Discover the gorgeous and laid-back St. Pete Beach voted TripAdvisor’s No. 4 Beach in the U.S. in 2016, based on millions of reviews from travelers around the world: when you visit this magical expanse of sand, you’ll understand why. Our St Pete Beach Travel Guide will give you everything you need to plan a wonderful beach side vacation here.
St. Pete Beach’s shores include the longest undeveloped stretch of public beach in the county at Pass-a-Grille Beach. Live it up with a variety of water sports, from parasailing and stand-up paddle boarding to windsurfing and kite boarding. White-sand Florida beaches with crystal-clear water, a foodie and arts scene praised by Travel & Leisure, and glittering nightlife options that range from craft beer bars to New York-style dance clubs—in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, the options are endless for whatever kind of vacation you’re yearning for, be it rejuvenating or exhilarating. Visit the best beaches in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area here.
Weather (Best Time to Go)
The best time to visit St. Petersburg is from March to May, when the weather is comfortably hot and a plethora of outdoor events make the city come alive. You’ll find more affordable room rates from June to November, but the threat of hurricanes is imminent and the weather can often be scorching. The temperature cools down significantly for the winter months. The Sunshine City is great to visit year-round but it’s particularly pleasant in the springtime. Rainfall is not as frequent and temperatures range from the lower 60s to the mid-80s. Sporting events bring huge crowds, so hotel rates may be high. But the increase in outdoor festivities and the blooming purple jacaranda trees make the visit worth it. June to November is hurricane season and average temperatures in St. Petersburg during these months range from the mid-60s to the high 80s. July and August are the hottest months and rainfall is most frequent in the month of August. Though the heat and threat of hurricanes may dissuade you, there are a few upsides to a trip at this time: bargain rates and plenty of events and festivals. It is a little chillier in the winter months with average temperatures fluctuating between the mid-50s and mid-70s. The sun shines nonetheless and manatee sightings are frequent.
Things Not To Miss
Fort De Soto Park
You can call it a beach, but Fort De Soto Park is much more than a beach. This much-praised county park – part of the boating community of Tierra Verde – covers five islands and 1,136 acres on the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, and offers activities and amenities to entertain you for a day or more (campsites and abundant hotels nearby enable extended stays). With so many possibilities, set an agenda that’s full or freewheeling: Rent a canoe, kayak or bike to explore the park’s trails; fish from a pier; visit the historic fort; or simply lounge on the beach named “Best Beach for Families” by USA Today in 2014.
Egmont Key State Park & National Wildlife Refuge
Although this park is primarily a wildlife refuge, it can be a personal refuge – a place to relax and collect shells along secluded, pristine beaches. Accessible only by private boat, Egmont Key has a unique natural and cultural history, including a lighthouse that has stood since 1858. During the 19th century, the island served as a camp for captured Seminoles at the end of the Third Seminole War and was later occupied by the Union Navy during the Civil War. In 1898, as the Spanish – American War threatened, Fort Dade was built on the island and remained active until 1923. After touring the historic sites and trails, visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. Located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, southwest of Fort DeSoto Beach.
Sunken Gardens is a botanical paradise in the midst of a bustling city. As St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, this 100-year-old garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Unwind as you stroll through meandering paths, lush with exotic plants from around the world. Explore cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, more than 50,000 tropical plants, and flowers.
John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk
Located on the waterfront at Johns Pass, this quaint turn-of-the-century fishing village is Pinellas County’s #1 tourist attraction. Over one hundred merchants inhabit the Village with unique retail shopping, a variety of restaurants, the local fishing fleet, dolphin watching and shelling tours, boat rentals, parasailing and jet skiing. Plenty of parking: There is metered on-street parking located conveniently throughout the Village, as well as a new state-of-the-art multi-level parking garage adjacent to Bubba Gumps and Hubbards Marina. The beach is a short stroll away.
