Five reasons why Pass-A-Grille is the best beach in the Bay Area

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Rowan O'Flanagan

The sun sets over the water in Pass-A-Grille Beach, Florida. Pass-A-Grille is only a 40-minute drive away from Tampa.

Rowan O'Flanagan, Staffer

1. Location 

At first glance, the approximately 40-minute drive from Tampa to Pass-A-Grille beach may seem long. However, Pass-A-Grille is certainly close enough for an easy day or sunset trip, but just far enough away to feel like a mini vacation.  

2. Food 

Directly across the street from the beach, Pass-A-Grille hosts multiple great restaurants. The Hurricane is a classic multilevel seafood restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating, including a rooftop deck. A block away, The Brass Monkey serves a large menu of American fare. And no visit to the beach would be complete without a stop at Paradise Sweets, a small ice cream parlor with some of the best ice cream in the bay area.

3. Scenery  

The natural scenery at Pass-A-Grille is unmatched in the Tampa area. The water is frequently clear, with an abundance of shells and soft white sand. It’s not uncommon to see dolphins surfacing in the distance, and the local sea birds always make an appearance. Best of all, each day at Pass-A-Grille ends with a dazzling display of colors as the sun sinks into the sea

4. Convenience 

It’s hard to find a beach more convenient than Pass-A-Grille. Parking is located directly along the sand dunes, with only a short stroll over a board walk to the beach. Bathrooms are easily accessible, as well as outdoor showers to wash off any sand you may have picked up during your trip.  

5. Atmosphere 

Pass-A-Grille is somewhat of a hidden gem. While it’s likely to run into an old friend from around Tampa, the beach is almost never overcrowded, unlike tourist hotspot Clearwater Beach. The result is a pleasant ambience – relaxed but not isolated, with plenty of space to socially distance if necessary.  

Bonus: The Pass-A-Grille Parrots 

If you’re lucky, your relaxing trip to the beach will include a visit from Pass-A-Grille’s resident flock of parrots. These exotic birds are easily identified by their loud squawking and bright green plumage. Find them flying from palm tree to palm tree or sitting on a wire above the sand dunes.