A Guide to Visiting Sand Key Park in Clearwater Beach


Sand Key Park is a beautiful beach park located on the outskirts of Clearwater Beach, Florida. It offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and features white-sand beaches and clear waters. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, and sunbathing. The park also provides amenities like a boardwalk, nature trail, picnic area, grills, and a dog park. With its picturesque setting and range of facilities, Sand Key Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the clear waters of Florida!

Key Takeaways

  • Sand Key Park offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and beautiful white-sand beaches.
  • Visitors can enjoy activities like swimming, fishing, kayaking, and sunbathing.
  • The park provides amenities such as a boardwalk, nature trail, picnic area, grills, and a dog park.
  • There are a variety of restaurants located nearby for dining options.
  • Other nearby attractions include Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Pier 60, and Caladesi Island State Park.

Getting to Sand Key Park

By Car

If you prefer to leave the car at home, check out this transfer service from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and this option from Tampa International Airport. Parking in Clearwater Beach is no fun. Plan to arrive early, or keep your eyes open for parking while driving between parking lots. As the sun starts to set and day trippers begin to leave, it is likely you’ll join a line of vehicles trying to get over the Causeway Byway. However, there is parking in Clearwater. There are ten parking lots dotted around the island, with the biggest being closest to Pier 60. For tours, aim for the marina car park but give yourself plenty of time to find a space before your boat tour sets sail. If you can’t find any parking close to Pier 60, head over to the other side of the causeway and walk back. There are also some parking garages along Coronado Drive, which backs onto the Beach Walk and is close to Clearwater Marina. Most parking lots accept credit cards. Alleviate all of this stress by leaving the car at your accommodation and using the Jolly Trolley, which stops at South Beach attractions and North Beach locations.

By Public Transportation

If you prefer to use public transportation, getting to Sand Key Park is easy. There are several bus routes that stop near the park, making it convenient for visitors. Simply check the bus schedule and plan your trip accordingly. Whether you’re coming from downtown Clearwater or other parts of the city, public transportation is a convenient and eco-friendly option to reach Sand Key Park.

By Bicycle

Cycling is a fantastic way to explore Sand Key Park and its surroundings. The park offers bike-friendly paths that allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery while getting some exercise. As you pedal through the park, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of the beach. It’s a peaceful and serene experience, especially compared to Clearwater. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, riding a bike at Sand Key Park is a great way to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the fresh air.

Exploring Sand Key Park

Relaxing on the Beach

When visiting Sand Key Park, one of the highlights is relaxing on the beach. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and let the ocean breezes take your cares away. The park offers a private oasis with its stunning white beaches and aquamarine waters. You can treat your toes to the 13 acres of private white sand beach and warm gulf waters as you bask in the famous Florida sun. If you prefer some shade, there are tropical trees that add to the ambience. Whether you want to soak up the sun or simply enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves, the beach at Sand Key Park is the perfect place to unwind.

If you’re looking for some outdoor activities, you can try beach volleyball, swimming, or simply strolling along the sugar-white sands. For those who want to learn more about the island’s wildlife and history, there’s a nature center with exhibits and activities for both kids and adults. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a ferry to Caladesi Island, where you can go on a treasure hunt for shells and explore the island. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, the beach at Sand Key Park has something for everyone.

Picnicking and Barbecuing

Picnicking and barbecuing are popular activities at Sand Key Park. Visitors can bring their own food and enjoy a picnic lunch in one of the park’s pavilions. The green areas provide ample space for playing games or simply relaxing with a good book or a travel hammock. It’s a great way to spend a fun day in nature. If you’re looking for a break from the beach, Moccasin Lake Nature Park is nearby and offers a peaceful setting for a picnic. Another option is Hammock Park in Dunedin, which is known for its butterfly garden and beautiful natural surroundings. Both parks are a short drive from Sand Key Park and provide a tranquil escape from the bustling beach scene.

Nature Trails and Wildlife Viewing

The nature trails at Sand Key Park offer a peaceful escape into the natural beauty of the area. Walk beneath the shade of oak trees and explore the boardwalks that wind over creeks and ponds. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls the park home, including birds of prey and various species of trees. The park’s vibrant sunsets create a stunning backdrop for your nature adventure. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more active hike, the nature trails at Sand Key Park provide a serene setting for outdoor exploration.

