There are many great things to do in Tampa, including stunning sandy spaces for all to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves on a surfboard or jet ski, reel in a big one on a fishing charter tour, or simply sit on the sand and admire the view, Tampa Bay beaches can provide all you need. Read on to learn all about the best beaches in this part of Florida.

1. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach
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Clearwater is a name that any Florida resident or traveler will surely have heard. This beach is actually known all around the world and has been ranked as one of the prettiest beaches on the planet multiple times. With the softest sands you can possibly imagine and wonderful warm waters that are just right for swimming and many other activities, Clearwater has a lot to offer. The area has also undergone significant development to incorporate new attractions. The local Clearwater Aquarium, for example, is a great place to spend some time and there are plenty of top quality restaurants, bars, and nightlife locations just off the beach. Browse more things to do in Clearwater on vacation.

2. Beaches Near Me: St Pete Beach

Beaches Near Me: St Pete Beach
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Located right by St Petersburg, St Pete Beach is one of the most beloved beaches in the Tampa Bay area and has consistently been ranked as one of the best beaches in all of America. The sands here, like many other locations around Tampa, are exceptionally white and soft to walk along, and the waters are just right, but this beach really stands out in terms of the activities and amenities found nearby. Lots of great restaurants can be found on the beachfront, and there are plenty of activity operators and rental stores too providing things like jet skis and beach equipment. The nearby city has plenty of great shopping areas and hotels to extend your stay, making St Pete Beach an ideal location for a full day of fun. Check out these fun day trips from Tampa to explore the nearby area.

3. Tampa Bay Beaches: Sand Key Park

Tampa Bay Beaches: Sand Key Park
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Not far from Clearwater, Sand Key is a great spot for families or beach-goers who are looking for a little peace and quiet. Many Tampa Bay beaches are very popular and highly touristic areas that can sometimes get quite busy, but Sand Key Park is one of the lesser-known spots along this beautiful section of coastline. That means that this particular beach is generally quite calm, offering a tranquil environment for sunbathers to drift off into an afternoon nap or groups of friends and families to share a picnic together without any distractions. There are several picnic areas to choose from in the park itself, as well as showers, restrooms, and a fun play area for kids. Dine at the best romantic restaurants in Tampa on your trip.

4. Beach Near Me: Caladesi Island

Beach Near Me: Caladesi Island

Caladesi Island is quite simply a must-visit Tampa Bay beach. Why? For starters, it's one of the most aesthetically impressive beaches anywhere on the Florida coastline. The white sands of this beach seem to stretch out without any end in both directions, and the surrounding state park offers unparalleled views, as well as a good chance of spotting some wildlife. There are various trails to enjoy, and a simple stroll up and down the beach can be so fulfilling at Caladesi Island. It's worth noting, however, that this Tampa Bay beach is only accessible by boat, but plenty of services run to and from the island each day. Tampa beaches are among the most beautiful in the state.

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5. Fort De Soto

Fort De Soto
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Fort De Soto Park covers more than 1,000 acres in total and consists of several little islands all linked together, so there's a huge amount of sand to explore here. It's a very natural, peaceful area that is very popular with local wildlife, meaning that any beachgoers at this Tampa Bay spot will have a good chance of spotting some birds nesting among the grassy areas or dolphins playing out at sea. Camping is even possible at this Tampa Bay beach park, and there multiple miles of scenic hiking and cycling trails to enjoy, offering unbeatable views of the Tampa Bay and Gulf waters. Find the best Tampa resorts that fit your budget.

6. Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach
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Made famous by iconic attractions like the John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk, Madeira Beach is a great summer destination to the west of St. Petersburg. The beach is home to 2.5 miles of beachfront and welcomes hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand annually. Among its many activities and attractions, some of the must-visit spots at Madeira Beach include the 1,100-foot boardwalk, sport-fishing trips along the harbor, and the Seafood Festival which is held annually in October at John’s Pass. Guests who want to enjoy a unique experience can hop onto a floating tiki bar for cocktail hour, too. For the tame at heart, there is a spectacular range of exciting restaurants and boardwalk shops to stop by. Read about the best things to do in Tampa with kids.

7. Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach
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It’s hard to find a beach more welcoming, more inclusive, and more quintessentially beachy than Sunset Beach. Situated at Treasure Island’s southern tip, Sunset Beach welcomes visitors from all walks of life, from all lifestyles, and of all interests to its shores. The beachfront is dotted with unique and eye-catching homes, tiki huts, bohemian-style bars, and more, and offers great community and recreational experiences for all of its visitors to enjoy. Guests to Sunset Beach will find great wheelchair-friendly walkways, public picnic areas, and restrooms, as well as a playground for everyone’s enjoyment. Be sure to stick around for the breathtaking sunsets that this beach is known for, too. Read about the best Florida weekend getaways on vacation.

9000 W. Gulf Boulevard, Treasure Island, Florida 33706, Phone: 727-547-4575

8. Indian Rocks Beach

Indian Rocks Beach

If you’re the type of beachgoer who prefers a quiet excursion while still enjoying close proximity to the area’s attractions, then Indian Rocks Beach is for you. Famous for its laid-back beaches, Indian Rocks Beach promises a quiet seaside retreat in St. Petersburg, Florida, but also promises some spectacular food and drink establishments just around the corner. With great water sports and beach recreation experiences, Indian Rocks Beach also has some great tourist attractions to enjoy like the George C. McGough Nature Park, Heritage Village, Contagious Deep Sea Fishing Charters, and Kolb Park. Hungry guests shouldn’t miss out on a trip to Jimmy Guana’s for a great meal, while the tropical drinks available at the Cruzan Rum Shack are just what the doctor ordered for a hot day. Browse our best places to visit in Florida guide for more ideas.

Indian Rocks Beach, St. Petersburg, Florida

9. Pass A Grille Beach

Pass A Grille Beach
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Located in St. Pete Beach, Pass a Grille Beach promises sunshine all year round. Pass a Grille is St. Pete’s southernmost beach and is easily accessible to residents of St. Petersburg as the downtown area is just a short drive away. Visitors to Pass a Grille Beach can enjoy perusing numerous boutiques, shopping at lovely outdoor markets, eating at hot-spot restaurants, and lounging at rooftop bars. In addition to the typical beach activities, Pass a Grill Beach also has great fishing piers, tennis courts for public use, and ice cream shacks for the perfect cool-down treat. The best part? Pass a Grille Beach is pet friendly so your four-legged friends can come along for the trip.

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Phone: 727-403-6136

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10. North Redington Beach

North Redington Beach
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North Redington Beach is one of the Gulf’s best-kept secrets. It is nestled between Indian Shores and Madeira Beach and has a great laid-back crowd of locals. Being so under the radar, North Redington Beach is great for visitors who want a quiet beach experience while still being near popular attractions. Enjoy great restaurants like the Beachside Boutique at Redington Shore, a great meal and cup of coffee at the Sweet Sage Café and Boutique, or take long walks along the shoreline care of miles upon miles of shoreline. Some other great places to eat at North Redington Beach include Gypsy Souls Café, the Seabreeze Island Grill and Raw Bar, and Conch Republic.

St. Pete, Florida

More ideas: Weekend Getaways from Miami

11. Fred Howard Park

Fred Howard Park
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Enjoy sun, surf, and sand in Tarpon Springs when you visit Fred Howard Park. Featuring 155 acres off the Gulf of Mexico, Fred Howard Park is popular amongst families thanks to its beach’s milder water conditions and the park connected to the beach by a 1-mile causeway. There are many enjoyable public amenities that Fred Howard Park Beach has to offer such as nine picnic shelters, two playgrounds, six restrooms, beach parking, park parking, and even windsurfing areas, canoe, and kayak launch areas, fishing sections, as well as beach showers. Open year-round with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas, Fred Howard Park is a great go-to beach destination in Florida. Check out our romantic weekend getaways guide for more ideas.

1700 Sunset Drive, Tarpon Springs, Florida 34689

12. Belleair Beach

Belleair Beach

Visit the community of Belleair Beach which is home to a gorgeous 4,500 feet of secluded white sand shorelines as well as some impressive and luxurious waterfront homes that visitors can rent. What’s special about Belleair Beach, however, is that it’s actually home to a ton of nesting sites for both sea birds and sea turtles. Hatching season is a special time to witness for animal lovers at this laid-back hidden gem. It’s important to remember that there are no public utilities or restaurants along Belleair Beach, so the best way to enjoy what the beach has to offer is through home rentals at this West Coast waterfront community. Browse our things to do in Florida guide for more ideas.

