With 35 miles of America's best beaches to choose from, you can enjoy a different beach experience every day of your vacation in St. Pete/Clearwater experience.
Every beach lover has a favorite – whether it's a quiet sandy beach with swaying seaside harbors or an active beach with volleyball games, water sports and families playing Frisbee. No matter what your beach mood is – in St. Pete/Clearwater you will find the perfect sandy beach. Let's get started!
BEACHES FOR SOCIALIZING
Grab your best buds and claim a patch of sand for a fun-filled day on these beaches known for their colorful, cheerful and always social atmosphere.
Beach Vibe: If Clearwater Beach were a person, it would be a sun-kissed, energetic beach lover who has never met a stranger. This active, social beach is likely to be busy when you visit – from morning strollers to midday beach volleyball games to the Pier 60 sunset party every evening. With its soft, sugar-white sand and clear, blue-green waters, it's no wonder this beach was named Tripadvisor's No. 1 beach in 2019, 2018, and 2016. 1 in the USA was chosen.
Insider tip: Check out our parking tips to secure your spot on the sand, or arrive early in the day for the easiest access to parking. Plan to attend the Pier 60 sunset celebration at least once during your visit – with artisans and entertainers (not to mention stunning sunsets), it's a fan favorite.
Beach Vibe: Madeira Beach, nicknamed "Mad Beach," is best summed up as "old Florida beach town," largely because of the influence of the rustic landmark John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, directly across the street from the beach. This pretty sandy beach is Tripadvisor's beach no. 9 in the USA 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 along Gulf Boulevard from 130th Avenue to 155th Avenue (just note that there are no amenities like restrooms here).
Insider tip: Spend the morning on the beach and then head to John's Pass for a lunch of fresh seafood. You can rent a waverunner or book a fishing trip here, too. For the perfect end to the day, take a sunset boat ride from the marina.
St. Pete Beach
Beach Vibe: Imagine St. Pete Beach as a small-town girl who grew up and went to the city – urban, but also quaint. Here, the bustling boardwalk offers a mix of corner stores and more "glamorous" beach resorts. There's no denying the beauty of its soft sand beaches and emerald waters – which led to St. Pete Beach 2021 by Tripadvisor to beach no. 1 in the U.S. or the public access at 4700 Gulf Blvd. with its larger parking capacity.
Insider tip: Your beach fun doesn't have to end when you've had enough sun – St. Pete Beach offers several open-air beach bars – like Jimmy B's, PCI Beach Bar, Undertow and Swigwam – where you can relax and enjoy libations with your friends.
Beach Vibe: There's a bit of a backyard party vibe here – which means Sunset Beach is small and friendly. It's known as an LGBTQ-friendly beach. After some sun and swimming, mingle with the locals and enjoy a grouper sandwich and a cold beer at one of the many outdoor bars and restaurants nearby.
Insider tip: Walk along the 800-meter boardwalk at the end of the island where the Gulf meets Blind Pass, and watch boats pass by and fishermen try their luck.
BEACHES FOR FAMILY FUN
Beachgoers of all ages will find much to love about these family-friendly beaches with amenities for all.
Fort De Soto Park
Beach Vibe: This is beach nirvana – the kind of place where beach vacations should be. The water at Fort De Soto Park is not only calm, warm and emerald green, but the sand is soft and white, and the beach seems endless. Check out the amazing sandbar at North Beach #1 at low tide 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, visit the pirate playground. Also, be sure to take them into the creepy-cool chambers of the fortress structure (tell them to call out or sing a song to hear the impressive echo effect).
Honeymoon Island State Park
Beach Vibe: Honeymoon Island can get pretty lively in the middle of the day, but mornings and golden hour are calm and serene, especially if you head to the northern end of the island, away from most beachgoers. It's a fun place for the whole family – even your "fur kids" (Honeymoon Island has a dog beach!)
Insider tip: The park is open 365 days a year from 8am to sunset, but that doesn't mean you can't watch the sunset from this beautiful spot. Just make sure to pack your bags and head out after the sun has dipped below the horizon.
Beach Vibe: Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio once vacationed on the beach at Redington Shores. So pull out your favorite retro swimsuit or New York Yankees cap and spend the day at this small, 3.5-acre beach with a decidedly local vibe. Most beachfront accommodations are ideal for families, and the gentle waters of the Gulf are perfect for toddler wading.
Insider tip: Find boat rentals, stores and restaurants nearby or visit the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary to learn more about the local wildlife.
Beach Vibe: Treasure Island still has some mid-century modern-style corner cottages, making this a nostalgic and fun beach stop. The area locals refer to as "island central" offers a very wide, white-sand beach that's perfect for kite flying, walking, and Frisbee throwing. There's also a drum circle behind Bilmar Beach Resort every Sunday at sunset.
Insider tip: To find a beach access point, look for the bright blue and orange gull signs (signage also indicates if handicapped access and other amenities are available).
BEACHES THAT ARE RELAXED & NATURAL
If you're looking for a slice of solitude and boundless natural beauty, these beaches offer the fresh air, wide open spaces and beautiful landscapes you crave.
Caladesi Island State Park
Beach Vibe: This perfect little piece of island paradise isn't connected to the mainland, which means you can expect a quiet and pristine environment, especially if you head to the side of the island far from the marina. It's no wonder this beach has been named more than once on the top beaches of Dr. Beach has landed on the U.S. list, including in 2022! There is no development here – although the island does offer restrooms and a snack bar. Pack what you need for your beach day (and unpack it, too).
Insider tip: The park is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to sunset. Take the ferry from the Dunedin Causeway or rent a kayak to paddle to the island (bonus: you'll have the opportunity to explore the island's mangrove tunnels).
Beach Vibe: This sleepy little beach community with no high-rises and a few colorful, historic cracker cottages is what some might call "Old Florida" – and its small, dune-lined beach has a similar laid-back vibe. On weekdays in the off-season, you may have a beautiful sandy beach all to yourself – but Pass-a-Grille never gets too crowded, as street parking is limited here. For that peaceful, laid-back feeling, head to the sand just north or south of Paradise Grille, where people gather 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 an unforgettable sunset. You can also watch the sunset from a great vantage point: the rooftop bar at the famous Hurricane restaurant.