Time to relax! Here's some of the best beaches in Tampa Bay

Clearwater Beach named 'Best Beach in America'
Posted at 12:47 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2022-03-10 17:59:01-05

TAMPA, Fla. — With stunning scenery and picturesque sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico, we have really hit the beach lottery in Tampa Bay.

From vacation hotspots to remote islands and relaxing beach towns, Taste & See takes a look at some of the best beaches in the Bay area.

Here’s a list of some of the top-rated beaches in no particular order:

Clearwater Beach

45 Causeway Boulevard, Clearwater Beach, Florida 33767 Distance from Tampa: 24.5 miles / 39 minutes Parking: Costs will vary depending on the lot or garage No alcohol allowed on the beach

With over 2 ½ miles of pristine white sand and calm shallow water, it’s no surprise that Clearwater Beach is continually ranked as one of the best beaches in America year-after-year. Clearwater provides plenty of exciting amenities for the family like sand volleyball, water sports, fishing, dolphin-watching, an expansive Beach Walk and the busy Pier 60. There’s also a wide variety of delicious seafood restaurants and bars along the pier that deliver quite the socially-active scene.

Fort De Soto Beach

3500 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde, Florida 33715 Distance from Tampa: 34.1 / 42 minutes Parking: $5 No alcohol allowed on the beach

Fort De Soto Park is the beach that has it all! With five interconnected islands that sit on an 1,136-acre park, this family beach is the perfect fit for sun-seeking outdoor enthusiasts. You can tour the wetlands on rented kayaks and canoes, or hit up the 7-mile paved trail for walking and biking. Guests can also fish at the two piers without a license. If you have enough time, there’s even a dog park for your four-legged furry friend. The beach even has a lagoon to relax and soak up the sun with plenty of wildlife to explore.

Honeymoon Island State Park

1 Causeway Boulevard, Dunedin, Florida 34698
Distance from Tampa: 29.4 miles / 50 minutes
Parking: $8 per vehicle

Without having to take a boat to its destination, Honey Moon Island offers a great variety between undeveloped beaches and vacation activities. Beachgoers can enjoy several nature walk trails, water bird observation areas and over four miles worth of seemingly endless white sand at one of Florida’s most-visited state parks. There’s also umbrella, chair and kayak rentals so you can fully enjoy your day at the beach.

Siesta Beach

948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, Florida 34242 Distance from Tampa: 67 miles / 1 hour 13 minutes Parking: Over 950 free parking spaces

Siesta Beach may be the furthest beach from Tampa on this list, but it’s definitely worth the drive. Famous for its sugar-fine white sand and stunning sunsets, this beach is the perfect haven for the year-round getaway. So dip your toes into soft sand, enjoy the shallow water and plan an epic picnic for the whole family at this enormous beach.  

St. Pete Beach

5300 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, Florida 33706 Distance from Tampa: 31.5 miles / 40 minutes Parking: Costs will vary depending on the lot or garage

Claimed as a top vacation destination with warm Gulf waters and white sand beaches, St. Pete Beach provides a small-town feel with a wide array of ocean activities. From tiki bars, restaurants, jet ski rentals, lavish hotels, full-service resorts and plenty of chances for adventure, St. Pete has something everyone can enjoy. This place is certainly an ideal spot to sit back and relax. 

Pass-A-Grille Beach

900 Gulf Way, St. Pete Beach, Florida 33706
Distance from Tampa: 30 miles / 45 minutes
Parking: $3.25 Hourly Parking

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, rooftop bars, tennis courts and fishing piers. In Pass-A-Grille you separate yourself from daily stresses because you are in paradise.

John's Pass at Madeira Beach

12901 Gulf Boulevard, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Distance from Tampa: 28 miles / 45 minutes
Parking: Costs will vary depending on the lot or garage

Created by a hurricane on September 27, 1848 a pirate, John Levique, made the first passage through the newly created pass. Hence the name, Johns Pass. 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.

Are we spoiled by all the of these beautiful beaches within driving distance? Yes, and we’re proud of it.