From suntans to sunsets, the beach to the bay and the ocean floor to the sky, St. Pete Beach vacation rentals beckon you to unwind in a breathtaking environment where your family can enjoy the scenery, swimming, diving, parasailing, and boating. Booking your vacation rental in the area puts you within easy access to shops, beach gear rentals, restaurants, historical landmarks, and great activities. Known especially for spectacular sunsets, locals say to watch for the green flash just as the sun drops below the horizon. As you mull over your prospects, here’s a list of the top 12 St. Pete Beach vacation rental locations to help you get started.

1. St. Pete Beach

Dolphin at the Beach

St. Pete Beach is all about the sun, sand, and vacation adventures. If you are eager to get out on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Dolphin Landing’s Charter Boat Center offers dolphin watching tours, fishing expeditions, and sunset cruises. To broaden the options, Adventure Cruises will take you island-hopping so that you can go shelling, snorkeling, or exploring. For something truly unique, you can dress in swimwear to go out to dinner at RumFish Grill if you want to go swimming with the fishes in their 33,500-gallon aquarium. It fills a wall of the restaurant’s dining room, and the staff provides lifeguards, snorkels, masks, footwear, and snorkel vests.

2. Pass-a-Grille

 Pass-A-Grille

Pass-a-Grille Beach retains its Old Florida aura in it’s long, tranquil stretches of beach, and timeless historical district. As you stroll along, stopping to visit art galleries and gift shops, you can pick up a snack to carry to the Merry Pier. If you wish to indulge your inner angler, check out a fishing tour aboard the Miss Pass-A-Grille. They offer deep-sea fishing trips and provide bait and tackle.

3. Redington Shores

Windsurfing

You can slip away to Redington Shores and find a vacation rental that’s a little off the beaten path. Go ahead and break out the swimsuits, boogie boards, toys, and towels for a day on the beach. You can get in some windsurfing or sailing, too. For a special treat, the Candy Kitchen offers ice cream fudge, Italian ice, and candies from your childhood. It’s been open since 1950, and they make their own ice cream.

4. Treasure Island

Pirate Statue
Source: Wiki/Richard Neil

Treasure Island’s special charm includes a giant mascot, Peg-legged Bucky, and the tranquility you find when you stay there on your vacation. Bucky stands in the city park, waving his cutlass as if to protect his treasure, but it’s okay to pose for photographs with him. The area is known for its public beaches with showers and plenty of parking. You can feel free to relax and soak up some sun or kick up your heels with a paragliding adventure.

5. South Pasadena

Pinellas
Source: Wiki/Phillip Michel Reichold

On any given morning, you can leave your South Pasadena vacation rental, drive to St. Pete Beach and get a little sand in your flip flops in about five minutes. The area includes shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment of the St. Petersburg area, while preserving the small-town hospitality that embraces and welcomes visitors. The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs features 38 miles of paved trail for biking, walking, jogging, and skating. You can access the trail in St. Petersburg near South Pasadena.

6. Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach Island vacation rentals make a beach vacation twice as much fun as you have the Gulf of Mexico on the west side and Boca Ciega Bay on the east side of you. Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf is an 18-hole miniature golf course at the north end of town where you play through caves, waterfalls, a pirate ship, and about two dozen live alligators. Part of the adventure includes getting a chance to use a cane fishing pole to feed the gators. At the south end of town, John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk features more than 100 shops, restaurants, boat rentals, and chartered tours.

7. Redington Beach

Piernk

Redington Beach is a charming beach town where you can find a little spot of beach to yourself. It’s your choice to take your beach adventures as easy or as wild as you choose with swimming, surfing, and jet skiing. Picture just stepping out of your beach rental onto the beach to bury some treasures for the kids to find on a treasure hunt later, using the treasure map they “find.” When the mood for fishing comes along, Redington Long Pier is a local favorite. Stretching out 1,200 feet over the water, it’s also a great place to walk and enjoy the atmosphere.

8. Indian Rocks Beach

Parasailing

The blue waters, white sand, and perpetual fun make your Indian Rocks Beach vacation rental feel like home. By your second day, it feels like second nature to kick back in your beach chair to watch the kids splash around in the water. When you’re ready for some action, you can go kiteboarding or parasailing. Island Surf Shop rents everything you need to experience the best beach adventures, including surfboards, beach chairs, and other accessories. If you really want to put this vacation over the top, Disney World in Orlando is less than two hours away. It makes an excellent day trip.

9. Tierra Verde

Boat at the Seashore

A pet-friendly Tierra Verde vacation rental makes a great place to hang out and stages a yummy cookout at the end of a busy dog day afternoon at the Fort De Soto Dog Beach where Fido and his buddies play off-leash on the beach and swim in the Gulf of Mexico. The small town also offers access to fun adventures on whale and dolphin watching cruises, fishing, and visiting the Tierra Verde Lighthouse.

10. Clearwater Beach

 Pirate Ship

When you book your vacation rental at Clearwater Beach, you may discover that yours is a family full of latent buccaneers. Magic occurs when you board the Pirate’s Ransom Pirate galleon for Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise. While all eyes scan the horizon for dolphin sightings, certain scalawags fire water guns and play pirate games among the crew and guest pirates. It’s a two-hour, interactive adventure that immerses guests in a treasure hunt, face painting, pirate stories, singing, and dancing. In celebration of finding the treasure, everyone swigs goblets of grog. Your goblet is a souvenir to help remember a most exciting and fun adventure. When you return to your landlubber selves, daily sunsets bring Pier 60 alive with street performers, artists, and crafters.

11. St. Petersburg, Downtown Area

Garden

There’s something wonderful about staying a vacation rental in downtown St. Petersburg that can unknot your jangled nerves. It’s more than the easy access to famous white, sandy beaches, and Tampa Bay. Adding world-class museums and dozens of family-oriented activities amplify every single moment of your vacation. Then, you add shopping, dining, fine arts, and entertainment. To find an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily living, the botanical paradise of the Sunken Gardens with its waterfalls and exotic plants helps relax your body and reset your mind.

12. Bayou Shores, St. Petersburg

Lake Park

Nestled between Lake Maggiore and Big Bayou, your vacation rental in the Bayou Shores neighborhood in St. Petersburg affords easy access to picturesque Lake Maggiore. When the kids need to let off some steam, the playground at Lake Maggiore Park makes a great place to run and play. A walk along the tranquil paths through the wilderness area offers great opportunities for naming flora and fauna as well as getting in some gentle exercise for the whole family. There’s a public boat ramp for launching boats, kayaks, and canoes. After fishing or a leisurely cruise, you can enjoy a peaceful picnic at one of the shaded picnic tables.