Guide to Accessible Beaches in St. Pete/Clearwater

The award-winning beaches of St. Pete/Clearwater are places every visitor will want to enjoy. Read our guide to beach accessibility for visitors who use wheelchairs or have mobility challenges.

two women in white t-shirts and jeans accommodate two young girls in wheelchairs on a beach access mat in Indian Rock Beach, blue umbrellas are in front of them on the sand

Indian Rocks Beach offers a Mobi-Mat about halfway to the water.

Expert Advice on Beach Access for People Who Use Wheelchairs

This article came together with the help of Beth Stombaugh, who has been a manual wheelchair user all her life. In spring of 2022, Beth visited public beaches in St. Pete/Clearwater to provide first-hand insight on accessibility. A resident of Gulfport, Florida, Beth is an avid wildlife photographer, sings in St. Pete's One City Chorus, and is an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. Before retiring, Beth was a special education teacher in Ohio for 24 years.

About Beach Wheelchairs

Manual beach wheelchairs require a companion to push them. It's ok to take a manual beach wheelchair into shallow water, but don't go in deep water with them: They aren’t suitable as flotation devices because they tend to tip or roll. Beach wheelchairs are available for free at many local beaches, but if you would like to rent one to use during your vacation, contact All Season Beach Stuff Rentals, 727-557-6902.

You can rent a power beach wheelchair from Sand Helper, 727-213-5700, to get around independently on the beach in locations from Clearwater all the way south to Tierra Verde. However, you can't take it in the water. Sand Helper will deliver to your hotel, home or condo.


 

Top Picks for Accessible Beaches in St. Pete/Clearwater

When we asked Beth for her top three picks for wheelchair-accessible beaches in St. Pete/Clearwater, she had to think hard. We have so many beautiful beaches! Here are her recommendations.
Sunset at Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach

Celebrate sunset at Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater Beach

Besides its gorgeous white sands and emerald-green waters, Clearwater Beach is one of Beth’s top picks for accessibility because it’s the only beach in St. Pete/Clearwater that offers power beach wheelchairs, which can make exploring a lot easier. 

She also loves Clearwater Beach because, she says, “Pier 60 is easily accessible and fun, and it’s a good way to see the Gulf and sunsets, and also to shop at booths, starting in the late afternoon. You can see pelicans, egrets, other shorebirds and many times, dolphins from the pier.” 

Beth cautions that finding accessible parking here can be difficult because Clearwater Beach is so popular – so your best bet is to come early. Here's additional information about beach accessibility at Clearwater Beach:

  • Location: There are many access points and parking lot locations, but Beth parked near Pier 60 (Lot 31), southwest of the roundabout, beachside.
  • Parking: Pier 60’s public parking lots fill up quickly, so as noted above, it’s best to come early. Public lots are paved. Other private parking lots are available, but can be expensive, and they’re further from the beach.
  • Ramp and beach access: There is ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, and from the sidewalk to the beach access points. Concrete sidewalks lead to the beach. 
  • Beach wheelchairs: Four manual beach wheelchairs and three power beach wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The wheelchairs are available at Beach Lifeguard Station #0 (if you cannot get to the station in the sand, call 727-462-6963). The lifeguard station is officially staffed from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week, but there may be someone available to assist you as early as 9 a.m. Note that you’ll need to return the wheelchair before the lifeguard station closes. If you would like to use a power wheelchair, it's wise to call ahead to ask about availability, as they are sometimes out for maintenance. Power wheelchairs cannot go into the water.
  • Bathrooms: There are ADA compliant bathrooms. 
the curving coastline of Gulfport Beach on Boca Ciega Bay with a fishing pier in the background

Gulfport Beach on Boca Ciega Bay is a tranquil spot across from restaurants and shops. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Gulfport Beach

Gulfport, Beth’s hometown, is most definitely worth a visit for its funky and free-spirited vibe – but it also has a small-but-lovely bayside beach with easy access, making it one of her top picks. “I love Gulfport Beach because there are lots of dolphin and bird sightings, nice accessible bathrooms and shaded picnic shelters – and it’s an easy roll or walk to quite a few accessible shops and restaurants, Williams Pier and Veteran’s Park.”

