The Best Activities in Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Visit Indian Rocks Beach, FL for an amazing seaside getaway!
Nestled on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Pinellas County within the Tampa Bay area is the small, yet alluring town of Indian Rocks Beach. Located on a barrier Island, populated by less than 5,000 residents, the city is three miles in length with 27 beach access points along Gulf Boulevard.
Stay in this laid-back and charming beach town overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, where you’ll have access to all the fabulous amenities you would expect to find in a larger seaside Florida destination. Here, you’ll be near local eateries, fine dining, fishing, golfing, boating, nature parks, and much more!
Just seven miles to the north lies Clearwater and the sprawling area of St. Petersburg is about a thirty-minute drive to the Southeast. The Indian Rocks area is perfect for your next beach getaway and provides you with easy access to two of Florida’s other well-liked destinations.
Incidentally, Pinellas County, derived from the Spanish name ’Punta Pinal’ and interpreted as ‘point of pines,’ is nearly 15 miles at its widest point and is 38 miles in length. You’ll truly appreciate the natural beauty of Indian Rocks. Remarkably, this smallest county consists of nearly 275 square miles, yet boasts 588 miles of picturesque coastline
Stroll through the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserveif you desire a tranquil area to explore natural vegetation and to enjoy a leisurely walk. Tucked conveniently off Gulf Boulevard in a residential area between 9th and 10th Avenues, wander through a salt marsh and mangroves on a rustic, elevated boardwalk. Enjoy the rustling sounds of nature, and spy an array of flora and fauna in the wetlands. Signage posted along walkways provides tidbits about local habitats and the wildlife you may see. The park and preserve stretch across most of the barrier island spanning from Gulf Boulevard to the scenic Intracoastal waterway. The short trek is walkable for most everyone; benches are aplenty for those wishing to relax along the way.
Visitors often report seeing blue heron, ospreys, pelicans, egrets, both fiddler and blue crab, geckos, and sea turtles --- including eggs in the late spring andsummer months along their walks. When you arrive at the Boca Ciega Bay Overlook, enjoy the natural beauty of the sparkling emerald water and look for manatees and dolphins. Take along a rod and reel for use on the small fishing pier overlooking the bay. What will your catch of the day be?
Discover several unexpected spaces within the nature preserve. There is an outdoor fitness center so why not take advantage of a brief work-out while you’re here? The easy-to-use equipment takes on your body’s mass for resistance and is enjoyable for teens and adults with a variety of fitness levels. Escort your little ones to the children’s playground and watch them smile as they swing, slide, and romp on the jungle gym. Perhaps your dog Fido will enjoy a leash-free run in the large fenced dog park.
The community garden is located within the preserve as well. With space developed to provide an activity for the community, earth boxes can be purchased by members to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers. What a unique way to meet residents and learn more about the city of Indian Rocks Beach.
Restroom facilities are available at the entrance near the dog park. Adjacent, find a small-scale nature center offering inexpensive gifts and souvenirs, generally geared toward children. Directions to park areas are well-marked, and admission is free. Donations are always appreciated.
While visiting, consider packing a picnic lunch and dining at one of the tables in the pavilion. Or, take a short walk to 760 Gulf Boulevard by the 8th Avenue beach access and visit the Kooky Coconut. Savor a quick bite or chill yourself with a home-made scoop or two of ice-cream.
Kooky Coconut Café and Ice Cream
The Kooky Coconut satisfies appetites with an array of beach-friendly foods. Enjoy fresh tacos, burritos and quesadillas, tuna salad, or chow down on an authentic Cuban sandwich that has been hot-pressed. Select from a variety of chilled beers, wine, sodas, and energy drinks. Locals flock to the Kooky Coconut for homemade ice cream from area creameries to sample more than twenty indulgent and ever-changing flavors.
Order your food craving at the counter, receive a buzzer to be notified when your order is ready, and browse the unique on-site shell shop for a souvenir. Indoor seating is limited. However, the café has a patio and offers beach chairs outside the back entrance.
Menu items are available for carry-out so call ahead (727) 517-1300 and enjoy your meal on the beach while reveling in a magnificent sunset.
