Tampa, Florida, is home to vibrant culture, first-class sports, and dynamic nightlife. When you’re ready to escape from the hustle and bustle and relax on a stretch of sand, you’ll find some of the Gulf Coast’s best beaches only minutes away. Enjoy fun in the sun on the following six beaches that are worth the drive outside of Tampa.
Image via Flickr by roger4336
Only an hour south of Tampa, Siesta Beach is a must-visit place for beach lovers, and it’s perfect for couples, families, or solo travelers. This stretch of sand has been named the nation’s best beach several times, and you’ll be amazed to find that the white sand here is always the ideal temperature.
Want to stay close to Siesta Beach during your weekend getaway? Check out the best Siesta Key hotels to help you be a hop, skip, and a jump from the sand.
Caladesi Island State Park
A top pick by Tampa locals and visitors alike, Caladesi Island State Park is an awesome spot for all of your favorite beachfront pursuits only 40 minutes from Tampa. You can catch some rays on the white sand beaches, swim in the Gulf of Mexico, or hike on the park’s 3-mile trail. You can also surf, fish, or spot wildlife from this natural island.
Want to relax on the sand but don’t want to be too far away from the action? Clearwater Beach offers the ideal balance of sun, sand, and socializing. Stake out a spot under a beach umbrella, stroll along the Beach Walk promenade, and head over to Pier 60 in the evening for a bite to eat or a drink. Only 35 minutes west of Tampa, Clearwater Beach is an easy escape.
Looking for a colorful experience on the sand? Treasure Island is a hotspot for kite flyers, thanks to the wide stretches of white sand beaches. Only 40 minutes southwest of Tampa, Treasure Island is a place to dig on the vintage vibe, chill out under a rainbow-colored umbrella, and walk to the north end of the beach for some of the best beach bites you’ll find anywhere.
Honeymoon Island State Park
Image via Flickr by Andy Montgomery
For a mix of warm Gulf of Mexico waters and outdoor recreation, set your sights on Honeymoon Island State Park, 45 minutes northwest of Tampa. You can spot countless shorebirds, walk the nature trails, and collect shells. Be sure to bring your swimsuit, as this state park is a top swimming and snorkeling spot, too.
When you want to get away from it all, Pass-a-Grille Beach is the ideal spot only 35 minutes southwest of Tampa. While you’ll still find plenty of fellow beachgoers here, this area has plenty of Old Florida charm. In fact, you can stroll through Pass-a-Grille’s Eighth Avenue Historic District to get to the beach. Follow the sand until the land stops, and take in all the coastal beauty.
What are you waiting for? The six beautiful beaches above are ideal for your next sunny getaway in the Tampa area.