Located on the Western Gulf Coast in Florida, Tampa is a great place to visit for a vacation all year round. Whether you’re doing a staycation or traveling to Tampa, this is one of the nicest places in Florida to stay all year round.
Tampa has tons of fun things to do, and within the Tampa bay area you’ll find tons of stunning white-sand beaches with turquoise blue waters that you can swim, paddle or kayak in.
Nearby you’ll find St. Petersburg, which is known as the “Sunshine City”, due to averaging 248 sunny days per year, and Clearwater with its beautiful beach that has a vibrant atmosphere and its wildlife (you’ll be able to see Osprey birds here).
There are also many other lesser-known beaches in and around the Tampa area that can offer a more relaxed, peaceful time such as Shell Key, or even Caladesi State Park which is only accessible by boat.
If you’re looking for wheelchair-accessible beaches in Florida, you’ll be glad to hear that many of the beaches in and nearby Tampa are wheelchair accessible, and some have the option of hiring a beach wheelchair for the day. So continue reading to find the best beaches in the Tampa Bay area.
Ben T Davis Beach
One of the top beaches in Tampa and a great place to visit if you want to watch the sunset is Ben T Davis Beach. The beach itself is a little stretch of shoreline, that runs alongside the 2-lane highway that connects Clearwater to Tampa, and is only about 12 minutes drive from Downtown Tampa.
The beach has beautiful white sands, lined with palm trees that run alongside the edge of the beach. There are plenty of things to do at the beach such as kayaking, paddle boarding, playing beach volleyball, or enjoying a picnic in one of the many picnic areas. If needed, you can hire a kayak or paddleboard so don’t worry if you don’t have your own. So if you’re loking for a Tampa Bay Beach where you can enjoy some watersports, I really recommend coming here.
You can also hire a bike and go cycling, or take part in an e-bike cycling tour that starts at the nearby Courtney Campbell Trail and explores the Tampa Bay coastline.
If you or a member of your travel party is a wheelchair user, you’ll be glad to hear that Ben T Davis beach has beach mats. These were installed back in 2020, and are ADA compliant making the beach more accessible.
Where to stay near Ben T Davis Beach?
Whilst it isn’t possible to stay directly next to the beach but you can get pretty close. You could consider the CURRENT Hotel which is located a 2minutes drive away, on the coast. The hotel has a fitness center, outdoor pool, and restaurant for you to enjoy whilst staying here.
Another option is the Hampton Hotel in Tampa-Rocky Point which is a 3-minute drive from Ben T Davis beach. This hotel has an outdoor pool, and each room includes breakfast. They also offer some rooms (with bathtubs) for those who have a disability or are Deaf. If you need an accessible room, always call the hotel to discuss your needs and ask questions about guaranteeing the room for your stay.
St Pete Beach, Long Key Island
Another impressive beach in Tampa, Florida is St Pete Beach on Long Key Island. Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, St Pete Beach has stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that make it a perfect destination for beachgoers looking to relax and soak up some sun. The beach is also known for its excellent seafood restaurants, nightlife, and shopping.
There’s loads of fun activities for you to enjoy such as snorkeling, parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing, and jet skiing. If you’ve hired a car, I recommend taking a day trip to Orlando where you can enjoy different museums, parks and shows such as The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show.
St Pete Beach also offers plenty of other attractions such as an array of art galleries, museums, and cultural centers.
St. Pete Beach has a wide variety of dining options available. There are several restaurants located directly on the beach, offering the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a family meal. Many of the restaurants specialize in seafood, but there are also plenty of other options available.
If you prefer a more casual dining experience, there are several beach bars and cafes that offer a laid-back atmosphere. You can enjoy a cold drink while watching the sunset or grab a quick bite to eat before heading back to the beach.
There’s something for everyone at St Pete Beach in Long Key Island – from families to couples looking for a romantic getaway. Whether you’re looking to relax or explore new activities while soaking up the sun, St Pete Beach is a great place to visit!
Where to stay near St. Pete’s Beach?
