VIBE: Relaxed, Family Friendly
1700 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785
Does the thought of a small Florida beach with charm appeal to you? Are you looking for a quiet beach off the beaten path? Indian Rocks Beach might be what your heart is looking for.
Is Indian Rocks Beach a nice beach?
Indian Rocks Beach is more than nice...it's irresistible. Irresistible means "too attractive and tempting to be resisted". Indian Rocks Beach is known for over 2 miles of beautiful beaches and warm gulf waters near Tampa Bay (30 minutes from the airport). Less busy than Clearwater or Siesta Key, this relaxing beach is perfect for a day trip (our specialty). Dolphins and manatees may appear at any time for your viewing pleasure. This beach is known for its laid-back atmosphere and quaint eateries. Pizza, Mexican food, American, fresh seafood and craft beer are all on the menu here with a side of Florida sunshine!
Indian Rocks Beach Sand
The sand is a white powder which becomes firmer as you get near the turquoise water. Sugary white sand is what Gulf coast beaches are all about. With small sand dunes, Indian Rocks beach is among the nicest, with clean sand that sparkles in the sun. Beach fun with kids is easy: they can build sandcastles or play in the shallow water. There are reports of a shared toy box at this beach, but we did not see it during our visit.
Indian Rocks Beach Water
People have reported seeing dolphins, manatee, turtles and stingrays in this shallow water. It's easy to see why...the water is clear and clean. You will never be bored swimming when there is so much to enjoy. However, there are no lifeguards on Indian Rocks Beach so swim at your own risk.
Indian Rocks Beach Parking and Amenities
There are 27 beach access parking points and 18 sites have free parking. Like many other Florida beaches, arriving early to Indian Shores, before 9:30am is recommended if you want a parking space. It costs $2.50/hr. but is close to restrooms and showers. At the 18th Ave Park entrance, there is an extended sand mat for wheelchair and walker use. For more information on parks and boat ramps click here. Dogs are not allowed on Indian Rocks Beach. You will find dog beaches at Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park and the Belleair Causeway/Bridge Dog Beach.
Things to Do at Indian Rocks Beach
Indian Rocks Beach is a low key, relaxing beach. If you are looking for water sports or motorized rentals you may want to check out the intercoastal services nearby. At the beachfront, rental chairs and umbrellas may be available to rent, depending on the beach access point you are using. You will likely need some shade from the strong, Florida sun! Walking is always a popular activity on every Florida beach and a great way to do is to explore the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve. Across the street from the beach, it has restrooms, a playground for kids and a shady dog park (hours may change). Only five minutes away , there is the Splash Harbour Water Park located at 399 Second Street for more energetic kids. Eat at Jimmy Guana's Waterfront Restaurant right afterward. At the end of the day, one of the most popular activities all along the Gulf coast beaches is watching the sunset. It puts on a different show each evening. Don't miss out!
Look Out! This Could Happen...
We can't think of anything to watch out for on Indian Rocks Beach other than a jellyfish or two. The beach has no lifeguards so 911 will have to be dialed if there is an emergency. If you are someone who enjoys shelling, this beach may not be the best. At low tide we found a few shells, but Sanibel Island is really our go-to shelling destination. Indian Rocks beach is subject to occasional Red Tide problems like all other beaches. Make sure you check out conditions before you go.
What We Really Think About Indian Rocks Beach
We love Indian Rocks Beach. The real draw for us is the small town feel and local restaurants. What can be better than watching a Gulf coast sunset after a delicious meal? This is pure island time enjoyment! One of the best and closest restaurants in the area is Guppy's On The Beach which is a 3 minute walk from the beachfront. You can eat in the open air on their patio. We had the Trifecta Burger and Black Bean Burger with delicious fries. The price was reasonable and the portion was just right.
Indian Rocks Beach Vs. Clearwater Beach
We have stayed in Clearwater Beach, but the beaches are often packed. It can get so busy there is hardly any room to swim or walk, much like Fort Myers Beach. The water at Indian Rocks is as beautiful as Clearwater. The beach gets busier on the weekend, but nowhere near the hustle and bustle of Clearwater. Clearwater is a very upbeat beach with lots to do, so the choice is up to you. If you need a break from people, then Indian Rocks will give you that. Why not check out both and decide for yourself?
Hotels In Indian Rocks Beach
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Susan and Bruno are travel bloggers. We write about Florida beaches on every coast. Our opinions only.