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Pass-A-Grille, Florida

pass-a-grille beachDiscovered and named by Spanish explorers in the 1500's, Pass-a-Grille is nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay, at the southern end of St Pete Beach. Dolphin cruises, unique shops, basketball courts, fine dining and casual eateries are all within a short walk of the “Inn on the Beach”. This history of the neighborhood plays a vital part in the identity of its residents. If you have lived Pass-A-Grille for many years, the neighborhood history is a heartfelt reminder of days gone by. The Pass-a-Grille peninsula is only a block wide making restaurants, small art galleries, antique shops, the exclusive Evander Preston jewelry shop, boutiques and sundries, ice cream and coffee all within a short neighborhood walk.  Park the car, unpack the flip flops and stay a while.  Whether you seek a seascape adventure vacation or quiet rejuvenation time, you can find it in the unspoiled community of Pass-A-Grille. Only a few inns are available for cozy accommodation so many of those who have been lucky enough to find this treasure make sure to book their next vacation before they leave. With all the glory, affordability and loyal visitors, you may find booking options limited, but it’s worth the effort and worth the trip. There's plenty to do right on the island. Go on an exciting Dolphin Encounter Cruise, a relaxing Sunset Cruise or an Island Cruise to a deserted beach accessible only by boat. There are all kinds of water sports to keep you wet. Just over the bridge in St. Petersburg you can go on Dinner Cruises, visit The St. Petersburg Pier, Sunken Gardens and world class museums.

Pass-A-Grille is truly a special find that you will want to return to again and again.

History of Pass-a-Grille

For 10,000 years, Indians hunted the praires and fished the waters of what later became Pass-A-Grille. The last group of Native Americans to settle in the Pinellas County area were the Tocobagas around 1,000 - 1,700 AD. This area was first visited by Europeans in 1528 when the Spanish Explorer, Panfilo de Narvaez anchored off Pass-A-Grille pass. Afterwards, the island was used as a camp ground for fisherman to obtain fresh water and to grill their catch. According to legend, it is thought that Pass-A-Grille derives it's name from the French Passe aux Grilleurs. In 1857, John Gomez self styled 'last of the pirates', began bringing excursionists here from Tampa which gave this area the distinction of perhaps being the oldest resort on Central Florida's West Coast. Zephaniah Phillips, the first homesteader settled here in 1886 and by the turn of the Century Pass-A-Grille had it's first hotel and a ferry boat service from what is now Gulfport. The town of Pass-A-Grille Beach was incorporated into the city of St. Petersburg Beach in 1957 and in 1989 a section of Pass-A-Grille was declared a National Historic District.

The Beach

Think miles of beach, powdery sand and stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. At the southernmost point of the beach, fisherman hang their poles over the pier. Along the shore, sea shell enthusiasts comb the sand for some of the most unique and exquisite shells in the area. At dusk, watch the pinkish orb of the sun sink into the water.


Located on the southern end of St. Pete Beach, south of the historic Don CeSar Hotel, Pass-a-Grille is but one block wide and 31 blocks long. The village is bordered by the bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. A little history: According to legend, it is thought that Pass-a-Grille derives its name from the French Passe aux Grilleurs, which means "the passageway of the grillers" in honor of the fisherman who used to grill their catch of the day on the shore when the island was still a post for pirates. The town of Pass-a-Grille Beach was incorporated into the city of St. Petersburg Beach in 1957 and in 1989 a section of Pass-a-Grille was declared a National Historic District.

When to go

Summer and Fall are low season and most affordable.  Cooler breezes and lowest prices in October/November/December.

How to get there

see our directions... Fly into Tampa International airport.  Rental car is recommended.  Several options located at the airport or take a shared ride van via Super Shuttle (approximately $25 one way per person).  If you are driving, take Highway 275 to Pinellas Bayway. Take the bayway until it ends at the Don Cesar – a large historic pink hotel, and make a left onto Gulf Boulevard.  Gulf boulevard turns into Pass-a-Grille way and then you have arrived.

St. Pete Beach named #1 beach destination

  • Voted #1 U.S. beach by TripAdvisor travel community
  • Chosen #5 beach destination in the world
  • Rankings based on millions of reviews

best beach in usa

St. Pete Beach named #1 beach destination in 2012

The results are in! As of early 2012, St. Pete Beach is the #1 beach destination in the country and #5 in the world. Thanks to sunny reviews from millions of TripAdvisor vacationers around the globe, this local gem landed at the top of the list of the world’s best beach getaways. Nestled on Long Key, St. Pete Beach offers the perfect combo of powder-white sand shores, clear Gulf of Mexico waters, playful dolphins and prime sunset spots, plus lively restaurants, eclectic shops and historic neighborhoods with lots of coastal character.

St. Pete Beach

Originally made up of four areas – Pass-A-Grille Beach, Don CeSar Place, Belle Vista Beach and St. Petersburg Beach – the four beach communities merged into one and officially became St. Pete Beach. The town’s rightfully famous and much-loved beach fronts the Gulf of Mexico and offers activities for all ages, from swimming and sunbathing to water sports like windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding. The coastline is sprinkled with everything from small beach bungalows to a world-class resort.

Finding your way around St. Pete Beach is easy – hop aboard the Beach Trolley, and keep in mind that this beach town is anchored by the iconic and impossible-to-miss Loews Don CeSar Hotel, affectionately known as the ‘Pink Palace’ or ‘The Don’. Built in 1928, its distinctive color and ornate architecture makes it one of the most recognizable landmarks on the entire Gulf Coast of Florida.

The more developed and broader end of St. Pete Beach begins just north of ‘The Don’, where Gulf Boulevard widens to four lanes and is lined with a classic mix of resorts, motels, restaurants, beach bars, surf shops, grocers and homes. On Historic Corey Avenue in the heart of St. Pete Beach, you’ll find shopping with a retro ambiance. Need a break from the sun? Step into the vintage Art Deco-style Beach Theatre to cool off with a cold beverage and a movie. 


The old beach community of Pass-a-Grille is tucked away at the southern end of St. Pete Beach. No matter where you stand on this slim strip of island, you're never more than two short blocks from the Gulf or the Intracoastal, and you can drive (or bike, or walk) along the palm-shaded roads with a direct view of the beach.

Savor the laid-back, relaxed vibe of this community, which claims the longest stretch of undeveloped public beach in the area. Stroll down Eighth Avenue to find small galleries, charming boutiques and restaurants, including the legendary Hurricane Seafood Restaurant, a grouper sandwich mecca and favorite sunset spot. There are a handful of nostalgic Old Florida inns, small motels and an eclectic mix of rental cottages, but the cozy community is largely residential. It's the perfect place to feel like a local on America's best beach.

cozy      romantic     unique