Things to Do
Coastal Kayak Charters
Provides Boat Tours, Kayak Tours, Kayaking Adventures, Sunset Tours, Shell Key excursions, Eco Tours of the St Pete Beach, St Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater and Treasure Island area. Coastal Kayak Charters offers boat based kayak trips and guided kayak tours around beautiful St Pete. Their goal is to provide fun, safe and informative outdoor experiences with a conservation minded approach. The started from their own love of kayaking and the marine environment and are happy to be able to share this with others. They love what they do and do what they love! Join them for a trip to one of their favorite local spots. They look forward to seeing you in the water! For more information contact 727-207-6342 or visit Coastal Kayak Charters.
Parasail, take a variety of cruises, go paddle boarding, rent a kayak or go on a guided kayak tour, go snorkeling or enjoy the St Pete Beach waterslide with Suncoast Watersports. Since 1978, Suncoast Watersports has provided St. Pete Beach locals and visitors with an abundance of water fun and recreation, and an emphasis on parasailing. Their goal is to be a conduit for memories that last forever, and they do so by ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all of their guests. For more information contact 727-367-7144 or visit Suncoast Watersports.
Check out the Island Ferry for dolphins, sunsets, shells and snorkeling! Island Ferry’s Dolphin Tour takes you to see dolphins and visit Shell Key at the same time! Imagine seeing the perfect sunset over the Gulf right from St Pete Beach. Their sunset cruise takes a leisurely boat ride through the residential canals, where you get to see the homes and the mansions. Or take a private tour take to both Egmont Key and Shell Key for the best in snorkeling, swimming, shelling, and dolphins! Get guided walking tour of the fascinating 150 year old ruins on Egmont Key, go snorkeling at Egmont’s sunken ruins, and then to Shell Key for more snorkeling. For more information contact 727-742-2277 or visit Island Ferry
Swim With the Fishes
Swimmers, ages 8 years old and up, have the exclusive privilege to experience what it’s like to snorkel in the 33,500-gallon tank built by their friends from Animal Planet’s hit show Tanked. Their program is led by their expert partners from Secrets of the Sea. Their mission is to enhance the public’s understanding of the value and fragility of the marine environment through research, education and personal experiences. For more information contact 727-329-1433 or visit Swim With the Fishes.
Welcome to Pass-A-Grille, the southernmost end of St. Pete Beach. Historic Pass-A-Grille is a quaint, laid back beach town where you can park your car and walk to the beach, boutiques, ice cream shop, outdoor art market, restaurants, tennis courts and fishing piers. In Pass-A-Grille you separate yourself from daily stresses because you are in paradise. For more information contact 727-403-6136 or visit Pass-A-Grille.
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$ Snapper’s Sea Grill
Under the direction of proprietor Daniel Casey, the casual elegance of Snapper’s offers exceptional seafood, in-house aged steaks and delectable “in house” made desserts in a big city bistro atmosphere on St. Pete Beach. Long-regarded as the “Gem of St. Pete Beach Restaurants,” Snapper’s features generous portions of fresh-caught seafood straight from the Gulf, exquisite desserts, and the finest, top-quality service you can find. Savor a restaurant experience like no other at Snapper’s! A gluten free menu is available. Snapper’s strives to not only be known for serving great seafood, but for giving you, the guest, something extra, so that you can tell your friends! For more information contact 727-367-3550 or visit Snapper’s Sea Grill.
$$ Bongos Beach Bar & Grill
This is a fun and causal beach side bar that is open to the public with daily food specials and discount drinks. Their popular menu consists of mouth-watering selections and dishes. If you’re searching for tempting light bites such as coconut crusted shrimp, crab cakes, mango glazed scallops or some outstanding buffalo wings, then look no further. Their dining tables allow you to enjoy your dinner and cocktails while putting your toes in the sand or on one of their multi-level deck areas. You can also enjoy their famous fish tacos, specialty sandwiches, flat breads, wraps, seasonal salads and signature pasta dishes. As the evening air cools, enjoy lounging by their romantic fireside on their deep cushioned sofas and chairs. Their fire pit will keep you cozy and warm while enjoying live music every night from some of the top bands in the area. For more information contact 727-360-1811 or visit Bongos Beach Bar & Grill.
