Subscribe

This post contains affiliate links which means that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product after clicking on any of them, at no extra cost to you.

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!

Best Restaurants & Things to Do in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

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. Click here for some hotel options.

Holiday Inn

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.

Blonde woman looking at "please leave nothing but your footprints" sign

Have a beach picnic

I think everyone should have a beach picnic at least once in their life! After ours, I’m honestly about to have one once a week because it was so amazing!

Picnics Perfected did such a wonderful job of setting up the dreamiest picnic for our girls’ night. We had wine, charcuterie, and a beautiful sunset. She has everything you could need from games to blankets.

As a bonus, you can have a photographer (Aleisa Sigmon is AMAZING!) capture your moments. This is great for special occasions of course, but it’s also great on just a random Tuesday evening 😉

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.

Splash Harbour waterpark at Holiday Inn Indian Rocks Beach

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. 

Two women sitting on a paddleboard in the ocean with their feet dipped in the water

Where to eat & drink on Indian Rocks Beach

Kooky Coconut

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!).

Crabby Bills sign, one of the best restaurants in Indian Rocks Beach

JD’s

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!

Shrimp feta fondue with toast from JD's in Indian Rocks Beach

PJ’s

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. 

PJ's combo platter with lobster, ribs, and crab legs. One of the best restaurants in Indian rocks beach.

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!

Frozen coffee drink with Gypsy Souls sign and inter coastal views

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 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share it 🙂

15 Comments

  1. Thank you for such a comprehensive guide. Yoga on the beach and the little walking trail would definitely be on my list. Your pictures look stunning.

  2. There are so many hidden gems in Florida! Indian Rocks Beach looks gorgeous and the perfect spot for a day trip when visiting Tampa. OMG and those eggs benedict at Sweet Sage Cafe! so delicious!! Thanks for the helpful tips!

  3. Indian Rocks Beach looks like such a beautiful place! That water is so blue and clear! What a stunning place! I’d definitely love to visit. I’m sabing your guide for when I get to visit. Thanks for the great guide!

  4. I’ve been to Indian Rocks before but when I was a toddler, so I don’t remember anything apart from the name. That list of restaurants is making me want to head back though and check it out!

  5. Haha you had me at “lazy river” as well. I love the beach vibe towns, and this looks like it doesn’t disappoint! I hadn’t heard of Indian Rocks before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *