Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Indian Rocks Beach, FL

  • Published 2023/02/24

Pristine waters, captivating sunsets, soothing sea breeze, and mouthwatering seafood dishes – these are just some of the things that make up an ideal beach getaway destination that is in Indian Rocks Beach.

Situated in Pinellas Country in Florida, Indian Rocks Beach is a three-mile stretch of the coastal city facing the Gulf of Mexico.

There is no clear explanation as to how Indian Rocks Beach got its name.

However, the widely accepted story is that of Native American Indian Chief Chic-a-Si, reportedly healed by a sulfur spring located in the city’s heart.

Years following that, his people took a yearly pilgrimage to this spot to sip the curative water.

The regular sighting of Native American Indians led the locals to call the place Indian Rocks Beach.

The city’s development began in the 1920s when it served as a weekend and holiday destination for the rich dwellers of nearby towns.

Today, Indian Rocks Beach’s income relies primarily on tourism.

Along Gulf Boulevard, the city offers 27 beach access spots.

The cottages and huge beach homes here provide a slice of heaven to its visitors.

It also has several retail establishments and quaint restaurants for your pleasure.

While the city boasts rich marine life, there are also many other places to explore and things to try.

If you are planning to visit this coastal city, don’t miss these top destinations:

Surfside Hooping

Surfside Hooping offers a fun and creative way to burn 400+ calories an hour in hoop fitness or hoop dancing class.

The use of adult-sized hula hoops develops core strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility.

Located at 1700 Gulf Boulevards, they offer classes for individuals or groups of any age who want to learn the hula hooping.

No matter how long it’s been since you’ve hula-hooped, you can be successful in class.

As the sun sets, you also get to try and take snaps of the LED-lighted hoops.

Stroll in Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve

Stroll in Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve

xmrex-67 /

On top of the list is the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve.

It is located at the heart of Gulf Boulevard, between the 9th and 10th avenues.

While the park is not a destination, it is a great place to stop by for a stroll.

If you want to find the perfect spot to catch the magnificent sunrise, this is the best place to be.

Waters at Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve

Krueger’s Media Design /

The highlight of this place is a boardwalk that leads to the Intracoastal Waterway.

In addition, it offers chair rentals, free parking, restrooms, and a location where you may shower off before returning to your car.

It also has a dog park for your fur babies!

The beach is also a short distance away from here, where you may view various bird species and dolphins.

Walkway of Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve's boardwalk

Krueger’s Media Design /

Chief Chic-a-Si Park

Chief Chic-a-Si Park is located at 4th Avenue and 2nd Street, Indian Rocks Beach.

As you may have hinted, this park was named after Native American Indian Chief Chic-a-Si.

The Park has vast grassy space, picnic tables, and a Bocci Ball court.

But the highlight of this place is its covered gazebo pavilion where you can hold intimate events, such as outdoor weddings and family gatherings

What visitors may love about this place are its shady trees that offer a perfect picnic spot for the family.

At certain times each year, restaurants in Indian Rocks Beach set up stalls for locals and visitors to sample their best-sellers.

During these times, local bands also perform in its gazebo pavilion.

Kolb Park

Kolb Park is a historical landmark where the Native American Indian Chief Chic-a-Si was healed after drinking sulfuric water.

It is located at 1508 Bay, Palm Boulevard, adjacent to the library and community art center.

You can think of many activities for the whole family with its two shaded playgrounds, tennis and handball court, skateboard ramps, swings, and a merry-go-round.

But if you just want to relax and admire the greenery, this is a great spot to have a picnic.

The park is clean, secure, and a pleasant alternative to the beach, with nearby ice cream and candy stores.

This area is also the site of numerous local events, making it a valuable asset to the whole community.

Indian Rocks Historical Museum

Outside view of Indian Rocks Historical Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to learn some interesting facts about this small city, visit the Indian Rocks Historical Museum.

Located at 203 4th Avenue, this tiny museum is an antique home with furnished rooms and a 1950s-style kitchen.

In addition to the many antiques and old photographs, the displays provide a plethora of information about the area’s history.

Museum tells the story of the city’s evolution, from the beginning to the present day, with emphasis on the Native Americans, changes in inhabitants and fishing methods, and how families have survived here over the years.

Facade of Indian Rocks Historical Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From World War I through Vietnam, it covers a wide range of American history.

There are also some beautiful photographs portraying life in the 1940s and 1950s.

The museum admission is free of charge, but you can support its owners by donating and checking out its gift shop that sells unusual items before leaving this place.

Splash Harbour Water Park

If you want to try another form of recreational activity that doesn’t involve the beach, check out Splash Harbour Water Park.

This small-sized water park is an ideal destination for a group traveling with kids.

Here, there are enough activities to keep children entertained for several hours.

In addition to the little pool and swimming facilities for all age groups as well as the play area for the little ones, there is also a lazy river and several slides.

On Wednesdays, you get free admission to the water park for every 25 dollars spent at Jimmy Guana’s Restaurant.

