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4 of the Best Gulf Coast Beaches to Visit in Tampa Bay

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

Gulf Coast beaches in and around Tampa Bay are known for their powdery white sand and breathtaking turquoise waters.

Whether you are looking for a quiet getaway, fun family beach outing, girl’s weekend, or some adventure, I promise the beaches near Tampa Bay are worth the visit. They offer a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. During my travels, I have loved visiting these beautiful beaches. Here are four featuring unique landscapes and the beauty that is the Florida gulf coast. Don't forget to page through the Tampa Bay Guide for more things to do in Tampa Bay.

Clearwater Beach

Great for families, the adventurous, and those looking for plenty of activity.

visit clearwater florida beach

I am not surprised that Clearwater Beach was recently ranked #6 on the top trending destinations in the United States for 2022. Clearwater Beach is an ideal vacation spot for beach-lovers who enjoy a day soaking up the sun and an evening of fun. The beach is only a short walk from hotels, entertainment, shopping, and dining.

Looking for something a little adventurous to jumpstart your day? Clearwater Beach also features hiking, biking trails, beach volleyball, tennis, parasailing, and jet skis. Take it from me; the crystal-clear water and warm Florida sands will make it harder to return home.

Indian Rocks Beach

Great for a quiet getaway.

beach in tampa bay

Indian Rocks Beach stretches almost 30 miles down the Gulf Coast of Florida. With 27 access points, it is easy to get to the beach from anywhere.

According to legend, Indian Rocks Beach was named when a medicine man healed his chief with water from a natural sulfur spring. The settlers located there would declare, “The Indians are on their way to the rocks,” and the name stuck. Indian Rocks Beach is the perfect, quaint beach town. Staying true to its original charm, visitors are welcomed with a smile, seashells line the shore, and the beautiful Gulf sunsets will make you never want to leave this peaceful paradise.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Great for nature lovers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

beach near tampa bay

Honeymoon Island State Park is located in Dunedin, Florida, and is open 365 days a year for you to enjoy. Enjoy the warmth on the four miles of white sand beaches. One of the hidden gems at this beach is the variety of wildlife, including eagles, osprey, gopher tortoises, and armadillos. You don't want to skip a visit to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center, which walks you through the park's history (and how it got its name!).

Even if the wildlife is quiet, you can stay active by swimming, fishing, hiking, and more! Landscape features include all-natural limestone pebbles and clay formed over thousands of years. The park also connects to Caladesi Island, another state park, by ferry for extra fun and exploration!

Sand Key Beach

Perfect for families, those traveling with a dog, or a peaceful getaway.

visit sand key beach

Sand Key Beach is located in Clearwater, Florida, and has both a beach and a park making it a great experience for families with small children. Expect a calm atmosphere when you step foot on this beach making it easy to catch up on reading a good book or taking a nap.

While the beach is calm, the park adds some extra activities for families to enjoy, including a picnic area, playground, dog park, and a nature trail. The salt marsh offers a peaceful spot to enjoy bird watching where you may spot heron, a great horned owl, and anhinga.

These are just four of the beaches you can enjoy along the Gulf Coast but should give you insight into the variety and uniqueness of the Tampa Bay beaches! Exploring the beaches in the Tampa Bay area is always a memorable experience!

New to Tampa Bay? Check out these great options on food, wine and craft beer.


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