Fort De Soto Park Beach
Location: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde, FL 33715
Cost: $5 a day per vehicle. Pay cash or card at the gate or at the pay station.
Nothing says bliss like white sand beaches and perfectly clear water. My current favorite place to lay down a picnic blanket is on North Beach (once inside the park, take a right at the stop sign and drive as far as you can). Fort De Soto also has a pier, access to the bay, a campground, and bike trails. It’s the perfect place if you want to get away for a few hours or go on a weekend trip.
Important to know: there are showers, restrooms, and changing rooms as well as covered picnic tables and grills. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. Tolls are required to get to the park.
Location: Gulf Way, 20th Ave., St Pete Beach, FL 33706
Cost: $1.25 an hour or $5 a day per vehicle. Enforced 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (so great for seeing the sunset or sunrise for free. Pay by card or on the ParkMobile app.)
If you’re looking for the ultimate beach to watch the sunset on, this is it. Pass-a-Grille beach is located in the historic neighborhood of Pass-a-Grille, the southernmost end of St. Pete Beach. It’s a family-friendly, locals beach where the sunsets are breathtakingly beautiful, the shells are unbelievable and the water is almost always calm, making it the perfect environment to read a book, enjoy the sun setting into the ocean, or float all your worries away. Most of the beach is flat and wide, even during high tide. Yoga classes are also held on the beach through local yoga studios.
Important to know: There are places to rinse off your feet at the end of the boardwalks, but no showers or bathrooms are available. There are also no lifeguards on duty at any time. Tolls are required to get to the beach from Eckerd.
St. Pete Beach
Location: 4700 Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
Cost: $3.25 an hour by pay-station, card only. You might be able to find some spots to park for free with a longer walk to the beach also.
If you’re looking for a beach with activities, St. Pete Beach is the beach for you. St. Pete Beach is more developed than some of the other beaches around, making it a great place to spend the day. When you’re tired of the salt and the sand, stop by one of the many shops St. Pete Beach has to offer - from restaurants to surf shops and activities like mini-golf, there is a lot to choose from. There are also beach chairs and umbrella rentals offered as well.
Important to know: As far as public restrooms and showers go, they are few and far between, but at some beach parking lots (like the address above) there are bathrooms and showers outside. Tolls are required to get to the beach.
Upham Beach Park
Location: 6850 Beach Plz, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
Cost: $3.25 an hour by pay-station, card only. Park is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Upham Beach Park is a section of St. Pete Beach. Located about five minutes north from St. Pete beach, Upham Beach Park offers all the perks of St. Pete Beach in a more secluded area. There are beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent, but there are less shops around the beach. It is a great beach to spend a few hours or even a day. There are no lifeguards either.
Important to know: Tolls are not needed to get to the park, but going through them makes the drive significantly faster. There are both bathrooms and outdoor showers located in the parking lot.