Activities at Sand Key Park

Swimming and Snorkeling

Swimming and snorkeling at Sand Key Park are popular activities for visitors. The park’s pristine beach and clear waters provide the perfect setting for a refreshing swim or an underwater adventure. Whether you’re looking to cool off on a hot day or explore the vibrant marine life, Sand Key Park has something for everyone.

Fishing

Clearwater’s Pier 60 is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. The pier offers year-round fishing and sells daily, weekly, and monthly fishing passes, equipment, and bait. Some of the popular fish caught at Pier 60 include Grouper, Whiting, Bluefish, Seatrout, Redfish, Black Drum, Snook, and Spanish Mackerel. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, Pier 60 provides a great opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing in Clearwater Beach.

If you didn’t come prepared, don’t worry! You can hire fishing lines at the pier, making it convenient for visitors who want to try their hand at catching mackerel and trout. The pier is also open to regular foot traffic, so even if you’re not fishing, you can still take advantage of the beautiful viewpoints and keep an eye out for dolphins in the water.

Tip: Fishing under the lights at Pier 60 in the dark is a unique experience that anglers shouldn’t miss. It adds an extra thrill to the fishing adventure and increases the chances of catching some impressive fish.

For photography enthusiasts, the row of colorful sun umbrellas near the pier is an iconic photo opportunity. Capture the vibrant umbrellas from the side, especially during sunset, for a stunning shot. Don’t forget to explore the market stalls tucked inside the umbrellas at night, where you can find various items for sale.

If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the sunset, Pier 60 is one of the best spots in Clearwater Beach. Take a leisurely stroll along the pier, soak in the breathtaking views, and create lasting memories of your visit to this beautiful destination.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities at Sand Key Park. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, exploring the calm waters of the park is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Clearwater Beach. Paddle along the coastline and take in the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Keep an eye out for dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife that may be swimming nearby. If you’re interested in a guided tour, there are kayak adventures available near Clearwater Beach that offer a guided journey through the mangrove tunnels of Tarpon Springs. These tours provide an opportunity to learn about the history and ecology of the area while enjoying the serenity of the water. Book a kayak adventure and embark on a memorable experience in Clearwater Beach.

Facilities and Amenities

Parking

Parking in Clearwater Beach can be a bit challenging, especially during peak hours. It is recommended to arrive early or keep your eyes open for parking while driving between parking lots. As the sun starts to set and day trippers begin to leave, there may be a line of vehicles trying to get over the Causeway Byway. However, there are ten parking lots dotted around the island, with the largest one being closest to Pier 60. If you’re going on a boat tour, aim for the marina car park but make sure to give yourself plenty of time to find a space before your tour sets sail. If you can’t find any parking close to Pier 60, you can head over to the other side of the causeway and walk back. There are also parking garages along Coronado Drive, which is close to Clearwater Marina. Most parking lots accept credit cards.

If you want to avoid the hassle of parking, you can consider leaving your car at your accommodation and using the Jolly Trolley, which stops at South Beach attractions and North Beach locations. This can alleviate the stress of finding parking and allow you to enjoy your visit to Sand Key Park without worrying about parking availability.

Please note that parking fees may apply in some areas. It is always a good idea to check the parking fee information beforehand. Here are some nearby parking options:

  1. Fred Howard Park – Parking Fee Charged
  2. Fort De Soto Park – Parking Fee Charged
  3. Sand Key Park – Parking Fee Charged
  4. Belleair Beach Access – Parking Fee Charged
  5. Indian Rocks Beach Access – Parking Fee Charged
  6. Madeira Beach Access – Parking Fee Charged
  7. Redington Shores Access – Parking Fee Charged
  8. St. Pete Beach Access – Parking Fee Charged
  9. Tiki Garden/Indian Shores – Parking Fee Charged

If you prefer not to drive, there are transfer services available from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Tampa International Airport.

Please note that the Gulf of Mexico may experience Red Tide, which can cause respiratory illness and eye irritation. It is advisable to check the Florida forecast on the NCCOS website before visiting.

Remember to plan ahead and make parking arrangements to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Sand Key Park.

Restrooms and Showers

The restrooms and showers at Sand Key Park are conveniently located near the beach area. They provide clean and well-maintained facilities for visitors to freshen up after a day of outdoor activities. The restrooms are equipped with adjustable height hand-held shower wands and bathtub grab rails for added accessibility. Additionally, the park offers non-slip grab rails in the bathroom to ensure safety for all visitors. Whether you need to rinse off the sand or take a quick shower, the restrooms and showers at Sand Key Park have you covered.

