If you’re planning your next beach vacation, Tampa, Florida on the Sunshine State’s west coast has dozens of beautiful beaches that feel like paradise. Some might even say that the beaches of Tampa are some of the most beautiful in the state. The best thing about exploring Tampa’s beaches is the close proximity to exciting nightlife, rich history and local food in downtown Tampa. The Tampa International Airport is also central to the downtown area and the beaches, providing easy access to the best parts of the city. When you combine all of this together, you’ve got the perfect vacation destination by the beach.
Tampa’s Gulf Coast beaches are world-famous for their crystal-clear waters and white powdered sugar sand. Each beach in Tampa has its unique charm, so it’s easy to find one that fits your fantasy. Outdoor activities, family fun, and rest and rejuvenation are common themes when it comes to Tampa’s beaches. This is a busy beach filled with families, while Fort De Soto Park is an unspoiled beauty with nature trails and native species. Whether you’re looking for an adrenalin rush with watersports, spotting wildlife or simply want a serene surrounding to take a sun-soaked nap, will find a beach in Tampa.
- Tampa Beaches
- Top Tours
- 20 Best Beaches In The Tampa, Florida
- 1- Clearwater Beach
- 2- St. Pete Beach
- 3- North Beach At Fort De Soto Park
- 4- Honeymoon Island State Park
- 5- Caladesi Island State Park
- 6- Indian Rocks Beach
- 7- Anna Maria Island Beach
- 8- Cypress Point Park Beach
- 9- Ben T. Davis Beach
- 10- Apollo Beach
- 11- Picnic Island
- 12- Gandy Beach
- 13- Archibald Beach Park
- 14- MacDill Beach
- 15- Bahia Beach
- 16- Skyway Beach
- 17- East Beach At Fort De Soto State Park
- 18- Indian Shores Beach
- 19- Treasure Island Beach
- 20- Sand Key Beach
20 Best Beaches In The Tampa, Florida
1- Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach has repeatedly been voted “Florida’s #1 Beach.”
Of course, this ranking also makes it one of the state’s busiest beaches and you will find plenty of tourists, families and activities.
This lively beach scene is the perfect place to mix tranquility and excitement rolled into one.
Spend the day relaxing on the beautiful beaches and enjoy the night by indulging in a sunset cruise or visiting Pier 60 for festivals, local craft fairs and live entertainment.
Clearwater Beach is directly over the Courtney Campbell Causeway Multi-Use Bridge, making it just a 35-minute drive from downtown Tampa.
Clearwater Beach is at 704 Eldorado Ave, Clearwater, FL 33767.
Recommended tour: Clearwater Dolphin-Watching Tour
2- St. Pete Beach
If you are looking for a beach that’s the same proximity to Tampa with smaller crowds, check out the equally beautiful St. Pete Beach.
Take the Howard Frankland Bridge to one of the most southern beaches on our list.
St. Pete Beach has a laid-back, welcoming ambiance paired with the classic warm waters and white sandy beaches.
There are still opportunities for water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding, but you will find large stretches of quiet areas to relax as well.
St. Pete Beach is also home to the iconic Don Cesar Hotel, which is a pink palace-like hotel turned landmark.
This spot is perfect for an Instagram-worthy selfie.
St. Pete Beach is at 6850 Beach Plaza, St Pete Beach, FL 33706.
3- North Beach At Fort De Soto Park
Fort De Soto State Park is a serene state park that features two separate beaches, North Beach and East Beach, which also makes our list as well.
North Beach specifically is known for its known for its broad tidal pool and a pirate ship-themed play area, making it the perfect place to take the kids while still enjoying a tranquil atmosphere.
North Beach has great amenities such as restrooms, showers, and a picnic and fishing area.
It is also close to the Fort De Soto Quartermasters Museum, which gives information on the Fort and all of Tampa.
North Beach at Fort De Soto Park is at 3500 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde, FL 33715.
4- Honeymoon Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park is just north of Clearwater and Tampa in Dunedin, Florida.
From Downtown Tampa, it is about 25 miles (40 km) and well-worth the trip.
The beach, which is inside the preserved state park, offers an abundance of natural beauty for visitors to enjoy.
One of our favorite things about Honeymoon Island Beach is that it is pet-friendly.
In addition to the beach’s beauty, the surrounding state park also offers outdoor activities such as biking, paddling, wildlife viewing, and hiking through some of the last remaining virgin slash pine forests in the state.
Honeymoon Island State Park is open 365 days a year from 8 am until sundown.
Honeymoon Island State Park is at 1 Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, FL 34698.
5- Caladesi Island State Park
This pristine barrier island is accessible only by boat, giving it a remote and untouched feeling.
