Public Beach Access...St Pete Beach FL has large parking lots but bring your Quarters






Even though it is another overbuilt barrier island, there is good public beach access in St Pete Beach FL with many parking spaces to get you away from civilization.

However, you will need a handful of Quarters if you drive to these areas and have to park.

St Pete Beach is known for its laid-back surfer community atmosphere and its high-energy nightlife.

Every good-looking girl on the Florida Gulf Coast comes here during Spring Break if she is not at Clearwater Beach.

Public beach access parking areas get filled up quickly.


Upham Beach - Public Beach Access

upham beach public beach access



This beach access is easiest to find if you turn west off Gulf Blvd on 68th Avenue. Upham Beach runs from 67th Avenue to right about 71st Avenue. The parking lot is set off by a low curving Art Deco wall between it and the beach. Be aware that is seems a bit narrow, so keep an eye out when you are backing up.

public beach access st pete beach fl



At this time, parking cost $1.25 per hour. You can pay by credit card, if needed. The machine is right up by the snack bar. It is best to check the number of your parking space before you try to pay for your spot.

The machine is a bit tricky the first time you encounter it, but if you read the directions and watch the prompts in the little green window, you should be okay.

st pete beach parking machine



The snack bar on this St Pete Beach public access is a bit more sophisticated than others you'll find. It serves breakfast and lunch, and is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There are some good choices of food that may surprise you.

public beach access snack bar at Upham Beach



Like many improved public beach access sites, this one on Upham Beach has showers and boardwalks over the vegetation to the beach.

One thing you should know, this beach has been "renourished" meaning sand has been pumped from Gulf to replenish that taken away by both erosion and storms.

To help retard the severe erosion, huge fabric geotubes filled with sand have been placed under the beach AND in places at the shore line.

These do not bother a lot of people, as evidenced by the huge crowds that show up here during Spring Break and holidays, but I find them unattractive. For me, walking south down the beach for about 10 minutes solves having to deal with them.

upham beach geotubes



There are a lot of positives about Upham Beach...most notably the proximity of several great little beach bars, nice ocean water, and some beach vegetation...but the big drawback for me is the overwhelming amount of people that can show up there. Especially during Spring Break and Holidays.

The public beach access in St Pete Beach FL is definitely a success when it comes to usage.

upham beach rentals



During Spring Break, this year, I walked south toward the St. Pete Municipal Beach and saw a huge inflatable water slide behind the Sandpiper/Trade Winds Resort...with a line of kids waiting to go down.

It truly stopped me. Here, on St. Pete Beach is acres of beautiful white beach and nice Gulf water, yet these kids were paying...get this...$4 per slide down or $35 for the day.

trade winds slide st pete beach



I immediately turned back to Swigwam's Beach Bar to think about that one while I held a cold beer to my head. I guess I don't get it.

Don't let my negativity towards big crowds of beach-goers turn you off to this nice little area in a great Florida beach city. Upham Beach does have one amazing aspect...Every really good-looking woman is drawn to this beach.

They love the energy, the ease of mingling, the variety of activities, and a beautiful place to wear their newest bikini.

If meeting someone truly good-looking is your motivation to visit St. Pete Beach FL, this is a target-rich area.



St Pete Municipal Beach

If you drive south of the Upham Beach Pubic Access on Gulf Blvd., you'll find the St Pete Municipal Beach Access parking lot.

st pete municipal beach parking lot



Although it seems like a thousand parking spaces here, they can fill up quickly on Spring Break or a 3-day weekend. Like the Upham Beach public access, make sure you have a handful of Quarters or your credit card.

One hour will run you $1.25, but $5 will pay for the whole day. These pay station machines are just like the ones at Upham Beach.

There are clean restrooms (with soap and an intact mirror!) Four boardwalk bridges get you over the a nicely landscaped dune, and there are outdoor showers to wash off sand and dried salt from the Gulf. There are no lifeguards at this beach.

st pete municipal beach



This is a nice public beach access. As you can see, there is just a fraction of the rental chairs compared to Upham Beach.

I like the lazy feel of this little piece of Paradise...but to me, it does not compare with Pass-A-Grille Beach. Ernest Hemmingway would put Quarters in a machine to snooze down there.

Remember, public beach access on St Pete Beach may look plentiful, but there are times when it can fill up fast. Get there early.


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