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Pass-A-Grille Beach

Pass-a-grille is a little haven in the middle of bustling St Pete Beach. Or more accurately, at the southernmost tip of St Pete Beach.  

As you pass The Don CeSar, Gulf Blvd gives way to Pass A Grille Way, and the road becomes a palm-lined, single-lane-each-direction road.  Little McPherson Bayou is on your left and the massive Gulf of Mexico is on your right. 

The vibe changes.  Almost instantly.  No more mid-rise or high-rise hotels or condos, only one traffic light, the traffic slows and you begin to realize that you are on the way to someplace special.

Even with the mutli-story homes that have been replacing the small bungalows in recent years, there is just a feeling of more openness.  You can see the water on the left (Little McPherson Bayou and then Pass-A-Grille channel). And you begin to sense the Gulf on your right.

Grab your favorite flotation device and insert yourself here

High surf sunset at PAG beach

If you turn right when you see the sea Critters restaurant, you’ll dead end at Gulf Way.  Turn left and head south and the Gulf will be on your right the entire way. 

There is plenty of parking and ample beach walkovers all the way to the end.  You’ll find the beach gets a little more crowded as you reach Historic Pass-A-Grille, down around 10th Ave. 

Insider Tip: Parking meters

There are only a handful of free parking spaces around, so bring a credit card to pay by the space at the machines provided.

Sand Dunes rentals sets up the yellow umbrellas early on July 4th, awaiting the throngs of sun-seekers

Sand Dunes operates lounge chair rentals, umbrellas rentals and on calm days, SUPs.  See our blog post here for more info.

The outdoor (and only) dining area at Paradise Grille

On holidays and some weekends you may find some vendors set up in the patio are at Paradise Grille

The area around 10th – 8th Ave is really the predominant shopping and restaurant area of Pass-A-Grille.

This is where you can find one of my favorites, Paradise Grille, along with The Hurricane and the Brass Monkey.  Oh and Paradise Sweets, home of coffee and ice cream. 

The water was clear and calm and the skies fair Independence Day morning

Beach and Paradise Grille as seen from the water

If you go at before sunset, The Hurricane or Paradise Grille or The Brass Monkey all offer fabulous settings for sunset viewings. 

Paradise Grille has the Nightly Ringing of the Bell every night at sunset. The grille itself closes about a half hour after this bell has rung, so plan accordingly. My meal of champions? The cheeseburger and a screwdriver.

Stand up paddleboarding is great on a calm day

Or windsurfing on a not-so-calm day

Boogie board with a human booster (sling shot method)

Insider Tip: When Nature Calls (Er, Restrooms)

Restrooms (and separate changing rooms) are available at Paradise Grille

The beach is a great place to view incoming storms

Other highlights are a dog beach (as you round the tip and head back north). Merry Pier, fishing on the Pass-A-Grille channel side. 

Historic Merry Pier has fishing trips, trips to the Shell Key Preserve via the Shell Key Shuttle, sunset cruises and more.

The beach is quite wide at the northern end, gradually narrowing as you head south.  By the time you get to the jetty at 1st Ave. the beach is at its narrowest.  Check out the satellite view on Google maps.

Sometimes, just being still in the water is all you need

The end of another great evening at the beach

Weekdays are always less crowded than the weekends, unless of course it is a holiday.  On holidays we go early – as in 9 am – and you will find the yellow umbrellas set up and waiting for the crowds. But even on holidays it isn’t too crowded to enjoy, especially at the northern end of the beach.

The beach is wide there, and the Gulf of Mexico even wider.

The way sunsets were meant to be enjoyed