Indian Rocks Beach is a barrier island just outside of Clearwater Beach, bordering the Gulf of Mexico. There is a ton of fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach. The sun, sand, and clear waters have been enticing people to the city for years.
This small town used to be a playground for Florida’s rich. Today it’s a more accessible destination known for its laid-back vibe.
Many tourists head to the more well-known areas of St. Pete Beach and Clearwater in Pinellas County. This has resulted in Indian Rocks Beach becoming a bit of a hidden gem and one of our favorite places in the Tampa Bay area.
We loved Indian Rocks Beach so much that on our last trip to the Clearwater/St Pete area, we stayed in Indian Rocks Beach. We found the location perfect.
There is great food, the beach is gorgeous, and there are a good amount of things to do in Indian Rocks Beach. It was the perfect location for our Clearwater family vacation.
There are beautiful beaches, restaurants, water parks, a wildlife sanctuary, and parks to explore. Whether you want relaxation or something more active, this is a great place to be.
Our list covers the top 11 fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach.
What is Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, known for?
People come from all over the world to visit Indian Rocks Beach. It’s best known for its spectacular soft white sandy beaches, calm waters, and beautiful sunsets.
There are 27 public beach access points for you to relax by the Gulf of Mexico.
1. Splash Harbour Water Park
This is one of the best things to do in Indian Rocks Beach for water lovers and those traveling with toddlers. Want to be away from the sand but still in the water? This is an awesome place for a family fun day out.
There are water slides, a lazy river, a small pool, and a splash zone. This isn’t a big water park, but it’s sure a welcomed change to the beach. Plus, it’s within walking distance from the beach. There are two giant, twisty water slides to hurtle down, which are fun for all ages.
If you are becoming thirsty, head to the Cruzan Rum Shack. They serve up some amazing tropical frozen cocktails. There’s also Jimmy Guana’s restaurant if you are feeling hungry after all that splashing around.
You can buy a day pass to the water park, or you can stay at New Hotel Collection Harbourside, which is attached to the waterpark. We booked a HUGE two-bedroom suite, and it included waterpark passes. This was a great place for our family with two young kids. We will definitely stay here again. We paid about $200 a night. Check prices now.
- Address: 399 2nd Street, Indian Rocks Beach
2. Grab a Drink at Original Crabby Bill’s
Any trip to Indian Rocks Beach must include a stop at the Original Crabby Bill’s. The food, the drinks, the live music, the atmosphere, everything is good here!
This is our favorite place for happy hour in Indian Rocks Beach. We always have a good time at Crabby Bill’s. They have a nice outdoor patio and indoor seat, too.
Located right across the street from public beach access, makes it the perfect place to come and grab a drink before or after hanging out on the beach.
3. Seaside Bird Sanctuary
This is a really unique attraction near Indian Rocks Beach. The Seaside Bird Sanctuary is actually in neighboring Indian Shores. At the sanctuary, you can learn about the rehabilitation of local wildlife. They first opened in 2016 and have been releasing wildlife back into the local area.
The sanctuary covers around two acres of land. There is the possibility of seeing more than 100 different bird species. There are pelicans, hawks, blue herons, owls, gulls, and more.
Head down to the sanctuary at 2:30 pm daily to watch the pelican hand-feeding. Here you can learn more about these unique animals. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, you can witness a screech owl display.
Budding vets or wildlife conservationists will love the education center. You can learn about the medical equipment used to help with rehabilitation. You can also discover the varying types of eggs and the biology of these animals.
While you’re there, you must head up the observation tower. Located in the shade garden, you will experience breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
- Address: 18328 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Shores
4. Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve
The Indian Rocks Nature Preserve is the largest spot of undeveloped land in the area. If you want to immerse yourself in nature, this is a fantastic Florida destination.
This nine-acre preserve features mangroves, marshlands, and waterways. This is one of the best places to relax and discover local wildlife.
There is free parking. From the parking lot, you can take a 1/2-mile trail through beautiful trees. This boardwalk trail winds through mangroves and marshland. There are a ton of birds to spot, as well as crabs scuttling around.
This nature preserve has a number of beaches to explore. If you love fishing, bring your gear, there’s a great area to make a catch. The on-site educational information center is perfect for learning more about the area. This is a must visit for any nature lovers!
- Address: 903 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach
5. Gulf Boulevard
Gulf Boulevard is one of the biggest roads running through Indian Rocks Beach. Gulf Boulevard provides access to the beach and a ton of shops and eateries. It is also where the majority of the area’s hotels are situated.
This is one of the best free things to do in Indian Rocks Beach. Who doesn’t like a bit of window shopping or actual shopping?
Stop by this main street for breakfast before hitting the beach. Then, rent a bike and follow the road, exploring the local neighborhood.
Want to head back down to the ocean? You can visit one of the 27 beach access points along Gulf Boulevard.