If you don’t have your own boat, the Caldesi Ferry will get you there.
On the island, you are met with the sight of pure white sand meeting blue waters surrounded by live oaks and mangrove forests.
Caldesi Island State Park has great activities to participate in including paddling, shelling, swimming, camping, and hiking.
You may even see a dolphin or a manatee during your visit.
Caladesi Island State Park is at 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698.
6- Indian Rocks Beach
Indian Rocks Beach, directly north of Indian Shores Beach, is a barrier island city that can be accessed by the Belleair Bridge.
The quiet, family-friendly beach offers soft sand and shallow, clear water.
This charming community is known to host events such as farmers markets, festivals, and other exciting events, so be sure to check if there is anything going on in the area during your stay.
If you need to explore the outdoors, the nearby Indian Rocks Nature Preserve has hiking trails and ample opportunities for birdwatching and other wildlife observation.
Indian Rocks Beach is at 47 12th Ave N, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785.
Recommended tour: Half-Day Private Boating On Tahoe Funship – Indian Rocks Beach
7- Anna Maria Island Beach
This laid-back little barrier island was once known as “Florida’s Best Kept Secret,” but is now one of the area’s most visited beach towns.
Anna Maria Island truly feels like paradise, with beautiful beaches to interesting historic landmarks and buzzy locally-owned cafes.
This is the southernmost location on our list, south of Fort De Soto State Park and a one-hour drive from Tampa.
The drive is well worth visiting this beauty.
The picturesque Anna Maria Island Beach is kept beautiful through strict preservation laws that aim to protect the entire island’s natural beauty.
This preservation makes it easy to spot species of water and shore birds, bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and loggerhead turtle nesting sites.
Anna Maria Island Beach is at 611 FL-789, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217.
Recommended tour: 90–Minute Parasailing Adventure above Anna Maria Island
8- Cypress Point Park Beach
If you step off the plane at Tampa International Airport and feel the immediate need to sink your toes into the sand, head to Cypress Point Beach Park.
The beach park is a short six-minute drive away from the airport.
The oceanfront park has great amenities such as hiking trails, a boardwalk to stroll and take in the scenic views, picnic pavilions, and a canoe dock to launch into Old Tampa Bay.
Cypress Point Park Beach is at 5620 W Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607.
9- Ben T. Davis Beach
Ben T. Davis Beach is near downtown Tampa and right in the vortex of the action.
This narrow stretch of shoreline is one of the easiest to visit in the entire area.
Dust off the sand from the day and you’re just 15 minutes to bustling dinner options, exciting nightlife, and cultural museums and festivals.
The Ben T. Davis Beach is on the opposite side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail from Skyway Beach.
The beach is busy and there’s lots of traffic passing by.
If you are traveling with young children, it is a good idea to keep an eye on them or consider a more family-friendly beach.
Ben T. Davis Beach is at 7740 W Courtney Campbell Cswy, Tampa, FL 33607.
10- Apollo Beach
This beautiful beach is on the eastern shores of Tampa Bay.
Apollo Beach is a community known for its waterfront properties, which feature homes with direct access to canals that lead to the Tampa Bay.
It is a popular area for boaters and fishers.
Apollo Beach itself does not have a large area of sandy shores, so if you are looking for a place to sunbathe, this might not be your best destination.
But, if you are looking for exciting watersports, coastal activities, and exploring nature preserves, then Apollo Beach is your spot to be.
Apollo Beach is at 500 Flamingo Dr, Apollo Beach, FL 33572.
11- Picnic Island
Picnic Island is one of the best spots for beach and outdoor activities.
The sandy beach, within Picnic Island Park, has tons of amenities such as picnic tables, barbecue grills, playgrounds, walking trails, a disc golf course, and a dog park to let your furry best friend run around.
The beach park is centrally , just 11 miles (17 km) from Downtown Tampa.
Picnic Island Park access is free and open from 7 am to 7 pm.
Picnic Island is at 7409 Picnic Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33616.
12- Gandy Beach
We love this beach for the convenience of being able to park your car right on the sand.
No lugging your gear up and down the shore at Gandy Beach.
The beach, off of the Gandy Bridge, features a mix of sandy shores and tidal flats, which is good for beachcombing and relaxing.
The beach is also surrounded by trees and mangroves, giving you the perfect shade to bring in the breeze of the bay.
The calm waters make it a great place to kayak or paddleboard.
Gandy Beach is a local spot, so you won’t normally find tourists here.
This unconventional beach is a unique place you won’t forget.
Gandy Beach is at W Gandy Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.
