Indian Rocks Beach, nestled alongside the Gulf of Mexico just beyond Clearwater Beach, offers a plethora of delightful activities for those seeking sun, sand, and crystal-clear waters. Over the years, this town has transitioned from a playground for Florida’s affluent to a more accessible destination, celebrated for its laid-back atmosphere.
While many tourists flock to the more renowned St. Pete Beach and Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach has quietly become a gem, one of our favorites in the Tampa Bay area. During our last visit to the Clearwater/St. Pete region, we opted to stay in Indian Rocks Beach, and it proved to be the perfect choice given its ideal location.
From beautiful beaches and diverse restaurants to water parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and parks, this charming town offers something for everyone, whether you seek relaxation or more active pursuits.
Our list encompasses 7 exciting activities at Indian Rocks Beach.
What Sets Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, Apart?
People from around the world visit Indian Rocks Beach, drawn to its spectacular soft white sands, calm waters, and stunning sunsets. With 27 public beach accesses, you’re spoiled for choice along the Gulf shoreline.
1.Tom Hanks Water Park
Tom Hanks Water Park stands out as a top activity for water enthusiasts and families with little ones. Looking to venture beyond the beach but still stay immersed in water? This park is an excellent choice for a day of family fun.
Featuring water slides, a lazy river, a kiddie pool, and splash areas, it may not be a massive water park, but it’s a welcomed change from the beach. Plus, it’s within walking distance from the shoreline. Two giant, spiraling water slides cater to all age groups.
If you find yourself thirsty, head over to the Krewson Rum Shack. They serve some amazing tropical frozen cocktails. And if you’re feeling hungry after all the play, Jimmy Guana’s restaurant is a solid choice.
You can purchase day passes for the water park or opt to stay at the New Hotel Collection Harbourside, which includes access to the water park. We booked a spacious two-bedroom suite with water park passes, a perfect setup for our family with two young kids. We’d undoubtedly choose to stay here again. The nightly rate was around $200.
2. Have a Drink at Crabby Bill’s Original
Any trip to Indian Rocks Beach must include a stop at Crabby Bill’s Original. Everything at this bar, from the food and drinks to live music and atmosphere, is top-notch!
It’s our go-to happy hour spot in Indian Rocks Beach. We always have a great time at Crabby Bill’s. They have a lovely outdoor courtyard and indoor seating.
Located right across from one of the public beach accesses, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy drinks before and after a day at the beach.
3.Seaside Seabird Sanctuary
A unique attraction near Indian Rocks Beach is the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, situated in nearby Indian Shores. At this sanctuary, you can witness the local wildlife’s rehabilitation efforts. It opened its doors in 2016 and has been releasing wildlife back into the area ever since.
Covering approximately two acres, the sanctuary features mangroves, marshland, and waterways. It’s one of the best places to relax, unwind, and discover local wildlife.
With over 100 different bird species, including pelicans, eagles, herons, owls, and seagulls, it’s a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Don’t miss the pelican feeding at 2:30 pm daily. Here, you can gain more insight into these unique animals. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, you can witness an owl presentation.
Aspiring veterinarians or wildlife conservationists will appreciate the educational aspect of this center. You can learn about the medical equipment used for rehabilitation and explore various types of eggs and biology of these animals.
When there, be sure to climb up the observation tower located in the shaded garden for breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
4.Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve
The Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve is the largest undeveloped land in the area. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, this is a wonderful destination in Florida.
This nine-acre preserve boasts mangroves, wetlands, and waterways. It’s one of the best places to relax, unwind, and discover local wildlife.
There’s a free parking lot, and from there, you can take a beautiful tree-lined trail that stretches half a mile. This pedestrian path winds through mangroves and wetlands. There are plenty of birds to observe, and crabs scuttle about.
The preserve has many beaches to explore, and if you enjoy fishing, bring your gear as there’s a great spot to cast. The on-site educational information center is excellent for learning more about the area. It’s a must-visit for anyone who loves nature!
Gulf Boulevard is one of the main roads in Indian Rocks Beach. Providing convenient access to the beach along with numerous shops and restaurants, it’s also where most hotels in the area are located.
It’s one of the best free activities at Indian Rocks Beach. Who doesn’t love a stroll through shops or actual shopping?
Have breakfast on this main street before heading to the beach. Then, rent a bike to tour the local community along the road.
Want to get back to the shoreline? You can access one of the 27 beach pathways along Gulf Boulevard.
6.Nekton Surf Shop
Located on Gulf Boulevard, Nekton Surf Shop is a family-owned and operated business. The Lopez family, who own the shop, grew up in Indian Rocks Beach. After achieving success in the world surfing tour, Cory and Shea returned to Florida and opened their surf shop in 2006.
At Nekton, you can rent surfboards, bikes, paddleboards, skateboards, and kayaks. They have everything to ensure you have a blast on the water or at the beach. There’s also a surf gear store, so you can grab a souvenir from Indian Rocks Beach.
What could be more relaxing than practicing yoga on the beach?
“Beach Yoga” takes place three times a week on the beach at North 22nd Avenue. The company’s motto is, “Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim.” Whether you’re a yoga expert or a beginner, this is an ideal spot for practice.
The type of yoga practiced in this group session is Hatha yoga. They focus on various exercises that align your skin, muscles, and bones.
This yoga class welcomes both novice tourists and regular locals. You can’t beat the sound of the waves and the gentle sea breeze. Yoga instructor Tania makes you feel right at home in a relaxed environment.