Tampa Bay has an abundance of beautiful beaches bordering the Gulf of Mexico, each with its own personality. Here’s a guide to the beaches that call Tampa Bay home.
Like all of Tampa Bay’s beaches, Clearwater Beach is a very active beach community. Clearwater Beach is home to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which houses Winter, star of the movie Dolphin Tale. It also annually plays host to the National Superboat Championship and an Ironman triathlon.
Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores
Local folklore states that the community of Indian Rocks was named after a native medicine man was able to heal his tribal leader using the water from a local spring. Today, the area is best known for having more than 20 beach access points – allowing for some of Florida’s best sunset views.
The nearby town of Indian Shores – which changed its name from Indian Rocks Beach, South Shore in 1973 – is one of the oldest communities in Florida. It is home to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a rehabilitation and release organization for native Florida birds.
Legend has it that Madeira Beach was founded by a pirate named John LeVique. Today, Madeira Beach is most famous for John’s Pass, a sea-themed village and intercostal boardwalk, which stretches 1,100 feet. The village is home to over 100 retail stores and other shopping, restaurants, and various boat tours.
Pass-a-Grille Beach is located at the southern-most tip of St. Pete Beach. The best time to visit is during one of their craft festivals, as the area is home to many unique artists. Beach access here is great, as there are virtually no buildings directly on the beachfront. There is plenty of parking, though.
Redington Beach, North Redington Beach, and Redington Shores
Founded in 1945, Redington Beach is bordered on the North by North Redington Beach, which was incorporated in 1953. The nearby Redington Shores completes the threesome, and was established in 1955. These three beach communities are mostly residential, but each offer beautiful beach areas other visitor attractions along Boca Ciega Bay.
St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach was voted number one in Trip Advisor’s 2012 Top 10 Beach Destinations. There is plenty to do in nearby, whether you prefer a day on the area’s beautiful beaches, or would prefer to explore St. Petersburg. The city is home to the St. Petersburg Pier and the Salvador Dali Museum.
Tierra Verde/Isla del Sol
A string of 15 individual islands, Tierra Verde/Isla del Sol is the southernmost point of Pinellas County and is not part of a specific municipality. In the past, it was a burial and ceremonial site for local Native American tribes; today, it is a highly residential area known mostly as the entry to Fort Desoto.
Treasure Island is situated between St. Pete Beach and Madeira Beach. Known for its beach, Treasure Island is also an active deep sea fishing and golf community. It is also proud to say that it plays host to multiple beach weddings a year and is happy to help you plan yours.
You can get more information about Tampa Bay’s beaches at visitflorida.com and the website for the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, tampabaybeaches.com.