America’s No. 1 Beach. Amazing attractions. Water sports aplenty. The biggest Pride fest in the state. There’s never a dull moment in St. Pete/Clearwater – though there’s plenty of relaxation on tap if that’s what you’re looking for. Natural spaces beckon, acclaimed museums enlighten and attractions offer hours of fun up and down the coast. And there’s always a time and a place for a little R&R. Your adventures start here.
This place may be so laid-back that flip-flops are the default footwear here, but St. Pete/Clearwater sure has a lot going on. Miles of white-sand beaches promise days of sun-soaked fun. Mind-blowing museums and galleries immerse you in art and culture. Boating, golf and pro sports invite you to partake in the action. Nightlife, events and open-air fests are cause for year-round revelry. Not sure where to start? We get it. Here’s a lowdown of all there is to do in St. Pete/Clearwater. Check out bucket-list beaches, the exciting craft beer scene or our signature events, and let your itinerary grow from there.
With 35 miles of sugar-sand bliss to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect beach for you. And with three of Tripadvisor's top beaches in the U.S. located here in St. Pete/Clearwater, planning the perfect beach vacation is easy!
America's Best Beaches are waiting for you. Here's an update on current beach conditions in St. Pete/Clearwater.
On any beach day, it's important to be aware of current beach conditions. Look to the beach flag warning system (see details lower on this page) and heed any posted warnings. Rip tides are infrequent, but can be present without being obvious to beachgoers.
Below, you'll also find information on seasonal air and water temperatures, as well as additional resources to help you plan your beach vacation.
As you enjoy America's Best Beaches, please remember to be considerate of other beachgoers, wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and have a safe and sunny beach day.
Many Florida beaches, including beaches in St. Pete/Clearwater, utilize a beach warning flag system to let beachgoers know of current beach conditions. You'll most often see beach warning flags posted on or near lifeguard stands.
Green Flag: Low hazard, calm conditions.
Yellow Flag: Medium hazard with moderate surf or currents.
Red Flag: High hazard, with high surf or strong currents; when these conditions are present, lifeguards may ask swimmers to get out of the water.
Double Red Flag: Water is closed to the public (you may still walk on the beach, but you may not enter the water).
Blue Flag: Stinging or hazardous marine life such as stingrays or jellyfish are present.
It's important to note that rip currents can occur unexpectedly at any beach. Swimmers should be aware of their surroundings and read about what to do if they get caught in a rip current.
Besides its gorgeous white sands and emerald-green waters, Clearwater Beach is one of Beth’s top picks for accessibility because it’s the only beach in St. Pete/Clearwater that offers power beach wheelchairs, which can make exploring a lot easier.
She also loves Clearwater Beach because, she says, “Pier 60 is easily accessible and fun, and it’s a good way to see the Gulf and sunsets, and also to shop at booths, starting in the late afternoon. You can see pelicans, egrets, other shorebirds and many times, dolphins from the pier.”
Beth cautions that finding accessible parking here can be difficult because Clearwater Beach is so popular – so your best bet is to come early. Here's additional information about beach accessibility at Clearwater Beach:
Gulfport, Beth’s hometown, is most definitely worth a visit for its funky and free-spirited vibe – but it also has a small-but-lovely bayside beach with easy access, making it one of her top picks. “I love Gulfport Beach because there are lots of dolphin and bird sightings, nice accessible bathrooms and shaded picnic shelters – and it’s an easy roll or walk to quite a few accessible shops and restaurants, Williams Pier and Veteran’s Park.”
Here is some additional information about beach accessibility at Gulfport Beach on Boca Ciega Bay:
The tiny town of Pass-a-Grille Beach offers amazing sunsets, beautiful dunes with sea oats and a quieter atmosphere than some of the bigger beach hotspots.
Beth enjoys Pass-a-Grille for many reasons. “It has accessible sidewalks with tables and umbrellas practically on the beach, it offers live music – and it has great shelling.”
Even better: You'll have access to beach wheelchairs later into the evening here than at most beaches, because they're managed by Paradise Grille staff rather than by staff at lifeguard stations (lifeguards typically leave at 5 p.m.). And the city of St. Pete Beach recently added a Mobi-Mat on Pass-a-Grille Beach at 22nd Avenue, further increasing beach access.
Beth also notes that Pass-a-Grille Beach is an easy roll or walk to several shops and restaurants – and it’s only about a quarter mile to the accessible Merry Pier on the bayside.
Here's some additional information about beach accessibility at Pass-a-Grille Beach:
This tiny, wealthy beach community has only one public beach access point for non-residents. No umbrellas or other temporary shade structures are allowed on the beach here.
Location: 2650 Gulf Blvd., Belleair Beach, FL 33786
Parking: Two handicapped parking spots with access stripes.
Ramp and beach access: There is ramp access from the parking lot to the sidewalk. The sidewalk stops at the sand, with no Mobi-Mat. There is a picnic shelter with tables that is accessible before you get to the beach.
Beach wheelchairs: There are no beach wheelchairs available at Morgan Park on Belleair Beach.
Bathroom accessibility: The bathroom stall is ADA-compliant and has grab bars, with a sink in the stall.
Many visitors escape to Caladesi Island to be on “island time” – indeed, this beautiful state park is accessible only by boat. People in manual wheelchairs can board the Caladesi Connection ferry, though once on the island, paths are sandy and natural, so it will be necessary to transfer to a beach wheelchair to get around.
Location: Find the ferry to Caladesi Island within Honeymoon Island State Park at 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698
Parking: There are disability parking spaces available.
Beach wheelchairs: Request a beach wheelchair when you buy your ferry ticket. It will be waiting for you when you arrive at the island.
Bathrooms: There are ADA-compliant bathrooms.
Fort De Soto Park is much more than a beach – visitors can visit a historic fort, paddle a quiet waterway, and explore trails here. The park has a gorgeous, expansive beach, but no Mobi-Mats.
Off the beach, a nearly seven-mile, multi-use paved trail is great for wheelchair users, but be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen or avoid the middle of the day, as the trail is in full sun. Expect to see bicyclists, rollerblades, runners and walkers on the trail. “Be careful of e-bikers and stay to the right,” Beth recommends.
Beth has visited several times and says that the staff at Topwater Kayak Outpost inside the park has been very accommodating to her. “They’ve helped me get in and out of the kayak and safely watched my wheelchair until my return.”
Accessible areas of the park include the gift shop, snack shop, fort, Gulf pier, bait shop and the 2,200-foot barrier-free nature trail. “The Gulf pier is a great place to see shorebirds, dolphins and manatees in spring and summer,” Beth says.
Fort De Soto Park offers ferries to Shell Key and Egmont Key, but these ferries are not wheelchair accessible.
Here is some additional information about beach accessibility at Fort De Soto Park: