23 low-key beaches within driving distance of Tampa

The beach is calling. Since not every patch of sand is the same and some beaches are more packed than others, here are a few of the more secluded, less crowded spots within driving distance of the Tampa area.

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Belleair Beach 
Estimated drive time from Tampa: 41 mins
Belleair Beach is all about no-nonsense relaxation. You can’t drink, you can’t bring pets and they don’t want you running around playing sports. While Belleair Beach residents have access to the beach through four separate entrances, the metered parking at Morgan Park is the only area in Belleair Beach with public access. Morgan Park is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Photo via visitstpeteclearwater.com

Belleair Beach

Estimated drive time from Tampa: 41 mins
Belleair Beach is all about no-nonsense relaxation. You can’t drink, you can’t bring pets and they don’t want you running around playing sports. While Belleair Beach residents have access to the beach through four separate entrances, the metered parking at Morgan Park is the only area in Belleair Beach with public access. Morgan Park is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Photo via visitstpeteclearwater.com
Apollo Beach Nature Reserve 
Estimated drive time from Tampa: 34 mins
Open simply from sunrise to sunset, Apollo Beach Nature Reserve is arguably as popular as a birding site as for its beachy views. Unlike many Tampa Bay beaches, Apollo Beach Nature Reserve allows pets on the beach.
Photo via Google Maps

Apollo Beach Nature Reserve

Estimated drive time from Tampa: 34 mins
Open simply from sunrise to sunset, Apollo Beach Nature Reserve is arguably as popular as a birding site as for its beachy views. Unlike many Tampa Bay beaches, Apollo Beach Nature Reserve allows pets on the beach.

Photo via Google Maps
Caladesi Island
Estimated drive time from Tampa: 52 mins
The beautiful white sand beaches and idyllic blue water of Caladesi Island are a prize you have to work for. There are no bridges stretching out to this unsettled spit of land west of Dunedin, so the island is only accessible by personal boat, ferry or, if you feel like a workout, kayak. Aside from the restrooms and food stand built in recent years, Caladesi Island is completely empty, free of hotels, restaurants and homes.
Photo via floridastateparks.org

Caladesi Island

Estimated drive time from Tampa: 52 mins
The beautiful white sand beaches and idyllic blue water of Caladesi Island are a prize you have to work for. There are no bridges stretching out to this unsettled spit of land west of Dunedin, so the island is only accessible by personal boat, ferry or, if you feel like a workout, kayak. Aside from the restrooms and food stand built in recent years, Caladesi Island is completely empty, free of hotels, restaurants and homes.

Photo via floridastateparks.org
Bean Point at Anna Maria Island 
Estimated drive time from Tampa: 1 hr 14 mins
Once home to the founder of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is now a facility-free hidden gem for those in the know. Bean Point has no parking lot and no obvious entrance, but if you keep an eye out, you’ll see signs marking beach access points scattered along North Shore Drive. A few street parking spots are available, but grabbing a ride on the island’s free trolley may be a safer bet.
Photo via annamaria.com

Bean Point at Anna Maria Island

Estimated drive time from Tampa: 1 hr 14 mins
Once home to the founder of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is now a facility-free hidden gem for those in the know. Bean Point has no parking lot and no obvious entrance, but if you keep an eye out, you’ll see signs marking beach access points scattered along North Shore Drive. A few street parking spots are available, but grabbing a ride on the island’s free trolley may be a safer bet.

Photo via annamaria.com
Chauncey Howard Park 
Estimated drive time from Tampa: 1 hr 13 mins
Chauncey Howard Park is really quite simple: boardwalk, sand, water. Aside from a few water fountains, scattered benches and a small rinse off station, Chauncey Howard Park is about as undeveloped as south-central Florida beaches get. No pets or alcohol are allowed at Chauncey Howard, and the closest parking is 0.2 miles up the street. 
Photo via venicegov.com

Chauncey Howard Park

Estimated drive time from Tampa: 1 hr 13 mins
Chauncey Howard Park is really quite simple: boardwalk, sand, water. Aside from a few water fountains, scattered benches and a small rinse off station, Chauncey Howard Park is about as undeveloped as south-central Florida beaches get. No pets or alcohol are allowed at Chauncey Howard, and the closest parking is 0.2 miles up the street.

Photo via venicegov.com

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