Picnic Shelters and Grills

Picnic Shelters and Grills are available at Sand Key Park for visitors to enjoy outdoor dining and cooking. These facilities provide a convenient and comfortable space for families and friends to gather and have a meal together. Whether you’re planning a picnic or a barbecue, the picnic shelters and grills at Sand Key Park offer a great setting for a delicious outdoor feast. You can bring your own food and drinks or purchase them from nearby vendors. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings while indulging in some tasty treats.

Nearby Attractions

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach. At the aquarium, you can see rescued animals such as dolphins, sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, pelicans, and otters. They have several different exhibits here, including Dolphin Terrace where you can watch the dolphins and learn about them, and Otter Oasis, where you can see the otters play. Make sure to check their website for hours and ticket prices.

Pier 60

Pier 60 is one of the many Clearwater Beach activities that offers a variety of fun experiences. Located next to the pier at Pier 60 Park, adventurous kids can enjoy bouncy castles, sharks, and a massive waterslide. There’s even a trampoline for older kids. In the evening, Pier 60 comes alive with a sunset celebration featuring live music, entertainers, and local crafters selling their goods. If you’re interested in fishing, Pier 60 offers year-round fishing passes, equipment, and bait. Popular fish caught here include Grouper, Whiting, Bluefish, Seatrout, Redfish, Black Drum, Snook, and Spanish Mackerel. Pier 60 is also a great spot to capture stunning sunset photos, especially with the row of colorful sun umbrellas. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Pier 60 and enjoy all the activities it has to offer!

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park is a hidden gem in Florida that offers a unique experience for visitors. It’s only accessible by boat, so it’s the perfect place to go fishing, kayaking, or camping. There’s plenty of wildlife to see, including dolphins and manatees in the water during the ferry ride, and ospreys and other birds. You may even see tortoises and keep an eye open for snakes! Caladesi Island is also a popular place for sea turtles to hang out and you may even spot bald eagles or other birds.

Conclusion

Visiting Sand Key Park in Clearwater Beach is a fantastic experience for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike. Whether you arrive by car, public transportation, or bicycle, you’ll find easy access to this beautiful park. From relaxing on the beach to exploring nature trails and spotting wildlife, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. The park also offers facilities such as parking, restrooms, and picnic shelters, making it convenient for visitors. Don’t forget to check out nearby attractions like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Pier 60, and Caladesi Island State Park. Make sure to bring your sunscreen and camera for a memorable day at Sand Key Park!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to Sand Key Park?

You can get to Sand Key Park by car, public transportation, or bicycle. If you’re driving, there is parking available at the park. If you’re taking public transportation, there are bus routes that stop near the park. And if you prefer to bike, there are bike lanes and racks at the park.

What activities can I do at Sand Key Park?

At Sand Key Park, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. There are also nature trails for hiking and wildlife viewing. If you prefer a more relaxed day, you can relax on the beach or have a picnic at one of the picnic shelters.

Are there facilities and amenities at Sand Key Park?

Yes, Sand Key Park has several facilities and amenities. There is parking available, as well as restrooms and showers for visitors. There are also picnic shelters and grills for picnicking and barbecuing. Additionally, there is a dog park for those who want to bring their furry friends.

What are some nearby attractions to Sand Key Park?

Some nearby attractions to Sand Key Park include the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Pier 60, and Caladesi Island State Park. These attractions offer additional entertainment and activities for visitors to enjoy during their visit to Sand Key Park.

Is there food available at Sand Key Park?

While Sand Key Park does not have its own restaurant, there are a variety of restaurants located nearby. Visitors can easily find dining options within a short distance from the park.

Are there any other beach parks in Clearwater Beach?

Yes, there are other beach parks in Clearwater Beach. Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park are both north of Sand Key Park. These parks offer beautiful beaches and additional recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

Is there an entrance fee for Sand Key Park?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for Sand Key Park. The fee is $5 per vehicle for a daily pass. There are also annual passes available for purchase.

Can I bring my dog to Sand Key Park?

Yes, you can bring your dog to Sand Key Park. There is a designated dog park where dogs can play off-leash. However, dogs must be on a leash in all other areas of the park.

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