St Pete’s Beach is a great place to stay. Pretty much anywhere you stay in this area there will be loads of restaurants, ice cream bars, and a beach or park within walking distance of your accommodation.
To be close to St. Pete’s Beach I recommend checking out the Upham Beach Inn. This inn has an outdoor swimming pool, and fitness center and offers free private parking. Your room will have a microwave so you can heat up food if needed. You’ll be about a 5-minute walk from St Pete’s Beach, but also close to Upham Beach Park and Sunset Park is only about a 10-minute drive away.
Named the #1 beach in the USA in 2018, Clearwater Beach in Pinellas county has impeccable beaches and waters that just invite you to come to take a swim! If you’re looking for a beach that’s perfect for the entire family, Clearwater Beach truly is one of the best beaches in Florida and is popular with beach lovers.
Clearwater offers plenty of attractions that are suitable for everyone! There are many fine restaurants right by the beach that are perfect for families who are looking to grab a bite somewhere. It also offers many exciting beach activities, such as playing volleyball on one of the beach’s sand courts.
You could choose to do some water sports such as jet skiing, kayaking or snorkeling. If you’d prefer something more relaxing, then why not take part in some beach yoga? There are 60-minute classes that take part on the beach most days. Or, you could also just choose to relax, by sunbathing whilst you enjoy views across the Gulf of Mexico.
If you do want to grab a bite to eat you can pick from casual beachfront eateries to upscale restaurants. Some popular options include:
|Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill||Seafood and American||$10-$30|
|Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar||American and Seafood||$10-$30|
|Island Way Grill||Seafood and Sushi||$30-$50|
Clearwater also has a great selection of wildlife right on the beach, with tons of wild birds including Ospreys, Brown Pelicans, Great Herons, and more.
If you’d like to spot dolphins, then I recommend checking out this dolphin-watching tour that takes you out into the Gulf of Mexico to spot dolphins swimming in their natural habitat.
If you’re visiting Clearwater in the evening, then you could enjoy a sunset cruise around Clearwater, and watch the sun dip below the horizon. This is a great way to finish off your day of exploring everything his beach has to offer and unwind before heading back to your accommodation.
Where to stay by Clearwater Beach?
Clearwater is a great place to stay. There’s load of fun things to do in the area and you’ll only be 30 minutes drive from Tampa Bay. Clearwater Beach area has tons of great hotels to stay in, which offer seafront views. If you’d like to stay in a resort, you could consider the Clearwater Beach Resort which offers rooms with a private kitchen and a balcony with sea views. The hotel has a bar, terrace, and an outdoor swimming pool.
If you’re on a lower budget, you could also stay at the Tropical Inn, which is located in downtown Clearwater but is still within a few minutes’ drive of the beach. Some of their rooms include access to a kitchenette that’ll have a stove so if you’re traveling on a budget this is a great way of saving money whilst still enjoying the Florida sunshine. The hotel also has access to an outdoor pool, so whilst you’re not within walking distance of a beach you’ll still be able to go for a dip.
Sand Key Beach
Sand Key Beach is one of the prettiest beaches near to Tampa, and offers a peaceful atmosphere, with stunning views of the sea. This beach is much more relaxed and not as busy as the nearby Clearwater Beach. If you’re looking for somewhere quieter and more peaceful, then you should definitely visit Sand Key Beach.
You’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, and exploring the nearby Sand Key Park’s nature trails. Sand Key Beach and the Park is home to a variety of wildlife including dolphins and armadillo’s, so this is a great place to visit if you’d like to spend time spotting wildlife. If you’d like a break from the beach to grab a bite to eat, you could head to the nearby Columbia Restaurant Sand Key which serves some amazing Spanish food.
The beach has a good selection of amenities such as beach cabanas, a dog park, a picnic area with grills, and large bathhouses with outdoor showers for you to wash yourself down after a day at the beach.
If you or someone in your group is disabled, this is a great beach to visit as they have beach wheelchairs available for hire, free of charge. Beach wheelchairs have larger tires, so they can move over sand and go float in water.
