America's Best Beaches
Welcome to warm sunshine, cool breezes and soft sands.
With 35 miles of sugar-sand bliss to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect beach for you. And with three of Tripadvisor's top beaches in the U.S. located here in St. Pete/Clearwater, planning the perfect beach vacation is easy!
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With soft, white sand and warm, emerald-green waters, our beaches are the perfect place to spend a day in the sunshine. From Tripadvisor top-rated beaches to hidden island gems, we've got a beach to suit every style.
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This undeveloped 385-acre barrier island off Dunedin has four miles of sandy beaches, hiking trails and bird-watching opportunities along the Osprey Trail. Honeymoon Island State Park's trails are also home to ground-dwelling wildlife such as armadillos, gopher tortoises and raccoons. Upon arriving, visit the Rotary Centennial Nature Center to learn about the island and get ready to swim, hike, bike, kayak, or simply relax. There's even a popular dog beach.
Top Tip: Honeymoon Island can get pretty busy on weekends, but, even then, you can find your own space in the sand if you park at the northernmost parking area, cross over to the beach on the boardwalk, then walk north. Weekdays are a bit quieter.
Caladesi Island State Park landed on Dr. Beach's list of Top 10 Beaches in 2022 (named the #2 Beach in the U.S.!), 2021, 2019 and 2016, and was voted No. 6 Best Beach in Florida by USA Today in 2015. The island is accessible only by boat — you can 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: If you want some solitude at the beach, you can undoubtedly find it here. If you kayak over, just choose your own spot on the sand. If you arrive by ferry, walk away from the marina area until you find your perfect spot.
Fun-loving Clearwater Beach was voted the No. 1 beach in America by Trip Advisor in 2019, 2018 and 2016 (it was also named No. 6 in the world in 2019!). Wide sugar-sand beaches and emerald-clear waters (you might spot a dolphin or two!) make this the perfect beach scene. Soak in the sun, then dust off the sand and enjoy all this city-beach has to offer from Beach Walk's shops, to waterfront restaurants such as Frenchy's, and rooftop bars including Jimmy's Crow's Nest.
Top Tip: This is a very popular beach, and it's going to be a hub of activity at any time. Arrive early to find parking more easily and set up for your perfect beach day.
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 (visitors are sometimes able to observe endangered birds nesting and feeding!), 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 small daily parking fee. Because it is so immense - even when it's at its busiest - it's unlikely you'll feel crowded at the beach.
Chill out with the locals 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 seabirds. 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. Because it's mostly residential (and parking isn't as abundant as on other beaches), it tends to be a quieter beach option.
Indian Shores & Indian Rocks Beach
Time for a nostalgic taste of Old Florida along Indian Shores and Indian Rocks Beach, a narrow stretch of barrier island. Some 27 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 or wander to Guppy's on the Beach Grill & Bar to sip cool drinks and dine on fresh seafood while soaking in unbeatable Gulf views.
Top Tip: This area tends to be quieter than some of our larger beaches. Come early to grab a parking spot at Indian Rocks public beach.
North Redington Beach & Redington Shores
Brilliant white sand and sparkling 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, which deliver an amazing resort town experience. Craving action? Rent a wave runner and jet across the water, secure tee-time at a nearby golf course or even hop on a charter boat for some deep-sea fishing. Looking for a beach retreat? Enjoy a relaxing stroll at sunset or sunbathe on the warm sandy shores. You're bound to find the best of both worlds right here.
Top Tip: The Redingtons offer a smaller, typically less busy beach option, though food and drink options are less plentiful. Bring your own and enjoy a great beach day.
Head to the pristine two-mile long stretch of “Mad Beach" – the perfect beach escape, named the #9 Beach in the U.S. by Tripadvisor in 2021. To get to Madeira Beach, take the Tom Stuart Causeway, an impressive bridge with great views, to this bustling beach. Discover historic John's Pass Village & Boardwalk, which is buzzing with more than 100 shops and restaurants in an Old Florida-style waterfront atmosphere. Explore the surf shops and art galleries, then enjoy fresh seafood along the boardwalk at the Friendly Fisherman or Sculley’s.
Top Tip: Weekends are busy, so arrive early. Weekdays, you'll have more space on the sand, especially if you avoid mid-day. Park at Archibald Memorial Beach Park or try John's Pass Park. End a perfect beach day nearby at John's Pass Village & Boardwalk, with a cold drink and some fresh seafood.
Three miles of sparkling sand lines the Gulf with an array of lodging, from luxury resorts to kitschy hotels and small inns, in Treasure Island. Hang out at the surrounding popular beach bars, and catch live music at spots like Ricky T's, Sloppy Joe's or Ka'Tiki. Dance to the bongos at a Sunday night drum circle an hour before sunset.
Top Tip: Weekdays are quieter, particularly early or late in the day. You'll find that the stretch of sand between the Bilmar Beach Resort and Caddy's Treasure Island is sometimes less busy.
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. 1 Beach in the U.S. in 2021 (and the #2 Beach in 2020). From the luxurious, historic 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 stop by one of the area's rooftop lounges for 360-degree views.
Top Tip: St. Pete Beach was named #1 in the country - so the secret is out! Upham Beach is your best bet for parking. If you're looking for some space on the sand, it's less crowded between the Undertow Beach Bar and the Don CeSar, then again between the Don CeSar and Pass-a-Grille Beach.
Pass-a-Grille is the epitome of old Florida charm equipped with a local vibe. Voted one of the Top 5 beaches in Florida by USA Today in 2015, Pass-a-Grille will certainly not disappoint. Enjoy the four-mile stretch of natural shoreline, dotted with tasty eateries such as 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.
Top Tip: Limited street parking means a limited number of people on the beach, so you can enjoy a relaxing day. Best bets for finding a parking spot: arrive early in the day or an hour before sunset. Weekdays are quieter.
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. 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. Kayak or paddleboard to Shell Key, a gorgeous sanctuary with no amenities, from a launch point just before Tampa Bay Watch.
Top Tip: There's a ton of parking at Fort De Soto Park, so you shouldn't have a problem there. However, it's still best to arrive early, to avoid the long line that sometimes forms at the park's entrance (where visitors pay an admission fee).
How to Be a Responsible Beachgoer
Everyday life is all about "have-to's," while vacation is all about "want to's." That's why we're sharing these fun beach responsibility videos with you... we're hoping you'll "want to" help out our local marine life (think of those adorable dolphins, manatees and sea turtles) and help keep the beach a beautiful place we all can enjoy.
Discover Our Picture-Perfect Beaches
Scroll through this photo carousel of beach images to see our award-winning sands. We hope you'll find inspiration to help you start planning your next Florida beach vacation!