6. Nekton Surf Shop
Located on Gulf Boulevard, the Nekton Surf Shop is a family-owned and operated business. The Lopez family, who own the shop, grew up in Indian Rocks Beach. Cory and Shea had many successes on the World Surfing Tour. Back home in Florida in 2006, they opened up their surf shop.
From Nekton, you can rent surfboards, bicycles, paddle boards, skimboards, and kayaks. They’ve got everything for a fun time on the water or next to the beach. There’s also a surf apparel shop, so you can buy an Indian Rocks Beach souvenir.
- Address: 1313 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach
7. Yoga on the Beach
Can it get any more relaxing than doing yoga on the beach?
‘Yoga on the Beach‘ meets on the sand at 22nd Avenue North three times a week. The company’s motto is “Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim.” Whether you’re a yoga expert or new, this is the perfect place to practice.
The type of yoga this group practices is hatha yoga. They focus on a variety of physical exercises that align your skin, muscles, and bones.
This yoga class welcomes newbie visitors and regular locals. You simply cannot beat the sound of the waves and the soft sea breeze. The yoga teacher, Tania, will make you feel right at home in a relaxed environment.
- Address: Beach Access, 22nd Avenue North, Indian Rocks Beach
8. Indian Rocks Historical Museum
There are educational things to do in Indian Rocks Beach too. The Indian Rocks Historical Museum is a must visit attraction. If you want to learn more about the area, this is the place to go. Housed in a cute wooden paneled house, this museum displays local life throughout time.
Inside there are antiques, old photographs, and a history of locally grown oranges! The museum documents the changes in residents from the Native Americans to life in WW1.
If you download the museum’s app, you can take a self-guided tour. There are 14 information points around the museum. This is one of the best free things to do in Indian Rocks Beach.
- Address: 204 4th Avenue North, Indian Rocks Beach
9. Guppy’s On the Beach
This is one of the best restaurants in Indian Rocks Beach. Guppy’s is one of the classic local favorites. If you are longing for some local fresh seafood, this is the place to be. Enjoy Guppy’s seafood dishes for either lunch or dinner.
This casual dining spot serves up calamari, grouper, swordfish, and oysters. Why not try one of their seafood specials? There’s the Tuna Quesadilla, Coconut Shrimp, Florida Lobster Tail, and Rainbow Trout.
Since you are on holiday, try one of Guppy’s Happy Hour cocktails. The Special Hurricane Guppy really packs a punch. It’s Bacardi, Parrot Bay passionfruit rum and cherry brandy. For something extra refreshing, order one of their Frozen Cocktails. There’s frozen Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Strawberry Margarita.
We loved everything we ate there, and both our kids INHALED the lobster mac & cheese. If you are staying in Clearwater, make the trip out to Guppy’s, it is one of the best restaurants in the Clearwater area.
- Address: 1701 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach
10. Kolb Park
Kolb Park is next to the Indian Beach Public Library and art center. If you are looking for local parks to play and have fun, head to Kolb Park.
There are two shaded playgrounds, swing sets, and a merry-go-round. There is a nice little spot to eat lunch at one of their picnic tables, so grab some lunch at one of the nearby local eateries.
If you are craving refreshing ice cream, then there’s a shop just around the corner.
Perhaps you are looking to play some sports. There are a variety of pitches and courts. Rally your group for a game of basketball courts, softball, tennis, pickleball, or head to the skate park.
- Address: 1508 Bay Palm Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach
11. Slyce Pizza Bar
After a busy day in Indian Rocks Beach, grab some delicious pizza. Slyce Pizza Bar isn’t just any old pizza. This stuff is incredible. This pizza restaurant delivers some of the best stone-baked artisan pizzas around.
The Slyce Special features green olives, pepperoni, and ample mozzarella. For something meaty, try The Sitton Supreme. This stone-baked pizza is covered in pepperoni, sausage, and bacon. Or, in honor of the Florida sun, try the Sunburn Pizza. It’s a hot superset, andouille sausage, and Italian sausage. Slyce also serves up mouthwatering Stromboli and super cheesy calzones.
If pizza isn’t your thing, don’t worry; there are other dishes, too. Order a couple of small plates to share with the table. There’s the Ahi Tuna, Baked Wings, and Garlic Knots.
You can grab a pizza to eat at the beach or dine at their restaurant. We like to get a pizza to go and then go down to the beach and watch the sunset.
If you are a sports fan, order a beer and watch on the big screen. Slyce also offers up excellent live music with an awesome atmosphere.
- Address: 311 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach
If you are staying in Indian Rocks like we did, Clearwater and St. Petersburg are both are a quick, easy drive away.
We prefer to stay in Indian Rocks and drive into Clearwater & St. Pete. It is nice to be able to walk to restaurants and walk to the beach.
There is less traffic, and the soft white sand on Indian Rocks Beach is some of the best white sand beaches in Florida if you ask us. Indian Rocks Beach is a great overall place for the entire whole family.
We love Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is our favorite place in Florida. Someday we will own a house in Florida!
Make sure to check out some of our other Florida articles to help plan your trip.