$ Sea Turtle Restaurant
This is a gathering place for friends and family, offering time-honored American favorites, hand made with fresh ingredients. They have a large menu to choose from, a children’s menu and a beer & wine bar with a fun wine list. The menu offers seafood, steaks, burgers and sandwiches, with many vegetarian dishes also available. For more information contact 727-367-1727 or visit Sea Turtle Restaurant.
$$$ 1200° Chophouse
For decades, St. Pete Beach faithful asked for a “great steak place on the Beach”. Chef/owner Dan Casey, Chicago native, answers by birthing his original Chophouse concept delighting Gulf coast residents and visitors nightly (indoor & outdoor year-round). The result: upscale comfortable ambiance with mouth-watering complete dinners that exceed the highest expectations priced very reasonably. Enjoy what the Tampa region is buzzing about tonight! For more information contact 727-367-1300 or visit 1200° Chophouse.
$$ Shells Seafood
The history of Shells began in 1985 when a Swiss Gourmet Chef, saw the need for a seafood restaurant that focused primarily on quality, service, and value instead of a fancy atmosphere and high prices. Their detailed attention to top quality product, attentive service, and competitive pricing led to the restaurant being voted runner up for the 1989 Small Business of the Year Award and winning the vote for the #1 seafood restaurant in Tampa 15 years in a row. 30 years later their mission is still to serve only the finest quality ingredients prepared by experts in a fun, casual atmosphere. You’ve discovered the best place for seafood in the neighborhood. Go on in, sit back, relax and prepare to find out what real Florida seafood is all about. For more information contact 727-826-0729 or visit Shells Seafood.
The City of St. Pete Beach is located just southwest of Tampa and south of Clearwater Beach. It incorporates the towns of Pass-a-Grille, Belle Vista and St. Pete Beach. It is classic old Florida with visitors ranging from snowbirds to spring breakers. From Treasure Island to the north to Pass-A-Grille at the southernmost tip, St. Pete Beach has more beach bars than any other single location in Florida. Many are right on the beach and many are connected with a hotel or motel. Here are the top 3 beach bars:
Rick’s Reef, in St. Pete Beach, is a casual dining restaurant serving fresh food made in-house, with a fabulous Florida beach feel. There is plenty of covered dining, indoor and outdoor bar seating and the laid-back atmosphere that locals and tourists alike enjoy. Rick’s Reef is family friendly, and the covered outdoor areas are dog-friendly as well. If you are vacationing on St. Pete Beach, and looking for a fun, relaxed spot to enjoy Fresh Seafood, Chicken, Pork and Beef dishes, along with great Salads and Specialty Items like Smoked Fish Spread, Lobster Mac & Cheese and smoked in-house Salmon, Pork, and Ribs, then Rick’s Reef, right on Gulf Boulevard, is your answer. My personal favorite is the blackened grouper sandwich, Lobster Mac & Cheese and their specialty margarita. For information contact 727-826-0752 or visit Ricks Reef.
Bongos Beach Bar & Grille
Bongos Beach Bar & Grille is a fun and causal beachside bar that is open to the public with daily food specials and discount drinks. Join them for happy hour and watch the beautiful sunset while sipping on cool cocktails and fantastic frozen drinks. If you enjoy watching sports, Bongos is the place for you. They play all the sports games you want to see. Their menu consists of mouth-watering selections and dishes. If you’re searching for tempting light bites such as coconut crusted shrimp, crab cakes, mango glazed scallops or some outstanding buffalo wings, then look no further. For information contact 1-800-448-0901 or visit Bongos Beach Bar & Grille.
Level 11 Rooftop
Level 11 Rooftop is an Artisan Bistro Bar located Rooftop at the Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort with awe-inspiring views of the Beach, Gulf of Mexico, and surrounding area. It is located in the Grand Plaza Hotel on St Pete Beach. For information contact 727-360-1811 or visit Level 11 Rooftop
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill offers open-air beachfront dining right on the Gulf of Mexico. The stellar sunset views are a perfect pairing to their large selection of fresh seafood, sandwiches, their famous She Crab soup and other Floribbean style dishes. Rockaway also features live music daily from the best local artists and two large bars serving up the beach’s best rum runners and other refreshing beverages. Every day of the week is fun and energetic at Rockaway! For more information contact 727-446-4844 or visit Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill.
