Clearwater Beach - is the most popular of all the areas many beaches. Clearwater
Beach offers just about every water and beach activity imaginable. Pier 60 Park on
Clearwater Beach features a family recreation complex on Clearwaters wide open beach
with covered playgrounds, fishing and concessions. The Sunsets at Pier 60 festival
features music, entertainment and a beautiful Gulf of Mexico sunset throughout the year.
Sand Key Park - is a 90-acre county park featuring a white sandy
beach rated among the top 20 beaches in the United States. The park offers two bathhouses,
picnic shelters, nearly a thousand metered parking spaces. The park is open every day from
7 a.m. to sunset. Lifeguards are on duty from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can reach
Sand Key by driving south from Clearwater Beach over the Clearwater Pass Bridge or by
taking the Belleair Causeway and then going north on Gulf Boulevard.
St. Pete Beach - is a barrier island near the southern tip of the
St. Petersburg Clearwater area. It is accessible from Interstate 275 by taking the
Pinellas Bayway. Access to the beach is available at Upham Beach Park on Gulf Boulevard
from 67th to 70th Avenue and Pinellas County Beach Access Park on Gulf Boulevard at 44th
Avenue. Both have metered parking. Several area resorts and shops offer a wide assortment
of water sports including waverunners, scuba diving, fishing, parasailing and more.
Fort De Soto Park - the park consists of 900 unspoiled acres, seven
miles of beaches, two fishing piers, and picnic and camping areas directly on the Gulf of
Mexico. A concession stand, bathrooms and covered picnic shelters are available. A fort
built during the Spanish-American War is located on Mullet Key, the largest of the five
islands which make up this unique area which lies southwest of St. Petersburg. The area
has a popular biking and skating trail as well as rental facilities for canoes, kayaks and
bicycles. Fort De Soto rated as the seventh best beach in the United States in a
1999 national study.
Indian Shores - Tiki Gardens beach access park at 19601 Gulf
Boulevard is the most popular beach access point in Indian Shores. Tiki Gardens features
170 time metered parking spaces, restroom facilities, benches, a water fountain, beach
showers and a pedestrian crossing light at Gulf Boulevard. Several other access points are
also available. The Park Boulevard Causeway connects Indian Shores to the St.
Petersburg/Clearwater area mainland.
Treasure Island - one of the widest beaches in the area and
features several sporting activities including an annual kite-flying contest and the Taste
of Treasure Island food and music festival. Beach access is available at lots at six
parking areas along Gulf Boulevard including Treasure Island Beach Access Park at 10400
Gulf Boulevard with metered parking spaces, restroom facilities, a water fountain and
beach showers. Three public boat ramps and a marina are available. Treasure Island is
directly west of St. Petersburg and can be accessed by the Treasure Island Causeway off
Maderia Beach - several beach accesses are available in Madeira
Beach including the County Park at 14400 Gulf Boulevard. This 1.5-acre site features 450
feet of beach on the Gulf of Mexico with time metered parking for 104 vehicles, a
restroom, and two showers located on the beach. Madeira Beach is also home to "fish
famous" Johns Pass. The Johns Pass Village & Boardwalk offers
commercial and charter fishing as well as casino and sightseeing cruises. Fishing is
popular from several public piers. The Tom Stuart Causeway connects Madeira Beach to the
St. Petersburg/Clearwater area mainland.
Indian Rocks Beach - this area features more than 20 beach accesses
located along Gulf Boulevard with free parking. Indian Rocks Beach access park, located at
1700 Gulf Boulevard, features metered parking spaces for vehicles, a restroom and outdoor
showers. The Walsingham Road Causeway connects Indian Rocks Beach to the St.
Petersburg/Clearwater area mainland.
Pass-A-Grille Beach - the
first established town on Floridas West coast barrier islands and is a registered
National Historic District. The area on the southern tip of St. Pete Beach has no
condominiums or "high-rise" buildings keeping it a unique slice of old Florida.
Sunset watches are popular at the areas public-access beach. The beach runs from 1st
to 22nd Avenue along Gulf Way. Metered parking is available.
Here are three large barrier islands off the beaten path. With miles of White
Egmont Key - this 440-acre island at the southernmost tip of
the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area is the home of the last government-manned lighthouse
(built in 1858) in the United States. Now a wildlife refuge, Egmont Key was a camp for
captured Seminole Indians during the Third Seminole war and was a Union Navy base during
the Civil War. Several boats offer snorkeling excursions to this island which is
accessible only by boat. Visitors can snorkel over grass beds and ruins
of two gun batteries from the fort, or enjoy the unspoiled beach.
Caladesi Island - one of the few remaining large undeveloped
barrier islands on Floridas Gulf Coast, Caladesi is only accessible by boat. The
island is ideal for swimming, shelling, fishing, picnics, skin and scuba diving and nature
study. The park also has a three-mile nature trail winding through the islands
interior. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. A ferry departs
hourly from nearby Honeymoon Island. Docks are available on the island for private boats.
A snack bar and shelters are also available
Honeymoon Island - this state park features sunbathing, shelling,
swimming, fishing, picnic pavilions, bathhouses and a park concession building. The
Caladesi Island ferry departs from Honeymoon Island. Like Caladesi
Island, Honeymoon Island is one of the states few undisturbed barrier islands. The
Island also features two bird observation areas, a pet beach, two nature trails and one of
the few remaining south Florida virgin slash pine stands. These large trees serve as
important nesting sites for osprey. Honeymoon Island has more than 208 species of plants
and a variety of shore birds, including several threatened and endangered species. The
Island has a long history considering it is only 7,000 years old. Originally settled by
members of the Tocobaga tribe of Native Americans, a wave of explorers, pirates, traders
and fisherman came and went. Originally named Sand Island, a successful hog farm changed
the islands moniker to Hog Island in the 1880s. A hurricane in 1921 separated what
is now Caladesi Island.
- There are hundreds of other small to
mid sized islands that are only accessible by boat. Numerous boat rentals are
available throughout the Tampa Bay Florida Area.
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