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Sanding Ovations Masters Cup Treasure Island Florida

 

“Birth of Venus”

I was really blown away by the artistry, skill and creativity of the contestants.

To begin with, each sculpture has a designated plot and the installations are huge.  Sand is delivered on pallets (yes, pallets) so these folk are not out there with their $2 plastic buckets from the local beach store.

Beautiful weather for 2018

So for my first year my friend Rita and I only went on the next to last day, which is the day judging takes place.

This was a mistake.

If you have time it really makes sense to attend on the first and second days as well.  The finished products are sensational.  They’re thought-provoking, puzzling and sometimes appear to defy the laws of gravity.  And what would have made it even more special would have been to see how they were built.

Sculptors and Sculptures

2018 saw record-breaking attendance and the amazing group of sculptures and their impressive work is why.

Although I do not know the precise judging criteria of this specific event, typically the judges in sand sculpting event consider such things as:

  • How well the plot space was used – is there a lot of empty space
  • Did they use all the sand provided?
  • Is it a clever idea or a fresh approach to a subject
  • How difficult was it? Consideration of the use of cut-throughs, height, overhangs
  • Faithfulness to any theme
  • Execution

Keep scrolling to view many photos from this year’s event!

“Freedom” by Jonathan “Jobi” Bouchard of Canada

The 2018 First Place and People’s Choice Winner – “Freedom”.

Freedom” is one where I would have loved to hear the artist’s explanation of his work.

While I don’t understand the message, the sheer scale of the face and the multiple carve-outs and arches may help explain why this sculpture won First Place and also won the People’s Choice award this year.

Jobi Bouchard had previously won first place at this competition FIVE times!

“Internal Universe” by Aleksei Rybak of Russia

Sunshine Beach is on the north end, running from just south of John’s Pass for about seven blocks to 120th Ave. With fewer hotels and more residential areas, this stretch of Treasure Island is laid-back and loved by locals.

Aleksei Rybak takes a moment.

Aleksei is a graduate of the Moscow Art College of Applied Art.

insider tip: judging

Sculptures are evaluated on things like originality, technical difficulty, faithfulness to a theme, execution and use of space

“Birth of Venus” by Sue McGrew of Washington

I enjoyed “Birth of Venus” immensely.  The overall shape and the lovely curving tentacles were delightful.

Artist Sue McGrew working on her sculpture’s finishes

Note some of the tools on the bench in the foreground.  Small shovels, brushes and sprayers.

A sculpture within a sculpture

I’m not clear if this was the front or back.  But either way both are beautiful.

Sculptor Sue McGrew works in sand, ice and snow.  She has won a number of competitions.

“Fusion” by JOOheng Tan of Singapore

I can’t say that I fully appreciated “Fusion” at first viewing.  It seemed so simple relative to many of the others. But the more I looked the more I saw.  And I began to appreciate just how tall it was and how difficult it must be to stack that much sand in such a narrow tower.

And then to carve out the delicate shapes in that thin strip of an opening?  Our next photo has a close-up of the inside.

A sand odyssey anyone?

insider tip: JoBI Bouchard

Jobi Bouchard of Canada, and the 2018 First Place and People’s Choice Winner, has won this event six times.

JOOheng is from Singapore.  His work has been showcased in over 60 cities across more than 20 countries around the world.

Worth visiting is this link to a story about three 18-ton sand sculptures JOOheng was asked to make as part of an advertising campaign encouraging kids to get dirty.  The campaign was called “Dirt is Good“.  The link contains photos and a video showing the creation and behind-the-scenes execution.

Amazing!

Inside the monolith.  This can’t have been easy.

“Chagrin” by Carl Jara of Ohio

So much emotion conveyed here

insider tip: single or double?

Some sand sculpting competitions feature teams of sculptors, in addition to works by individuals.

The ledge was in place and the hollow part carved out so Carl had a place to stand to work on the top.

“Bobby Fisher” by Jakob “Kuba” Zimacek of Czech Republic

The subtitle of this entry is “the chess legend who broke all the patterns“.

Jakob has been sculpting since 2003 when he got his start on the beaches of southern Spain.  Since then he has won several prizes in international competitions.