Indian Rocks Beach
From Kooky Coconut or the nature preserve, a short jaunt across Gulf Boulevard will lead you to the beach. The coastline located near the Indian Rocks Nature Preserve has shallow water that doesn’t deepen too quickly, and seaweed typically isn’t an issue. The sand is soft and powdery, and seashells, often intact, wash onto the shoreline and provide numerous options for shell collectors.
More laid back than larger beaches up and down the Pinellas County coastline, Indian Rocks offers the perfect scenario for finding a cozy spot to relax with your loved ones. Tip: Parents, be aware there are less lifeguards, if any, than the larger beaches like Clearwater.
Public Boat Slips
Will you be arriving by boat? Navigate to free Indian Rocks Beach public boat floating docks and come ashore from 7 AM to 9 PM. Overnight stays are not allowed. Adjacent public restroom facilities are open 7 AM to 7 PM and located at 203 4th Avenue.
The 16th Avenue boat ramp at Bay Shore Boulevard is open from 8 AM to 9 PM and offers a 30-minute loading/unloading time limit. Contact city hall at 727-595-2517 to obtain a required permit.
Splash Harbour Water Park
Located adjacent to Harbourside at Marker 33 (399 2nd Street), Splash Harbour Water Park is the only park of its kind in Pinellas County. In fact, the pool can be viewed and enjoyed from your balcony while open daily from 10 AM to 6PM. Splash Harbour features exhilarating water attractions including 42-foot plunging slides, sparkling pools, and fun-filled activities for kids of all ages. Children over 48” tall and adults up for a thrill will appreciate the two unique slides; Smuggler’s Run allows the rider to sit on a tube, pushing into a gigantic circular bowl before splashing into the water. The Pirate’s Plunge slide whirls through several circular turns and nearly 400 feet of tubing before launching the rider into the sparkling pool.
The park boasts the Great White Lazy River propelling riders through 600 feet of winding turns in a themed beach adventure fashioned after Key West. Along the way, enjoy mists, sprays, and waterfalls to keep you cool. Youngsters will appreciate the aquatic paradise aptly named ‘Treasure Cove Splash Zone’ containing three slides, a large drenching bucket, and many interactive water features.
While not as large as parks in say, Orlando, there are ample activities to keep your young ones occupied and your older children satisfied. Here are some general park rules:
Parents or adult guardians must accompany minors aged 16 or less. Park goers are required to purchase a wristband to gain park entry. Children under 2 are free.
Swim diapers required for ‘tiny guests’ who are not potty-trained are available in the gift shop for a nominal fee.
Lockers are available in three sizes ranging from $3 to $9 per day, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bring your towels and sunscreen; there are three outdoor showers on the property to rinse off before and after pool usage. The gift shop sells these items if you should forget to pack them.
Lounge chairs are aplenty at the park and free of charge, as are the water tubes. And, there are free US Coast Guard-approved life jackets available.
Leave your outside beverages, food, and containers at home, as they are not permitted.
You’ll find reasonably priced dining options including Jimmy Guana’s full-service restaurant and the Splash Harbor Snack Shack. Power up with hamburgers, corn dogs, wraps, mozzarella sticks, ICEEs or dippin dots then go back and splash around some more. Or, enjoy a more leisurely break at Cruzan Rum Shack, next to the Blue Lagoon Big Pool. They offer scrumptious food and alcoholic beverages.
Other activities on premise include the Gecko’s Game Room arcade. Win tickets and cash them in for awesome prizes or play 18-hole mini-golf at the tropically themed Southernmost Links. Kids will ‘dig’ the Key West Mining feature and have a choice of bags to uncover booty. You’ll also find the site offers cabana rentals and public boat slips.
Note: Each two-bedroom rental at Harbourside Marker 33 earns 2 free adult admission passes per day to be used during stay. Additional tickets may be purchased from us upon arrival for $16.95 per ticket.
Do you wish you owned a boat, surfboard, beach chair, snorkel equipment, or a 10 x 10 canopy? There are plenty of inexpensive gear rentals right here in Indian Rocks Beach!
