Want to get off the grid and into the sun? Pass-a-Grille Beach, FL is the place to do it. Located on a barrier island in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico, this charming beach town will wrap you up in its captivating Old Florida vibe.
You won’t find any fast-food restaurants or corporate stores in Pass-a-Grille Beach. What you’ll get instead is miles of silky sand, turquoise water, incomparable seafood, spectacular sunsets, and the historic allure of a Floridian fishing community.
Ready to savor a piece of paradise pie? Dial the pace down to “laid-back,” pack this handy guide of what to see & do in Pass-a-Grille, FL, and breeze on down.
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What to see & do
If beautiful sunsets are your thing, carve out time to visit Pass-a-Grille Beach. Perched on the southernmost tip of St. Pete Beach – the “Sunset Capital of Florida” – this enchanting beach community is a Gulf Coast gem.
Pass-a-Grille Beach is a picture-worthy gem. Dig your toes into this white sand beach and take in the natural beauty around you.
Follow the scenic walkways through the dunes, dive into the turquoise water that laps the shore, or rent a beach cruiser bike to explore. Want to just chill? Relax in one of the beach’s cabanas, kick back on a sun lounger, or just spread out a blanket and enjoy the view—keep your eyes peeled for dolphins playing offshore!
And it’s absolutely essential that you sit back as the sun dips into the sea and enjoy that jaw-dropping sunset.
Pass-a-Grille Historic District
Want to tune in to Pass-a-Grille’s heartbeat? Head over to the Pass-a-Grille Historic District. Wherever you’re staying along St. Pete Beach, this historic town is just minutes away by foot, but the historic Pass-a-Grille will take you back in time. Settled by the first homesteaders in 1886, this tranquil town still brims with historic charm.
Check out one of the largest Historic Districts on the Gulf Coast: 8th Avenue. Enjoy a leisurely stroll to take in some of the oldest buildings in the Pinellas Beaches area. The quaint, Art-Deco specialty shops are a feast for the eyes!
RELATED: What to See & Do in Saint Pete Beach
Browse arts havens like Galene’s Paradise and A Little Room for Art. Tempt yourself with unique handcrafted gems at Evander Preston Contemporary Jewelry – housed in a c.1916 building! Past creations have included a diamond-studded fish, so who knows what you may find!
Gulf Beaches Historical Museum
Want to get the lowdown on local history? Carve out some time for the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum. Set in Pass-a-Grille’s Historic District, the museum is housed in the first church built in the Pinellas County barrier islands.
Delve deeper into the rich history of Pass-a-Grille and Saint Pete Beach with the fascinating timeline display dating back to the presence of Native Americans in 1,500 AD. Browse the newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts depicting the history of Gulf Beaches schools, churches, and other historical buildings – including the iconic Don Cesar Resort.
Learn about “the Grillers”, the 19th Century fishermen who put Pass-a-Grille on the map, and read all about Silas Dent, “the Hermit of Cabbage Key”. You can really get a taste for the local lore in the memorabilia left by dozens of homesteading families.
Up for a fabulous fishing experience? Amble down to a fishing paradise: the historic Merry Pier. Stretching out from 8th Avenue in Pass-a-Grille’s Historic District, this popular fishing pier dates back over a century. Today, this family business is still a magnet for boaters and fishermen.
No gear? No problem! Check out the iconic Merry Pier store. Built in 1902, this was the first store to appear on the Gulf Beaches. Merry’s will equip you with everything from tackle and bait to umbrellas and snorkeling gear.
Hunting for something to throw on the barbie? Browse their fresh fish market for just-off-the-boat catches including flounder, snapper, and shrimp.
Ready to head out on the water? Hop aboard the Offshore Hustler to enjoy a deep-sea fishing charter adventure, take a seat on the Shell Key Shuttle for some great dolphin viewing, or book a spot on the Miss Pass-a-Grille party boat for an unforgettable sunset cruise.
Shell Key Preserve
Are you a shelling fan? Bird enthusiast? Lover of beachcombing? Then you need to put Shell Key Preserve at the top of your must-see list. Set on the south end of Pass-a-Grille on St. Pete Beach, this undeveloped barrier island is a tranquil haven for birdlife. It’s also a treasure trove of beautiful seashells that will provide you with one-of-a-kind mementos of your trip.
This beautiful beach is only accessible by boat, so you’ll want to hop aboard the Shell Key Shuttle ferry boat service at Merry Pier or rent a kayak and paddle on over. Either way, you can expect to spot dolphins en route!