Passes are free if you stay in the connected condominiums.

This establishment is great for a pleasant family day because it has both a snack bar and restaurant.

Contagious Fishing Charters

Contagious Fishing Charters‘ short trips and day-long charters along the Gulf of Mexico are loaded with excitement and a variety of fish at the end of the excursion.

Aboard the 34′ Express Sport Fisherman, you can catch red grouper and triggerfish as well as lizardfish, toadfish, and other ocean-dwelling species while bottom fishing.

With dolphins on the way in and out, the captain and his crew create a friendly atmosphere that adds to the enjoyment of the trip.

Often, the price of the captured fish is worth more than the cost of the trip itself.

Each trip can accommodate up to six persons, excluding the captain and crew.

Yoga at the Beach

Indian rocks beach in Florida, USA

mariakray /

Recharge and reconnect with your inner being as you sign up for yoga sessions in 22nd Ave North, Indian Rocks Beach.

Meet new friends, and enjoy the sun’s warmth and the sea’s calming waves as you learn Hatha Yoga from the group’s expert called ‘Yoga on the Beach.’

You can join the beach yoga sessions three times a week, but if you want to do it indoors for a change, they also hold sessions at the Indian Shores Town Hall.

Once a month, the group holds a potluck after the session, where you can take part in watching the sunset while enjoying food and wine.

Guppy’s Restaurant

Guppy’s is a renowned seafood restaurant on Gulf Boulevard.

There is significantly less traffic here than at the other famous seafood places, so it has a more relaxed, local feel.

As for the food, it’s excellent, and there are more vegetarian options here than at the surrounding restaurants.

Plant-based eaters should try the Chef’s Grain Bowl with red quinoa, pearled barley, and tofu.

Everything from swordfish tacos to tuna poke to lobster and shrimp fettuccine is available, as well as handmade fish spread on crackers.

An appetizer, the Lobster Mac & Cheese seen above is substantial enough to serve as a meal.

Slyce Pizza Bar

If pizza is your favorite comfort food, or you just want to hang out with friends while enjoying a heartful slice, this should be part of your bucket list.

Slyce Pizza Bar serves stone-baked gourmet pizza that is to die for.

Locals and tourists alike love the laid-back atmosphere of this pizza joint.

They also provide healthier options with whole wheat and gluten-free pizza doughs.

Don’t miss out on The Slyce Special, topped with green olives, pepperoni, and mounds of mozzarella.

In addition to pizza, they also provide delicious appetizers and salads that are guaranteed to please your palate.

If you think beer and pizza go together, their various local craft beers are also a must-try.

Nekton Surf Shop

If you wish to enjoy the waves of Indian Rocks Beach but worry about your equipment, Nekton Surf Shop sets you up in no time.

Located at 1313 Gulf Boulevard, Nekton Surf Shop is a family-owned surf shop that’s been running for more than a decade.

It is also worth noting that two of the owners’ children, Cory and Shea, are known professional surfers who aced global competitions.

This shop offers rentals for land and water sporting activities, including stand-up paddleboards, bicycles, single and double kayaks, surfboards, and skimboards.

It also sells souvenir items like bags, clothing, and pieces of jewelry.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Outside of of Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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This educational marine facility rescues and exhibits a wide range of marine species.

See the creatures in the aquarium’s underwater viewing sections, watch the daily performances, and visit the aquarium’s rehab center.

Star of Clearwater Marine Aquarium is Winter, a dolphin who starred in Dolphin Tale movies.

Here, you will also see the aquarium staff feed and take care of sharks, sea turtles, sea otters, and other marine species.

A dolphin in Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Clearwater Marine Aquarium also offers safari boat trips to the Intracoastal Waterway.

The facility has been granted eco-friendly certification to provide tours and activities that encourage sustainable practices.

Facade of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

alisafarov /

Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

A pelican at Seaside Seabird Sanctuary

Jill Schrock /

Another site to appreciate animal rescues is Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, located at 18328 Gulf Boulevard.

Their major objective is to nurse the bird back to health so they may be released back into their native surroundings.

Also, the group offers a store where you may buy souvenirs to demonstrate your support for the organization’s purpose.

For bird lovers, Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is a must-see destination.

However, contributions are also welcome.

Beach Art Center

Beach Art Center (BAC) is located at 1515 Bay Palm Boulevard.

When it opened its doors in 1978, it had a mission: to encourage lifelong learning in all ages, empower individuals, and involve everyone in the arts.

Students of all ability levels can take seminars and workshops at the Beach Art Center.

They also offer a variety of adult and children’s programs like summer camps and art exhibits.

Its memberships, valid for a year, include discounts on many of its classes and seminars, as well as free Open Studio time in its main gallery.

What’s more, BAC members can submit their art for sale in the Gift Shop as well as during Gallery Shows at a discounted cost.

The benefits of becoming a member of the BAC are available to everyone, whether you are an artist.

