwalk that winds through a salt marsh, and after a storm, collect shells along the shore.

Top Tip: It’s super-easy to drive and park at this beach, with nearly 700 spaces and a daily parking fee of only $5.

Discover Sand Key Park

Don't Miss: Snapping a selfie at this pristine paradise to make your friends jealous (and think you were on a secluded island).

Don't Miss: Enjoy the long walk up the beach, then reward yourself with a sunset cocktail at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort.

Don't Miss: Come for the white-sand beach, stay and explore the county park, featuring a dog-friendly area and kid-friendly playground.

Belleair Beach

Your stress will be gone with the wind when you chill out with the locals and condo vacationers along quiet Belleair Beach. Find a spot on 4,500 feet of secluded shoreline dotted with the area’s most lavish mansions and settle in for a reverie of sun, sand and seagulls. Parking spots can be nabbed at the beach access points with trails leading through the dunes to the beaches of this low-key gulf-front community.

Top Tip: Bring snacks and water: there are no public facilities or commercial establishments on this stretch of beach.

Discover Belleair Beach

Don't Miss: Relaxing on the beach away from the hustle and bustle. No crowds, no active sports…just peace and quiet.

Don't Miss: Approach the beach by boat and dock at the 7th Street Park Boat Ramp and the Municipal Marina across the street from the beach.

Indian Shores & Indian Rocks Beach

Time for a nostalgic taste of Old Florida along this narrow barrier island. Some 20 beach access points lead to the picture-perfect beach. When hunger and thirst strike, you’ll find lots of options. The flip-flop crowd makes a beeline to Lulu’s Oyster Bar and Tap House, while Guppy's on the Beach Grill & Bar serves al fresco seafood and cool drinks. 

Top Tip: Come early to grab a parking spot at Indian Rocks public beach.

Discover Indian Shores & Indian Rocks Beach

Don't Miss: A long, well-deserved vacation in one of the many vacation rentals—the condo community here makes this beach a relaxing retreat.

Don't Miss: Kids (and kids at heart) should stop by Splash Harbour Water Park for a fun day of slides, tubing, and mini-golf.

Don’t Miss: Discover the tiny Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, home to injured pelicans, birds of prey and other shorebirds. 

North Redington Beach & Redington Shores

Brilliant white sand and sparking blue water attract many vacationers to Gulf Boulevard. You're bound to find a peaceful stretch of sand among the three small communities of Redington Shores, North Redington Beach and Redington Beach. Take a stroll at sunset or cast a line along the 1,200-foot-long fishing pier, where local anglers hook tarpon and snook (rentals and bait are available).

Discover Redington Beaches

Don’t Miss: Sunbathing on the wide, white-sand beach.

Madeira Beach

Head to “Mad Beach” where Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk is buzzing with more than 100 shops and restaurants in a Old Florida-style waterfront atmosphere. Take the Tom Stuart Causeway, an impressive bridge with great views, to this bustling beach. Explore the surf shops and art galleries, then enjoy fresh seafood along the boardwalk at the Friendly Fisherman or Sculley’s.

Top Tip: The annual John’s Pass Seafood & Music Festival is a family-friendly event featuring music, arts and crafts, and, of course, some of the best seafood in St. Pete/Clearwater.

Discover Madeira Beach

Don’t Miss: Take to the water from Hubbard’s Marina for their Dolphin Watch tour, a sunset cruise, or a charter boat excursion.

Don’t Miss: Shopping for souvenirs and people watching along John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk.

Don’t Miss: John’s Pass Seafood Festival, a four-day celebration of seafood, music and more every October.

John's Pass Pirate Days

Treasure Island

Three miles of sparkling sand lines the gulf with an array of lodging, from luxury resorts to kitschy hotels and small inns. Hang out at the surrounding popular beach bars, and for live music and dancing on the weekend, head over to Gators Café and Saloon at John’s Pass. Dance to the bongos at a Sunday night drum circle an hour before sunset.

Discover Treasure Island

Don’t Miss: This wide beach boasts dozens of volleyball courts and a mile-long beach walk that runs parallel to the beachfront.

Don’t Miss: This beach is Florida’s “sand sculpture capital”—you’ll see why at the Sanding Ovations Masters Cup Sand Sculpture Competition every fall.