IRB Boat Rentals
Proceed to IRB Boat Rentals right outside the Harbourside at Marker 33 property. The diverse fleet includes Cobias, Robalos with dual consoles, and Tri-toons in the lengths of 21’, 23’ and 25’. Boat features may contain a chart plotter, fresh water shower, depth sounder, fish finder, GPS, and bait wells. Whether boating to enjoy the panoramic scenery, looking for dolphins, fishing, waterskiing, or entertaining, IRB Boat Rentals has the perfect boat rental for you. Select from a pontoon that can carry 14 people, a fishing vessel, or speed boat with an outboard motor. Book your rentals for a half or full day and opt for additional equipment including water skis, knee boards, wake boards, and tubes.
The rental team will provide a thorough overview of your boat, review safety features, and share navigation tips and charts. Cruise through the beautiful inland waterways out into the ocean to celebrate a memorable and fun day with your family and loved ones. Phone: (727) 527-1122.
"Live Life Rad” is the motto of Rad Rentals. Do you need a kayak? They’ve got it. Stand Up Paddleboard? Yep. And they’ve got bicycles. What kind would you like? Single speed, 3-speed, hybrid 7-speed tandem, a trike for the road, fat tire, kids, or perhaps a trail-a-bike? Uh huh, … they’ve got every single one of these items plus more. How about a body board, skim board, or surf board? Or, maybe you just want to plop yourself into a comfy chair, sit under a 10 x 10 canopy or bright-colored umbrella, and listen to a portable radio. Grab a cold beverage from your rented cooler and relax as your kids play bocce ball, fly a kite, toss a Frisbee, and attempt to count fish as they snorkel. You can’t help but giggle about the fun you and yours are having, thanks to Rad Rentals. Daily rental items are reasonably priced, as are weekly costs. Ask about monthly rentals too. During the off-season, find them open most days 9AM-5PM (Sunday 10-4) and closed on Monday. In-season, rent equipment all days of the week via expanded hours until 6. See them at 1401 Gulf Boulevard, Suite 5. And, for a nominal fee, they’ll deliver your items to the beach! Phone: (727) RAD-RENT.
Nekton Surf Shop
Find economically priced board rentals at the Nekton Surf Shop located at 1313 Gulf Boulevard. Two-hour, half day, and full day rentals are available for surf, skim, and paddle boards. The shop also offers one and two-person kayaks, and bike rentals. Nekton Surf Shop is open Sunday through Thursday 9 AM to 7 PM and Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to 8 PM. Phone: (727) 593-8292
Island Surf Shop
Whether you are interested in challenging yourself with a new sport or improving your moves, check out the Island Surf Shop at 309 Gulf Boulevard. In business since 1977, the locally owned company can hook you up with skim boards, stand-up paddle boards, surf boards, body boards, or kitesurfing. Plus, they rent beach chairs for those who just want to observe water sport activities. Too, there are daily and weekly rentals for 10 x 10 foldable tents. Paddleboards are delivered beachside and if you are planning to rent items that will sit on top of your vehicle, it’s helpful to bring along bungees or tie-downs as this store tends to run in short supply. Hours typically are Mon through Fri 9 AM to 8 PM and weekends 9 AM - 5:30 PM Call ahead to reserve cool stuff. Phone: (727) 596-2244.
Consider a 'Reely' fun day with a fishing charter!
No matter when you choose to visit, fishing is in season here at Indian Rocks Beach. Experience the excitement of reeling in some amazing catches whether you are inshore of offshore fishing.
In the fall, defined in this area as October, November, and December, some of the best king fishing in the word is available. King Mackerel migration begins, just after the spawning season in the northern Gulf Coast waters. Similar as Wahoo in speed, these fish often come in around 30 lbs. but it isn’t uncommon to find them here around 40 pounds. Grouper begin migrating closer to shore as temperatures start to fluctuate and are often plentiful in the fall through January or February. It’s likely you’ll snag a few snapper and amberjacks too, as they become more abundant this time of year. These fish are quite delicious and provide a challenging human-fish tugging match attempting to reel them in.
As March appears, migratory fish become more visible. Still present are the Amberjacks and Grouper, and now you’ll run across hefty 100-lb spinner sharks, black fin tunas, barracuda, and sailfish. Simply put: there are numerous fish here in the temperate springtime and you are bound to make some great catches. Starting in mid-May going into July, it’s not uncommon to see some of the best silver king (a.k.a. Tarpon), fishing just offshore. Many charters average several catches each day, reeling them in at 80 to 200 whopping pounds! As the summer temperatures become warmer through September, the fishing action heats up. Anglers can expect to encounter sharks, schools of barracuda though many prefer solitary life, goliath grouper, and large cobia.
