8 Fun Things to Do in Indian Rocks Beach

Cool, happy, and fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach include enjoying small beach town vibes, experiencing an uncrowded Florida Gulf Coast destination, and savoring world class sunsets.

Indian Rocks Beach (IRB) is a small town along the Florida Gulf Coast. IRB is part of Clearwater Beach and is about 3 miles long—from Bellaire Beach in the north to Indian Shores in the south. Unlike Clearwater Beach though, Indian Rocks Beach maintains a residential Old Florida small town charm. IRB has placed limits on housing development and the ginormous condo buildings and hotels do not blight the landscape here.

Welcome to Indian Rocks Beach sign

Things to Do in Indian Rocks Beach

Where is Indian Rocks Beach?

Indian Rocks Beach is located 12 miles directly west of St Pete-Clearwater Airport and 25 miles from Tampa Airport. Indian Rocks Beach is the westernmost stretch of land along the Florida Gulf Coast (south of Cedar Key). Wow! The town is part of Clearwater Beach and Pinellas County and on the island called Sand Key.

Do you wonder where the name Indian Rocks Beach comes from?

1. Beaches of Indian Rocks Beach

Besides the amazing weather (especially in winter months), the Florida Gulf Coast beaches are the main attraction for people to Indian Rocks Beach. 27 public beach entrances offer plenty of opportunities to find a favorite spot or several. Each entrance has colorful signs and some entrances have showers and/or faucets to wash feet, benches, and free parking. Always check parking signs for hours and restrictions.

Indian Rocks Beach entrance
Indian Rocks Beach entrance, photo by Julie McCool

The IRB beach sand is firm enough that bicycle riding is common. Yet just a few yards from the water the sand is soft enough to be comfortable to sit on. For a fun local Indian Beach Rocks activity, join a Yoga on the Beach session at the 22nd Avenue entrance.

2. Celebrate Gulf Coast Sunsets

Gulf Coast sunsets offer a chance for a daily celebration of all things relaxing, inspirational, and transformational. During your Florida Gulf Coast vacation, every sunset will have some common elements and also some unique occurrences. Couples, families, and groups gather by the shoreline for photos because the natural lighting is ideal. Some individuals or groups choose sunset as a time for exercise or reflection. Often there is someone sounding a Queen conch shell at sunset near IRB 15th Avenue. Establish your own memorable sunset traditions.

3. Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve

Located between Ninth and Tenth Avenues and stretching from Gulf Blvd to the intracoastal is the largest undeveloped land area in IRB and a great photo spot for Florida nature lovers. The Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve has a mangrove boardwalk trail which runs about a half mile total over marshland allowing frequent bird and crab sightings. The IRB Community Garden and IRB Dog Park are on either side of the restroom building at the main entrance, and there is a tot lot playground with fun adult fitness machines at the other end.

mangrove boarding at IRB Nature Preserve Florida
Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve. Photo by Julie McCool.

4. Kolb Park at Indian Rocks Beach

Kolb Park is adjacent to the Indian Rocks Beach Public Library (inside IRB City Hall) and Beach Arts Center (exhibitions, classes, workshops, studio rental). The park has basketball courts, baseball/softball field, skateboard park, tennis/pickle ball courts, and a playground. A historic stone marker in the northeast corner commemorates the site of sulphur springs used by Timucuan Indians.

5. Paddle the Intracoastal Waterway

Sections of Indian Rocks Beach are less than 500 feet wide between the beach and the intracoastal waterway. The interior intracoastal waterway is protected by Sand Key with no outlet to the Gulf of Mexico from Clearwater Pass (five miles north) to Johns Pass (10 miles south). The protected waterway is ideal for kayaking, SUP, or other #LiquidRoadTrip adventures. IRB has some interesting spits of land and a couple of small islands that are fun to explore from the water. South of the Fifth Avenue bridge, the intracoastal waterway is known as The Narrows. In that area, Keegan Clair Park has public boat docks.

