Recently the City of St. Pete Beach ticked off a lot of locals by announcing that is now legal to drink on the beach. YAY! For hotel guests ONLY. Wait, what? Read all about it.
I don’t know about you, but when I go the beach to have a relaxing day with my toes in the sand, I envision myself with something frosty with an umbrella in it beside me. Each of the beaches in Pinellas County has its own set of rules when it comes to alcohol on the beach:
Clearwater Beach: No booze on the beach. If you want to drink legally while at the beach there are beachy areas at some of the hotels such as the Hilton, Palm Pavilion, Sand Pearl Resort and Shephard’s Beach Resort, among others.
Honeymoon and Caladesi: Neither state park allows alcohol.
Belleair Beach: Nope. Not allowed, period.
Indian Rocks Beach: Nope, nor glass bottles. Don’t even think about it.
Redington Beach: DING DING DING! Winner, winner chicken dinner! Quoted in a recent Tampa Bay Times article on the subject, town clerk Missy Clarke had this to say: “As long as I’ve been here there have been no ordinances on the books prohibiting drinking on the beach.”
There is not a prohibition about glass bottles, either. Take an uber, or bring a designated driver and enjoy a few cold ones with your toes in the sand!
Madeira Beach: Pretty much a go! “Essentially, alcoholic beverages can be consumed on the beach but not in shelters,” explained Lacy Lafave in the Times article, executive assistant to the acting city manager. “Alcoholic beverages must be in appropriate non-glass containers.” Fill up your Yeti and call a Lyft. Keep in mind, you can’t take your unsealed container or cup onto the street, sidewalk, alley, parking lot or open property. Also, drinking is not allowed at a Madeira Beach beachfront park located at 14400 Gulf Blvd. that is owned by Pinellas County.
Treasure Island: Yep – a go – as long as it’s not in a glass container. However, there is a caveat. No booze on the beach between the 8500 block and the 9900 block of Treasure Island Beach between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays as well as Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day, as well as from the first weekend every February to the last weekend in September. That is a little confusing and may be tricky to remember… if all else fails, head to Caddy’s if you need a spot to drink.
St. Pete Beach: The St. Pete Beach City Commission unanimously voted Aug. 22 to allow alcohol on the sand at beachfront hotels, and there are currently 17 hotels on the Gulf of Mexico that rent beach cabanas in the area stretching from the Don CeSar Hotel to the Postcard Inn (the TradeWinds alone has more than 500 cabanas).
But before you get too excited, here’s a word from St. Pete Beach mayor Al Johnson as quoted in the Times article: “Simply put,” he wrote by email, “only registered guests of the hotels can drink (on the beaches). This includes day guests as well as overnight, but all must be registered. Guests must wear a wrist band, and can only be served in the cabana area which must be at least 50 feet from the wet sand area. Service must be by hotel staff and delivered in plastic cups with the hotel’s logo on it.” Essentially alcohol is not allowed on St. Pete Beach. Boo. Sad face.
Personally, a couple weeks ago during the solar eclipse, some friends of mine and I took the day off and headed to one of the beach bars (which shall remain nameless) on St. Pete Beach behind one of the many of the hotels on Gulf Boulevard. I hadn’t even remembered about the new law, marched right up to the beach bar and sure enough I was not asked if I was guest in any hotel nor was a given a wristband but I was served a cold one. Perhaps the actual enforcement of this new law will be another story. Sure seems like businesses will lose a ton of money if they can’t serve locals.
Fort De Soto Park: No alcohol is allowed on the beach or in the shelters at the park.
In summary, if you can be an adult, Reddington Beach, Madeira Beach and Treasure Island are your three best bets for a relaxing weekend on the sand with a cold one that you bring in your own cooler. We are hoping other beaches follow suit if they see that no major issues exist at these beaches.
Please remember to UBER, LYFT or bring your designated driver buddy and be responsible!