St. Pete Beach Review – Beautiful Beaches and Fun for everyone
Written by - Alex Richwagen June 2014
Saint Petersburg (St. Pete Beach) is located on the west coast of Florida, just due west of Tampa, FL. One of the best parts of St. Pete Beach is that it has something for everyone to enjoy. The very clean, soft, and white sand serves as an initial canvas to see yourself having a great day at the beach. The sand is very flat, making it great for strolling down the shore line with an incredible sunset view to match. It has numerous family oriented sections that are very safe and clean, but in the same token has some other really great environments for singles and groups.
The family atmosphere aspect can be found in most of the 2.2 miles the beach covers in the resorts and public beach access areas. There are three main sections for public beach access where it has the typical boardwalk to the beach itself. A huge benefit to these areas is you will never find yourself too far from a restaurant, bar, or shack to grab snacks or drinks that may have been forgotten. A great recommendation for families on the upscale side is near the Beach House Suites, whereas a bargain shopper with 2 kids in tow might find more affordable accommodations at The Dolphin.
Great stretch of bars for music, food, great entertainment
- Postcard Inn (PCI) – This is like Spring Break for adults on steroids out of college. The place is loaded with a terrific setup aided by a few “shack” bars, an oversized pool and hot tub surround by pavers for easy walking. We went there on Memorial Day Weekend 2014 and the place did not disappoint one bit. It's a great place to go down to the beach and play some water games like Cornholeonwater. They had a live “fiddler” band that played all types of hit songs and had an overall great sound keeping the crowd wildly entertained. The band was setup by Greg Holt “The Fiddler” in case you are interested and can be found here on Youtube. The PCI atmosphere alone makes up for any short comings you think if you've been. One piece of feedback to know is that most of the rooms backup to the pool alleviating that key privacy most folks are looking to get when they get away.
- Undertow Beach Bar – Another great bar for the post college folks looking for a good time. Undertows would actually qualify for the family portion as well. The setup is a little less wild than PCI as it offers a few bars with a limited food menu with ice cold drinks of course. Just like PCI though, it has all the same beautiful beach in the backdrop that pairs up quite fantastic on the edge of the restaurant.
- Crabby Bill’s – Crabby Bills is a small scale restaurant bar/grill that has about a half dozen locations within Florida. The restaurant takes the traditional model of a beachside bar and does a 7 out of 10 job executing it. They don’t have anything that is a big wow, but has a great selection of food, is always close enough to sand, with cold beverages to keep you happy.
- Snappers – Snappers is one of the more upscale restaurants on St. Pete Beach and is located off the shoreline on the other side of the street. Don’t worry about it being located on the opposite side of the ocean, as the food doesn’t fall short one bit being nominated by multiple media outlets on the fresh grub to offer. The fish is straight from the ocean and has exceptional steaks to compliment the fresh seafood.
Once you are at St. Pete Beach, there are several things you want to know and find out as well. Going out exploring can be fun to find new spots, but sometimes you’ll need a little more direction. Below are some standard things you will definitely want the inside scoop on. I either know from personal experience or know the locals in the area. If there’s something I missed, please don’t hesitate to let me know so others can see it in the comments. St. Pete Beach is closest in comparison with its neighbor Clearwater Beach and West Palm Beach in terms of clean, white sand and opportunity for things to do around the area. Clearwater is located northwest of St. Pete Beach and West Palm Beach is located on the east coast across the state facing the Atlantic Ocean. You should definitely check those beaches out too for a variety
Where to stay –
- Family –
- Singles or without kids –
- Luxury –
- On a Budget –
Cabana Rentals – Again, relatively cheap to grab a few chairs, umbrella, and a table for around $20-25 for the entire setup. This is a lot better than other beaches we have seen to get a service and a great view so easily.
Stuff to do – Like most beaches, St. Pete Beach has Jet Ski rentals available in a few areas, most notably Frenchy’s Jet Ski. If you go through the website, they offer $5-10 off the rental and is located on 9555 Blind Pass Road. Renting a boat is also pretty common starting at $250 for 4-8 hours dependent if you want deep sea fishing or just a big boat for friends. Parasailing has several locations starting around $60 per session.
Parking – Parking is relatively inexpensive if you can find a local meter and shouldn’t be north of $10.00 regardless. The public sections have local meters that take both quarters and credit cards for $5.00 for about 3 hours and lots usually charge $10.00 for the entire day. In case you cannot find anything, there’s a local Publix that some brave folks park at by running the risk of getting a tow truck around them. We never saw any tow trucks so this could be a last ditch resort if you couldn’t find any parking.
Restrooms – I would advise staying away from the public bathrooms as it’s much too dirty for most people. I would put a lot more emphasis on stopping in one of the neighboring hotels or restaurants on the beach for a cleaner experience.
I think just about covers it. St. Pete Beach is one of the top beaches on the west coast and in the state of Florida. Given the multiple options for both laying in sand, relaxing, or hitting a few beach bars, it’s definitely a highly recommended destination for beachcombers all over.
If you would like to add to the article or feel like I missed your favorite spot, please feel free to leave it in the comments section so others can see too. I’m always willing to learn a new spot in St. Pete Beach.