Beaches

17 Best Beaches in Tampa Bay

17 Best Beaches in Tampa Bay

Looking for the best beaches in Tampa? Known for its Gulf Coast beaches, Tampa Bay, FL is the relaxation capital of the south. No matter where you are you can be sure to have a fun time at any hour of the day.

If you are a lover of the outdoors there are plenty of recreational activities to participate in. Tampa Bay is packed with sporting events, shopping areas and trendy restaurants. The list goes on and on!

Knowing what beaches to hit during your visit should not be one of your worries. Here are the top 17 beaches to visit white in Tampa Bay.

17 Best Beaches in Tampa Bay

1. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach
Image Credit (CityPedia)

Named Trip Advisors #1 beach in the nation in three of the last four years, this sandy oasis does not disappoint! Its inviting waters will make you want to stay all day long. Beautiful white sand stretches for miles making this an ideal playground for all.

This is a family friendly beach town with attractions for all ages. Morever, you can enjoy a bite to eat at a fine dining restaurant or a coffee with friends at a quaint café. Afterwards enjoy a stroll through the palm-lined Beach Walk Promenade.

2. Fort De Soto Park-North Beach

Fort De Soto Park-North Beach
Image Credit (Getawaymoments)

Fort De Soto Park is so much more than just a beach. This beautiful county park covers 1,136 acres of the Gulf of Mexico.

Its North Beach is another family friendly beach with activities galore! Vacationers can rent a canoe and enjoy an afternoon of paddling and fishing or take a walk using the parks multipurpose, 7-mile trail.

A large pirate ship playground greets guests as they venture into the park. Likewise, once inside you will spot the true treasure, which is a wide tidal pool that is guaranteed to keep the kids entertained for hours.

3. Archibald Memorial Beach Park

Archibald Memorial Beach Park
Image Credit Yelp

Located in St. Petersburg, FL this beach park is the perfect spot to escape to for a day of sunshine. You can find this beach in-between the Oceans Sands Condominiums and the Sereno Condominiums with metered parking spots steps away from the beach. This is no doubt a huge convenience for travelers!

A covered picnic area, public restrooms, two outdoor showers and two sand beach volleyball courts can be found in this secluded park. Visitors can stop at The Snack Shop to grab a quick beverage or meal to enjoy in between their fun.

4. Sand Key Park

Sand Key Park
Image Credit (Mike Szwed)

This beach has everything that is needed for a family fun day along with stellar views that you will never forget. The white sand stretches for miles here and you may see a special surprise!

Endangered sea turtles often lay their eggs on the beach and visitors often have the opportunity to observe them. Endangered birds can also be seen nesting and feeding from a rare salt marsh. There is no shortage of wildlife at this park.

5. Shell Key Beach

Shell Key Beach
Image Credit (Edin Chavez blog.edinchavez.com)

This is the perfect secluded getaway spot! Located in Shell Key Preserve in the mouth of Tampa Bay this 195-acre island is limited to water vessels. A private boat or public shuttles such the Shell Key Shuttle are great options for transportation.

It is important that you know this barrier island is undeveloped. There are no facilities located on the island, so keep that in mind while you are enjoying your day of exploring. It is also advised that you check local tide charts before sailing out into the shallow waters.

6. Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island Park
Image Credit (www.romantichoneymoonisland.com/caladesi-island/)

This island is one of the few untouched islands along the Gulf Coast and it is only accessible by boat. Offering pristine beaches and kayak trips through the mangrove forest it is definitely worth the extra effort to get there!

Visitors can enjoy a fun day of camping, paddling, swimming and boating. There is something for every member of your family to enjoy. After a day of activities, you can enjoy a nice picnic, grab a snack at the snack bar or shop around at the gift shop. The choice is yours!

7. Egmont Key State park

Egmont Key State Park Beach Lighthouse
Image Credit (www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/egmont-key-state-park)

This park is a great place to relax and offers pristine beaches that are secluded with beautiful views. Even though this park is primarily a wildlife refuge it is still a popular destination for beach goers.

This park is accessible only by private boat and has a unique history behind it. During the Third Seminole War the island served as a camp for captured Seminoles and was later captured in the Civil War by the Union Navy.

After taking a tour of the historic trails and sites the park has to offer visitors can enjoy fishing, swimming, viewing wildlife and picnicking to complete the day.