1800 Gulf Boulevard, Belleair Beach, Florida 33786; Phone: 727-595-4646

13. Ben T. Davis Beach

Ben T. Davis Beach
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At Ben T. Davis Beach visitors get to enjoy calm waters, fine white sand, and lovely picnic shelters all from its easily accessible location. Just a short drive from downtown Tampa, Ben T. Davis Beach is a favorite amongst locals for tailgating but also for recreational activities. Weekend mornings see devoted beach volleyball players descend upon the sand while runs along the shoreline are sure to get your heart pumping. Meanwhile, there is a nearby biking and pedestrian trail, the Courtney Campbell Trail, that visitors to the beach can enjoy before spending the rest of their time in the water. Florida beaches offer a cheap way to enjoy the state's natural beauty.

7740 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, Florida 33607, Phone: 813-274-8615

14. Egmont Key State Park

Egmont Key State Park
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Go on a unique adventure when you visit the beautiful Egmont Key State Park. Historically and ecologically significant, the Egmont Key State Park has been occupied by many forces over the years such as captured Seminoles, the Union Navy in 1898, and Fort Dade until 1923. Egmont Key is also home to a historic lighthouse that was built in 1858. Today, the park is mostly home to gorgeous wildlife, but it also welcomes adventurous visitors to come to experience the park as a personal refuge as well. The island is only accessible by boat and has trails and historic sites to visit. It’s great for swimming, fishing, and picnics. As Egmont Key is a remote location, guests will need to bring their own water, food, and sunscreen when coming to the park.

More ideas: Best Romantic Getaways in Florida

4905 34th Street South, #5000, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711, Phone: 727-644-6235

15. More Info About Tampa Bay Beaches

More Info About Tampa Bay Beaches
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Regardless of age or background, everybody loves going to the beach. It’s the perfect space to simply get away from it all, to forget about the worries of regular life and flee from the noise and pollution of city spaces. Breathing in the fresh sea air and relaxing on the soft sand is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, and that’s why beaches have proven to consistently be some of the most popular places to spend sunny days all around the world. Even when the sun isn’t shining, a beach can be a lovely place to relax with friends or family, but when the sun does come out and the temperatures rise, beaches offer all kinds of excitement both on the sand and out in the water.

If you want to have the best time at the beach in the United States, Florida is definitely one of the top places to be. The Sunshine State has the longest coastline than any other part of the contiguous United States and also has some of the warmest weather in all of North America. With the Atlantic Coast on one side and the Gulf Coast on the other, Florida has a long list of exceptional beaches to choose from, and plenty of beautiful beaches can be found in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay beaches are not only wonderful to look at, they can also provide the perfect setting for lots of different activities from swimming and snorkeling to surfing and boating.

The 15 Best Tampa Bay Beaches near me today according to local experts:

More Ideas: Straz Center for the Performing Arts

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa Bay, Florida, is the largest performing arts center in the region and the only center to feature a performing arts conservatory on the property.

The David A. Straz, Jr Center for The Performing Arts is a nonprofit organization that began in 1987, formally known as the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Since the 1990’s, The Straz Center has established a mission to make arts education in the Tampa Bay community a priority through partnerships with public and private school systems, homeschool groups, and outreach programming to seven counties in the area.

In addition to theatrical productions, orchestras, concerts, recitals, comedy, Broadway and Opera, whose ticketing and events schedule can be found on the website, and other performing arts, the Straz Center offers artist residency programs, after school and summer programs for students, a theater day camp with full production for 100 children, and is the home of the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra.


The Straz Center features indoor and outdoor artistic exhibits that are interactive and hands on. Each exhibit is a community art project that fosters artistic growth in the local community and engages residents in the arts.

Art on the Walk- This series was launched in 2015 and is a permanent exhibit on the Riverwalk. Art on the Walk also features temporary exhibitions from time to time that highlight local artists and are themed.

Dr. Jay and Ann McKeel Ross Fine Art Exhibit- The Dr. and his wife are fine art collectors who rotate pieces of their personal collection at Morsani Hall in temporary one year exhibits that are exchanged every September.

Performance in Sculpture- This exhibit is juried by the National Sculpture Society and the Straz Center. The current exhibit showcases 13 pieces that will remain on display through 2017 when new pieces are chosen. All sculptures are available for purchase through the Straz Center.

String Theory’s Fin Harp- This outdoor exhibit was assembled by String Theory, a LA based performance group who turned the corner on riverside into a working, 200-foot, public harp.

