With 361 days of sunshine a year, you better believe that Tampa has some of the most beautiful beaches in not only Florida, or the US, but the world. Locals and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a beach here, pristine white sands and warm emerald waters are not hard to come by. The only problem, and it’s not a hard one to have, is choosing one! To help make this decision, we’ve come up with seven of the best beaches in Tampa.
Best Beaches in Tampa
1. Indian Rocks Beach
This laid-back beach is perfect for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are very few amenities nearby except for restrooms, showers, and parking. And definitely no big hotel chains. So, perfect if you’re looking for a natural and authentic beach day. The beach offers expansive white sands and a clean, turquoise sea. Despite its laid-back attitude, there’s plenty to do to keep you entertained. Of course, you can simply relax on the beach with a book, or you can surf, skimboard, and paraglide. There are plenty of friendly shops offering rentals and lessons. And when you start to get hungry, you’re a short walk from a load of restaurants and bars.
2. Sand Key Park
This beach is pure tranquillity. The wide, white sandy beach is dotted with cabanas and sunbeds available to rent and plenty of amenities nearby to keep you comfortable all day long. It’s the perfect family outing, with calm, warm waters from Florida’s gulf coast. You’ll love gliding through these turquoise waters, keep an eye out for colourful fish and sea turtles. You might even spot a dolphin! When you get hungry, visitors can grill up their favourite barbecue foods in the picnic area as the kids play on the swings. And there’s also a salt marsh nearby, where you can see some exciting birds, including herons, great horned owls, spoonbills, roseate, and more.
3. Treasure Island
For a taste of that retro Floridian vibe, all colourful sun umbrellas and lilos, Treasure Island Beach is a classic. With expansive white sands and amazingly pristine waters, it’s one of the most beautiful and fun beaches in Tampa. There’s plenty to do to keep entertained if lounging on the beach reading for the whole day isn’t your bag. And kite flyers put on a colourful show to entertain the visitors too. If you want to stretch your legs, the mile-long paved promenade is lined with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. Speaking of, you are allowed to drink alcohol on this beach, so you might want to decide on a Designated Driver first. The north end of the beach, St. John’s Pass, is slightly quieter, similar to a fishing village and acting as a hub for charter boats.
4. Ben T. Davis
Ben T. Davis is popular with locals and tourists alike for its powdery white sand, deep blue waters, and palm tree-lined promenade. It’s also the closest beach to Downtown Tampa so if you’re in the city and looking to take a dip without travelling too far, this is the one for you. It’s also one of the best spots in town to catch the sunset – watching the golden sun dip into the inky waters is particularly beautiful. And if you head there on a Tuesday evening or Saturday morning, the beach is populated by volleyball players. It’s great entertainment to just watch the volleyball players, or get involved yourself! If it’s not your thing and you’re looking for a more relaxing time at the beach, you may want to avoid it during those periods.
5. Madeira Beach
This little slice of paradise is one of the most laid-back beaches in Tampa. Glittering white sand lies beside the emerald waters of the Florida gulf coast, creating a picture-perfect scene. It’s backed up by a boardwalk, which is lined with plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants. Madeira Beach offers some great seafood, there’s actually a seafood festival held here every year, so be sure to try some out.
6. St. Pete Beach
It would be remiss to not include St. Pete Beach on this list. After all, it does hold the title of #1 beach in the US and #5 in the whole world! Tripadvisor honoured St. Pete Beach with that accreditation in 2021 for its ‘white quartz sand and clear calm water’. And while it’s beautiful, it’s the amenities that make this beach so special. Think tiki bars, jet skis, cabanas, and more. It offers something for everyone – adventure for the thrill seekers and relaxation for the sun worshippers.
7. Clearwater Beach
With sugar white sand and turquoise blue waters, Clearwater Beach is yet another beauty. And like others in the area, it’s not short of things to do. Various watersport rentals, beach bars, and cabanas are all you need for a perfect beach day. There are also plenty of fun things to do just off the beach including fishing, dolphin-watching tours and leisure charters. If you stay for sunset, and we highly recommend that you do, be sure to head to the famous Pier 60. Not only is it beautiful, but every night, people gather for the sunset entertainment and craft market that takes over the pier. And after sunset, if you fancy a spot of dinner, Clearwater Beach has some of the best seafood in the Tampa Bay area.