A Beach for Every Mood

With 35 miles of America’s Best Beaches to choose from, you can have a different beach experience in St. Pete-Clearwater every day of your vacation. 

Aerial view of St. Pete Beach from the north, including white sand, blue water and shaded cabanas.

St. Pete Beach, Tripadvisor's #1 Beach in the U.S. in 2021, has miles of white-sand beach and a fun vibe.

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 in the Tampa Bay area. Let's get started!

 

BEACHES FOR SOCIALIZING

Grab your best buds and claim a patch of sand for a fun day at these Tampa Bay area beaches known for their colorful, happy, always-down-for-socializing vibe.
Outside of the Palm Pavilion restaurant on Clearwater beach with people walking around outside featuring blue ocean water.

Enjoy a juicy grouper sandwich with a view on Clearwater Beach!

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 bustling when 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 the U.S. in 2019, 2018 and 2016.

Insider Tip: See our parking tips 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 fav.

Read more about Clearwater Beach

a couple relaxes on lounge chairs under a bright yellow umbrella on the white sands of Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach is a great place to hang out with friends.

Madeira Beach

Beach Vibe: Nicknamed “Mad Beach,” Madeira Beach can best be summed up as “old Florida beach town,” largely because of the influence of rustic landmark John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, just across from the beach. This pretty stretch of sand is Tripadvisor’s #9 Beach in the U.S. for 2021!  Park at 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.

Read more about Madeira Beach

Exterior shot of people drinking at Postcard Inn Beach Bar & Snack Shack in St. Pete Beach

The Postcard Inn Beach Bar & Snack Shack is ideal for enjoying drinks on the sand.

St. Pete Beach

Beach Vibe: 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-and-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 #1 Beach in the U.S. in 2021. 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.

Insider Tip: 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, Undertow and Swigwam - where you can relax and enjoy libations with your friends. 

Read more about St. Pete Beach

two ladies standing on a balcony with a view of the ocean drinking cocktails with umbrellas and beach chairs on the beach

At the flagship location of Caddy's on Sunset Beach, you can sip a beverage with your toes in the sand, or head to the rooftop bar.

Sunset Beach

Beach Vibe: There’s a bit of a backyard party vibe going here – meaning that Sunset Beach is small and friendly. It's known for being an LGBTQ-friendly beach. 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.

Read more about Sunset Beach


 

BEACHES FOR FAMILY FUN

Beachgoers of every age will find plenty to love at these family-friendly beaches with plenty of amenities for all.
A woman and a baby on an e-bike ride next to blue-green water and sea oats with other family members biking behind them at Fort De Soto Park

Fort De Soto Park is a fun spot for families, with a gorgeous beach and plenty of opportunities for recreation, including biking and kayaking.

Fort De Soto Park

Beach Vibe: 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 bikes, 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).

Read more about Fort De Soto Park

Snorkeler jumping into the Gulf of Mexico during a beautiful sunset in Honeymoon Island.

Island beauty and natural fun make Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin a big draw for families.

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. It's a fun place for the whole family - even your "fur children" (Honeymoon Island has a dog beach!)

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.

Read more about Honeymoon Island

Aerial view of Redington Beach

Redington Shores and North Redington Beach are heavenly, under-the-radar Gulf beaches.

Redington Shores

Beach Vibe: Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio vacationed on the sands of Redington Shores 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. Most accommodations along the beach are rentals great for families, and the gentle Gulf water is perfect for wading toddlers.

Insider Tip: Find boat rentals, shops and restaurants nearby, or visit the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary to learn about local wildlife.

Read more about Redington Shores

A boy playing frisbee with his dad in on the beach in Treasure Island near St. Pete Beach

Along Treasure Island, you'll find wide beaches with plenty of room for you and your crew to spread out – or toss a 'bee.

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 perfect for flying kites, walking and tossing a frisbee around. There's also a drum circle every Sunday at sunset behind the Bilmar Beach Resort.

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).

Read more about Treasure Island


 

BEACHES THAT ARE LAID-BACK & NATURAL

If it's a bit of peace and boundless natural beauty you seek, these beaches offer the fresh air, quieter vibes and gorgeous landscapes you crave.

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

Beach Vibe: 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. It's no wonder this beach has landed on Dr. Beach's top beaches in the U.S. list more than once, including in 2022! There is no development here - though the island does offer restrooms and a snack bar. Pack what you need for your beach day (and be sure to pack it out, too).

Insider Tip: 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). 

Read more about Caladesi Island

A couple taking photos during sunset at a beach walkway on beautiful Pass-a-Grille Beach near St. Pete Beach, Florida

Pristine Pass-A-Grille Beach is where blissful beach days melt into brilliant sunsets.

Pass-a-Grille Beach

Beach Vibe: This sleepy little beach community with no high-rises 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 atmosphere. 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. For that peaceful, easy feeling, be sure to settle in the sand a bit north or south of Paradise Grille, where people congregate for food and live music.

Insider Tip: 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.

Read more about Pass-a-Grille Beach

An aerial shot of Sand Key

Sand Key Park is a gorgeous, white sand beach just across a bridge from bustling Clearwater Beach.

Sand Key Park

Beach Vibe: 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. 

Read more about Sand Key Park

A man throwing shells in the air in beautiful blue-green waters of Shell Key Preserve, accessible only by boath

Find sand dollars and rare shells along the sparkling shores of undeveloped Shell Key.

Shell Key Preserve

Beach Vibe: Early mornings, particularly weekdays, you can revel in a castaway island feel – but expect a party-like mood on weekends, when many boats anchor nearby. Access Shell Key by public ferry or rent a boat.

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.

Read more about Shell Key Preserve

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