Sandbar Bills Bar & Grille
Sandbar Bills, a local favorite, offers tasty eats everyone will enjoy. Located directly on the beach, locals and tourists flood in to eat a delicious meal while enjoying the beautiful white sandy beaches and sunsets that can only be found on St. Pete Beach. Although Sandbar Bills is famous for its cheeseburger and rum runner, they offer a variety of food and drink items. Everyone is bound to find something they love! Sandbar Bills has been a staple of St. Pete Beach since 1990 with its come-as-you-are vibe. Flip-Flops are encouraged at this easy-going Bar and Grille. For more information contact 727-360-5596 or visit Sandbar Bills Bar & Grille.
Top St. Pete Hotels
Plaza Beach Hotel – Beachfront Resort
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Centrally located in St. Pete Beach, Florida, this family-owned hotel faces the Gulf of Mexico and offers guests warm sun and white, sandy beaches within walking distance of entertainment, shopping, and sightseeing opportunities. Free WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen, and a 32-inch cable TV are included in all spacious rooms at the Plaza Beach Hotel. A private balcony is featured in select rooms. Plaza Beach features a daily complimentary social hour with beer and wine. Guests can also enjoy the on-site heated outdoor swimming pool, and play a game of shuffleboard or mini-golf. Room service from Chick-Fil-A can be arranged. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Plaza Beach Hotel – Beachfront Resort.
Guy Harvey Outpost – A TradeWinds Beach Resort
This 5-acre beachfront St. Pete Beach, Florida resort is 30 minutes’ drive from the Tampa International Airport. There are 2 outdoor pools, including an adults-only pool, a hot tub, and an on-site restaurant with a 33,500-gallon aquarium where guests can snorkel with the fish. The Guy’s Great Touch Tank Experience, a fitness center, and surf simulation ride are available to all guests. A spa and tennis court are available at the Tradewinds Island Grand as well. An activity program for children is offered. The SandBox beach lounge offers live entertainment, drink specials, VIP Cabanas, and nightly campfire s’mores. RumFish Grill serves lunch and dinner with nightly entertainment. It also features an indoor and outdoor bar as well as a 33,500-gallon aquarium. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Guy Harvey Outpost – A Tradewinds Beach Resort.
Located in St. Pete Beach in the region of Florida, 2.1 miles from Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center, Sabal Palms Inn features a year-round outdoor pool and views of the pool. Free WiFi is provided and free private parking is available on site. The inn also provides free use of bicycles. Boca Ciega Bay Aquatic Preserve is 2.7 miles from Sabal Palms Inn, and St Pete Beach Theatre is 3.6 miles away. The nearest airport is St Petersburg-Clearwater Airport, 16 miles from Sabal Palms Inn. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Sabal Palms.
Beach House Suites by the Don CeSar
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, this Saint Pete Beach hotel features an outdoor heated pool and hot tub. Free WiFi is available throughout the pet-friendly property. Guests of the Saint Pete Beach House Suites can enjoy a game of shuffleboard or a friendly table tennis match. Access to the Don CeSar Resort amenities including the fitness centre, spa, and restaurants is provided. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Beach House Suites by the Don CeSar.
TradeWinds Island Grand
TradeWinds Island Grand is located on 20 acres, directly on a Gulf of Mexico beach in Saint Pete Beach. The hotel offers 5 outdoor swimming pools, 4 full-service restaurants, and a spa. TradeWinds Island Grand features 2 hot tubs and 2 tennis courts. Guests can enjoy paddleboats, beach volleyball, a water slide, and beach cabanas. The KONK Activities Center and 24-hour babysitting services are also available. Guests can also enjoy JetLev Flight Center, flying above the Gulf up to 30 feet in the air with a Jet Pack. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit TradeWinds Island Grand.