6. Explore Indian Rocks Beach Neighborhoods

Many people walk along Gulf Blvd but I prefer walking the beach at least once a day. And when I want to “shoe” walk or ride my bicycle, I prefer the residential streets. There is less traffic than on Gulf Blvd plus a whole bunch of fun things to see. I particularly love seeing dozens of clever, creative, and fun Florida mailboxes, colorful signs, and so many friendly people.

pelican mailbox in Indian Rocks Beach Florida
Pelican mailbox in Indian Rocks Beach Florida

Walking across the 5th Avenue bridge is fun, particularly at sunrise. McGough Nature Park across the bridge in Largo has nice nature trails leading to the intracoastal waterway, a half-dozen owls along with other birds and reptiles. For a longer route, head north to and across the Belleair Bridge. It is about two miles from IRB Nature Reserve to Bayside Park next to the bridge.

The little boat ramp park at 15th Avenue is a wonderful setting for stargazing on dark nights and early mornings/sunrises. Brown Park, at the far north end of IRB, has tennis and basketball courts, a playground, a covered picnic area, and recycling drop off boxes.

Bicycles come with many vacation rental properties. Or rent from a local shop, such as Nekton Surf Shop.

7. Indian Rocks Historical Museum

Explore exhibits covering over 100 years of local history at the Indian Rocks Historic Museum. They also have artifacts on display and a history of Tocobaga natives to 1500s. The building is located across the street from the post office and on the grounds on Chief Chic-A-Si Park (which has a bocce ball court).

8. The Best Indian Rocks Beach Restaurants

Our favorite places to eat in Indian Rocks Beach (in order of frequency!):

  • Jake’s Coastal Cantina—check out their daily 2-for-1 specials
  • Guppy’s Restaurant—order the group picatta, grouper tacos, and everything grouper!
  • Salt Public House—the Devil Kiss fries are super spicy
  • 18 on the Rocks—more grouper tacos!
  • Kooky Coconut—excellent Cuban sandwich
  • Keegan’s Seafood Grille
  • Crabby Bills
  • Groupers on the Gulf

current temperature sign comparing Florida with cold cities

Nearby places we really like:

  • Seabreeze Island Grill in Reddington Shores—$3 margaritas all day and amazing specials until 6pm
  • St Pete Bagel Co in Largo
  • Indian Rocks Fresh Market in Largo
  • Pie Factory in Largo—love their key lime pie
  • Mad Beach Brewing
  • Scuppers in Johns Pass

IRB Restaurants We Still Have Not Tried:

  • Beach Wave Grill (formerly Thai Pan Alley)
  • JD’s
  • PJ’s
  • Aqua Prime
  • Sandy’s
  • RickDaddy’s Eatin’ Fresh
  • Chicago Jax
  • Slyce
  • Pajano’s

9. Best Places to Stay in Indian Rocks Beach

Vacation rentals are the most sensible Indian Rocks Beach lodging option. We have stayed in three different vacation rentals, including this two-bedroom duplex close to the beach. Other IRB vacation rentals we would like to try include—cottage with heated poolbeach cottage, and beachfront condo.

cute beach cottage in Indian Rocks Beach
Indian Rocks Beach VRBO rental. Photo by Julie McCool

IRB hotels are located in The Narrows area south of the 5th Avenue bridge. Some of the best Indian Rocks hotels include Holiday Inn and Suites, Harbourside Resort, Colonial Court Inn, Great Heron Inn, and the family-friendly Splash Harbor Water Park.

What other fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach Florida do you recommend?

Things to Do in Indian Rocks Beach: Fun Florida Mailboxes was originally published on McCool Travel on February 17, 2018.

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10 thoughts on “8 Fun Things to Do in Indian Rocks Beach”

  1. Cute. Creative thing they have going on with those mailboxes. Imagine a lot of families and other tourists have fun driving around and checking them out. 🙂 Like the bear mailbox.

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