Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in St. Pete Beach, FL

  • Published 2022/04/01

Recognized for its award-winning beaches, St. Pete Beach is a must-see destination for the typical beach bum.

St. Pete Beach is a resort city situated on a barrier island west of St. Petersburg.

Thanks to its world-renowned waterways, the city is a popular spot for experiencing a variety of watersports activities, like windsurfing, paddleboarding, and more.

The beach city also houses a collection of historical institutions and heritage sites that depict the simple island life of its early settlers.

Checking out St. Pete Beach’s famous beaches should definitely be on your bucket list, but there’s a lot more to do in this sand-filled city.

Here are the 15 best things to do while in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Watch the Sunset from the Shores of Pass-a-Grille Beach

Aerial view of Pass-a-Grille Beach

RandomHartz /

There’s just something about watching the sunset from the beach that makes it extremely satisfying.

And when you’re at St. Pete Beach, there’s no better place to catch such an amazing view other than Florida’s sunset capital.

Scenic aerial view of Pass-a-Grille Beach

Kevin J King /

Lay back in the fine, white sand and dip your toes in the crystal blue waters of Pass-a-Grille Beach, and marvel at the sight of the sinking, bright orange sun.

Pass-a-Grille beach was originally a fishing community inhabited by Cuban fishermen known as “grillers,” who cooked their fish before returning home, hence the name “Pass-a-Grille.”

Declared as a national historical district in 1989, Pass-a-Grille beach is recognized as the oldest resort on Central Florida’s west coast.

History marker of Pass-a-Grille Beach

RandomHartz /

Bring Home a Piece of St. Pete Beach from the Art Expo Custom Framing Gallery

It’s normal for tourists to bring home a piece of the place they’ve been to一whether it’s a fridge magnet, a shirt, or even a photo from a famous landmark.

So, why not take a piece of St. Pete Beach with you by shopping for a unique souvenir?

At the Art Expo Custom Gallery down at 355 Corey Ave., you can bring home stunning crafts and pieces from local artists.

Take your pick from a variety of paintings, intricate glasswork in the form of lampshades and centerpieces, handmade cards, and jewelry.

You can also spruce up your average photograph by availing of the shop’s custom framing services.

Get Some Exercise at Egan Park

Parks are usually fields of grass lined with trees large enough to provide a cool spot to relax and take a nap.

But at Egan Park, you’ll get to do anything but chill.

Spanning a total of 5.4 acres, Egan Park is the perfect hub for your typical health nut.

Play a few games of tennis and pickleball with the park’s lighted courts, or even a few rounds of catch or soccer by the ball fields.

And if you’re up for it, you can also hang out by the fishing pier and try your luck with catching some of Florida’s native fishes.

Tour the City on an Open-Air Roadster with Beach Blast Rentals

If you’re looking for a convenient yet stylish alternative to get around St. Pete Beach, then riding a slingshot might be best for you.

Beach Blast Rentals offers manual and automatic slingshots for tourists who are 18 years and up and have a valid driver’s license.

Ride in style with this three-wheeled motorcycle and feel the cool breeze of St. Pete Beach on your skin.

However, keep in mind that slingshots are not actual automobiles that come with airbags and other safety features, so make sure to practice safe driving habits throughout your trips.

You can also avail of other transportation services, such as motorized scooters and bicycles that you can pick up at Corey Ave., or have them delivered to your doorstep.

Dive Into the History of St. Pete Beach at the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum

The Gulf Beaches Historical Museum isn’t your typical gallery.

Aside from containing hundreds of historical pieces and artifacts, the infrastructure itself is considered an island treasure for the people of St. Pete Beach.

The museum sits on the original grounds, where the first church of the local barrier islands was constructed.

In 1952, the Pass-a-Grille Community Church was bound for demolition.

However, Joan Haley, a widowed journalist, purchased the property for historical preservation and later turned it over to Pinellas County to become an island museum.

Hundreds of photographs, postcards, and maps of Pass-a-Grille and its development decorate the walls of the museum, along with a section dedicated to the Merry family, who are considered Pass-a-Grille pioneers.

You can also check out Joan Haley’s personal memorabilia collection, as well as an exhibit about World War II, and a Don CeSar Hotel display.

Hop on a Golf Cart from The Toy Barn

Looking for a way to beat the heat in St. Pete Beach?

Good news! You can rent a golf cart from The Toy Barn down on Gulf Blvd.

The Toy Barn has four street-legal golf carts you can rent to drive around the city.

Explore St. Pete Beach from a comfortable four-wheeler and pass by some of the city’s most popular tourist spots一and while you’re at it, don’t forget your cameras because everything in St. Pete Beach is certainly Instagram-worthy.

The Toy Barn also offers other lithium-powered electric vehicles you can book for an environment-friendly driving experience.

Experience the Island Life at Shell Key

Seashells at Shell Key shore

amyammerman /

Just south of Pass-a-Grille and St. Petersburg beach, you’ll spot Shell Key, an uninhabited barrier island.

The only way you’ll get there is via a 10-minute boat ride from selected vessels.

The island is about 2.5 miles long, and certain areas of Shell Key are off-limits for locals and tourists alike.

You won’t be able to spot any facilities on Shell Key, which only adds to the entire island living experience.

You’re free to bring your own food and drinks on the island and even stay until sundown一but don’t miss your boat ride home if you’re not planning on staying for the night!