If you’d like to see Sand Key Beach and Sand Key Park from a different perspective, why not book a helicopter tour? You’ll fly over Clearwater, Sand Key, and Belleair, and see breathtaking views of the barrier islands.
Where to stay by Sand Key Beach
If you’d like to stay near Sand Key Beach, you should check out the Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites. This is a waterfront hotel so you’ll be able to enjoy views of the sea, whilst relaxing by on your suite’s private balcony. The hotel has a lagoon pool with a waterfall, and also a salon plus day spa for you to enjoy. Food-wise, the hotel has a poolside bar and Grille, Ice cream shops and a Grillkhouse on site so you don’t have to go far for food. This is a great place to stay if you’d like to just unwind, and be able to relax.
Madeira Beach is located west of St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Mexico. |The beach has beautiful white sand, with a range of activities available. Whilst you’re here you could enjoy swimming in the Gulf, or going windsurfing. You could also go on an adventure aboard a pirate ship, where you’ll cruise around Boca Ciega Bay. Your kids can enjoy having their faces painted, hearing pirate stories, and taking part in a water gun battle while you enjoy a cold refreshing beer or wine, whilst enjoying the scenery.
View of John’s Pass Village and Broadwalk
Close to the beach is John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. This village offers numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants along the Broadwalk. You could go shopping for clothes, jewelry, Cuban cigars or even visit the Wild Sea Market, which stocks fresh, wild-caught seafood. There are also some fun things to do such as the Beach Fun & Games Arcade or the Alligator & Wildlife Center.
If you’re visiting Tampa in October, you should visit the Seafood Festival that is hosted at John’s Pass Village each year. During the festival, you can enjoy food, music, arts and crafts.
Where to stay by Madeira Beach?
If you’re looking for something budget-friendly then why not consider starting at Michaels Surfside Cabanas? Which cosy units that have private kitchens, with access to a barbeque and is within walking distance of the beach.
For something more luxurious there’s the Cambria Hotel, which has an outdoor swimming pool, shared lounge, bar, and restaurant. Madeira Beach is a few minutes walk away, and the hotel has a bicycle rental if you’d like to explore this area on a bike.
Whilst in the Tampa Bay area I highly recommend visiting Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve. This pristine beach is surrounded by lush mangroves and provides the perfect habitat for an array of wildlife. Here you can spot wading birds, fish, turtles, and other aquatic animals in their natural environment. The serene atmosphere here makes it the perfect spot for a peaceful stroll along the shoreline or a day of sunbathing on the beach. With its stunning views and abundance of wildlife, Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve is one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches. Whether you’re looking to take in some breathtaking scenery or watch nature at its finest, this beach will not disappoint.
The area is less touristy than the nearby St Pete’s Beach, but still has a good selection of restaurants, bars, and rental shops (for kayaks, surfboards, and skimboards) nearby. Indian Rocks also beach showers, restrooms and some parking.
Whislt here I recommending visiting the Seabird Sanctuary which is right by the beach. The Seabird Sanctuary is a wildlife rehab center, that helps rescue and treat injured birds and sick birds. The sanctuary is home to over 100 disabled birds such as owls and an American bald eagle, which you can meet during your visit. visiting to learn more about the birds they rescue and care for, whilst helping them continue their work.
Where to stay near Indian Rocks?
If you’d like to stay nearby, I recommend booking an entire home or apartment to stay in as there are tons nearby. This area doesn’t have many hotels available, but there are loads of great vacation homes that are footsteps from the beach!
Such as this 2 bedroom condo, which offers a sea view from the balcony so you can enjoy watching the sunset. Or for a larger group, why not book this 3 bedroom townhouse (that sleeps 10!), which has a private garage, and is right next to the beach! You could also stay nearby at Madeira Beach or Redington Beach as both of these are close by and within a few minutes drive.
Between Madeira Beach and Indian Shores, you can find Redington Beach which is located on a barrier island. Redington Beach itself, and the surrounding area – Redington Shores is more low key, and not as well known so it’s not somewhere that tourists tend to frequently visit. But this is one of the things that make it so appealing, as it’s a great place to visit if you want a more peaceful, calmer beach to relax on. Going to Redington Beach is a must if you want to escape the crowds that you’ll encounter at the more popular beaches like Clearwater or St Pete’s beach.
