Closest beach to Orlando

 

Pass-A-Grille Beach

 Pass-a-grille Beach, St. Pete Beach, Florida

 

GPS Coordinates: 27.689179, -82.737947

Directions: From I-4, take I-275 through St. Petersburg to the 54th Avenue South exit (Pinellas Bayway, exit #17). Follow the signs west to the beaches. At the end of the road, turn left on Gulf Blvd. at the big pink Don Cesar hotel. Continue driving south. Once you get to 22nd avenue, any of the cross streets will take you right to the beach parking. I usually turn right onto 22nd avenue, then left onto Gulf Way, then just cruise south to pick out a parking spot. Most people park near 10th Avenue to be close to the restrooms and concession (Paradise Grill).

Cost: Paid on-street angle parking is $1.25 per hour.

At the southernmost end of St. Pete Beach is a small beach community called Pass-a-Grille. At this location the island is only about a block and a half wide. There are places where you can stand on the dune crossover looking at the Gulf, while looking over your shoulder at the bay waters. Pass-a-Grille is mostly residential, with a few restaurants and shops (mostly around 8th Avenue) and quite a few beach rentals—small hotels and a few beach houses.

Calm water at Pass-a-grille beach.

Pass-a-grille Beach, looking north.

The public beach access is 22 blocks long, from 22nd Avenue at the north boundary to 1st Avenue at the southern tip of the island. At roughly the midpoint (9th Avenue) you’ll find the beach concession, called the Paradise Grille, and the Hurricane Restaurant, which is a long standing 3 story landmark restaurant and bar. The Paradise Grille has a web site: http://www.theparadisegrille.com/ and a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Grille-Pass-A-Grille-Fl/164096539541

Pass-a-Grille Beach is a very popular place to have sunset wedding ceremonies. On almost any night you’ll find one or more beach weddings taking place.

The Ringing of the sunset bell takes place most every night at the concession. It’s a lot of fun, so if you can stay for sunset you might want to head over to the concession, beach side, about half an hour before sunset. If you’re lucky, you might be chosen to ring the bell.

The sunset bell on Pass-a-grille Beach.

Saturday Pass-A-Grille Art Mart: On Saturdays there is an art market hosted by Suntan Art at the Paradise Grille patio across the street from the Hurricane Restaurant. If you’d like to pick up some interesting art or conversation pieces, Saturday is the time to do it. Artists display and sell their work under the shelter of tents from 9am to 2pm. http://www.suntanart.org/ArtPassAGilleWay.html

Suntan Art Mart on Pass-a-grille Beach

Lifeguards: Pass-a-Grille Beach has NO lifeguards. Law enforcement vehicles do patrol the beach from time to time and they will drive down onto the beach, day and night.

ADA Access: Parking is literally steps from the beach walkovers and sidewalks run the length of the beach (for 22 blocks). Handicap parking spaces are provided and there is a beach wheelchair available at the concession building on 9th Avenue and Gulf Way. The beach accesses north of the Paradise Grille concession provide better access from the parking spaces to the beach accesses for those with limited mobility.

Beach Rules:

  • Alcohol is not allowed on the beach, however alcoholic beverages are served at the Paradise Grille beach concession. The bar opens at 11 a.m. You cannot carry your drink down onto the beach, you have to consume it at the concession.
  • Pets are not allowed on the beach. Section 14-35 of the municipal code.
  • No fires
  • Bicycle riding is not allowed on the beach.
  • Glass containers are not allowed on the beach.
  • Nudity is not allowed.
  • Fires are not allowed on the beach.

Parking:

22 blocks of on-street parking are provided within steps of the beach. Electronic parking meters are enforced from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. including weekends and holidays. The meters accept nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar coins and credit/debit cards. Parking costs $1.25 per hour or $10 for 12 hours.

Parking on Pass-a-grille beach.

Amenities:

The Paradise Grille beach concession has a restaurant, a bar and a beach shop that sells beach gear you might need. They also rent beach chairs and cabanas. It also has restrooms, but no dedicated area for changing clothes except for a small area recently added to the women’s restrooms.

The beach walk-overs have foot showers and the Paradise Grille pavilion has an outdoor rinse-off shower.

Right across the street from the Paradise Grille is the Hurricane Restaurant and other restaurants and shops on historic 8th Avenue. A larger selection of restaurants is available just a 10 minute drive to the north on St. Pete Beach.

Shells:

Pass-a-grille beach has a fair amount of shells. The best place to look is often at the southern end of the beach near the jetty as the tide is going out.

There are no lifeguards at Pass-A-Grille Beach.

Paradise Grille, Pass-a-grille Beach.

Pass-a-grille beach access and dune crossover.

A busy day at Pass-a-grille Beach.

Quiet summer day on Pass-a-grille beach.

A hot August day on Pass-a-grille beach.

Launching a kayak through the surf.

Fishing on the Pass-a-grille jetty.

Beach wheelchair available at Pass-a-grille beach.

Family enjoying the sunset on Pass-a-grille beach.

8th Avenue Historic District, Pass-a-grille, Florida

St Pete Beach's Don Cesar Resort Hotel under a full moon.