Play a Round of Mini Golf at the Polynesian Putter

St. Pete Beach has a variety of family-friendly activities, and one of the many things you can do with your kids is play a round of mini-golf at the Polynesian Putter.

Built in 1967 by John McConnell and his wife, the golf course was later purchased by Richard and Renate Ostrovskis.

Almost all historical holes have been retained throughout the golf course, but with the added feel of playing in the wild with towering statues and a myriad of nature’s colors.

The 18-hole golf course opens itself to visitors during nighttime, adding to the challenge of swinging a club in a dimly-lit area riddled with obstacles.

Make your way through the jungle and tropical hazards around the course and swing under giant snakes and tiki statues.

Navigate Florida’s Blueways with Coastal Kayak Charters

Take a moment to admire the natural wonders of Tampa Bay and indulge in a one-of-a-kind experience by going on a kayaking adventure with Coastal Kayak Charters.

Guided kayak tours going to Shell Key and the Pass-a-Grille canals are scheduled throughout the year, but they’re also subject to tidal conditions.

The tours are beginner-friendly, too, so you don’t have to worry about anything if it’s your first time venturing the waterways.

Discover the enchanted mangrove islands at the Shell Key Preserve or relax in the cool waters while waiting for the golden sunset.

Kayaking at twilight is another popular activity, where tourists can go on a two-hour tour through Little McPherson and McPherson Bayou, which are protected waters behind Pass-a-Grille and St. Pete Beach.

You can also journey through the Pass-a-Grille Canals going to Boca Ciega Bay, and catch some dolphins and shorebirds in the area.

Swim and Dine at RumFish Grill

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, you can’t pass out on RumFish Grill.

Aside from a great selection of mouth-watering dishes, people flock to the restaurant because of its 33,500-gallon fish tank that features Florida’s native species.

Built by Wayde King and Brett Raymer of Animal Planet’s “Tanked,” the floor-to-ceiling aquarium is certainly a show-stopper, as it occupies an entire dining room wall.

The restaurant also has a guest immersion program that lets you go on a mini-tour and learn more about the tank and its maintenance.

After the tour, you’ll also have a chance to get up close and personal with the gulf water fishes by snorkeling inside the aquarium.

Blow Off Some Steam at Lemon Tree Spa

Stress is arguably one of the many reasons why people go on vacations.

And even if you’re away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life by taking some time off, it’s still possible for you to experience a certain level of stress.

To blow off some steam while in St. Pete Beach, try booking an appointment at Lemon Tree Spa.

The spa offers a combination of traditional, ancient, and contemporary treatments for stress reduction and relaxation.

Take your pick from a wide selection of treatments一from reflexology and microchanneling to aromatherapy wraps and hot stone massages.

Let Your Creative Juices Flow at the Suntan Art Center

Along Gulf Blvd. is an area filled with every possible color there is.

The Suntan Art Center is St. Pete Beach’s ultimate art haven where locals and tourists can unleash their creative side with various activities.

You can enroll in painting, photography, glass fusion, yoga, and drawing classes for a month (if you’re planning on staying that long at St. Pete Beach).

Or, you can also visit the art mart every weekend and check out some of the local artists’ handmade crafts.

But if you’re unable to go to the art center yourself, you can also visit the institution’s online gallery and shop for paintings, sculptures, and jewelry.

Enjoy the St. Pete Beach Nightlife at the Drunken Clam

Take a break from your day tours around St. Pete Beach and experience the city’s nightlife at the Drunken Clam.

The bar is a popular hangout spot for locals, thanks to its lively atmosphere and fun-filled nights.

Catch live performances from local musicians singing blues, reggae, rock, and more.

And while you’re at it, have a few drinks and try out their award-winning chicken wings.

You can also shop for shirts, baseball caps, and Koozies from the bar’s official merchandise.

Enroll in Windsurfing Classes at the North Beach Windsurfing School

There’s no better place to learn windsurfing other than the famous St. Pete Beach.

Get to know more about the basics of windsurfing from North Beach Windsurfing School’s certified instructors, and try your hand at navigating the shallow waters of Tampa Bay.

Established in 1999, Northbeach Windsurfing School is known to have produced high-level athletes that have competed in the Olympic Trails and the Youth Olympic Games.

Formerly situated in a local bike shop, the establishment has now expanded its area to cater to the growing demand for windsurfing gear and equipment.

On a calm day, you can also check out the scenic view of the entire bay from a paddleboard you can rent out from the North Beach Windsurfing School.

Embark on a High-Speed Tour with the Dolphin Racer

Unless you’re superhuman, you can’t possibly catch up with a dolphin’s speed on the water.

But at Corey Causeway, you’ll get the chance to keep up with the dolphins by riding the Dolphin Racer一an open-deck speedboat that seats up to 120 passengers.

Acrobatic dolphins dive and surf alongside the bright yellow vessel as it creates a wake.

But other than this popular attraction, riding the Dolphin Racer also takes you on a tour around the gulf beaches.

If you’re planning to go on this cruise, make sure to reserve your slots, as the Dolphin Racer comes with a limited seating capacity.

Final Thoughts

With the many activities you can do in St. Pete Beach, it’s hard to cross out every single one in a short period of time.

You’ll definitely come back for more if you’re only planning to stay for a few days, so why not spare yourself the trouble and plan a week-long vacation instead?

Book your trip today, and don’t waste another minute exploring the wonders of St. Pete Beach!

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