Although somewhat unknown, there are still tons of things to do here such as fishing off the pier in Del Bello Park which is located close to the beach entrance. You can also enjoy swimming, kayaking (bring your own or hire one), and flying kites (which you can buy online and have delivered to your accommodation). You could also enjoy taking part in some beach yoga, which is a great way to destress in a calm environment whilst enjoying the sea air.
The beach is also good for taking a long walk, whilst you spend time watching dolphins and seabirds in their natural habitats.
The beach offers plenty of parking spots between 181st and 182nd avenue and is easy to access. You can also go shopping at the Beachside Boutique in Redington Shores. If you’re more in the mood for a delicious coffee, you should stop by Sweet Sage Café & Boutique. They sell cute gifts as well!
Where to stay by Redington Beach
If you’re on a budget you could consider the Malibu Resort Motel. Don’t be put off that this is a motel, as it is probably one of the nicest motels I’ve ever seen. The motel includes access to an outdoor freshwater pool, barbeque area, and free WiFi. You’ll be right opposite the beach so it’s also in the perfect location for a budget-friendly Florida vacation.
If you’d like to book an entire home for your stay, then why not check out this home with a pool that’s within walking distance of Redington Beach and only a few hundred yards from Madeira beach? You’ll have a 3 bedroom house, with a kitchen, Wifi, pool, and balcony with pool views.
Archibald Memorial Beach Park
Archibald Beach Park is a stunning beach park, that not only offers its visitors beautiful seawater that’s perfect to swim in, but plenty of restaurants nearby as well. This makes it perfect for a relaxing day trip!
Archibald can get quite busy on weekends so I highly recommend visiting on beach days.
The beach has a snack bar, so you can grab a quick meal or drink without having to wander too far. During the evening, there’s live music for you to enjoy whilst watching the sunset. There’s also umbrella and deck chair hire available, as well as beach volleyball courts where you can play a few games.
There are metered parking spots right next to the beach, so you don’t have to walk too far from the car park to get onto the beach – making it easier for those with limited mobility to access.
Honeymoon Island State Park
Honeymoon Island is the sister Island of Caladesi Island. Back in 1921, the islands were split by a hurricane and Honeymoon Island was formed.
There are over four miles of beautiful, white sands, nature trails, sea birds, and Osprey nesting in the area. The park is also home to one of the only virgin slash pine forests remaining in Florida.
Honeymoon Island State Park is one of the best spots in Tampa if you’re looking for a place to reconnect with nature. I highly recommend packing mosquito repellent when visiting this beach as there’s plenty of mozzies and other bugs that like to bite.
Whilst on Honeymoon Island State Park, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, or snorkeling in its beautiful, warm waters. There are two snack parks in the park, that besides food also offer umbrella, chair, and kayak rentals. There’s also a picnic area for you to enjoy.
Honeymoon Island has beach wheelchairs available for hire. If you’d like to hire one, I recommend contacting the Ranger Station ahead of time to book this.
Where to stay to visit Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park
The best area to stay to visit Honeymoon Island is in Dunedin. Dunedin has a few hotels available that are about a 5 to 10-minute drive away from the park.
- Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn – About 10 minutes drive away, close to Dunedin Pier, Edgewater Park, and The Beatles Museum. If you’d like to explore Dunedin why not take part in a historic bike tour, hire an ebike, or join a food tour? You could also enjoy Dunedin’s waters on a private boat tour.
- Hampton Inn – This hotel is about 5 minutes drive away and is located right by Causeway Boulevard (the main road into Honeymoon Island). The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace so you can relax after a day of exploring the beach. You’ll be within walking distance of some bars and restaurants such as Frenchy’s Outpost Bar and Grill and the Pinellas Bike Trail is only a few minute’s walk/bike ride away and is a great way of seeing some of Dunedin’s nature.
