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Indian Rocks Beach is Clearwater Beach’s quieter cousin. It’s not too quiet, but it definitely gives off much more of a local vibe. I used to be lucky enough to live right across the bridge from IRB, and it was the beach I most frequented. In this guide I’ll spill on the best restaurants and things to do, as well as where to stay and some tips for your visit!
Also, if you live in the Tampa Bay Area, or if you are visiting for an extended period of time, I highly recommend taking some time to explore all of the other fun beaches in this area! St. Pete and Clearwater are the better known ones, but along IRB there’s also Indian Shores, Redington, Madeira, and Treasure Island to name a few more!
Where to stay in Indian Rocks Beach
Because this is more of a local’s beach, the accommodations in this area are often a little… dated. Check Airbnb and VRBO for options around your dates if you want the possibility of something a little newer.
We actually really enjoyed our stay here. The location was perfect (tucked right behind Crabby’s), and it had putt putt, a waterpark, and a restaurant in it. Putt putt and Jimmy Guana’s (the restaurant) came in handy for when it was raining! The rates were also affordable. (I really just love staying at IHG hotels, as I usually am able to book with points from my IHG rewards card!)
Things to do in Indian Rocks Beach
Relax at the beach
The beach is really the main attraction here. We went during the week and didn’t struggle to find an area that gave us plenty of space. Enjoy the white sand and clear waters with half the crowd of Clearwater. Find the adorable (and important reminder) sign pictured below at the 5th Avenue Beach Access Park.
Do a day trip to Clearwater Beach
IRB does have some boat tours and water activities, but Clearwater Beach does have a lot more options. And if you’re in the area and have never been, Clearwater Beach is worth spending a day at! Check out this post for all Clearwater Beach activities!
Yoga on the beach
I don’t know about you, but doing yoga on the beach has been on my “things I want to do” list for quite some time now! We unfortunately weren’t here the days they have classes, but I’m going to try to make my way over! Classes are every Tuesday and Thursday at 6PM, and Saturdays at 9AM. After the Saturday class they even walk to a nearby cafe afterwards to enjoy coffee and a bite together. And once a month they also have a potluck after yoga and watch the sunset with food and wine— how fun!!
Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve
This cute spot just gives a nice change of scenery. It’s located right by Kooky Coconut! It’s a scenic little half-mile boardwalk trail that takes you through mangroves and out to get views of the intercoastal. You may even see some cool birds, reptiles, and crabs along your walk! If you want something a little more naturey, you can always take a little drive to the Florida Botanical Garden in Largo, which is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s free!
Splash Harbour Waterpark
This is the waterpark that’s located adjacent from the Holiday Inn. Yeah, it’s a great family-friendly activity. But as an adult, they had me at lazy river and rum buckets. If you’re staying at the Holiday Inn you get a discount on admission. Aside from the lazy river, they also have a couple of water slides, a splash zone, and a blue lagoon (pool) area.
Let Island Marine Rentals take care of all your aquatic needs
Rent a boat, kayak, or SUP! (They also have bike and scooter rentals as well). You can rent kayaks and SUPs anywhere from 1 hour to 1 week. Along with that, they provide transportation straps in case you want to take them to a local park or a different area, as well as a dollie for you to transport it to the beach down the road.
Where to eat & drink on Indian Rocks Beach
This little spot gets rockin’! It is definitely at the top for best restaurants in Indian Rocks Beach. We were lucky enough to just beat the crowd, but once you try their sandwiches you’ll understand exactly what all of the fuss is about! Amazing Cubans, and if you have a sweet tooth be sure to get some of their ice cream. It’s made locally in Sarasota, and they offer some unique flavors. Oh, and of course don’t leave without getting yourself a fresh coconut water!
Guppy’s on the Beach
They’re known for their delicious Gulf grouper picatta and Florida lobster tail. If you want something on the lighter side they also have amazing salads and lobster bisque! Pair whatever you get with one of their yummy red sangrias. Guppy’s is a little more upscale than the other restaurants I mention, but still has a casual, relaxing feel.
The Original Crabby Bill’s
This is definitely the local hangout spot. They have a great outdoor space, lively environment, and nightly entertainment. It’s decorated in true Florida fashion with bright, fun colors. Whatever you decide to get, let me recommend starting with the Chicago baked oysters! Crabby’s has a ton of locally caught seafood, and it’s all pretty affordable priced— they even have 1 lb of crab legs for less than $30 (it’s over $40 on Clearwater Beach!).
Another local’s spot with a really fun atmosphere. It’s not uncommon to see the customers dancing on the patio while enjoying the live music. I’ve found myself partaking in the fun on many occasions during my JD’s visits. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so plan accordingly! If you’re there Thursday-Saturday make sure to go between 7-11PM to watch JD’s turn into a piano bar! Oh, and if you’re wondering what to get, definitely do their shrimp feta fondue, and wings!
If you want the most bang for your buck, you’ve gotta go here for their PJs Super Combo! It comes with an 8 oz. caribbean lobster tail, plus your choice of two: 1/2 lb. U Peel Shrimp, 1/2 Rack Baby Back Ribs, 1/2 lb. Snow Crab, 10 Fried Shrimp, 1/2 lb. Stone Crab (in season), or 1/2 lb. Dungeness Crab! AND two sides! Needless to say, we got that. And not only was it hella affordable, it was also super tasty.
Ready Set Yo
Right next door to Crabby’s (which is actually it’s sister restaurant), Ready Set Yo is here to give you your coffee or protein shake fix. Their motto is keeping it local, and most of their products are sourced locally from Tampa Bay businesses.
If you don’t mind driving a little bit, I also recommend checking out The Haus Coffee Shop, Gypsy Souls, and Sweet Brewnette!
Sweet Sage Café
Okay, this is actually less than a ten minute drive from IRB and located on Redington Beach. But I promise you it’s worth it! The best eggs Benedict EVER, and the cutest, most whimsical, eclectic cafe. You’re going to fall in love. If you have a group of four or more, I recommend making reservations to ensure you can sit out on their patio.
Some other spots worth checking out (but I haven’t yet)
I hope you enjoy your visit to Indian Rocks Beach! Let me know which Florida beach I should check out next in the comments below! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @guidedbydestiny to see more Florida adventures 🙂
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