Sunset over the beach in Tampa.

City Guide / Tampa

Best Beaches in Tampa for New Residents

By Bri Hand | Jun 23, 2021

There’s nothing like stepping off a plane here after a sun-deprived, frozen winter and realizing that you are now a resident of the Sunshine State! And with countless amusement parks, golf courses, and miles of sandy shores, Tampa, Florida, has something to offer everyone.

Downtown Tampa is only a short drive away from some of the most beautiful beaches Florida has to offer. To help make the most of your time in this city, here are the best beaches in Tampa to check out:

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachClearwater Beach is one of Tampa’s most popular and busiest beaches—and for good reason. Along with beautiful golden shores and great amenities, Clearwater Beach features a wide range of attractions, from fishing to dolphin watching. While you’re in the area, be sure to visit Tampa’s famous dolphin, Winter, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. 

When you’re ready to take a break from the beach, visit some of the best seafood restaurants in Tampa Bay nearby. Locals love Frenchy’s, home of the Super Grouper Sandwich and fresh Gulf catches. And, if you’re looking to kick back and relax, stop by The Pier to watch the sunset.

Fort De Soto Park

Fort De Soto ParkIf you’re searching for the perfect spot to camp, Fort De Soto Park is for you. Located just a short drive outside of Tampa, Fort De Soto features over 1,000 acres of picturesque, untouched land. These islands are home to numerous native Florida species of wildlife that live in the park’s wetlands and mangroves. 

Fort De Soto also features a laid-back lagoon surrounded by sand bars, making it an ideal spot for little ones to play. For outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers, the Park has a seven-mile paved trail, along with an off-leash dog-friendly park and kayak rentals.

Treasure Island

Treasure IslandTreasure Island is another local favorite in the Tampa Bay area that features an eclectic, retro vibe and miles of white-sand beaches. Treasure Island is a hot spot among kite flyers, who create a vibrant display to entertain beach dwellers. The beach is also conveniently located, with a mile-long paved trail connected to many of the city’s restaurants, shops, and bars.

At the north end of the beach, you’ll find St. John’s Pass, a small fishing village and hub for charter boats, home to locally famous bars and seafood restaurants. And, if you’re planning a much-needed beach getaway, don’t worry—drinking is allowed on Treasure Island.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State ParkContrary to the name, you don’t have to take a boat to get to Honeymoon Island (or be on your honeymoon!). A popular tourist spot, Honeymoon Island is a barrier island to Caladesi Island, one of the few untouched islands on the Gulf Coast. Along with miles of white-sand beaches, this area features scenic trails and bird observation areas where you can watch a wide variety of native water birds.

Honeymoon Island also offers multiple amenities, including a concession stand where you can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and kayaks. Plus, the island is family-friendly, with a picnic area, playground, and covered pavilions.

Ben T. Davis Beach

Ben T. Davis BeachIf you’re planning a solo vacation or searching for a much-needed break from work, look no further than Ben T. Davis Beach. Davis Beach is the closest beach to downtown Tampa, offering white sands for relaxing, calm water to take a dip, and shaded shelters for afternoon picnics.

If you plan a Tuesday evening or Saturday morning beach trip, you’ll find the sands populated by local beach volleyball players. Davis Beach is also one of the best beaches in Tampa to catch the sunset, but if you want to take a break from relaxing, try exploring the Courtney Campbell Trail, a four-mile biking and walking trail.

Enjoy Tampa’s beautiful beaches like a true Floridian

With so many gorgeous beaches to choose from, you can’t go wrong visiting any of these beaches in Tampa—but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your time and explore everything Tampa has to offer.

Landing offers fully furnished apartments in Tampa with 24/7 concierge services, flexible lease terms, and waived security deposits to help you truly embrace the Florida lifestyle. With an extensive selection of apartments everywhere from Lowry Park to Rocky Point, you’re sure to find somewhere in Tampa to call home.

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About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.