Just the name itself makes Treasure Island sound like an enchanting place to visit. This small city of about 6,000 people is a laid-back, seaside paradise in Pinellas County, Florida, with easy access to bigger centers such as St. Petersburg and Tampa.
The city’s location on a barrier island along the Gulf Coast creates the environment Treasure Island is most well-known for – long, white, sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. Along these beaches are many bistros, cafes, and little shops.
The small size of the city makes it easy to get around, especially from the beaches to the downtown area, where you will find many hotels, restaurants, and shops. The Beach Trolley, which has stops on almost every block along Gulf Boulevard, makes it even easier to get around the city and nearby communities.
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling alone, as a couple, or as a family with young children, because there are attractions and activities suitable for all ages and every travel style. Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Treasure Island.
1. Sunset Vista Trailhead Park
Sunset Vista Trailhead Park is a beautiful beach area that tends to be less crowded than the other beaches in the area, but still has the soft, white sand and clear waters that the other beaches have.
At one end of the park, there are washrooms, outdoor showers, and a picnic area. But the best thing about this park is the opportunity to see Manatees and dolphins swimming close to shore.
Come in the evening, the park is the perfect place to stick around to watch one of the spectacular sunsets that Treasure Island area is known for.
2. Rent a Boat from Treasure Isle Boat Rentals
One of the most adventurous ways to see the area around Treasure Island is with a boat rental. Treasure Isle Boat Rentals have affordable options to get you started on a coastal adventure.
Sail out into the refreshing sea breeze on a hot, sunny day and enjoy the stunning coastal views before setting out to explore the attractions at nearby places, including Clearwater Beach, Tierra Verde, and Boca Ciega Bay Aquatic Preserve.
3. Tee off at Dunedin Golf Club
Even top golfers from around the country make a stop at Dunedin Golf Club when they’re in the area. The long-standing course designed by architect Donald Ross has many of his signature design features to keep golfers of all levels on their toes.
4. Dali Museum
Experience a world-class museum housed in a building that’s just as intriguing as the art stored inside. Salvador Dali was a world-renowned artist known for his unique and sometimes bizarre works of art; the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg houses the most extensive compilation of his pieces outside of his home country of Spain.
The building itself is an architectural wonder, with distinctive glass formations and a spiral staircase inside the entrance. A labyrinth and Fountain of Youth are also on-site, and complimentary tours are available.
5. Enjoy a Show at The Mahaffey Theater
The Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg has been showcasing artists from around the country and the world since 1965. It is one of the top spots in the region to enjoy live entertainment.
There’s always something going on, whether it be a concert, stand-up comedy, a play, or a spectacular performance by the Florida Orchestra. The theater is known for its excellent seating that allows everyone to see the show and enjoy the professional acoustics.
6. Dine on Seafood at Middle Grounds Grill
Due to Treasure Island’s seacoast location, it’s a pretty good assumption that seafood is on just about every menu in the city. However, Middle Grounds Grill doesn’t offer just any seafood: the restaurant serves only the finest, freshest, top-quality fish served in carefully-prepared dishes.
While it’s considered a fine-dining establishment, the atmosphere is laid-back and suitable for the whole family. There are also plenty of items on the menu for those who don’t eat seafood. Happy Hour occurs daily, and there’s live entertainment on select evenings.
7. Practice Yoga with Caddy’s on the Beach
You’re likely aware of the relaxation and benefits that come with doing yoga, so imagine how much better it is with your toes in the soft sand, a refreshing breeze coming off the ocean, and the sound of waves lapping the shore.
Caddy’s on the Beach has a private beach area where staff host yoga several times a week. After your session, grab a bite to eat at the renowned BBQ and stick around for live music and a beautiful sunset.
8. Sunken Gardens
Visit a 100-year-old botanical garden at Sunken Gardens in downtown St. Petersburg. This attraction’s four acres feature about 50,000 tropical plants, an orchid arbor, limestone formations, a Japanese garden, and wishing well that can be explored via a paved walkway. Bird lovers will also enjoy seeing a variety of exotic and colorful birds.
9. Get Pampered at Paradise Spa
Treasure Island is a relaxing place, but running around from site to site trying to see as much as possible during your stay can be exhausting. Get some much-needed relaxation and rejuvenation at the luxurious Paradise Spa.
While massage therapy might be your usual go-to to bounce back from a tiring week at the office, you might want to consider the many other services that are available and treat yourself to something extra special while on vacation.
Hydrotherapy, body scrubs, body wraps, and infrared sauna sessions are just some of the services available. The treatment rooms feature soft lighting and soothing music, and only the finest, high-quality products are used.
10. Spend a thrilling day with Parasailing the Pass
The best way to see Treasure Island from the sky and spend an exciting day in and over the water is with a parasailing adventure.
Parasailing the Pass is the sole provider of such adventures in the city, and trained staff provide a safe environment that allows visitors to see the coastline while soaring high above the water. The company also offers dolphin and scenic nature tours by boat.
11. Tropicana Field
Take in a professional sporting event with a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field baseball stadium in St. Petersburg. While you’re there, enjoy a unique feature that you wouldn’t typically expect to see in a sports venue: a tank with 30 rays that you can feed and interact with.
The stadium is also home to the Ted Williams Museum and The Hitters Hall of Fame; tours of this state-of-the-art facility are available.
12. Go Kayaking with See Through Adventure Rentals
Snorkeling and diving might be the best ways to experience the enchanting world under the waves, but the next best thing is seeing it through the bottom of a glass-bottom kayak. See Through Adventure Rentals rent kayaks to visitors, who set out from Fort DeSoto Park near Treasure Island.
Manatees, dolphins, and a wide variety of sea birds can be viewed, but it’s the glass bottom of the kayak that provides the unique opportunity to see what lurks beneath the surface without actually getting in the water.
13. Have a Night on the Town at Gators Cafe & Saloon
Visitors who would like to enjoy a night on the town without having to travel from venue to venue have everything they need for a fun and entertaining evening at Gators Cafe & Saloon in Treasure Island.
Said to hold the world’s longest waterfront bar, this multi-level establishment features a local craft beer tasting room, a Tiki lounge, a number of bars, a restaurant, televisions, and stages with live entertainment.
Make the night even more interesting by arriving via boat, and start the evening off with cocktails while you watch the sunset.
14. Weedon Island Preserve
Visitors to St. Petersburg can spend an entire day immersed in nature at the 3,190 acres of green spaces and natural waterways at Weedon Island Preserve. A hiking trail snakes along boardwalks through areas featuring tidal flats and mangrove forest.
Other activities include picnicking, kayaking, bird watching, and fishing off the pier. The Cultural and Natural History Center is located on-site and features a large space with interactive exhibits. Guided hikes and workshops are available through the center.
15. Museum of Fine Arts in Downtown St. Petersburg
Visitors can see almost five thousand years of human civilization through famous artworks of the past and present at the Museum of Fine Arts. Many of the exhibits are permanent, while others are only there for a short time.
A sculpture garden and Steuben Glass exhibition are also on-site, and sometimes there is live music in the museum cafe.