“Bobby Fisher” – the chess legend who broke all the patterns

Jakob putting finishing touches to his piece.  Note the tanks filled with water and it looks like some sand?

The chessboard was one of the last components added, bringing it all together

“Circular Argument” by Abe Waterman of Canada

“Circular Argument” was one of my personal favorites.  It was fun to walk around and around trying to find a shot that would capture all 3 faces as well as the toilet and interior of the installation.

I cam sort of close, in the 4th photo below, but I should have moved a little further to the right.  In my defense I was fighting sun rather high in the sky and people.  Lots of them.

Sculptor Abe Waterman looks like he is enjoying himself

I bet these two couldn’t lose each other in a crowd if they wanted to. The face on the left agrees.

I’m no sand sculptor, but as with JOOheng Tan’s sculpture, making these tall vertical pieces must be tricky.  I would guess the sand has to be just the right amount of “compactness” – I admit I’m making that term up – and moistness to stay up like this?

Note the detail in the eyes and the catchlights of the pupils

Each face has its own unique expression. I guess this conversation is going down the toilet?

Abe making final touches with his repurposed pest control spraying tank.  Who knew?

“Whether Greek or Roman” by Rachel Stubbs of England

He (or she?) seems content to watch the crowds

Children posing for a photo op

I see dinner

insider tip: The weekend before Thanksgiving

The dates of this event vary from year to year but it is always held then weekend before Thanksgiving.

“Rodan Remixed” by Fergus Mulvany of Ireland

At first glance “Rodan Remixed” seemed like one of the smaller installations. But that was really because it was so compact.  Move a little closer and you began to appreciate the scale and the amount of sand all in this one block.

I was not there for the artist’s explanation of his piece, but my understanding is that three figures are represented.

Loving the sense of energy

Fergus Mulvany chatting with a couple of attendees on judging day

Imagine these shadows and textures later in the day

insider tip: 2018 videos on facebook

Click here to go to the Sanding Ovations Masters Cup Facebook page and view videos of the projects in the works along with the awards ceremony!

“To Be or Not To Be” by Jan Selen of Netherlands

Jan Selen’s piece is another one where I would loved to have heard the artist’s interpretation of their work.  However, even without that, I loved it.  The man with the snail being my favorite.

Jan Selen making some final touches

One figure is looking at the phone in his hand and the other at the snail in his hand

The full installation

One of my favorite elements

The universal “I’m looking at my phone” face

2018 Winners

  • First Place – “Freedom” by Jobi Bouchard
  • Second Place – “Circular Argument” by Abe Waterman
  • Third Place – “Rodan Remixed” by Fergus Mulvany
  • Sculptor’s Choice – a TIE between “Fusion” by JOOheng Tan and “Circular Argument” by Abe Waterman
  • People’s Choice – “Freedom” by Jobi Bouchard

Other Things to Do at This Event

In addition to the sculptures there are vendors selling arts, crafts, clothing, gift items and food.

Many of these vendors I had not seen at other shows, so they’re worth a visit all by themselves.

Photographing the Event

Besides going multiple days so that you can use your photos to tell a story, another thing you can do is to go earlier or later in the day. Generally speaking, photographing in the middle of the day (say between 10 and 2) is going to result in harsher light and less interesting shadows.

If you go earlier in the day or later in the day, the shadows on the sculptures will be softer and more interesting, depending on your position relative to the sculpture and the rising or setting sun. And an added bonus is that there may be fewer people.

By all means bring along your iphone for some video, but if you have a smaller camera with interchangeable lenses, you can worry less about the crowds. You can zoom in on some of the individual components.

Don’t be afraid to work your way around each installation, noting changes in the appearance.

Pamela Moore

 

” That’s the hell of sand castles.  They are always doomed.  That’s part of their beauty – their impermanence.”

Leave a comment below and tell us what you love about this event if you attended!

Next event: Nov 18th – 22nd, 20202018 marked my first trip to this event and it’s really difficult to overhype it.  I’ve never been to anything like this and so I didn’t know what to expect.