The Cube by The Urban Conga- As part of the 2016 Cube Project, this interactive installation promotes artistic expression in the community. Set up blank, five local artists were invited to use markers and paint pens to do whatever they wanted to the cube for one month. The Cube is in Jaeb Courtyard.

Why Sit When You Can Play?- Also by The Urban Conga, this interactive musical bench can be found on the Straz grounds on the riverfront. Make music on the 18-foot sculpture that is a permanent part of the campus.

The Patel Conservancy is part of the Education Department at Straz Center and makes training in performing arts accessible to the community. There are free and discounted opportunities provided through partnerships with community resources for classes in the arts, lectures, talk-backs, participating in performances, and workshops. There are also educational outreach programs for those unable to attend the Straz Center in person. Some of the instructional classes offered at The Patel Conservancy include Ballet, Jazz, HipHop, and Flamenco, choral, Chamber Music, Broadway, play acting, and musical theater.

Broadway Star of The Future- This program began in 2009 and is an awards ceremony honoring exceptional high school productions and production members. The Broadway League developed the adjudicated model and the program occurs in the spring.

Field Trips- Throughout the school year, The Straz Center hosts productions that are suitable for school aged children. Staff can provide educators with a study guide that explains how the production fits into the FCAT posed by the State of Florida. Field Trip days are always posted on the Straz website.

Conservancy to go- this fee based program utilized talent and educators from the Straz Center in outside organizations to be able to access educational experiences in the performing arts close to home. Teaching artists travel to your location to produce an art education experience for your group or program. Cost is based on each individual case.


There are 3 restaurant options at Straz Center. As well as a coffee shop located on the south side of the campus by the gift shop.

Maestro’s Restaurant- Found upstairs from the Shimberg Playhouse and Jaeb Theater, reservations are recommended at this restaurant which offer table service and a unique menu inspired by each show. Dinner is a fixed menu with a children’s entrée available.

Maestro’s Café- This buffet is found in the Ruth Silbiger Lobby in Morsani Hall and is open evening prior to performances. Reservations are accepted.

Maestro’s on the River- located outside of the Center with a view of the Hillsborough River, this restaurant serves light options such as hot and cold appetizers, wine and cocktails. Open when weather permits.

1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place Tampa, FL 33602, Phone: 800-955-1045

More Ideas: Glazer Children’s Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum offers a fun way for children to learn, encouraging them to play with a purpose within an educational, fun, and interactive environment. The museum offers an interactive laboratory for learning, along with specially curated programs, in a nurturing, warm, and safe environment. Children are given the opportunity to explore their potential through numerous different fun, yet educational activities. Kids try out several identities as they explore at the Glazer Museum, whether as a vet at the Vet Clinic, an engineer in the Engineers’ Workshop, or a doctor in the Hospital among many others.

The Design and Build exhibit is a yellow house at the Glazer Children’s Museum that is always in need of renovation. Young carpenters, designers, and architects are invited to act as an engineer, gardener, and plumber to help renovate the small house. Artsmart welcomes children to explore the world of art.

The Engineers’ Workshop is the perfect workshop for any young inventor. Younger children can build with block or giant LEGOs, or design a train route. Older children can create a LEGO design on the exhibit’s LEGO wall of fold and then launch paper airplanes. The Glazer Children’s Museum also features a new robotics lab called Gadget Garage. This lab lets kids and adults alike explore the robotics and gadgets of today.

Central Bank at the children’s museum lets kids explore the world of commerce and banking through interactive games. Children can learn the basics of earning and saving money with physical activities, matching, and simple math. Kids can then use their money to light up City Hall, launch a rocket, and more. Climbing aboard the Cruiseship gives kids a chance to be an explorer, sailor, or captain as they search for buried treasure or set sail.

The Firehouse at Glazer Children’s Museum lets children try their hand at being a firefighter as they pretend to save the day. Kids can put on safety gear and then slide down the kid-size firehouse’s fireman’s pole. There is also a fire truck simulation in which children can drive a fire truck through Tampa Bay, turning on the lights and playing the siren.

Children can create forts for imaginative play in the Forts area of the Glazer Museum. Kids can use pillows and sheets to build an epic fort or reading spot. Get Moving offers fun physical challenges for children to test their speed, endurance, and strength. Activities include climbing in the museum’s new indoor playground, racing an array of animals, and climbing the miniature climbing wall.