Caladesi Island State Park
Caladesi State Park has a really beautiful, untouched Florida beach that is only accessible by boat. If you’d like to visit somewhere secluded and get away from the bustling crowds of Clearwater beach and St Pete’s Beach then this is a great place to visit and one of the best beaches near Tampa.
The beach itself is a nature sanctuary, so you can expect to see wildlife and untouched nature. You can enjoy walking through the nature trails or exploring the island’s waters in a kayak. If you don’t have your own kayak, why not join a kayaking adventure that’ll take you around the island?
You can get to the island, by taking the ferry from Honeymoon Island State Park. Ferries start at 10am, and cost $18 (USD) per adult, $9 (USD) for children, and it’s free for those under 5. You can stay on Caladesi Island for up to 4 hours, so I recommend visiting the island in the morning, then on your return exploring Honeymoon Island in the afternoon. This way you can enjoy both of these wonderful beaches in one day.
If you or anyone in your group is a wheelchair user, you’ll be glad to hear that the ferry is wheelchair accessible. Caladesi Island also has beach wheelchairs that are free to hire. These are found at the Ranger Station on the island, once you disembark the ferry. You just need to let the ferry operator know that you need a beach wheelchair and they can help you get one on arrival. The beach itself has elevated boardwalks, and the picnic areas, Caladesi Café, and restrooms all have accessible options.
Fishing is allowed on the island in designated areas but requires a license that is available for residents and visitors. For more information on acquiring a fishing license, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.
Caladesi Island State Park has a concession stand that serves a variety of snacks, drinks, and light meals. Prices can be a bit steep, so it’s a good idea to bring your own food and drinks if you’re on a budget. Some popular options include:
|Fried chicken basket||$10.50|
Apollo Beach Nature Preserve
Another amazing beach located in Florida is Apollo Beach Nature Preserve. This beach is a 63-acre nature preserve that is a habitat for numerous aquatic species. There’s a 7-acre section of that beach that is separated from the habitat restoration area, dedicated to nature-based recreation.
This beach doesn’t allow swimming, so if you visit Apollo Beach make sure to plan activities that won’t involve going in the water such as sunbathing, picnicking, and visiting the observation tower. The observation tower is 37 feet tall, and is wheelchair accessible. From here, you can look at the stunning nature around you and look at the beautiful blue waters along the beach.
You can also spend the day bird watching or spotting sea life from the shore including manatees. Fishing on the island is allowed, but make sure to check if you need a license first. Pets are allowed on the beach but not in the observation tower, so if you’re visiting Florida with your furry friends I’d recommend visiting this beach.
Pine Key Island
Pine Key Island (locally known as Beer Can Island) is another great option if you love secluded beaches and want to enjoy some more low-key places whilst in Florida. The island is located between Apollo Beach and Tampa and is only accessible by boat.
You may be wondering why such a beautiful place is known as Beer Can Island and instantly presume that it must mean the island is well, full of beer cans. But luckily that’s not the case. It has the name “Beer Can” as it was known as a spot boaters would visit, hang out, and enjoy a cocktail/beer. That was until the island was purchased in 2017 and has since had some facilities added such as a tiki bar, a restaurant and there’s even a giant inflatable slide! You can also enjoy live music as the island regularly has DJ’s playing.
The island does have a “members only” access requirement in place, but membership is free if you’re not bringing your own boat (you can upgrade to receive discounts and bring your boat to the island). You can sign up on their website here.
If you’re looking for a place to host a private party, this beach is the perfect spot! They offer their venue to both private parties and weddings as well as corporate events and numerous other occasions. Furthermore, you can choose to get catering here and they provide the transportation of your guests to the island.
As the island is only accessible by boat, I recommend booking a trip in advance. You can find boat operators that offer charters to the island on the Pine Key Island website.
Treasure Island is a great family-friendly beach and makes a great place to fly kites. The beach is really wide with a vast amount of space, so you’ll have tons of space to spread out away from other families and fly a kite.
Each year, a free kite festival takes place on the beach which is really worth attending if you enjoy kites. There are free demonstrations, and the chance to learn how to fly your kite. The festival takes place each January. Details for the 2023 festival haven’t been released yet so I recommend keeping an eye on this event information page if you wish to visit the festival.