I knew it was invitation-only, so this isn’t Ward, June, Wally and the Beaver playing at the beach.  This is well-known and well-respected sculptors from around the world, spending 4 days of their lives in the elements and vying for a significant prize.

“Birth of Venus”

I was really blown away by the artistry, skill and creativity of the contestants.

To begin with, each sculpture has a designated plot and the installations are huge. Sand is delivered on pallets (yes, pallets) so these folk are not out there with their $2 plastic buckets from the local beach store.

Beautiful weather at this time of year

So for my first year my friend Rita and I only went on the next to last day, which is the day judging takes place.

This was a mistake.

If you have time it really makes sense to attend on the first and second days as well. The finished products are sensational. They’re thought-provoking, puzzling and sometimes appear to defy the laws of gravity. And what would have made it even more special would have been to see how they were built.

Sculptors and Sculptures

2018 saw record-breaking attendance and the amazing group of sculptures and their impressive work is why.

Although I do not know the precise judging criteria of this specific event, typically the judges in sand sculpting event consider such things as:

  • How well the plot space was used – is there a lot of empty space
  • Did they use all the sand provided?
  • Is it a clever idea or a fresh approach to a subject
  • How difficult was it
  • Consideration of the use of cut-throughs, height, overhangs
  • Faithfulness to any theme
  • Execution

Keep scrolling to view many photos from this year’s event!

2018 Winner: “Freedom” by Jonathan “Jobi” Bouchard of Canada

“Freedom” is one where I would have loved to hear the artist’s explanation of his work.

While I don’t understand the message, the sheer scale of the face and the multiple carve-outs and arches may help explain why this sculpture won First Place and also won the People’s Choice award this year.

Jobi Bouchard had previously won first place at this competition FIVE times

“Internal Universe” by Aleksei Rybak of Russia

Sunshine Beach is on the north end, running from just south of John’s Pass for about seven blocks to 120th Ave. With fewer hotels and more residential areas, this stretch of Treasure Island is laid-back and loved by locals.

Aleksei Rybak takes a moment. He is a graduate of the Moscow Art College of Applied Art.

Insider Tip: Judging

Sculptures are evaluated on things like originality, technical difficulty, faithfulness to a theme, execution and use of space

“Birth of Venus” by Sue McGrew of Washington

I enjoyed “Birth of Venus” immensely. The overall shape and the lovely curving tentacles were delightful.

Artist Sue McGrew working on her sculpture’s finishes

Note some of the tools on the bench in the foreground. Small shovels, brushes and sprayers.

A sculpture within a sculpture

I’m not clear if this was the front or back. But either way both are beautiful.

Sculptor Sue McGrew works in sand, ice and snow. She has won a number of competitions.

“Fusion” by JOOheng Tan of Singapore

I can’t say that I fully appreciated “Fusion” at first viewing. It seemed so simple relative to many of the others. But the more I looked the more I saw. And I began to appreciate just how tall it was and how difficult it must be to stack that much sand in such a narrow tower.
And then to carve out the delicate shapes in that thin strip of an opening? Our next photo has a close-up of the inside.

A sand odyssey anyone?

Insider Tip: JoBI Bouchard

Jobi Bouchard of Canada, and the 2018 First Place and People’s Choice Winner, has won this event six times.

JOOheng is from Singapore. His work has been showcased in over 60 cities across more than 20 countries around the world.

Worth visiting is this link to a story about three 18-ton sand sculptures JOOheng was asked to make as part of an advertising campaign encouraging kids to get dirty. The campaign was called “Dirt is Good“. The link contains photos and a video showing the creation and behind-the-scenes execution.

Amazing!

Inside the monolith. This can’t have been easy.

“Chagrin” by Carl Jara of Ohio

So much emotion conveyed here

Insider Tip: Single or double?

Some sand sculpting competitions feature teams of sculptors, in addition to works by individuals.

The ledge was in place and the hollow part carved out so Carl had a place to stand to work on the top.

“Bobby Fisher” by Jakob “Kuba” Zimacek of Czech Republic

The subtitle of this entry is “the chess legend who broke all the patterns“.

Jakob has been sculpting since 2003 when he got his start on the beaches of southern Spain. Since then he has won several prizes in international competitions.