8. Redington Shores

Redington Shores Beach
Image Credit (http://www.beachtimerentals.com/content/redington-shores)

Make sure you stay in one of Redington Shores boutique hotels while visiting this beach town. The unique experience you will have will only add to the charm of this place.

Redington Shores was home to the famous “Redington Long Pier”, which was one of the best spots to fish directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, due to storm damage the pier was permanently shut down in August 2019.

Thankfully, you can still grab fresh seafood at almost any time of the day! Visiting this beach town would be an experience the family would never forget.

9. Madiera Beach

Madeira Beach Tampa Bay

This beach city is located just west of St. Petersburg. Best known for its sea-themed John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk, this beach attracts tourists from all over the country.

The white sand and turquoise waters are inviting for both swimmers and those that are looking for a nice walk on the beach.

At the conclusion of the day go ahead and enjoy a drink and relax at one of John’s Pass Village & Boardwalks many bars.

10. Treasure Island Beach

Treasure Island Beach

With nearly four miles of beaches finding a quiet spot to relax at this beach will not be a problem.
Each Treasure island beach is essentially a neighborhood and each of them offer a different feel and character.

Start the day at mid-island, which has a commercial area that offers shops, restaurants and conveniences.
Once you are done at mid-island head to Sunshine Beach (north) or Sunset Beach (south). There is plenty to explore here!

11. John’s Pass Beach

Johns Pass Beach Boardwalk
Image Credit (gulfbeachweddings.com/beach/madeira-beach/johns-pass/)

This charming beach is great for a fishing trip and boating activities. Visitors often come for dolphin watching and shelling tours as well.

The beach is just a short walk from restaurants and boutique shops. Throughout the year, a number of concerts, festivals and other entertainment events are hosted directly on the beach making this a fun destination for the whole family.

12. Ben T. Davis Beach

Ben T. Davis Beach

This beach is one of the first sights of sand you will see after entering Tampa via Tampa International Airport. Its convenient location is perfect for travelers.

Ben T. Davis beach itself is narrow and beautifully landscaped. The water here is shallow and calm, so you may not be able to swim in it. Alternatively, you can take a nice walk along the shore or explore some of the beautiful wildlife at the beach.

13. Honeymoon Island, State Park

Honeymoon Island Dunedin, Florida

Honeymoon Island State Park is a great place to go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. This beach would be a perfect date location for lovers of all ages.

Beach goers can enjoy a nice swim, go fishing and collect shells to fill the day. Afterwards, take a trip to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center to learn about the history of Honeymoon Island State Park and how it got its name!

14. Apollo Beach Nature Preserve

Apollo Beach Nature Sand

This beach is different than the others listed because it is mainly a nature preserve. Visitors can walk the two-acre stretch of sand located at the north end of Surfside Boulevard and explore.

Pets are allowed here, which will make the day even more enjoyable! However, as a disclaimer this beach area is for birders, not beachgoers, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about visiting.

15. Davis Island Dog Beach

Davis Island Dog Beach Park

Bring your dog for a day of fun at Davis Island Dog Beach in Tampa. Here man’s best friend is allowed to play off-leash and enjoy time in the water as well.

Dog owners can be seen relaxing as their pups have their fun or joining in on their activities as well. Just think, a game of fetch would be great here!

16. Siesta Key Beach

If you are looking for a day of relaxation and rejuvenation this is the beach for you. Siesta Key Beach has a great reputation due to its sugar-fine, quartz-white sand.

Nearby a village of outdoor coffee shops, shopping and dining can be found. Overall, this beach has a small-town vibe that attracts tourists from all walks of life.

17. Greer Island Beach

Fun Fact: Greer Island Beach is not actually an island! Local’s know it as “Beer Can Island” located at the north tip of Longboat Key.

In fact, usually visitors come by boat, but if the tide is low enough you can access it by foot. This spot is very popular with locals, so it is a great beach to visit if you do not want to be around tourists for a bit.

There you have it!  Our shortlist of the best beaches in Tampa.  Of course, not all of the beaches or in Tampa but they are in the Tampa Bay area. While you are on your next vacation to Tampa you should checkout a few of the beaches and let us know which ones you like best and why. However, please remember not all of the locations are as pretty and beachey as the Clearwater beach.

 

Lauren Chapman recently graduated from Illinois State University and is now a marketing professional in the Chicago-land area. Writing, cooking and playing the piano are hobbies of hers. She is also a lover of all things travel related.

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