If you’re looking for a secluded spot to connect with nature, you’ll find it here. This is one of Florida’s best-preserved ecosystems, so take your time as you explore the island’s 1,800 acres of undeveloped natural beauty. Keep your binoculars and shelling bag handy, and leave nothing behind but your footprints!
Fort De Soto Park
Hunting for a family-friendly destination that’s chock-full of fun options? Pack up the gang and make a beeline for Fort De Soto Park. This award-winning beach stretches across five small islands along the Gulf of Mexico—and it also happens to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida!
Explore the miles of stunning sandy shoreline, lounge in the sun, go for a dip or snorkel in the calm waters, or slip into a canoe or kayak for a scenic tour. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of manatees, dolphins, and more!
Staying on land? You can cast a line off the pier, walk or bike the 7-mile raised trail to explore and get some great photo ops. Discover the remnants of the park’s namesake fort and climb to the top to enjoy sweeping views.
Doing an overnighter? Grill up a meal, hunker down at the spacious campsite and savor the incomparable natural setting.
Don CeSar Hotel
Fancy the royal treatment? Soak it up at the legendary Don CeSar Hotel, a.k.a. the “Pink Palace”. Perched atop the dunes with its sweeping panoramic views of St. Pete Beach, the Don CeSar has rightly earned a place in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1928, this rose-hued stunner exudes a Gatsby charm, but its interior is up-to-the-minute chic.
This hotel icon boasts the best that the Gulf Coast has to offer: sugar-white sand, turquoise water, brilliant sunsets, and soul-satisfying wining and dining. Stretch out on the private beach or hop aboard a wave rider for some seafaring fun. Want to unwind? Drop into the Spa Oceana for some me-time pampering.
Ready to refuel? Take your pick from one of the hotel’s many restaurants. Time to chill? Park yourself poolside and savor a cocktail while you’re at it! After a late-night dip, head to the rooftop lounge to take in a brilliant sunset.
Where to eat & drink
Want a spot that offers brilliant sunsets, amazing views, beachside craft beer, and live music? Find it all at the Paradise Grille. This popular beach bar can get you going with a tasty breakfast in the morning, but you’ll want to head back in the evening to witness the very popular nightly sunset celebration.
Take in a spectacular seaside view while savoring delicious food at The Wharf Restaurant. Arriving by water? Park in one of the handy boat slips then relax in the laid-back atmosphere, sip a beer or cocktail, and enjoy some live music.
Set on Pass-a-Grille Way by the waters of Boca Ciega Bay, Sea Critters Cafe offers tasty meals ranging from fresh fish to BBQ chicken platters. Dock your boat, find yourself a spot on the outdoor deck, and toast the view with the cafe’s signature margarita.
Want to check out a Pass-a-Grille icon? Drop into The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant on Gulf Way. For generations, this family business has been one of the Gulf’s favorite restaurants, serving up tasty crowdpleasers like “Mom’s 1945 Crab Cake Melt”. Relax on the rooftop deck, eat some sunset appetizers, and enjoy a spectacular view.
Head to The Island Grille & Raw Bar for an eclectic menu and a chilled-out, island vibe. Set in Tierra Verde, this popular spot features everything from grouper nuggets to braised pork shanks. Stake out a spot on the terrace, or hang out by the pool. Let the live music put you in an “island” mood and don’t forget to take a dip!
Want a side of scenery with your meal? The Brass Monkey delivers. Set in the heart of the Pass-a-Grille, this waterfront restaurant offers amazing Gulf Beach views. This spot specializes in Maryland-style crab and seafood dishes, but their generous menu also includes wings, sandwiches, and wraps.
On the hunt for an old-style bar with a down-home feel? Shadrack’s hits the spot. This beloved dive bar is the perfect place to soak up the local atmosphere along with a $1 ice-cold beer. Shoot some pool, enjoy the jukebox tunes, or head outside to relax on the patio.
Craving a chic beach vibe, captivating scenery, and a fantastically eclectic menu? You can’t beat the Berkeley Beach Club. This modern and sleek loft-like hotel features an outdoor courtyard, rooftop bar, and amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay. Bourbon peach pancakes anyone?
Where to stay
With its beach-inspired rooms and spacious apartments, Inn on the Beach is one of Pass-a-Grille’s top places to stay. The hotel’s beachfront location puts the sandy shores on your doorstep. You’ll also find plenty of great restaurants and bars within a quick jaunt of your accommodations.