Gulf Coast Florida Beaches

Must-See Florida Gulf Coast beaches

The Gulf Coast area, which includes Clearwater, Sand Key, Treasure Island, and St. Pete Beach, is fortunate to possess some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. It is no small wonder that several of them end up on the “best beaches” list year after year. The combination of wide, snow-white sand and azure waters draw sun worshipers in droves and make the Gulf Coast a favorite among Florida destinations.

Clearwater Beaches

Pier 60 Beach

Easily located at the street intersection of Causeway and Gulf Blvd., Pier 60 Park is beautiful and seems to stretch as far as the eye can see – a crescent of fine, powdery white sand that runs from the pass north for 1.3 miles. Shops, restaurants, a bait shop, and beach concessions are located by the pier, which is open 24 hours. Inspired by the nightly sunset-watching ritual in Key West, a four-hour festival is held nightly from two hours before to two hours after sundown. Jugglers, magicians, and a variety of entertainers perform for the crowd that gathers each evening.

Sand Key Park

Located at the north end of Sand Key at Clearwater Pass, Sand Key County Park really boasts an extraordinary white shelly sand beach that is among one of the widest in the area. The beach runs for a full mile south of the pass, and the park occupies an additional 65 acres of intact dunes and native vegetation.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Even before the advent of modern civilization, Honeymoon Island was simply one of the many unnamed barrier islands all along Florida’s west coast. Today all visitors can enjoy the beautiful white sand beach stretching the entire length of the island, including the only “pet beach” in the state. Picnic pavilions, bathhouses, and a concession stand are located within the park, and hikers can enjoy a trail leading through one of the few remaining virgin slash pine stands in South Florida. In addition, the park boasts several trails leading to bird observation areas.

Caladesi Island State Park

Accessible only by ferry from Clearwater and nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, a visit to Caladesi Island makes a great day trip. You can fish, picnic, go boating or shelling, sunbathe on the beach, and wander at will through the pine and oak forests. A wide variety of birdlife call the park home, and you’re likely to see an osprey soaring overhead. Picnic tables and concessions are located near the beach, and a 99-slip marina is available for those who bring their own boats.

Sand Key Beaches

Indian Rocks Beach

Access to the five miles of shoreline at Indian Rocks Beach is generous, which is to be expected of a town that is so rightfully proud of its beaches. Free parking is located at the county park on Gulf Boulevard and at the end of 20 of the 27 avenues in the town. The beach here is somewhat grayer and shellier than other areas, but still wide and beautiful.

Madeira Beach

Beginning at John’s Pass on the southern end of Sand Key and running northward 2-1/2 miles, the beach at Madiera is a dazzling white strand that is almost as wide as Treasure Island’s. Access to the beach can be gained at several access points along Gulf Blvd., at Johns Pass Park, and at three other city and county-run facilities, several of which have concessions and beach rentals.

Tiki Gardens Beach

Located in Indian Rocks Beach, this excellent county-run park features a lovely white sand beach and fairly plentiful parking. The parking is located across the street from the beach, but the beach itself is well worth the walk.

Redington Shores Public Accesses

The towns of Redington Beach, North Redington Beach, and Redington Shores hold sway over four miles of beachfront, most of it consisting of residential areas. Redington Shores has public accesses along Gulf Blvd. and a very nice county park at 182nd Avenue, where parking is free. A 1021 foot long fishing pier (fee) extends from Redington Shores and provides tackle, bait, restrooms, and beach access.

Sand Key Park

Located at the north end of Sand Key at Clearwater Pass, Sand Key County Park really boasts an extraordinary white shelly sand beach that is among one of the widest in the area. The beach runs for a full mile south of the pass, and the park occupies an additional 65 acres of intact dunes and native vegetation.

Treasure Island Beaches

Treasure Island Beach

Though this barrier island derives its name from the mysterious rumors of an old Spanish galleon sinking in the nearby waters and it still lies buried offshore, the real treasure here is its beach. Claiming to be “the largest white sand beach on the Gulf coast,” several accesses along Gulf Blvd. allow visitors entrance to this magnificent shoreline.

Sunset Beach

Located right at the southernmost tip of Treasure Island the small community of Sunset Beach does feature a very nice county park with free parking. From the park, you can look directly across Blind Pass at Upham Beach in St. Pete Beach. The boardwalk that runs 3/5 mile over the dunes offers a great view of spectacular sunsets.

St. Petersburg Beach

The city of St. Petersburg has always maintained this beachside park, located at Gulf Blvd. and 112th Avenue. The park provides ample parking, as well as a snack bar, playground, and volleyball courts. A cement jogging – biking path runs along the street for about a mile.

St. Pete Beaches

Upham Beach

Located at the north end of St. Pete Beach, is beautiful Upham Beach which is a favorite among the locals. The beach has recently been renourished and is wider than many others along Gulf Blvd. A beachside café offers breakfast and lunch.

St. Pete Beach

The shoreline at St. Pete Beach is wide and is as long as the eye can see, with sparkling clear water, soft white sand, and heart-stopping sunsets. The name of the town was officially changed from St. Petersburg Beach to the shorter appendage, by which it was affectionately known for years. Public beach accesses are located mid-island, with metered parking lots.

Passagrille Beach

Located at the southern end of St. Pete Beach, Pass-a-Grille Beach has long been considered the jewel in the crown of west coast beaches. There is a lot of beach, the sand is white and powdery, and the emerald gulf is warm and inviting. A beachside café offers breakfast and lunch.

 

 

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