Planning a summer getaway in the Sunshine State? Look no further – Tampa is the best place to go to during the hot season. Thanks to its location on the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, the Big Guava stays cooler in the summer compared to Miami and Orlando.
Whether you’re looking for a secluded, pristine beach with gorgeous white sand where you can simply lounge in the sun or tourist hotspots with lots of water activities to enjoy with the family, Tampa offers you a plethora of excellent beaches to choose to spend your summer.
Here’s a roundup of the best beaches in Tampa, Florida to make your vacation planning much easier.
To say that Clearwater Beach is one of the best Tampa Bay beaches is an understatement. In fact, it is one of the best beaches in the United States!
- This beach is the northernmost developed barrier island along the Tampa Bay Beaches.
- Its pristine white sand beach boardwalk connects to Pier 60, where you can have a breathtaking view of the sunset while being entertained with live music.
- Some of the amenities here include cabana rentals; kayak, jet ski, and paddle board rentals; and numerous restaurants and bars.
- There’s parking at the beach, but you can also opt to avail of the free parking in downtown Clearwater then take the ferry to the beach. Rate is $4 for adults and $2 for children.
St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Florida
An award-winning beach, St. Pete Beach is the best place to spend your summer if you want to have an extraordinary experience.
- The beach boasts of its beautiful turquoise waters and white sand.
- It’s a full-service beach with 10 public beach walkways, cabana rentals, restaurants, bars, shops, and water sports.
- St. Pete Beach is home to the famous “Pink Palace” known as The Don CeSar.
- Finding parking at St. Pete Beach is usually a challenge, but you can use the free green energy shuttle called “Freebee” which provides guests with a free lift along Gulf Boulevard and has numerous stops along St. Pete Beach.
Egmont Key Beach, St. Petersburg, Florida
If you’re looking for a secluded beach, Egmont Key Beach is one of your best choices in Tampa.
- Egmont Key Beach is a 400-acre Florida state park located on an island that you can only access by a private boat or ferry.
- This uninhabited island at the mouth of Tampa Bay is the perfect destination for those who want to enjoy wildlife and explore the rich history of the place.
- The state park is home to a nature preserve with wildlife, including gopher tortoises, dolphins, and birds.
- Egmont Key is also home to both a lighthouse that has stood since 1858 and Fort Dade from the Spanish-American War.
- Aside from swimming, this white sand beach is perfect for collecting seashells, snorkeling, fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking.
- As this is a remote island, there is no drinking water and no stores, so be sure to bring enough water, food, sunscreen, etc. to last for your entire stay.
- There are also no bathrooms and other amenities on the island.
Caladesi Island, Dunedin, Florida
Another remote beach that’s only accessible by boat, Caladesi Island is just a few miles north of Clearwater Beach and a quick 15-minute ferry ride from nearby Honeymoon Island.
- This island was once connected to Honeymoon Island, but the two were separated by a hurricane in 1921.
- Caladesi Island has three miles of white sandy beach that is perfect for collecting seashells, relaxing on the shore, and swimming in the warm gulf waters.
- If you happen to be a nature lover, you will enjoy kayaking through a three-mile loop through mangroves, home to blue herons, osprey, bald eagles, and fish, and hiking along the trail lined with live oaks.
- Unlike Egmont Key Beach, there are amenities, such as bathrooms, picnic tables, rental chairs, umbrellas, and a café on the island.
Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, Florida
Honeymoon Island, the sister island of Caladesi Island, has over four miles of pristine untouched beach.
- The island is broken up into three areas: the south, north, and dog beach.
- At the south end of the island is where the beach is, with soft white sand and a picnic area.
- The north end is for surfing, and there are hiking trails and flat tide pools as well.
- One of the things that draws nature lovers to this beach is the Osprey Trail, home to more than 50 osprey nests.
Fred Howard Park, Tarpon Springs, Florida
One of the reasons people go to Fred Howard Park for a summer getaway is the unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico, making it one of the best beaches near Tampa Bay to watch the sunset.
- Fred Howard Park is located about 25 miles from Tampa International Airport in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
- This 155-mile state park is connected by a scenic one-mile causeway that takes you to the sandy white beach with calm turquoise waters.
- The beach is perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing, and windsurfing.
- The nature park is home to various endangered wildlife, such as osprey, eagles, tortoises, manatees, and dolphins.
Sand Key Beach, Clearwater, Florida
Sand Key Park’s hidden gem is located just south of Clearwater Beach over the Sand Key Bridge.
- If you’re into collecting shells, you’ll love strolling along the 1-mile stretch of white gulf sand which is popular for its abundance of seashells.
- The park is also home to conservation efforts for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, protecting them when they lay eggs on the beach.
- Sand Key is home to a variety of wildlife, like heron, spoonbills, great horned owls, roseate, sting rays, dolphins, sea turtles, blue herons, pelicans, and more.
- The park has several amenities, including a boardwalk, showers, playground, picnic area, and a dog park.
There you have it! All the best Tampa beaches to go to in summer. And, if you happen to enjoy your stay so much that you’d consider living in the area, I’d be more than happy to show you all the best homes in Tampa, FL too! Feel free to give me a call at (813) 789-2096 or send me an email at [email protected] if you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule an appointment.