There’s also a mile-long paved trail that connects the beach with many of the beachside resorts and gives easy access to tons of restaurants, bars, and shops.
Whilst on the beach, you could head to the southern side where you’ll find a giant slide for kids to enjoy. At the southern tip of the beach, you’ll find Sunset Beach. This area offers a really peaceful, stunning beach with beautiful sunsets. Parking is right next to the beach so if you have limited mobility, this is a great beach to visit. Although parking is a bit expensive at $3 an hour, it is still really worth visiting.
The beach is also really popular among the local LGBT community. If you’re visiting during the St. Pete Pride Festival, Sunset Beach makes a great safe place to stay and there’s normally some events taking place on the beach.
To the north of the beach is John’s Pass, which is a nice area to explore and offers a range of shops, bars, and restaurants.
Where to stay in Treasure Island
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Treasure Island you should consider the Treasure Island Beach Resort. They have a range of suites to pick from, which have kitchens. They also have wheelchair-accessible suites, that sleep up to 6 people so if you’re looking for somewhere to stay that has wheelchair-accessible room then you should consider this resort. Just make sure to discuss your requirements with them before you book to check that things like the bed height, shower access, and kitchen are suitable for you.
If you’d like to stay nearer Sunset Beach you could consider this the Land’s End 201 Beach Front Condo. You’ll be 100 yards from Sunset Beach and be able to see the sea from the balcony!
Fort de Soto Beach Park
Fort de Soto Park is a great place to visit with families or to see some of Florida’s wild birds. The park is actually made up for five different islands that create a 1000-acre preserved natural paradise. The islands are home to a lot of different sea birds, and other wild animals that live amongst its mangroves, palm trees, and wetlands.
The beach has tons of things to do including fishing, kayaking (with rentals available on the beach), bird watching, nature trails, and exploring the remains of the fort. Just make sure to wear mosquito repellent so you don’t get bitten. With its numerous nature trails, this is one of the top places around the Tampa area where you can enjoy Florida’s nature and wildlife.
If you’d like to follow one of the nature trails, there are a few available to pick from. If you have limited mobility or are using a wheelchair, you should consider following the barrier-free trail. This 0.64km (0.4 miles) long trail was designed to be compliant with the ADA, and is wide enough for wheelchairs. There are different areas marked with concrete strips to alert you to rest areas with benches and interpretive signs. These signs have touch-activated speakers to share information about the trail.
Other options include the Arrowhead Trail, which is a 2.3km (1.43 miles) loop trail. You’ll have the chance to spot wildlife such as great-horned owls and enjoy the scenery. Another trail, is the 2.7km (1.68 miles) long Solider’s Hole Trail. Along this trail you’ll have the chance to spot wildlife such as great egrets which sit in the trees, ospreys flying overhead or even a raccoon.
You can also book a bird tour of Fort De Soto, where you’ll spend 5 hours exploring the best areas in the park to spot different birds such as Snowy Plover, American Oystercatcher, Reddish Egrets, and Nanday Parakeets.
You can also camp here! Fort De Soto is one of the best beaches to camp on in Florida, and the campgrounds have picnic tables, grills, washers + dryers, and tons of other amenities to make your stay comfortable. For more information on camping, visit the Pinellas County site here.
If you love history, make sure to visit the Quartermaster Storehouse Museum, which is a reconstruction of the Army Quartermaster storehouse that was here during the early 1900s. On the South West Island, you can find the historic Fort De Soto area where you can see what remains of the Fort.
The beaches on the islands are also really pretty, with the north island’s beach being the biggest and most family-friendly. There are loads of amenities here including picnic tables, a snack bar, restrooms, and a bathhouse. There’s also a play area with a pirate ship and tidal pool or your kids to enjoy.
You could also take part in an e-bike tour of Fort de Soto, where you’ll ride along the shorelines and discover the wildlife in Fort de Soto. You’ll also visit the historic fort and museum to learn about the history of the area.