The Ocean Sandbox at Glazer Children’s Museum allows children to create the topography of the ocean by moving and shaping the sand. Kids can use their hands to sculpt caves, underwater channels, islands, and mountains to see the augmented reality marine landscape brought to life with treasure chests, ocean creatures, and much more. KidsPort features a large water table on which kids can navigate cargo ships through channels similar those in Tampa Bay. Children can pretend to be engineers, harbor pilot, and dock workers as they learn more about the movement of water.

110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-443-3861

More Ideas: Tampa Bay History Center

The Tampa Bay History Center is found on the Riverwalk of the Channel District in Tampa Bay, Florida and features 12,000 years of Florida and local Tampa Bay history, the Witt Research Center, shopping, dining, and an event hall.

The Tampa Bay History Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate organization featuring interactive and educational exhibits and programming highlighting 12,000 years of Florida history. The History Center has access to over 130 million artifacts in the Smithsonian’s collection that are featured in both permanent and temporary exhibits. Nearly 3 million Hillsborough County residents and tourists visit the History Center annually.

The building was also awarded a Silver LEED certification in 2012 as being Green from the U.S. Green Building Council. The History Center sits on reclaimed land and is built from recycled materials. The bricks in the parking garage are recycled from historic streets in Tampa and the center features optimal natural lighting through glass windows and recycled rubber flooring, smart lights, and other green resources.

Collections and Exhibits

The collection at the Tampa Bay History Center features artifacts, artworks, and documents with a relevance to Florida and the region. The collection begins as early as the prehistoric Gulf Coast and reaches to modern day through all spheres of life. Some collections are only available to educators and many of the artifacts are on loan through the Smithsonian. The permanent collection owned by the Tampa Bay History Center holds more than 60,000 objects. Donors can adopt artifacts in need of conservation.

The History Center is two floors. On the first-floor Visitors will find permanent exhibits related to the first people of Florida and original artwork by Theodore Morris, Panfilo Narvaez’s landing at Tampa Bay almost 500 years ago, European exploration of Florida, Spanish and French settlers of the 16th century, Seminole War and Native cultures, and Cigar City.

The second-floor exhibits include history local to Tampa Bay, cattle ranching, natural resources of the bay, recreational and social activities in the area, civil rights, urban development, and wars since 1830. There is also a hands-on discovery center based on the novel A Land Remembered, The touchton Map Gallery, and A gallery of artworks from local school children on the second floor of the History Center.

The Tampa Bay History Center offers many different options for family and educational programming throughout the year at the facility. All events are on the website calendar with annual special events occurring on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Smithsonian Museum Day. There are also special fall events for trick-or-treating and Holiday celebrations in December.

History Adventure Camps- These summer camps are offered to children age 7-11 and includes tour of Ybor City, field trips to cultural site, lectures by historians and educators, and many hands-on activities. Each camp is one week long. There are also American Girl, Archaeology Mystery, Pirates and Explorer, Museum, and Hysterical History themed summer camps from June until August annually.

My Doll and Me- This program is designed for children age 6-12 and requires preregistration. Parents drop of children for the day where they explore the past with their dolls and tour the museum with a docent.

Sangria and Stories- This adult program is a casual mixer to hear stories of the permanent exhibits collections with guest lecturers and adult beverages. Dinner is served before and after the presentation at the Columbia Café.

Florida Conversations- This monthly lecture program explores the history, art, politics, culture, and current events of Florida with top scholars, writers, and artists. This event is coproduced by TBHC and University of Southern Florida and the Public Media and is free to the public.

Book Group­- The Book group meets the third Thursday of each month and reads books about Florida that are written by local authors. Books such as history, nonfiction, and fiction, mysteries, and the environment are often read. Coffee is served before the meeting starts.

Walking Tours- Docent lead tours from the History Center and through Tampa’s most historic neighborhoods are 90 minutes long and require registration. Groups of up to 25 can be accommodated.

Field Trips- The History Center is best for grades 3-12 with 4th-8th grade educators finding the exhibits in line with Florida and US History Standards. A museum tour takes about 2 hours to complete with additional time for lunch or visiting the museum store after the tour concludes. Docents will lead all field trips and tours will lead students through exhibits that explore the early peoples of Florida through industry of Tampa Bay.

801 Old Water Street, Tampa FL 33602, Phone: 813-228-0097