No matter what fish are available or what time of year it is in Indian Rocks Beach, come and enjoy the sport of fishing. Here are a few suggested fishing charters and tours to get you started. Remember to book in advance of your trip to ensure you get your time out on the water!
Located at 401 2nd Street is also Dave Mistretta, Captain of Jaws Too. Find him docked just under Harbourside at Marker 33 condos and Jimmy Iguana’s Restaurant at boat slip 33. While Dave’s pricing isn’t currently posted online, contact him at (727) 439-2628. Or, just check out the Jaws Too website for happy customer photos. We know he’ll take good care of you and help your group create a memorable day fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Simply Hooked Fishing Charters
Are you so hooked on fishing, you’d like to spend eight or possibly ten or more hours putting rods and reels to work? Simply Hooked Fishing Charters offers 4, 6, 8 and 10-hour charters with Captain Tom Markham or Captain Morgan Kien. Traveling two to forty miles off shore, the four through eight-hour trips range from $400-$1000 for up to 6 people and include licenses, bait, tackle, and all equipment. There is a shade on the boat and even a bathroom. Larger groups and extended hours are accommodated with advanced notice. Credit cards are accepted, and no-shows are charged $250. Located at 401 2nd Street, slip 2, reach them by calling (727) 410-6094.
Contagious Fishing Tours
Captain Michael Irwin has over 35 years of ‘reel experience’ fishing in gulf waters and gladly offers charters through Contagious Fishing Tours. Check out an extended day, full day or 3 /4 day of fishing. Plus, this company offers specialized nature and wildlife tours including whale watching and dolphin tours. For reservations and information, contact him at (727) 392-7452.
Hustler Fishing Charters
Captain Randy Schwab, a native of Indian Rocks Beach, still lives in the home where he grew up and know these waters almost like the back of his hand. The half day kicks off at 7 AM and runs until noon for $600 and the full day starts the same time and lasts until 4 PM for $1,000. He’ll take you fishing, help you celebrate a special occasion or help you complete a burial at sea. Reach out to Hustler Fishing Charters or call (727) 432-BOAT.
Ready to be inspired? Discover the history of Indian Rocks Beach!
Indian Rocks Historical Museum
Explore the town’s history at the Indian Rocks Historical Museum located at 203 4th Avenue and learn why the Tocabaga Indians visited in the 1500’s. Here’s a hint: It’s relative to the area’s healing springs, great fishing, and wildlife. Learn about pioneers settling the area in the mid-1800’s and why they were attracted to the fertile soil for agriculture and waters for food bearing. Discover why this barrier Island became ‘Tampa’s playground’ in 1914 when the local railroad purposely built a line to transport city residents to this coastal paradise.
In the 1950’s and 60’s the Indian Rocks area developed the longest fishing pier in Florida and created Polynesian themed Tiki Gardens which attracted over 300,000 visitors annually. Today, the Indian Rocks Historical Museum still features an enormous replica of the Tiki God “Kahuna” that once greeted garden guests. Browse enlarged photos of the Big Indian Rocks Fishing Pier, learn about Pueblo Village, and check out the Old Swing Bridge, hand operated from 1916 when it first opened to the late 1950’s. View centuries-old Tocabaga artifacts, the Mystery Shipwreck, and learn the evolution of this coastal town.
With a multitude of visitors to this unique area over many years, dredge and fill operations created suitable beachfront land for constructing housing, condos, and lodging in the lush mangrove swamp. Cottages began popping up and soon, Indian Rocks became the diverse and eclectic community it has become now.
In the gift shop, pick up a unique calendar featuring local cottage paintings, a comprehensive history or pictorial book, along with a few photographic prints. Museum hours are typically 10 AM to 2 PM on Wednesday through Saturday. Closed holidays. Enjoy free admission though donations are always appreciated. Visit today!
Enjoy local parks and engaging activities in Indian Rocks Beach
Are you up for a game of tennis or jumping ramps at a skateboard park? Visit Kolb Park at Palm Boulevard between 15th and 16th Avenues and show off your moves. Roller blade, roller skate, skateboard or operate a self-propelled scooter, but no bicycles or powered scooters are allowed. Anyone under the age of 17 must have a valid permit/decal displayed on their helmet before using the ramped facility. Permits, renewed annually may be purchased for $5. Youth also must have a written consent form from parents and/or legal guardians. There is also a playground in Kolb Park to amuse youngsters.
