Sand Key Park

On the northern end of Sand Key is Sand Key Park, which is considered by many beach experts to be one of the best beach parks in all of Florida. Opened in 1984, this 95-acre park not only features plenty of grassy spots for stretching out. It also features an idyllic beach that is ideal for family fun. Clearwater Pass, which is a small body of water that connects the Gulf of Mexico with the Intracoastal Waterway, is all that separates Sand Key Park from Clearwater Beach. It's a little quieter on the Sand Key Park side of things than it is in Clearwater Beach, which helps to make the park an excellent place to hang out for those who are looking to enjoy a more relaxed day at the beach.

Sand Key Park
Sand Key Park  Image: Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater

If you're looking for a good Sand Key beach to relax on, there are a few dandies to choose from. The half-mile stretch of sand at Sand Key Park in Clearwater Florida is an inviting beach. It boasts soft, white sand that meets turquoise-blue water, which is all that most beachgoers could ask for. As for beach amenities, you can rent a cabana on the sand if you please at Sand Key Park, and there are separate changing stalls for men and women. The Sand Key Beach Park also features restrooms and a collection of outdoor showers for rinsing sand off your body. Since there aren't as many restaurants near the beach at Sand Key Park as there are in busier Clearwater Beach, you might bring a picnic basket along and take advantage of the park's grills and picnic tables. In case you forget to bring some water, Sand Key Park in Clearwater Florida also features water fountains.

In 2003, a special dog area was added to the Sand Key Beach Park, so you can bring your four-legged friend over for a visit. Dogs are not permitted on the beach, though they are bound to enjoy a visit to Sand Key Park thanks to the dog area. In part, dogs are not allowed on the beach here because they might disturb the native wildlife. The wildlife here includes sea turtles, whose nests are watched over by the nearby Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Sand Key Park is not only home to sea turtles at certain times of the year, but an array of birds as well. Some of the birds that you might expect to see during your visit to the park include great horned owls, herons, roseate spoonbills, and common moorhens. Turtles and birds aren't the only creatures that you might see at Sand Key Park in Clearwater Florida. Often times, you can spot dolphins swimming along the coastline, which is a nice treat.

Nine different boardwalks offer access to the beach at the Sand Key Beach Park, and you might choose to integrate them into your ceremony if you're planning a Clearwater wedding. They are also idea for relaxed strolls and for taking in the scenic views. Relaxing and taking in the scenic views is essentially what a visit to Sand Key Park in Clearwater Florida is all about. March to September is the best time to visit Sand Key Park if you are interested in swimming. The water is at its warmest during these months, and a lifeguard is on duty on a daily basis, which is good news for families with small kids.

Metered parking is available near the beaches in Sand Key Park if you are driving over for the day. If you want to spend a good amount of time at Sand Key Park during your Clearwater vacation, then you might look to book your stay at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. It's one of the best mid-price resorts in the area, and it boasts its own inviting beach to relax on when you're not kicking back at the beaches in Sand Key Park. The Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites Hotel is close by as well, so you might also keep it in mind.  

Top image: Barefoot In Florida (flickr)
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