The city’s beach rules and regulations are available here.
Sunshine BeachThe northernmost beach goes on for about seven blocks, starting just south of the John’s Pass Bridge. The north end of the island features a concrete walkway dotted with benches along the rocky pass, leading to a jetty in the Gulf of Mexico.A few Australian Pines make for a shady stroll along the walkway, which is a prime spot for watching boats go to and fro through John’s Pass. The sand is softer and deeper here, but the expanse is much narrower, making it easier to schlep your gear out to the water. It’s a much less populated stretch of beach, more residential than commercial, so you’ll see more couples and retirees than families with small children or teenagers.
Pretty close to the center of Treasure Island, the City of St. Petersburg owns and maintains a portion of the beach. You can enter it at 11260 Gulf Blvd., where there’s a parking lot and a snack bar.As you walk through the retro snack bar, you’ll find they sell all your beach needs right there, including towels, floats, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. In addition to the usual fare, the snack bar also offers sangria and mimosas. There’s a playground there for kids to enjoy, and volleyball nets are available.The expanse of beach here is the widest of the island.
Sunset BeachThe beach at the southern end of Treasure Island starts after the intersection of Gulf Boulevard and 1st Street Southeast, making a right turn from the main drag to become West Gulf Boulevard (Gulf Boulevard crosses Blind Pass to St. Pete Beach and becomes Blind Pass Road). Sunset Beach is mostly between two rocky jetties, and the expanse of sand narrows significantly, so much so that on crowded days it can be hard to stake a claim. Because of the jetties, when winds are high, the waves swell and it’s not uncommon to see surfers. A boardwalk is a lovely stroll providing great photo-ops of the beach. Sunset Beach is also largely residential, making the area practically its own island on an island. Its inhabitants tend to be of the “island-life” mentality and accept guests of all lifestyles, making it popular with the LGBTQ community.
Alcohol on the beach
A relative novelty in most parts of the state, the city of Treasure Island permits consumption of alcoholic beverages on the beach for people 21 and older. There’s also no restriction on how far you have to be from the water. There are a few points to keep in mind, though.Containers can never be glass, and you can’t bring a keg out on the sand. No dogs are allowed and the beach is closed between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. But wait, there’s more, and it’s kind of complicated: Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the beach between the 8500 block and the 9900 block (the northern end of Sunset Beach, roughly from Sunset Chateau to the Island Inn) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays plus Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day, as well as from the first weekend every February to the last weekend in September.
In the middle of all that is the area around Caddy’s on the Beach, a popular party spot where the beach is open to revelers who like to imbibe.
To make sense of all that, the city provides a map of the area, although you practically need a minor in cartography to be able to decipher it. When in doubt, ask a local — or any nearby law enforcement.]]>