Where to stay near Fort De Soto
If you don’t want to camp at Fort De Soto then I recommend staying nearby in Tierra Verde. Here, you’ll find the Residence Inn which offers suites and studios that include a private kitchen. The Inn has free bike hire, so you can explore Tierra Verde by bike. There’s also a fitness center and bar.
You’ll be in walking distance of many of the restaurants in Tierra Verde and Ice cream shops such as, Andy’s Ice Cream Stop.
Davis Islands Beach
If you’re looking for a beach right by Tampa Bay, then check out Davis Island. This is an excellent beach located close to Downtown Tampa and only 25 minutes drive from Tampa International Airport. It is easily accessible from the city, which makes it a great spot to relax after a busy day of sightseeing and exploring all that Tampa has to offer.
Davis Islands Beach isn’t really suited for swimming due to all the boats that anchor up here, but it is perfect if you want to spend your day sunbathing, or lounging while reading a book. If you want to take your dogs to the beach, Davis Islands Beach is the perfect place. This is one of the only dog-friendly beaches in Florida so make sure to bring your dog along with you.
I also recommend coming here to watch the sunset if you’re staying in Tampa, as it has some beautiful sunsets across the waters towards Tampa Bay.
One of the best beaches in Florida is Pass-a-Grille Beach. The beach is located on the southernmost end of St. Pete Beach and the area is known for The Don CeSar hotel with its distinctive architecture.
The area has multiple access points to the beach, such as the 21st Ave Beach Access point which has many good restaurants nearby such as the Sea Critters Cafe which is a cafe serving seafood, in a laidback atmosphere and offers free boat dockage for diners. 15th Ave Beach Access which is by Hurley park, has more amenities and access to restrooms so if you have kids this is a good place to access the beach.
Further south is the 9th Ave Beach Access, where you’ll find the Paradise Grille. snack bar right next to the beach entrance. Across the road is the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, and nearby you’ll find many different restaurants offering seafood such as Hurricane Seafood Restaurant. There are also some gift shops nearby, such as Galene’s Paradise.
At the southernmost point, you’ll find Pass A Grille Dog Beach, which you should visit if you’re traveling with dogs. This beautiful beach is completely dog friendly, so you’ll be able to let your furry friends have fun. The beach also has some great sunrises so can make for a nice morning dog walk if you’re up early enough.
Where to stay in Pass-a-Grille
In the north area of Pass-a-Grille, near 21st Ave Beach Access you could stay in an apartment at the Camelot by the Sea. Each apartment includes access to a kitchen and you’ll be within walking distance of the beach. The hotel has an outdoor pool, sauna and hot tub for you to enjoy.
Near 15th Ave Beach Entrance you’ll find Inn On The Beach which is only a 6-minutes walk away from the main shopping area on 8th Avenue in Pass-a-Grille. Each room has access to a kitchen or kitchenette, and there are BBQ facilities for you to enjoy. If you’d like, you can also book a room with an ocean view or terrace.
If you’d like to stay somewhere that allows pets, you could consider the Pass-a-Grille Coconut Inn. This inn is located in Pass-a-Grille’s Historic District and you’ll have access to an outdoor pool and barbeque. The dog beach about 3 minute drive away or a 15-minute walk.
Fred Howard Park
Fred Howard Park is located in the Gulf of Mexico and has a gorgeous white, sandy beach with really pretty sunsets.
There are tons of things to do at the beach such as picnicking, swimming, sunbathing, a butterfly field, a softball field, and a selection of hiking trails. It’s also a great place for windsurfing, with two launching options on the south and north side of the park. For more information on windsurfing here, check out the Tampa Bay Windsurfing Site.
If you love birds, this is a great beach to visit as it has tons of birds such as ibis, black skimmer, and herons. There’s also the chance to see osprey, and American bald eagles flying over.
This beach really has everything to offer for the perfect day at the beach for everyone, whether you want to do all kinds of activities or just want to relax in the sun!
I hope you found this guide to Tampa’s beaches helpful. If you did, please let me know how your Tampa vacation went and any tips you’d like to share.