Florida Luxury Cruises

As a private yacht charter company, Florida Luxury Cruises provides your group a unique experience in the intercoastal waterways of Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and the Gulf of Mexico.

As you cruise the gorgeous Florida canals, you may choose from a variety of lunch and dinner options.

Aboard a magnificent yacht, you will chance upon dolphins, manatees, and stunning sunsets in the area.

The yacht is manned by a Licensed Master Captain and crew, so rest assured that you’re in the hands of specialists.

It has all of the Coast Guard-mandated safety features and numerous emergency equipment, such as life jackets, strobes, horns, etc.

On this yacht, you may spend quality time with your family and create lasting memories.

Just make sure that all children under the age of five have their own life jackets with them and should be supervised at all times.

Starting at 2 hours, the luxury cruise can accommodate parties of 6 to 13 persons, depending on the package you choose.

Get Acquainted at Beach Welcome Center

If you’re completely new, the Beach Welcome Center is the best place to start visiting Indian Rocks Beach.

Located at 4th Avenue and 435 Gulf Boulevard, the center offers information on local attractions, events, accommodations, maps, and brochures.

You can also pick up some maps and brochures and ask a few questions to get you started on your adventure.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and can provide helpful tips for exploring the area.

The Beach Welcome Center can even help you with reservations for some of the local attractions.

So, if you’re just getting acquainted with Indian Rocks Beach, visiting the Beach Welcome Center is essential.

Get Tipsy at Anecdote Brewing Company

The nightlife at Indian Rocks Beach is nothing short of amazing.

There are so many things to do and attractions to see that you can spend the entire night out and still not get to them all.

However, if you’re looking for a more laid-back night out with friends, drop by Anecdote Brewing Company.

Located at 321 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach, Anecdote Brewing Company is a popular local brewery that brews a variety of your favorite beers and ales.

The brewery offers a variety of craft beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers, as well as a rotating selection of seasonal and experimental brews.

The taproom has a relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to sample some of the best beer in the area.

So, if you’re looking for a night out with friends, Anecdote Brewing Company is the place to go when in Indian Rocks Beach.

Get Some Peace and Quiet at Indian Rocks Beach Library

Not everyone who visits Indian Rocks Beach is looking for a wild night out or an adventure-filled day.

Sometimes, all you need is some time for yourself in a peaceful and quiet environment.

For those times, Indian Rocks Beach Library is the perfect spot to visit.

The Indian Rocks Beach Library is a small but charming public library located at 1507 Bay Palm Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach.

The library offers a collection of books, magazines, DVDs, free Wi-Fi, and public computers.

The library hosts various events and programs for adults and children, including storytime, book clubs, author readings, etc.

You can borrow board games and puzzles in the library’s cozy seating area.

The reading area is also great for relaxing and reading a book or magazine while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

So, if you’re looking for a more peaceful environment to relax or read, the Indian Rocks Beach Library is the perfect place to visit.

Enjoy a Hot or Cold Treat at Tropical Ice Cream & Coffee

Tropical Ice Cream & Coffee is a local favorite located at 435 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach.

This ice cream shop and cafe are among the best places to go when you need a cool treat or to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The shop offers a variety of homemade ice cream flavors, as well as coffee drinks, smoothies, and baked goods.

The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating options.

You can either choose one or multiple flavors in your cone or cup, and you can also get your ice cream in a variety of creative ways.

Their brew of the day is always something special, and they also offer a variety of seasonal flavors.

So, if you’re looking for an indulgent treat, Tropical Ice Cream & Coffee is the place to go in Indian Rocks Beach.

Enjoy Cuban Food at Kooky Coconut

If you love frozen treats and Cuban food, Kooky Coconut should be on your radar during your visit.

Kooky Coconut is a popular restaurant and ice cream shop in Indian Rocks Beach that offers a variety of homemade ice cream flavors, sorbet, gelato, and frozen yogurt.

But what sets this place apart from other ice cream shops is its authentic Cuban items.

The owners of Kooky Coconut have Cuban roots and have infused some of their cultural heritage into the menu.

Visitors can enjoy Cuban sandwiches made with ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, pressed between slices of Cuban-style bread.

Their sandwiches exemplify the staple ingredients that you would find in any authentic Cuban cuisine.

In addition to their Cuban sandwiches, Kooky Coconut also offers empanadas, a popular Latin American pastry filled with savory ingredients like beef, chicken, or cheese.

Kooky Coconut also serves American and Mexican staples such as hotdogs, burgers, and Quesadillas.

The restaurant’s exterior is covered with bamboo, giving it a distinct look you can identify even when you’re far away.

Kooky Coconut is a great place to visit if you want to try authentic Cuban cuisine and indulge in delicious homemade ice cream while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Indian Rocks Beach.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a laid-back beach community facing the Gulf of Mexico and has all the facilities of a larger beachfront Florida resort, Indian Rocks Beach is the place to go.

With its excellent dining establishments, beach activities, and natural parks, you’re up for an unforgettable seaside getaway!

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