Pass-A-Grille Beach, located on the southern end of St. Pete Beach, is a popular spot amongst locals due to the pristine nature (you will notice an absence of hotels and restaurants lining the beach, unlike nearby St. Pete Beach). Although a bit less crowded than St. Pete Beach, it is still hard to find parking on a weekend. You may have to circle around for a bit to find a open parking spot, especially if you arrive later in the day. Taking a glance at the photo below, you can see that there is not much room to spread out, especially on busy weekend afternoons.
Pass-A-Grille is a quaint, historic shopping, dining, and residential area. Beautiful homes and landscaping are found in this area. There are plenty of local restaurants and hotels, each with their own individual charm. The area has a charming Old Florida look, which I find much more appealing than the many chains found lining the streets in the surrounding areas.
Unfortunately, I could not say the same for the beach! Although white, the sand was not very smooth with too many cigarette butts lying around everywhere. Too rocky and too much seaweed as you can see in the photos below. Lots of people playing loud music on the beach – definitely not a place for a romantic stroll or quiet afternoon of reading. A bit too crowded for my taste; I’ll have to visit on a weekday next time.
I am quite surprised that this beach is consistently ranked as one of the best in Florida. Honestly, I have been to much better beaches, both in the South and the North! On the plus side, I did not notice many umbrella rentals on the beach, which I feel take away from the peaceful nature of a beach. Another bonus is opportunities for lots of sea shell collecting, especially at the furthest south end of the beach near the jetty.
Pretty views by the jetty
The water here is clear and shallow like all of the other Gulf Beaches I have visited thus far. Take a few looks below:
In addition, swimming with light waves (from the constant boats going by) always makes things a bit more exciting. The beach is several miles long, and would be great for a stroll or jog on the less busy weekday mornings. I am definitely going to visit on a weekday morning to see if the beach is any less crowded and noisy.
A few more scenes around the beach on a Saturday afternoon
From a distance, you can see a stand out pink building, the Don CeSar. This historic hotel on St. Pete Beach maintains a classic Florida look. This architectural beauty opened in 1928 and was referred to as the “Pink Palace.” The classic hotel has been renovated inside, and includes rooms with balconies facing the Gulf.
Pass-A-Grille is a very popular Florida beach for weddings. In fact, we saw one being set up this afternoon!
Although, I was not too impressed by what I saw on my weekend visit, I imagine an early morning or sunset visit would be a much different experience. Not only will the temperatures be cooler, but the crowds hopefully reduced as well. I noticed that other area beaches tend to thin out later in the day as the sun begins to go down. I think I would rather visit when the temps are cooler as I can’t bear the intense heat of a June Florida afternoon!
Pass-A-Grille Beach is located at the southern end of St. Pete Beach (starting at 22nd Avenue in St. Petersburg). Once you have gone past the big pink hotel (Don CeSar), you will be in the right area. Parking is $1.50 per hour.
Have you ever visited Pass-A-Grille Beach? What is your favorite St. Petersburg beach?