Except the Beaten Path: Exploring Pass-A-Grille Beach

Pass-A-Grille beach is considered by some to be the "hidden gem" of the Tampa Bay beaches. Featuring a prime location off the coast of St. Petersburg and as part of St. Peter's Beach on its southern tip, it allows you to escape the hassle-free lifestyle of "Old Florida" while still being close to the mainland.

Pass-A-Grille beach is hidden from the trails, literally. If you head towards Gulf Boulevard, go until you can no longer go and then go right, merging Gulf Bay. You will know immediately when you are there. It seems pleasantly unknown. Where St. Peter's Beach is full of chaos with hotels and holidaymakers looking, this small town is quiet and quiet. The pace of daily life is slowing down.

You will notice that people take a pretty long walk in the Pass-A-Grille. The historic downtown area is ideal for occasional sunset walks along the beach. You can pay to park in the metered parking lot and it is your choice where you want to go. There are select shops, boutique hotels, local restaurants, home-made ice creams and art galleries up and down the streets of Pass-A-Grille.

Unlike the beach of St. Pete, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach and Clearwater Beach, where there are many hotels and condominiums in the Persian Gulf, Pass-A-Grille Beach has more unobstructed water views than any other beach in Pinellas. You can literally drive the Gulf route at night and look out over the moonlit waters. You can stop, park, and go out almost any time for a stroll along the beach, or get a taste of eating at the world-renowned Hurricane Seafood Restaurant.

A big reason the region has escaped massive commercial development and retains its & # 39; Old Florida & # 39; due to its historical name and because the community fought hard to keep 31 blocks of Pass-A-Grille real estate mostly residential. Because of this, you will see families everywhere. Fathers will take their sons and daughters to the Merry Pier for fishing, which has been part of the Pass-A-Grille lifestyle for centuries.

Pass-A-Grille Beach was inhabited by Native American Tocobaga between 1,000 and 1,700 years old, who enjoyed a lifestyle in the fishing industry. The Europeans who landed in 1528 also enjoyed the fish lifestyle and found the area perfect for this great need. The name "Pass-a-Grille" comes from the French "Passe aux Grilleurs" which means "barbecue pass", while fishermen fish their fish right on the shore.

In 1857, visitors began vacationing in the area for short excursions, with the first hotel and first ferry services being offered in 1886. Soon hotels began to grow along the Gulf beaches. The rich began to make day and weekend trips to the area. The first church of the Gulf Beaches was built in 1917, and now houses the Gulf Historical Museum.

Many homes built in the 1950s and 1960s are still today and are an achievement of the old Florida countryside. If you get the chance, get off the beaten track and try the beautiful seaside town of Pass-A-Grille. You will surely fall in love and you may not want to leave.