“Bobby Fisher” – the chess legend who broke all the patterns

Jakob putting finishing touches to his piece. Note the tanks filled with water and it looks like some sand?

The chessboard was one of the last components added, bringing it all together

“Circular Argument” by Abe Waterman of Canada

“Circular Argument” was one of my personal favorites. It was fun to walk around and around trying to find a shot that would capture all 3 faces as well as the toilet and interior of the installation.

I cam sort of close, in the 4th photo below, but I should have moved a little further to the right. In my defense I was fighting sun rather high in the sky and people. Lots of them.

Sculptor Abe Waterman looks like he is enjoying himself

I bet these two couldn’t lose each other in a crowd if they wanted to. The face on the left agrees.

I’m no sand sculptor, but as with JOOheng Tan’s sculpture, making these tall vertical pieces must be tricky. I would guess the sand has to be just the right amount of “compactness” – I admit I’m making that term up – and moistness to stay up like this?

Note the detail in the eyes and the catchlights of the pupils

Each face has its own unique expression. I guess this conversation is going down the toilet?

Abe making final touches with his repurposed pest control spraying tank. Who knew?

“Whether Greek or Roman” by Rachel Stubbs of England

He (or she?) seems content to watch the crowds

Children posing for a photo op

I see dinner

Insider Tip: The weekend before Thanksgiving

The dates of this event vary from year to year but it is always held then weekend before Thanksgiving.

“Rodan Remixed” by Fergus Mulvany of Ireland

At first glance “Rodan Remixed” seemed like one of the smaller installations. But that was really because it was so compact. Move a little closer and you began to appreciate the scale and the amount of sand all in this one block.

I was not there for the artist’s explanation of his piece, but my understanding is that three figures are represented.

oving the sense of energy

Fergus Mulvany chatting with a couple of attendees on judging day

Imagine these shadows and textures later in the day

Insider Tip: Videos on facebook

Click here to go to the Sanding Ovations Masters Cup Facebook page and view videos of the projects in the works along with the awards ceremony!

“To Be or Not To Be” by Jan Selen of Netherlands

Jan Selen’s piece is another one where I would loved to have heard the artist’s interpretation of their work. However, even without that, I loved it. The man with the snail being my favorite.

Jan Selen making some final touches

One figure is looking at the phone in his hand and the other at the snail in his hand

The full installation

One of my favorite elements

The universal “I’m looking at my phone” face

Other Things to Do at This Event

In addition to the sculptures there are vendors selling arts, crafts, clothing, gift items and food.

Many of these vendors I had not seen at other shows, so they’re worth a visit all by themselves.

Photographing the Event

Besides going multiple days so that you can use your photos to tell a story, another thing you can do is to go earlier or later in the day. Generally speaking, photographing in the middle of the day (say between 10 and 2) is going to result in harsher light and less interesting shadows.

If you go earlier in the day or later in the day, the shadows on the sculptures will be softer and more interesting, depending on your position relative to the sculpture and the rising or setting sun. And an added bonus is that there may be fewer people.

By all means bring along your iphone for some video, but if you have a smaller camera with interchangeable lenses, you can worry less about the crowds. You can zoom in on some of the individual components.

Don’t be afraid to work your way around each installation, noting changes in the appearance.

” That’s the hell of sand castles. They are always doomed. That’s part of their beauty – their impermanence.”

Pamela Moore

Leave a comment below and tell us what you love about this event if you attended!

Renting Cabanas and Lounges – Treasure Island

How to Rent Cabanas and Lounges

If you head out to the beach on Treasure Island or St Pete Beach, you’re sure to see colorful lounges and cabanas.
On Sunshine Beach they are sunshine yellow.
On Treasure Island Beach they’re a rich turquoise and blue. Lest you be prompted to think that you have won the lottery, or that you’re at the Magic Kingdom and all your wishes have come true (sorry, wrong town) or that it is first come, first served…I’m here to make certain you know that these items are not free.

Umbrellas and lounges are taken down each evening and put up each morning by an attendant

Beach Service Operators

The operators of these services vary according to beach location.

