Pass-a-Grille is its own tiny beach village that shares the island known as Long Key with another beach town, St. Pete Beach. Right in the middle of Long Key is the iconic and historic Don Ce Sar hotel. For locals everything on Long Key to the north of the hotel is called St. Pete Beach, and southward from the Don is Pass-a-Grille. The sand and water you’ll find at each are the same, but the two are very different.
The Pass-a-Grille end of Long Key, which you will find at the very south tip of the island, has a more relaxed and natural vibe than you find a few minutes north at the ever-popular and more touristy St. Pete Beach. One of the oldest communities in Pinellas County, Pass-a-Grille is a charming little village nestled between Boca Ciega Bay on the east and the Gulf of Mexico on the west. Walking from beach to bay might take all of 3 minutes! The small town offers a smattering of restaurants, bars, art and clothing shops all within walking distance from the beachfront parking. The Pass-a-Grille marina / pier on the Boca Ciega side offers services by companies that will take you on boating, fishing, and island excursions.
Many people favor Pass-a-Grille because it retains a lot of charm and an “Old Florida” feel. The beach is beautiful, and the water is often clear and blue. A small fishing pier is located on the Gulf side, and is a popular spot for anglers and those wanting to get a picture over the water. While Pass-a-Grille can get a little crowded, it is usually less crowded than other beaches because of the lack of large hotels at this end of the island.
Many people report Pass-a-Grille beach as their favorite due to the combination of nearby amenities, lower crowds, and natural beauty that abounds.