Discover the perfect beach in St. Pete/Clearwater for your kind of beach day.
With 35 miles of America’s Best Beaches, the good news is that you can choose a different kind of beach experience in St. Pete/Clearwater every day of your vacation! What do our beaches have in common? They’re all absolutely beautiful.
Every beach lover has a favorite kind of beach - whether that’s a quiet stretch of sand with swaying sea oats or an active beach with volleyball games, watersports and families playing frisbee. No matter what your beach “mood” is - you’ll find the perfect stretch of sand in St. Pete/Clearwater. Check out our list of beachy perfection, arranged north to south. Before you head out, find some tips on how to visit our beaches responsibly. You’ll also want to read this beach parking information.
Note: Beaches are listed from north to south.
1. Honeymoon Island State Park
Beach Vibe: It can get quite lively at Honeymoon Island in the middle of the day, but morning and the golden hour are quiet and serene, particularly if you walk to the northern end of the island, away from the majority of beachgoers.
Insider Tip: The park is open 8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch sunset from this beautiful spot. Just be sure to pack up and head out after the sun sinks below the horizon.
- Outdoor showers
- Concession with food and gift store
- Dog beach
- 2.5 mile hiking trail
- Kayak, bike and surrey bike rentals
- Picnic area
- Elevated, accessible boardwalks to the beach with free beach wheelchairs
- Handicapped-accessible playground
- Nature center
2. Caladesi Island State Park
This perfect little slice of island paradise isn’t connected to the mainland, meaning you can expect a serene and pristine environment, particularly if you head over to the side of the island that’s far from the marina. There is no development on Caladesi Island
- and amenities are limited at this time - so pack what you need for your beach day (and be sure to pack it out, too).
Insider Tips: The park is open 8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year. Catch the ferry from the Dunedin Causeway or rent a kayak to paddle over to the island (bonus: you’ll have the opportunity to explore the island’s mangrove tunnels).
- Parking is available along the Dunedin Causeway
- Ferry service or kayak rental to reach the island
- 108-slip marina
- Hiking trail past pioneer homestead
- Beach wheelchairs available
- Picnic area with tables and grills
- Boat camping is available with a reservation
- Concession for food and gifts
3. Clearwater Beach
Beach Vibe: If Clearwater Beach were a person, they’d be a sunkissed, energetic beach lover who’d never met a stranger. This active, social beach is likely to be full of activity almost anytime you visit - from morning walkers to mid-day beach volleyball games to the Pier 60 sunset celebration each night. With its soft, sugar-white sands and clear blue-green waters, it’s no wonder this beach was named Tripadvisor’s #1 Beach in America in 2019, 2018 and 2016. It was also named the #6 Beach in the World in 2019.
Insider Tips: See our parking tips here to ensure your spot in the sand, or arrive early in the day for easiest access to parking. Plan to enjoy the Pier 60 sunset celebration at least once during your visit - with artisans and entertainers (not to mention amazing sunsets), it’s a fan fave.
- Fishing pier
- Concessions (food, beach chairs, umbrellas)
- Restaurants nearby (walk up right off the beach to Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill and Palm Pavilion)
- Nightly sunset celebration at Pier 60 on the beach
- Sand volleyball
- Outdoors showers
- Beach wheelchairs available at main lifeguard tower next to Pier 60 parking lot
4. Sand Key Park
Just south of busy Clearwater Beach, Sand Key Park
is its very pretty but quieter cousin. Head to the north side of this 95-acre park for a gorgeous view of Clearwater Pass and plenty of undeveloped beachfront. If it’s a windy day, keep an eye on the jetties, where surfers sometimes find waves big enough to ride.
Insider Tip: After enjoying a few hours of beach bliss, visit the “park” part of Sand Key Park with its nature trail, picnic area, playground and dog park.
- Beach wheelchairs
- Dog park
- Picnic shelters and grills
- Umbrella, cabana, kayak and bike rentals
- Outdoor showers
5. Redington Shores
Beach Vibe: Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio vacationed on these sands once-upon-a-simpler-time. So, pull out your favorite retro swimsuit or New York Yankees cap and spend the day on this tiny 3.5 acre beach with a distinctly local vibe.
Insider Tip: Find boat rentals, shops and restaurants nearby, or visit the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary to learn about local wildlife.
- Outdoor showers
6. Madeira Beach
Nicknamed “Mad Beach,” Madeira Beach
can best be summed up as “old Florida beach town,” largely because of the influence of rustic landmark Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk, just across from the beach. If you want to be sure of parking, choose Archibald Memorial Beach Park or John’s Pass Park (both have nice amenities, too). Or try your luck at public beach access points all along Gulf Boulevard from 130th Avenue to 155th Avenue (just be aware that there will be no amenities, such as restrooms, here).