Taylor Beach Service

Taylor Beach Service operations spans from 104th to 120th Ave on Gulf blvd, including the area adjacent to the Municipal Beach at 112th Ave

Hubbard’s Marina Cabana Rentals

​​Hubbard’s operates in the area around Gulf Front Park at 104th Ave and south to the 99th Ave.

Sand Dunes Beach Services

Sand Dunes (also the Taylor family) operates the cabanas and lounges on Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach and Upham Beach (part of St Pete Beach).

​These cabanas and loungers are operated by Hubbard’s Marina in the area of Gulf Front Park and southward for about 5 blocks.

Services at Sunshine Beach and Municipal Beach

Sunshine Beach is the beach closest to our Treasure Island home rentals.

Insider Tip: How to pay

Taylor Beach Services takes payment in cash, and by check in limited circumstances.  No credit cards.  Hubbards prefers cash, but can take a card in a pinch. Prepare to have an imprint of your card taken if you choose the credit route!

Availability and Pricing

Following is availability and pricing for equipment at Sunshine Beach and Municipal Beach, operated by Taylor Beach Service.

Cabana with two lounges. There’s a 2 hour minimum with a charge of $15.

3 hours – $20

One day – $30

2 Days or More – $25 per day

Per week – $150 per week

Extra lounge – $5 per day

Prices include tax.  No refunds. Credit days for bad weather.


Your haven for the day

Insider Tip: Umbrellas

Umbrellas are usually rented by the day due to weather restrictions and safety protocols. No one wants to be injured by a flying umbrella!

How To Rent From Taylor Beach Services

It’s pretty easy! Just take a seat. The attendant will follow up with you and you handle payment with him or her. Lounges “close” at 6 pm, but I’ve been told that if you want to keep them for longer, say to have a nice comfy place to relax and enjoy sunset in the summer, they can show you how to stack, stow and lock them up when you’re finished.

Services at Treasure Island Beach

Cabanas, lounges, paddleboards, bikes and kayaks on this section of the beach are operated by Hubbard’s Marina.  They have the turquoise cabanas and blue cushions on the loungers.
Hubbard’s rentals run from the beach in front of Gulf Front Park and go all the way south down the beach to the Island Inn which is a large hotel on the right side of Gulf Blvd. (About 5 blocks south of Publix.)

Availability and Pricing

Cabana sets – 2 hours for $15
Cabana sets – 3 hours for $20
Cabana sets – all day for $30
Lounge chairs plus umbrella – $15
Lounger only – $5
Umbrella only – $10

It’s very easy to swim, play and just generally hang out here.

How To Rent From Hubbard’s Marina

Reservations can be made by calling 727-393-1947. If you make reservations they can work with you and have specials for multiple rentals, as well as breaks on extended and weekly rentals. If you’re renting without reservations, feel free to sit until the attendant comes by to collect.

You can park at the Gulf Front Park Lot at 104th Ave and Gulf Blvd, or at several others outlined in the downtown parking map.

On Sunday evenings this area of the beach is also home to the Treasure Island Drum Circle.  (If you’re trying to find the Drum Circle from the street rather than the beach, it’s across from Publix and Safeway, near the Bilmar Hotel and the Thunderbird Hotel.)

Insider Tip: extended length equipment rentals

If you rent with Taylor Beach Service in advance for longer than one day, the equipment is tagged with your name for the duration of your stay

Schiller Water Bikes can be rented from Hubbard’s

Services at Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach and Upham Beach

Cabana rentals at Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach, Pass-A-Grille and Upham Beach are operated by Sand Dunes Beach Service, also part of the Taylor family.

Insider Tip: paddleboards and kayaks

Hubbard’s also rents out paddleboards, kayaks and beach bikes from the beach location.

The Taylor family operates Surf Rentals at 121st Ave behind the large hotel Sunset Vistas Beach Front Suites also has kayaks and paddleboards for rent.

Sand Dunes beach equipment rentals at Pass-A-Grille

Conclusion

All of these are operated by local, long-running family businesses. Attendants are professionals and can help stake umbrellas and get everything set up where you’d like it. Prices are reasonable and renting is easy. Restrooms, showers and parking lots are near each location that has these cabana rentals. Great choices if you want to show up and relax and not get a workout hauling your gear to the beach!

