Treasure Island sits between Madeira Beach to the north, and St. Pete Beach to the south. The island is fully developed with commercial and residential areas. The beachfront is built up with low to moderate rise resorts and condominiums. There isn't much nature here, but Treasure Island does provide good beach access, though it is no longer free. The nicest beach in my opinion is down at the south end of the island in an area called Sunset Beach.
Treasure Island does not attract an "upscale" crowd. It's where middle-America goes to the beach. It's a "just-folks" place, with a good mix of retirees and families with kids.
Treasure Island is easily accessed from the City of St. Petersburg, Florida. There are plenty of beachfront rental condominiums and some hotels and beach houses for rent. Treasure Island has no shortage of restaurants and small shops that cater not only to visitors, but also to a large population of residents.
Treasure Island has really nice water for swimming. It's not crystal clear, but it's not dark either. Generally the bottom slopes gradually so the beaches are very accessible to children and to anyone with mobility challenges. An important thing to consider is that the Treasure Island beaches are VERY wide. This means that it is a long walk from the parking area, or from your hotel or condo, to the water's edge. If you have to carry small children and beach gear, or if you have difficulty walking long distances for whatever reason, keep this in mind.
Accommodations on Treasure Island
If I were going to compare Treasure Island to any other place in Florida with respect to the type of accommodations available, I'd probably compare it to Fort Myers Beach. It has plenty of mostly older hotels, motels and beach cottages. The main center of activity is where Central Avenue from Saint Petersburg connects to the island. There you'll find two of the larger beach hotels, The Thunderbird and The Bilmar. This is the commercial center where many of the shops and restaurants are as well as the island's Publix grocery store which is right across the street from the main beach access. You could spend your entire vaction in this area without ever needing a car.
What's Good About Treasure Island
- Plenty of inexpensive accommodations available.
- Very convenient to nearby islands and to Saint Petersburg.
- Plenty of restaurants and bars.
- Very good sand (but not powdery soft) and calm, clean water.
- A trolley is available for transportation so you don't have to use a car to travel up and down the islands.
- The Treasure Island Trail is a paved broadwalk (very similar to Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood Beach) that runs for a mile between the hotels and the beach. It's a great place to go for a stroll.
What's Not so Good About Treasure Island
- It's a bit cramped and lacks natural foliage and landscaping. All the hotels and motels are built very close to each other.
- There tends to be quite a few smokers on the beach, and alcohol is allowed out on the beach except for a section of Sunset Beach.
- The beach is extremely wide mid-island, so it will be an 800 foot walk from your accommodations to water's edge.