Don’t Miss: Your beach vacay done right at Treasure Island Beach Resort. Luxurious and modern, every room on this property has a view of the gulf waters.

St. Pete Beach

With miles of beaches, surf shops and boutiques, along with a vast array of lodging, dining and water sports for all ages, it's easy to see why St. Pete Beach was voted TripAdvisor’s No. 4 Beach in the U.S. in 2016. From The Don CeSar, to the family-friendly TradeWinds Island Resorts and dozens of hotels and small inns, there’s a place for all tastes and budgets. Try Jimmy B’s, the Undertow and Harry’s for a cocktail, or try one of the area's rooftop lounges for 360-degree views.

An added bonus: if you feel the need for some culture and an urban vibe, fun-filled downtown St. Petersburg is just 20 minutes away.

Discover St. Pete Beach

Don’t Miss: The calm waters here make for great SUPing. Rent one from Postcard Inn on the Beach.

Don’t Miss: Places to stay that span five-star luxury (The Don CeSar), hip and happening (Kimpton Hotel Zamora) and family friendly (TradeWinds Island Resort). Looking for a high-adrenaline experience? Try JetLeving at TradeWinds.

Don’t Miss: Rather, can’t miss—all the beach bars that dot this lively beach. Try a tipple at PCI Beach Bar, The Swigwam, or the Undertow.

St. Pete Beach Sunset from the TradeWinds Resort

Pass-A-Grille Beach

Pass-a-Grille is the epitome of old Florida charm. Voted one of the Top 5 beaches in Florida by USA Today in 2015, it's widely considered a “locals’ beach,” so you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to live here with a visit to PAG. The beach stretches four miles of natural shoreline, along with tasty eateries like Paradise Grille and the Hurricane Restaurant (try the grouper sandwich). Reel in fish from Merry Pier (rod rentals available), or browse the shops and galleries along the Eighth Avenue Historic District.

Discover Pass-a-Grille Beach

Don’t Miss: Spectacular sunset views (and grouper sandwiches) at Hurricane Seafood Restaurant.

Don’t Miss: Living like a local—this community is high-rise free and overflows with charm (some streets are even lined with tiki lights).

Shell Key, Fort De Soto Park & Egmont Key

This popular 1,136-acre county park stretches over five islands. Take in the natural scenes at Fort De Soto Park, with sights of the impressive Sunshine Skyway Bridge from the east end of the island. There are numerous beaches across the islands with shallow surf, picnic areas, a seven-mile paved trail, historic fort and a fishing pier. Fuel your adventure at the on-site concession before renting a kayak or bike.

Top Tip: Let the kids explore the awesomely spooky remains of the 19th century fort, then catch the ferry to Egmont Key for a chance to do some snorkeling.

Discover Shell Key, Egmont Key & Fort De Soto

Don’t Miss: A day of outdoor fun biking the Fort De Soto Park trails, kayaking the mangroves and exploring the old historic fort and Fort De Soto Batteries.

Don’t Miss: Egmont Key is the perfect location to go snorkelling—see why in our video.

Don’t Miss: There’s a reason Shell Key got its name—this is one of the best spots in Florida for shelling.

Explore Fort De Soto Park

Unforgettable Beach Experiences

Beach, Bay & River Kayaking

Beach, Bay & River Kayaking

Clear waters, wonderful natural beauty and… what are you waiting for? Grab a kayak and chart your course for the ultimate on-the-water experience. Discover the exotic mangrove trails of Caladesi Island, cruise the coastline along our beaches, lose yourself for the day in the intracoastal waterways or cast a line closer to the fish.

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Horseback Riding on the Beach

Horseback Riding on the Beach

Ride along the shore, wade into Tampa Bay’s emerald waters, gaze at the city skyline beyond and enjoy an unforgettable experience horseback riding on the beach.

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Camp Paradise

Camp Paradise

The beach camping scene here is pure paradise. One beach to get your fire going is Anclote Key Preserve, a barrier island brimming with tropical beauty you have to see to believe. Its 400 acres of sandy beaches, 43 species of birds and an 1887 lighthouse beckon exploration and, even better, an overnight stay under the stars. 

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