Insider Tip: Spend the morning at the beach, then head over to John’s Pass for a fresh seafood lunch. You can rent a Waverunner here or book a fishing trip, too. To end the day perfectly, take a sunset cruise from the marina.
- Outdoor showers
- Covered picnic areas
- Food concessions
- Beach chair and umbrella rentals
7. Treasure Island
Beach Vibe: Treasure Island still has some mom-and-pop accommodations in the mid-century modern style, making this a nostalgic and fun beach stop. The area known by locals as “mid-island” offers a very wide, white-sand beach - and just off the beach, visitors will find plenty of hotels, condos and conveniences such as restaurants and shops. North of the “mid-island” section, the area known as Sunshine Beach offers pretty dunes and beach walkovers.
Insider Tip: To find a beach access point, look for the bright blue and orange seagull signs (the signage also indicates whether handicapped access and other amenities are available).
- Restrooms and outdoor showers are available at some locations
- ADA beach access “Mobi-mat” is available at Gulf Front Park
- Beach chair and umbrella rental available at Gulf Front Park
- Free reservation and pick up of beach wheelchairs available through Bilmar Beach Resort
8. Sunset Beach
Beach Vibe: There’s a bit of a backyard party vibe going here - meaning that this beach is small-scale and friendly. After some sunshine and a swim, mingle with the locals and enjoy a grouper sandwich and a cold beer at one of several outdoor bars and restaurants nearby.
Insider Tip: Walk the half-mile boardwalk at the end of the island where the Gulf meets Blind Pass to see boats go by and fishermen try their luck.
- Shaded pavilion with vending machines
- Outdoor Showers
9. St. Pete Beach
Think of St. Pete Beach
as a small-town girl who grew up and went to the city - urban, yet also quaint. Here, the bustling beachfront offers a mix of mom-n-pop businesses and more “glam” beachfront resorts. The beauty of its soft sands and emerald-green waters can’t be denied - resulting in St. Pete Beach being named Tripadvisor’s #2 Beach in the U.S. in 2020 (and #16 in the world!). Choose Upham Beach with its dunes, volleyball nets and jetty at Blind Pass, or the public access at 4700 Gulf Blvd., with its larger parking capacity.
Your beach day fun doesn’t have to end when you’ve had enough sun - St. Pete Beach offers several open-air beach bars - such as Jimmy B’s
, PCI Beach Bar
- where you can relax and enjoy libations with your friends.
- Outdoor showers
- Beach volleyball nets
10. Pass-a-Grille Beach
This sleepy little beach community with no highrises and some colorful, historic Cracker cottages remaining is what some might call “Old Florida” - and its small, dune-lined beachfront has a similarly laid-back, peaceful feeling. Weekdays in off-season, you might have a nice stretch of sand all to yourself - but Pass-a-Grille
never gets too crowded since on-street parking limits capacity here.
Come for a morning cup of coffee at Paradise Grille
, right on the sand - and return at the end of the day for a memorable sunset. You could also choose to watch the sunset from a stellar perch: the rooftop bar at the landmark Hurricane restaurant.
- On-street, metered parking
- Bathrooms and beach wheelchairs at Paradise Grille
11. Shell Key Preserve
Early mornings, particularly weekdays, you can revel in a castaway island feel - but expect a party-like mood on weekends in certain spots along Shell Key Preserve
, when many boats anchor nearby. It's one of the top spots in the area to go shelling (hence the name). Access the island by public ferry, rent a boat or kayak/canoe your way there. Beach camping is allowed here overnight. Be mindful of the bird sanctuary that covers a large swath of the island.
Insider Tip: Be aware that there are no facilities of any kind here - so bring all the essentials and remember to leave only your footprints behind.
12. Fort De Soto Park
This is beach nirvana - the kind of place beach vacations were meant to be. Not only is the water at Fort De Soto Park
calm, warm and emerald-green, but the sands are soft and white, and the beach seems to go on forever. At low tide, check out the impressive sand bar at North Beach #1 to find shells and sand dollars. You can also rent bicycles, surrey bikes or kayaks to explore the park and nearby waters.
Insider Tip: If you’re visiting with kids, stop by the pirate-themed playground. Also, be sure to take them inside the spooky-cool chambers of the fort structure (tell them to call out or sing a song to hear the impressive echo effect).
- Boat ramps
- Historic fort and Quartermaster Museum
- Dog beach
- Picnic shelters
- Outdoor showers
- Two fishing piers
- Ferry service to Egmont and Shell Keys
- Paved and unpaved trails
- Beach wheelchairs available (ask at entrance to the park)