Here is some additional information about beach accessibility at Gulfport Beach on Boca Ciega Bay:

  • Location: 5500 to 5800 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707
  • Parking: Four accessible parking spots with stripes are available on either side of the bathroom.
  • Ramp and beach access: There is no ramp, but it’s flat access from the sidewalk to a Mobi-Mat on the beach (the mat goes close to the bay, but not in the water). There are also five covered picnic pavilions near the bay, accessible from the sidewalk via cement paths.
  • Beach wheelchairs: There are no beach wheelchairs at Gulfport Beach.
  • Bathrooms: There are two bathrooms. Each has one ADA compliant stall with ample room to turn around in a wheelchair. Beth notes that the outside door to enter the bathroom is heavy. 
     
a bright yellow beach wheelchair that is styled like a lounge chair

Two types of beach wheelchairs are available at Paradise Grille on Pass-a-Grille Beach. This one is styled more like a lounge chair. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Pass-a-Grille Beach

The tiny town of Pass-a-Grille Beach offers amazing sunsets, beautiful dunes with sea oats, and a quieter atmosphere than some of the bigger beach hotspots.

Beth enjoys Pass-a-Grille for many reasons, “It has accessible sidewalks with tables and umbrellas practically on the beach, it offers live music – and it has great shelling.”

Even better: You'll have longer access to beach wheelchairs here than at most beaches, because they are managed by Paradise Grille staff rather than at lifeguard stations (lifeguards typically leave at 5 p.m.). 

Beth also notes that Pass-a-Grille Beach is an easy roll or walk to several shops and restaurants – and it’s only about a quarter mile to the accessible Merry Pier on the bayside.

Here's some additional information about beach accessibility at Pass-a-Grille Beach:

  • Location: 900 Gulf Way, Pass-a-Grille Beach, FL 33706
  • Parking: There are six disability parking spots with stripes in front of Paradise Grille, as well as on-street paved parking along Gulf Way.
  • Ramp and beach access: There is ramp access from the parking area to the cement sidewalk. The sidewalk leads to a ramp up to Paradise Grille, with an accessible cement deck that has tables with umbrellas (food, drinks and live music with a view). 
  • Beach wheelchairs: Three beach wheelchairs are available next to the Paradise Grille and bathrooms, available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Two styles of chairs are available: one that is upright, and the other is more of a lounge chair. You must return the chair before the restaurant closes (which is typically 15 minutes after sunset).
  • Bathrooms: The bathroom has one ADA-compliant stall with good turnaround space and grab bars. The sink is in the stall.
     

More Information on Wheelchair Access to Local Beaches

Gorgeous beaches abound here in St. Pete/Clearwater, and we have the details on how easy (or challenging) it will be for people in wheelchairs or with mobility issues to visit each beach.
A girl playing in the sand in Belleair Beach.

Belleair Beach is a mostly residential community with a quiet beach. 

Belleair Beach (Morgan Park)

This tiny, wealthy beach community has only one public beach access point for non-residents. No umbrellas or other temporary shade structures are allowed on the beach here.

Location: 2650 Gulf Blvd., Belleair Beach, FL 33786

Parking: Two handicapped parking spots with access stripes. 

Ramp and beach access: There is ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk. The sidewalk stops at the sand, with no Mobi-Mat. There is a picnic shelter with tables that is accessible before you get to the beach.

Beach wheelchairs: There are no beach wheelchairs available at Morgan Park on Belleair Beach.

Bathroom accessibility: The bathroom stall is ADA-compliant and has grab bars, with a sink in the stall.
 

Aerial view of Caladesi Island State Park

An uninhabited island near Dunedin, Caladesi Island State Park is a heavenly stretch of sand only accessible by boat, ferry or kayak.

Caladesi Island State Park

Many visitors escape to Caladesi Island to be on “island time” – indeed, this beautiful state park is accessible only by boat. People in manual wheelchairs can board the Caladesi Connection ferry, though once on the island, paths are sandy and natural, so it will be necessary to transfer to a beach wheelchair to get around. 

Location: Find the ferry to Caladesi Island within Honeymoon Island State Park at 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698

Parking: There are disability parking spaces available.

Beach wheelchairs: Request a beach wheelchair when you buy your ferry ticket. It will be waiting for you when you arrive at the island.

