Driving south across the bridge from bustling Clearwater Beach to quiet Sand Key is like crossing a moat to an island of calm – though it’s far from boring.
Set at the north end of Sand Key, Sand Key Park is 95 acres of minimally developed county-owned property in two distinct areas – beach and park. Amenities include bathrooms, changing rooms, outside showers and a food concession.
The warm Gulf of Mexico (the average water temperature is 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and it ranges from the mid-60s to the mid-80s) and stretches of clean white sand are the stars of the park, but it offers much more.
Sand Key Park amenities
Plenty of parking? Check. Food truck selling hotdogs, chicken strips and ice cream? Check. Umbrellas, beach chairs and cabanas to rent? You can check that box too. A playground and two shelters with grills round out the family-friendly amenities.
Visitors who are interested in wildlife will enjoy the park’s nature trail and salt marsh, which attracts many seabirds. From May 1 through Oct. 31, loggerhead sea turtles nest and hatch at the park, as they do all along the Gulf beaches of St. Pete/Clearwater.
Sand Key also has an off-leash dog park, but note that it’s away from the beach, and dogs are not allowed on the beach or the boardwalks. Dogs must be leashed when they’re outside the dog park.
Two fishing piers on the Clearwater Pass side of the park were undergoing repairs in early 2023.
Sand Key Park has lifeguards from mid-March to mid-September, but visitors should check at the park to be sure one is on duty.
Sand Key Park Accessibility
Pinellas County has an audio description of the park posted online. Two wheelchairs that can be used on the beach are available. From mid-March to mid-September, visitors can request a beach wheelchair from the lifeguards on duty. When no lifeguard is present, call 727-582-2100 to arrange to borrow one.
What’s Near the Park
For visitors interested in more sophisticated amenities, the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, which borders the south end of the park, has light bites and refreshments available at its Poolside Café and Mainstay Tavern.
Looking to get out on the water? Sailors can walk to the bay side of Sand Key, across Gulf Boulevard, to rent a variety of small boats from the Clearwater Community Sailing Center.
Sand Key Park Location, Hours and Cost
Sand Key Park is located at 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater. Entrance to the park is free, and parking costs $5 per day. Only credit cards are accepted.
The park is closed the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The rest of the year, the park is open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset. Watching the sun set over the Gulf is a great way to end the day.
- Accessible parking
- Accessible restroom
- Beach wheelchair available
- Wheelchair-friendly inside walkways
- Free admission
- Hours 7 a.m. - dusk
- Paid parking on-site
on site facilities services
- Picnic Area
- Designated Dog Zone
- Kayaking & Canoeing