The exquisite beaches along the Gulf of Mexico are a great reason for booking your vacation rental in the Treasure Island area. Brilliant white sand and sparkling emerald waters invite visitors to linger on the shore, swim, surf, jet ski, boogie board and fish. The area is rich with arts, entertainment and shopping when you want indoor activities and bursting with opportunities for snorkeling, parasailing and scuba diving when you want to be outdoors. A Treasure Island vacation rental will put you in the center of the action while making sure you feel right at home.

1. Treasure Island

motorboat pulling the parachute

The treasure isn’t buried on Treasure Island; it’s in plain view along three miles of sugar-white beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. You can swim, snorkel, surf or stroll along the beach as you drink in an epic sunset. It’s a quieter beach than its neighbors, catering to families who want to relax and recharge without crowds of people around. To ramp things up, Parasailing the Pass, located at Gator’s Waterfront Bar & Grill offers dolphin and sightseeing tours from 800 feet up in the air. The panoramic view of the Florida Gulf Coast offers a different perspective with an adrenaline-pumping adventure at the same time. Imagine walking out the door of your vacation rental, sauntering down to the breaking surf with your morning coffee in hand, feeling the warm gulf breeze on your face and contemplating what the day’s adventures might bring. Yeah, it’s like that.

2. Madeira Beach

shops at the boardwalk
Source: Flickr / amanderson2

When you book your Madeira Beach vacation rental at the southern end of Treasure Island, you sign up for white beaches and emerald waters that invite you to bask in the sun-drenched fun. You can help the kids build sandcastles, splash in the surf, or stretch out on your beach blanket to work on your tan. At the southern tip of Madeira Beach, Johns Pass Village on the waterfront is Pinellas County’s top tourist attraction. Over 100 merchants offer unique shops, boutiques, and restaurants along the 1,100-foot boardwalk. You can go on a dolphin watching and shelling tours, rent boats or jet skis and go parasailing. You can find metered parking throughout the village and a multi-level parking garage adjacent to Hubbard’s Marina.

3. St. Pete Beach

boat docks at the seaside
Source: Flickr / psyberartist

Variety is the name of the game when you stay in St. Pete Beach, from the stretch of sugar-white sand to the dunes and sea oats of quiet Pass-A-Grille Beach on the southern end of the island. The historic Merry Pier located in Pass-A-Grille, Florida features a store, a fresh fish market, a store and fishing opportunities for flounder, snapper, mackerel, snook, and others. You can rent rods and tackle and buy bait at the pier. Miss Pass-A-Grille and Offshore Hustler offer fishing adventures. If you just want a boat ride, you can check out Shell Key Shuttle for a ride to Shell Key Preserve for shelling and dolphin watching or a sunset cruise. Whatever you want to do, your vacation rental at St. Pete Beach is a sure thing.

4. South Pasadena

rock formations in the middle of the sea
Source: Flickr / SNORKELINGDIVES.COM

Picture yourself settling into your vacation rental in South Pasadena with a bottle of tropical fruit wine you picked up at Florida Orange Groves Winery. The three award-winning choices include the high Sangria Hurricane, the Key Limen, and the Mango Mamma, which they encourage guests to sample before buying. Tomorrow is the day for Island Boat Adventures aboard a 45-foot catamaran that departs from the Tierra Verde Marina Resort for a snorkeling trip to Egmont Key Island. The excursion includes dolphin-watching and snorkeling over the ruins of historic Fort Dade. At Egmont Key, the boat beaches in front of the lighthouse, giving guests an hour to explore Spanish-American War forts, go shelling or snorkel some more around the island.

5. Isla del Sol

ship and motorboat sailing on the sea

Isla del Sol is a barrier island just off the southwestern tip of St. Petersburg, located just a few minutes north of the Fort De Soto Dog Beach. You can hang out awhile in the Fort De Soto Park to enjoy your rented rent bikes, kayaks, or canoes along the paved and paddling trails in the Fort De Soto Park. When you’re ready to kick up your heels closer to your vacation rental, simply cross the Pinellas Byway to St. Pete Beach and swim, surf, or hop on a jet ski for a wet and wild adventure. After a day full of adventure, you can stage an epic cookout on your deck, then kick back and watch the sunset.

6. Bayview, Southwest St. Petersburg

golf bag and baskets

Bayview is a southwest St. Petersburg neighborhood on the shore of the scenic Boca Ciega Bay Aquatic Preserve. If you’d like to get in some golf or just work on your swing, you can try out Twin Brooks Golf Course. It’s a nine-hole course and driving range that features three additional practice holes. You can rent golf clubs, pull carts, and golf cars.

7. Tierra Verde

fishing boat at the ocean

Your vacation is all about you, and Tierra Verde is all making sure you enjoy your stay. Adventurous families find plenty to do in Fort De Soto County Park, which spreads over multiple connected islands and features a historic fort, hiking trails and beaches. Even Fido can kick up his paws with his pooch pals off-leash and go swimming at the beach in Fort De Soto Dog Park on Madelaine Key. When you’re ready for bigger adventures, Tierra Verde Boat Rentals offers boats for fishing, sightseeing, tubing, and wake boarding. When you are the captain, you can chart a course for Egmont Key, Shell Island, Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa Bay, and the Gulf Coast.

8. Seminole

hiking trail
Source: Flickr / WalterPro

If you venture inland to the east of Treasure Island, you can enjoy luxury or casual vacation rentals in Seminole close to activities, shopping, and parks. Boca Ciega Millennium Park features a boardwalk and a 35-foot observation tower to help visitors experience natural habitats, including coastal oak hammock, mangrove swamp, salt marsh, bay head, and wetlands. The park includes a covered playground for the kids and a little doggie obstacle course in the dog park. If you want to really get around, Trail Sport Bicycles rents city bikes, road bikes, electric bikes, and tandem bikes as well as accessories for taking the kids along. After a day of hiking or biking, Rita’s Ice Cream shop gives you a great place to cool off with some water ice, Italian ice, custard, or ice cream.

9. Uptown St. Petersburg

beautiful gazebo near the pond

Your Uptown St. Petersburg vacation rental on a quiet, tree-lined street positions you within walking distance of downtown shopping and restaurants. The beaches of Treasure Island to the west and Tampa Bay to the east are mere minutes away. The historic uptown area features a couple of interesting parks. To pamper yourself with a tranquil, relaxing afternoon retreat, you can head over to Crescent Lake Park for a stroll along the wilderness trail and a picnic. Round Lake Park features a lovely gazebo for relaxing or reading, and a park is a great place for walking or bike riding.