Bathrooms: There are ADA-compliant bathrooms. 
 

boardwalk leading to white sand beach lined with dunes with beautiful green water at Fort De Soto

Fort De Soto Park offers beach boardwalks and beach wheelchairs, but no Mobi-Mats. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Fort De Soto Park

Fort De Soto Park is much more than a beach – visitors can visit a historic fort, paddle a quiet waterway, and explore trails here. The park has a gorgeous, expansive beach, but no Mobi-Mats.

Off the beach, a nearly seven-mile, multi-use paved trail is great for wheelchair users, but be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen or avoid the middle of the day, as the trail is in full sun. Expect to see bicyclists, rollerblades, runners and walkers on the trail. “Be careful of e-bikers and stay to the right,” Beth recommends.

Beth has visited several times and says that the staff at Topwater Kayak Outpost inside the park has been very accommodating to her. “They’ve helped me get in and out of the kayak and safely watched my wheelchair until my return.” 

Accessible areas of the park include the gift shop, snack shop, fort, Gulf pier, bait shop and the 2,200-foot barrier-free nature trail. “The Gulf pier is a great place to see shorebirds, dolphins and manatees in spring and summer,” Beth says. 

Fort De Soto Park offers ferries to Shell Key and Egmont Key, but these ferries are not wheelchair accessible.

Here is some additional information about beach accessibility at Fort De Soto Park:

  • Location: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715, 727-582-2100
  • Parking: There are several beach parking lots at Fort De Soto, and they all offer disability parking spots (2-6 spots) with access lines. The park recently went to a kiosk or app-based paid parking system, but note that visitors with disability plates or placard can park in a disability spot for free.
  • Ramp and beach access: There are ramps from the parking lot to the sidewalk. There are no Mobi-Mats.
  • Beach wheelchairs: There are five beach wheelchairs at Fort De Soto Park. During the week, visitors can call 727-582-2100, ext. 2 to request a beach wheelchair. On weekends, you must go to the campground office to request one.
  • Bathrooms: The bathrooms are ADA-compliant and have grab bars.
     
A man and his two dogs greet another dog at Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island State Park near Dunedin has a dog beach that is perfect for friendly puppies!

Honeymoon Island State Park

This gorgeous coastal retreat earned its name from the honeymoon cottages that were built here in 1940. Today, it’s a popular beach and park destination that can be reached by car via the Dunedin Causeway. 

On her visit, Beth explored the Osprey Trail and visited the Rotary Centennial Nature Center as well as the beach.  “The Osprey Trail is 2+ miles but only the first mile was doable with strong arms in a manual chair. It could be difficult for some – it’s hard-packed dirt with some softer sand areas.” She notes that the nature center is accessible and has a deck with a pretty view of a lake.

Here is some additional information about beach accessibility at Honeymoon Island State Park:

  • Location: 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin FL 34968
  • Parking: There are several paved parking lots, and all offer disability parking.
  • Ramp and beach access: There is ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then a boardwalk over to the sand. There are no Mobi-Mats.
  • Beach wheelchairs: Honeymoon Island State Park has four manual beach wheelchairs available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. When you stop to pay the entrance fee at the park kiosk, tell the ranger that you would like a beach wheelchair. Park rangers typical recommend the Oasis or North Beach beach accesses.
  • Bathrooms: There are accessible bathrooms located near the parking lots.
     
a sky at sunset with yellow and pink colors and a large cloud formation, water is in the foreground with land can be seen at the right

Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs is a scenic spot that is popular with locals.

Fred Howard Park

This small, scenic beach isn’t accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

Location: 1700 Sunset Drive, Tarpon Springs, Florida, 34689

Parking: There are six disability parking spots with access stripes. The parking lot is paved.

Ramp and beach access: There is ramp access from the parking area to the sidewalk. The sidewalk goes directly into the sand, with no Mobi-Mat.

Beach wheelchairs: No beach wheelchairs are available at Fred Howard Beach.