13- Archibald Beach Park
Archibald Beach Park is in Madeira, between Indian Shores Beach and Treasure Island Beach.
It is easily accessible from Tampa using the Gandy Bridge and the Tom Stuart Causeway.
This beachfront park boasts soft, sandy shores, making it perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles.
It’s a popular beach for families and tourists with plenty of amenities such as restrooms, metered parking, chair and umbrella rentals.
Archibald Beach Park is just steps from local restaurants, convenience stores, and attractions such as Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf and the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center.
This is an awesome spot to vacation if you’re looking to combine relaxation with excitement.
Archibald Beach Park is at 15100 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708.
14- MacDill Beach
MacDill Beach is one of our favorites for its fantastic location 30 minutes away from the Tampa International Airport.
You don’t even have to cross any bridges to get there.
The beach is within the grounds of MacDill Air Force Base, along Hillsborough and Tampa Bay directly across from Apollo Beach.
This is a family-friendly beach with shallow waters that make it a great place for the little ones to swim and wade in the waters.
MacDill Beach also features picnic areas, barbecue grills, restrooms, and showers for visitors.
MacDill Beach is at 10298 Royal Palm Pl, Tampa, FL 33621.
15- Bahia Beach
This coastal community is known for its resort-style amenities such as a clubhouse and golf course situated along the beach.
Bahia Beach is a tiny stretch of beach that acts as a secluded hangout for locals.
The beach rests along the waters of Tampa Bay, which is much smoother than the ocean, making it a popular spot for boating.
Because Bahia Beach overlooks the Tampa Bay as well as the Gulf of Mexico, it offers some of the best sunset views in the entire area.
Even if you just travel over here for a few moments of mesmerizing skies, it is worth the trip.
Bahia Beach is at 600 Destiny Dr, Ruskin, FL 33570.
16- Skyway Beach
Skyway Beach is next to Skyway Fishing Pier State Park.
It is a unique spot because it is on the remnants of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which was partially destroyed in 1980.
If you are looking for a place to cast your line, this is a popular fishing spot that is known for catches such as snook, tarpon and redfish.
You will find locals here hiding from the busier beaches filled with tourists.
Just like Ben T. Davis Beach, this area may not be the best place for small, toddler-aged children due to the close proximity to the busy road.
Skyway Beach is at I-275, St. Petersburg, FL 33715.
Recommended tour: Magnificent Helicopter Tour – see Tampa Bay, Skyway Bridge and Beaches of Pinellas Co. from the sky.
17- East Beach At Fort De Soto State Park
East Beach is part of the two beaches within Fort De Soto State Park.
Its sister beach, North Beach, is serene but has many more amenities.
East Beach is truly an untouched gem.
The secluded beach is a great spot for fishing and shelling, as you won’t find many other people here.
The calm waters also provide perfect swimming conditions as well.
East Beach is in close proximity to the Fort De Soto Dog Park.
If you plan to bring your furry best friend, check out this area and let your pup enjoy the sun and sand.
East Beach at Fort De Soto State Park is at Anderson Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33715.
18- Indian Shores Beach
Indian Shores is just south of Indian Rocks Beach.
This secluded beach is one of our favorites because it has ample parking and a beautifully landscaped pavilion with showers and restrooms, which makes going to the beach hassle-free.
The pavilion even features a Tesla charging station, in case you need to charge up.
On top of the convenient amenities, Indian Shores Beach offers a clean, tranquil place to relax and listen to the calming waters wash up along the shore.
It is also close to fun activities such as Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf and Splash Harbour Water Park.
Indian Shores Beach is at 19601 Gulf Blvd, Indian Shores, FL 33785.
19- Treasure Island Beach
“Treasure Island” lives up to its name with clear, turquoise waters and a peaceful shoreline that makes it a classic Florida beach.
The beach earned its name from early developers who believed that the stunning beaches resembled a tropical paradise where you would find a pirate’s buried treasure.
You will commonly find locals and tourists here enjoying the natural beauty of the beach.
The area of Treasure Island is sprinkled with charming resorts, beachfront suites, and bungalows to fit your accommodation style.
Treasure Island Beach is at 11260 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island, FL 33706.
20- Sand Key Beach
Sand Key Beach is south of Clearwater Beach across the Sand Key Bridge.
This gives you the beauty of Florida’s #1 beach without the crowds.
Sand Key Beach is within Sand Key Park, which features amenities such as restrooms, showers, cabana rentals, a playground, a dog park, nature trails, and ample parking lots.
Our favorite part about Sand Key Beach is the expansive shoreline.
This means you won’t have an issue finding a place to set up your gear and enjoy the day.
Sand Key Beach is at 1060 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767.
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