St. Petersburg is not limited to downtown and the waters of Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg offers some of the best beaches in the state of Florida.
Pass-a-Grille Beach is located at the end of St. Pete Beach and includes a picturesque rock jetty with benches to relax on and take it all in. It is a vast laid-back beach (four miles) with no hi-rises. It features stunning, clear blue water and a variety of foliage, has light rolling waves and powder-soft sand. Several dining options and metered parking spots along Gulf Boulevard are close by. The landscape includes magnificent sand dunes, sea oats, and sea grapes. It has a charming, old Florida feel that will soothe your senses.
The origin of the name Pass-a-Grille is French. It means to pass with a gate. At one time it was believed that access to this special area was only allowed through a gate.
It is located just south of the famous Don Cesar Hotel on St. Pete Beach.
While there are no admission fees, there are hourly metered parking fees that can be paid by several kiosks located along Gulf Boulevard for your convenience.
The Seahorse Restaurant and Paradise Grill are two of the dining options that are available directly off Pass-a-Grille Beach. We also love Spinners on St. Pete Beach and The Island Grill and Raw Bar on Tierra Verde (both within 10 minutes of the beach by car).
This neighborhood beach has a very special feature: boat tours departing from the Merry Pier to a secluded barrier island called Shell Key Preserve. There are 195 secluded acres of island to explore without having traveled far to reach it. The only access to this island is by water vessel. This is a beautiful preserve for marine and wildlife with no facilities, so be sure to pack in and pack out so as to not leave a human footprint. There is much shallow water surrounding this island so a professional boat tour or shuttle is highly suggested.
History of Pass-a-Grille Beach
This area was first visited in 1528 when Spanish Explorer, Panfilo de Narvaez anchored off the coast of Pass-a-Grille. It became a place for fishermen to camp, cook and have access to fresh water. Legend states that the area gets its’ name from the French Passe aux Grilleurs. It was recorded that on-shore excursions began in 1857 making it one of the oldest resort areas on the West Coast of Florida. By the turn of the century, the area had its first hotel and ferry service. The town became incorporated into the city of St. Pete Beach in 1957 and it was then declared a National Historic District.