Bathroom accessibility: The bathroom has one ADA-compliant stall with good turnaround space. 
 

a bright blue Mobi-Mat with sand on it stretches toward the Gulf at Indian Rocks Beach

The Mobi-Mat at Indian Rocks Beach reaches about half-way to the water. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Indian Rocks Beach Access County Park

You'll find that this beach has a serene, family-friendly vibe. Here are more details about accessibility:

  • Location: 1700 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785
  • Parking: Go early because accessible parking is limited (two accessible parking spots with stripes). The parking lot is paved.
  • Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk. There is a Mobi-Mat from the sidewalk about halfway to the water. 
  • Beach wheelchairs: Beach wheelchairs are not available at Indian Rocks Beach.
  • Bathrooms: There are ADA-compliant bathrooms with grab bars and plenty of room to maneuver in a wheelchair. The sink is in the stall.
     
a wooden boardwalk through sea oats and other vegetation leads to the Gulf, the boardwalk is sandy, the sky is just after sunset with orange and blue colors

Indian Shores has a lovely, quiet beach.

Indian Shores Beach (Tiki Gardens Beach Access)

Location: 19601 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, Florida, 34635

Parking: There are five accessible parking spots with access stripes at a paved lot. 

Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk. Note that you need to cross the street from the parking lot and bathrooms to get to the beach. Once on the west side of the road, there’s a ramp across sand dunes that leads to the beach, but it ends at the sand with no sidewalk or Mobi-Mat available. Beth notes that this is not a very accessible beach if you have mobility challenges.

Beach wheelchairs: Beach wheelchairs are not available at Indian Shores Beach.

Bathroom accessibility: There are large, ADA-compliant stalls with a turnaround area, as well as grab bars. 
 

A lady relaxing in a hammock hanged between two palm trees during sunset in Madeira Beach

Enjoy a gorgeous sunset in Madeira Beach, named Tripadvisor's #9 beach in America in 2021.

Madeira Beach (Archibald Memorial Beach Park)

Madeira Beach was named the #9 beach in the U.S. by Tripadvisor in 2021. It's known for its fun atmosphere, as well as John's Pass Village & Boardwalk, just a short drive south of Archibald Memorial Beach Park. Find details about accessibility here:

  • Location: 15100 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  • Parking: Accessible parking is available at two lots (one lot has three disability parking spots; the other lot has seven disability parking spots). The parking lots are paved.
  • Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then a boardwalk over dunes, then a Mobi-Mat. The mat extends 42 feet towards the Gulf, with a 25-foot wing extending to the south. There is a snack shop, tables with umbrellas and a picnic shelter that are all accessible. 
  • Beach wheelchairs: Beach wheelchairs are not available at Archibald Memorial Beach Park in Madeira Beach.
  • Bathrooms: There is one accessible bathroom stall with grab bars. However, the stall is long and narrow, with no sink or soap in the stall.
A flock of royal terns lines up along the water's edge in St. Pete/Clearwater

Royal terns are sometimes seen along the water's edge at Redington Beach and Redington Shores.

Redington Shores

This is a quiet, pretty beach, but doesn't offer easy access to visitors with mobility challenges.

Location: 18200 Gulf Blvd., Redington Shores, FL 33708

Parking: Eight disability parking spots with access stripes are available at a paved lot. 

Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then two ramps over dunes that end in the sand, with no Mobi-Mat.

Beach wheelchairs: Beach wheelchairs are not available at Redington Shores.

Bathroom accessibility: There is an accessible stall with grab bars. However, the stall is fairly small, with no sink or soap in the stall.
 

A shot of St. Pete beach from an aerial Drone

St. Pete Beach is a beautiful beach destination at any time of year.

St. Pete Beach Public Access

St. Pete Beach was named Tripadvisor's #1 Beach in the U.S. for 2021. This public beach access doesn't offer a Mobi-Mat or beach wheelchairs, making it difficult for visitors who have mobility challenges to enjoy the beach. Find more details below:

  • Location: 4700 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
  • Parking: There are nine disability parking spots with access lines in a paved parking lot. 
  • Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then three ramps over dunes that end in the sand. There is no Mobi-Mat.
  • Beach wheelchairs: Beach wheelchairs are not available at St. Pete Beach’s public beach access at 4700 Gulf Blvd.
  • Bathrooms: There is one accessible bathroom stall with grab bars with good turn-around space. However, there is no sink or soap in the stall.
     
a wooden walkway with a mat surface runs to the sand, with vegetation on either side at Upham Beach

At Upham Beach, a boardwalk with a mat allows for easy rolling up to a certain point, but there's no Mobi-Mat on the sand. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

St. Pete Beach (Upham Beach)

This little slice of sandy paradise is just a few blocks from Corey Avenue, a small dining and shopping area loved by locals. There's a rocky fishing area on the north side of Upham Beach.