Explore several more Indian Rock Beach parks and activities and learn why residents appreciate their community
Play bocce ball on the court at Chief Chic-A-Si Park or cozy up with a ‘nail biter book’ and rest in the spacious gazebo. You’ll find this little gem at 4th Avenue and 2nd Street and there are plenty of benches and picnic tables. Or, take your kids to romp on the playground equipment at the 10th Avenue Park between Bay Pine Boulevard and 1st Street. Several blocks away on 12th Avenue at Gulf Boulevard there’s a greenspace at the 12th Avenue Park with a vine-shaded arbor and benches.
If you prefer a seaside view, head to Keegan Clair Park located in the area of 2nd Street and Miami Avenue and 1st street and 3rd Avenue. Here, there’s plenty of space for children to run and enjoy the colorful playground equipment. IRB Public Boat Docks are here too.
Click here for more information on the Indian Rocks Beach park system.
Beach Art Center
Visit the Beach Art Center founded by long-time resident George King. Seen as a vision to encourage lifelong learning and appreciation of fine art, George developed a partnership with the American Legion Post #128 and the city. Opening in 1978 in a restored space donated by the Legion, the Beach Art Center began offering art classes. In 1982, the center was granted status as a 501(c)3. A generous donor purchased the property in 2000, and three years later, the art center received funds through the Florida Arts Council.
Currently, children’s after school programs and a summer camp are offered through generous donations from the Rotary Club and local donors. Adult classes are also held featuring a variety of art mediums and photography. Three nights per week ‘Make it and Take It’ classes offer residents and visitors the opportunity to create projects during a three-hour class. Single class fees are offered to members for $24 and non-members $30 with advanced registration. Materials such as pottery and clay may be priced separately.
Located at 1515 Bay Palm Boulevard, the center also features a gallery, host exhibits and events, and allows local member artists to sell their work in the gift shop. See their website for details or call 727-596-4331.
After a day of activity in the Florida sun, slow down and enjoy a massage or perhaps a yoga class!
You’ve likely discovered by now that though we’re a small seaside town, we offer a comprehensive array of activities to entertain, challenge, and delight you. That’s why we’ve saved ‘relaxation’ for last on our list of fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach.
Yoga on the Beaches
Hatha Yoga is the style of choice for the instructor, Tania Reed, of Yoga on the Beaches. Outdoor classes take place three times weekly at the 22nd Avenue Indian Rocks Beach access point (between 22nd and 23rd avenue in the Dunes). Summer class hours are Saturdays 9 AM to 10:15 AM and Tuesday and Thursdays starting at 6 PM. Summer beach hours are the same on Saturday and begin an hour earlier at 5 PM during the winter.
Be sure to check the website for additional indoor class offerings held in nearby Indian Shores at the Municipal Building located at 19305 Gulf Boulevard. Classes are only $6 bucks and all skill levels are always welcome. Contact Tania directly at Tania@yogaonthebeaches.com.
Zen Massage and Yoga
Book a massage to help relax your muscles following an active day on the beach or exploring one of the many attractions in Indian Rocks Beach. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM until 8 PM, Zen Massage and Yoga is conveniently located at 1401 Gulf Boulevard. Select from a variety of treatments including therapeutic, sports, deep tissue, hot stones, Swedish, and relaxation massages. Zen also offers aromatherapy, myofascial release, lymphatic drainage, and hot and cold therapies. Current prices are $40 for 30 minutes, $75 for 60, $95 for 90 and $130 for $120. Also on site, you’ll find yoga classes offered as a drop-in ($15), by the week unlimited ($55), and in larger packages as well. Check their website for details or call them (727) 595-6600.
Book yourself into Harbourside at Marker 33 and start planning your perfect getaway to Indian Rocks Beach today. You’ll absolutely adore our community and all the amazing memories you can create here!
Thank you for visiting our blog, make sure to stay tuned for more to come. If you were interested in any things mentioned in the blog, check them out linked below:
- Jaws Too