“In the waves of change we find our direction.”

Anonymous

Read more about Treasure Island’s beaches in our guide!

The Guide to Treasure Island Beaches

The Beaches of Treasure Island

Does water call to you? Then you’ve found your place!

Treasure Island—a true island—is only connected to the mainland via the TI causeway to the east, the John’s Pass Bridge to the north and to St Pete Beach via the Blind Pass Bridge to the south. To the west of Treasure Island? Nothing but the big, beautiful Gulf of Mexico.In fact, Treasure Island is touched by water everywhere you look, with the Isle of Capri and Paradise Island resembling fingers beckoning in the waters of Boca Ciega Bay.

Get a bird’s eye view of Treasure Island’s geography in these short aerial videos. Note that every road and street is just a stone’s throw from the water! 

So, how do you choose which beach to spread your towel on in this water-surrounded paradise?

Read on!

“The cure for anything is salt water, sweat, tears or the sea.”

Isak Dinesen

The Big Three

Treasure Island has three distinct beach areas: Sunset Beach, Sunshine Beach, and Municipal Beach/Treasure Island Beach.All three beach districts share similar sand quality (white and soft), water color and clarity (greenish blue and clear) and wave size (moderate; waves range from flat to choppy, depending on wind and weather), but have some distinct differences, too.

Gorgeous turquoise waters

1. Sunshine Beach

Sunshine Beach is on the north end, running from just south of John’s Pass for about seven blocks to 120th Ave. With fewer hotels and more residential areas, this stretch of Treasure Island is laid-back and loved by locals.

There is only one parking lot (at the Snowy Egret on 126th Ave), but if you’re staying at one of our homes on Treasure Island, you won’t need a car. Just cross over Gulf Blvd at the pedestrian crosswalk at 119th Ave or at 120th Ave and stroll on over to the beach.

Your best bet is to hang out here, around beach near the crossovers.

View from the jetty on the south end of Johns Pass, north end of Sunshine Beach

To the north, the beach can get a little narrow, but at 119th and 120th Aves., it’s wide enough to give distance from the condos and The Treasure Island Beach Trail (which starts here), but not so wide that carting your gear to the tide is a chore.

Insider Tip: Sandbars

insider tip: sandbars

This area of the beach – Sunshine Beach around 120th and 119th – near the Shake Shop – is one of my favorites! The water is shallow enough that you can swim out to the buoys—particularly when the tide is out—and still touch bottom. It’s a great area for little ones just getting their feet wet in the surf.

There are a number of sandbars in the area, too. Bring along a waterproof camera for scrapbook-worthy snapshots. You may meet sea creatures like sand dollars hanging out on the sandbars, but please leave these creatures where you found them. (They’re living things, too!)If your sweet tooth strikes while you’re visiting Sunshine Beach, you couldn’t pick a better spot than the Shake Shop. Try the peanut butter shake or for something really different, the lime milkshake.  Not a typo. Lime. Need a bathroom and don’t want to trek back to the house? There is a restroom on the second level of the Sunset Vistas condo building, just off the elevator.

This view of Municipal Beach is taken from the snack bar.  The beach and the water are off in the distance.  This is the widest section of beach in the area. Just something to keep in mind.

2. Central Beach Area – Municipal Beach & Treasure Island Beach

Next down the coastline is the central beach area, which consists of Municipal Beach and Treasure Island Beach. This central area runs from 120th Ave to the intersection of Gulf Blvd and 1st St SE.

Municipal Beach is somewhat unique in that it is owned and maintained by the City of St. Petersburg rather than by the City of Treasure Island. It’s also probably the most commercial section of the beach, which is not surprising given its central location in the heart of Treasure Island.

The beach at Municipal Beach is exceptionally wide—wider than any other part of Treasure Island. Though you’ll have to haul your gear, the big beach offers the benefit of blocking out any noise from the road and condos.

Have a hankering or forget some beach essentials? The retro Snack Bar is located at 112th Ave on the Municipal Beach. You can buy snacks (go figure!), floats, sunscreen and other beach essentials here.