  • Location: 6850 Beach Plaza, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
  • Parking: Come early: There are only two disability parking spots with stripes at a paved lot. 
  • Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then a boardwalk over dunes that ends in the sand. There’s accessible seating by St. Pete Beach’s Paradise Grille location on a wooden deck that offers a good view of the beach. There is no Mobi-Mat.
  • Beach wheelchairs: You can borrow a beach wheelchair at Paradise Grille. Two beach wheelchairs are available, first-come, first-served, during the hours Paradise Grille is open (typically 8 a.m. until just after sunset). 
  • Bathrooms: There is a large, ADA-compliant bathroom stall with grab bars with good turn-around space. There is a sink, soap and paper towels in the bathroom stall.
     
a sandy boardwalk leads to a sand path lined with dunes and vegetation at Sand Key Park

Sand Key Park offers a serene and beautiful beach setting. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Sand Key Park

Beth likes this expansive, beautiful beach because it has a lot of accessible parking, and it’s usually not crowded. It's just across from bustling Clearwater Beach.

Location: 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33767

Parking: Visitors will find a paved lot with accessible parking available in several areas. Boardwalk #1 area has two disability spots with access stripes. Boardwalk #4 has eight disability spots. Boardwalk #7 has eight disability spots.

Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then boardwalks onto the beach. However, Beth notes that the boardwalks end in the sand quite a long way from the water, so having an able-bodied companion to push the beach wheelchair will be essential. There’s a concession stand on the beach (again, only accessible if you have someone to push the beach wheelchair). 

Beach wheelchairs: Two beach wheelchairs are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis near Boardwalk #4. You’ll need to call the park ranger at 727-582-2100 to ask a ranger to open the locked shelter to get the chair. If no one answers the phone, you can go to the ranger/maintenance building to ask for assistance (it’s a brown building off the road to the beach parking area). 

Bathrooms: Beach Pavilion and Boardwalk #4 has several accessible bathrooms – one is larger, with a sink in the stall. There’s also an accessible changing room with a bench.
 

a long wooden boardwalk next to palm trees leads to Sunset Beach on Treasure Island

This scenic boardwalk at Sunset Beach is wheelchair accessible. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Sunset Beach

This friendly little spot on the southern tip of Treasure Island is especially popular with the local LGBTQ+ community. Find information about beach access below:

  • Location: 8000 West Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, FL 33706
  • Parking: The Sunset Beach Pavilion lot is accessible. There are three disability parking spots in the street and two in the paved parking lot.
  • Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk. The pavilion near the beach is accessible, as is a public scenic boardwalk along the beach. Beth notes, "This is a spot where you can have a good view. However, most of the beach access points at Sunset Beach have steps, meaning you can’t actually get down on the beach or to the water [at those spots]."  One ramp off the scenic boardwalk goes down directly into sand, allowing access, but there is no Mobi-Mat.
  • Beach wheelchairs: Beach wheelchairs are not available at Sunset Beach.
  • Bathrooms: There is one accessible bathroom stall with grab bars. 
     
boardwalk to beach lined with dunes, with a large inflatable water slide on the left, the sky is blue with puffy white clouds

At this Treasure Island beach, the boardwalk ends in a Mobi-Mat, allowing better access. Photo: Beth Stombaugh

Treasure Island 

The community of Treasure Island is known for its nostalgic charm, and its very wide, white-sand beach. Find details on beach access below:

  • Location: 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, FL 33706
  • Parking: Go early, as there are only three disability parking spots with access stripes at this paved parking lot.
  • Ramp and beach access: There’s ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk, then a ramp across dunes. The ramp leads to a long Mobi-Mat that goes about half-way down this very wide beach. The Mobi-Mat is located next to trampolines and a large inflatable slide for kids.
  • Beach wheelchairs: There is one beach wheelchair that is stored at City Hall (call to reserve and have it brought to the beach: 727-547-4575, ext. 237).
  • Bathrooms: There is one accessible bathroom stall with grab bars, but the stall is long and narrow. There is no sink or soap in the stall.

You can also find beach access at 11260 Gulf Beach Blvd., Treasure Island, FL 33706, where two beach wheelchairs are available at no cost from the concession stand (727-360-3278). There is no Mobi-Mat. There is an accessible bathroom.