Nature lovers: keep an eye out for vegetation like sea oats, sea grapes and palm trees here.

There’s also a children’s playground here at Municipal Beach.

Playground equipment outside the snack bar at Treasure Island’s Municipal Beach – 112th Ave.

A little further down the beach is Treasure Island Beach at Gulf Front Park.  The section of the beach is not as wide as it is at Municipal Beach.

You can park at the Gulf Front Park Lot at 104th Ave and Gulf Blvd, or at several others outlined in the downtown parking map.

Wander on down to Gulf Front Park on Sunday evenings and you’ll find hula-hooping, dancing, kids playing…and adults acting like kids. This is the Treasure Island Drum Circle.  (If you’re trying to find the Drum Circle from the street rather than the beach, it’s across from Publix and Safeway, near the Bilmar Hotel and the Thunderbird Hotel.)

Insider Tip: ADA Beach Access

There is a fabulous mobility mat (MOBI MAT) available at Gulf Front Park, at 10400 Gulf Blvd.  Find out more about it at our blog post here. Anyone who has difficulty walking in the sand can use it to get out to the beach.

Also in this area is the giant (and we do mean giant) waterslide. You have to pay to ride—but boy, is it fun. You can spot the Treasure Island Slide from far away, so just keep walking in its direction!

Tiny water slide

Bathrooms and outdoor showers can be found at Gulf Front Park (10400 Gulf Blvd at 104th Ave) and at Municipal Beach (11200 Gulf Blvd at 112th Ave).

Insider Tip: Alcohol on the beach

Alcohol is allowed on some portions of Treasure Island beaches, a rarity in the state of Florida.  Read more here.

Glass is never allowed and you’ll pay a hefty fine if caught. And no one wants to step on glass at the beach. So be cool!

Surfers are often seen at Sunset Beach

3. Sunset Beach

On the southern end of Treasure Island is Sunset Beach, which runs from the Intersection of Gulf Blvd. and 1st St SE south. Like Sunshine Beach, this beach is also primarily residential.Sunset Beach has a half-mile boardwalk which goes around the tip of the island. This boardwalk is a lot more like the traditional boardwalk than the one on Sunshine Beach.  It is raised off the ground and goes through shrubs and dunes along the beach.  It also passes by a lot of condos that prohibit entry off of the boardwalk.

Beach Sunset

You can find a nice blog post on the Sunset Beach Boardwalk here and a video of a walk along the boardwalk here. (You can start about 15 minutes into the video.)

This area is also home to the Sunset Beach Pavilion (8000 W Gulf Blvd), a beautiful (and affordable!) place for special events on the beach, beloved for its iconic location and endless views.The pavilion can be rented through the City of Treasure Island website. If you visit this special place, you’ll see why weekend dates may be rented out years in advance, so consider a (quieter) weekday as an alternative for your event. We’re happy to give you the low-down on local businesses that offer package wedding deals.

Insider Tip: sunset beach cam

Get prepared for your trip or re-live memories by viewing the Sunset Beach cam!

Sunset Beach is also the beach you’re most likely to spot surfers, particularly if winds are high or if it’s stormy. There’s a jetty at the far end, plus picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.Across the jetty is the northern end of St Pete Beach. Like Sunshine Beach to the north, this beach is narrower than the Municipal Beach, but is full of vegetation and local character.

Admit it! You want one. See our Tip Box below

Insider Tip: Where to rent those yellow cabanas!

Read our blog post and find out how to secure those signature yellow cabanas, umbrellas and lounge chairs for yourself!

“At the beach, treasure is what we find, not what we buy.”

Sandy Gingras

Leave a comment below and tell us what you love about these beaches!

New ADA Access Mat – MobiMat – on Treasure Island

Here’s some fabulous news about a new pathway in Treasure Island.  First of its kind in Pinellas County, the new MobiMat at Gulf Front Park (10400 Gulf Blvd), is a removable access pathway made out of recycled materials. It provides improved accessibility for anyone with mobility impairments, including strollers and beach carts.

Gators Cafe and Saloon was kind enough to donate the money for the purchase.

Read more about the MobiMat, Gators and the location here.

Or read the story from Bay News 9 here.