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As a long time Floridian, there are so many beaches we locals can claim as favorites and Pass-a-Grille is always a popular choice. Pretty much anyone who has ever enjoyed this laid back beach on the Gulf of Mexico -- will agree it's among the best and most charming of beaches this state has to offer.
Pass-a-grille consists of only three miles (22 city blocks) and you are immediately drawn to its old Florida charm. It's not the highly commercialized beach scene that Clearwater Beach or Daytona Beach offer with their boardwalk atmospheres and more commercialized flavors.
Among locals and visitors alike, Pass-a-Grille is a top vacation spot very popular yet generally not crowded or overly commercial.
HERE ARE SOME OF OUR FAVORITE PLACES, THINGS TO DO, AND TIPS FOR WATER SAFETY AT PASS-A-GRILLE.
View off the left side of the jetty at Pass-a-Grille Beach, Florida
It doesn't get any better than this when you can enjoy Maryland Chesapeake Seafood style in Florida and watch the Ravens at this Pass-a-Grille sports bar and pub grub eatery with one of the best water views on the Gulf of Mexico.
Highlights: Monkey Balls (Maryland lump crab balls); Steamed shrimp; Raven Wings; homemade Shrimp, Crab & Corn Chowder; Colossal Shrimp Salad; Jumbo Lump and Maryland Crab Cakes (All killer, No Filler) -- are just a few of Dream Travel Today's top picks on their menu. Check them out at: The Brass Monkey
Old Florida Victorian atmosphere with both twin rooftop and beach bars views, combined with fabulous seafood entrees on three levels of dining ocean front views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Highlights: Non-GMO, Kosher certified, cholesterol-free, trans-fat free cooking selections add to the joy of eating at Hurricane Seafood. Our personal favorites on their dinner menu are -- Boom Boom shrimp; Gator Bites; Scampi lobster; Moms 1945 Crab Cake Dinner; and their Grouper Paradise. For more information: Hurricane Seafood Restaurant
Sea Critters Cafe is the quaint waterfront cafe with deck dining and free boat dockage for diners arriving by boat.
Highlights: From their smoked fish dip on crackers to their Old Bay Seasoned U-Peel shrimp and their Today's Fresh Catch -- you won't be disappointed in the quality and tastiness at this cafe. Some of our top picks on their menu is their Danish baby back house smoked ribs and their Lobster Pasta -- both sheer perfection.
One way to describe this Floridian American style restaurant with a laid-back patio area, live music, and even a gift shop is to mention that it is the perfect place to start your day early or late because some of us begin our days closer to lunch-time fare menu choices.
Highlights: We like to begin our day here a Paradise Seafood Omlet and grab lunch a little later with either their 1/2 pound Paradise Bacon Cheese Burger or their Crab Cake Sandwich.
Since 1938 the Sea Horse has been serving Southern comfort food, Florida style - from breakfast to seafood lunches in Pass-a-Grille is one of the iconic places across from the Merry Pier - to grab both breakfast and lunch. Love the fact that it's right on the beach. Many people love the fact that it is Vegetarian friendly, and has Vegan and Gluten free options
Highlights: We love their omelettes and blueberry pancakes. And if you are seeking Southern authentic, they have grits and talk about atmosphere! Wow!
From Italian entrees to pizza to desert -- this family owned, Italian restaurant is impeccable in Pass-a-Grille Beach, Florida when it comes to authentic Italian generations handed-down recipes certain delight.
This is all original, authentic, in-house home style Italian cooking. Some highlights are:
Thin crust trattoria style pizza ; their veal dishes; and desserts to die for. Dream Travel Today's top picks for their desserts are: the Chocolate Cake, Lemon Cake, and the Carrot Cake. Guaranteed to be a sweet-tooth's heaven.
Check out their website: Genneros
The Pass-a-Grille Island Ferry isn't just a typical ferry, that takes you from Point A to Point B -- it's a luxury boat eco-tour experience that goes much deeper and includes seeing dolphins, sunsets, or specialized tours 7 days a week and even offers VIP charters, birthday, bachelorette parties, and burials at sea.
Shell Key Shuttle is one of Pass-a-Grille's best excursions because it offers a unique opportunity to snorkel for sand dollars, swim with stingrays among other fish, commune with pelicans, and birds. Even dolphins love it and come up to the shuttle while enroute to Shell Key from Pass-a-Grille.
The Merry Pier in Pass-a-Grille will make you merry with the Old Florida charm of a pier with everything -- it's a small store, bait shop, fresh fish market, that also offers boat fishing, rod and tackle rentals and sales, bicycle rentals, fishing off the pier and more!
Speedboat Adventures isn't for the timid but you don't have to be especially brave just because the boats are sporty daring, just follow the expert safety instructions by the guide as you drive your speedboat on your tour.
Standup Paddleboards in Pass-a-Grille are just a fun way to spend the day and so convenient to rent by the hour, half-day, or all day. They can be actually delivered to you right on the beach. Be sure to only use them in the swim-zone where motor boats and you can SUP and swim safetly.
Pass-a-Grille deep sea fishing charters offer several choices for such adventures. Dream Travel Today recommends checking out:
Here at Dream Travel Today, as much as we love our favorite beach destinations, and especially Pass-a-Grille -- We take the "water safety" of our clients, community destinations, and blog reader friends -- very seriously. At the same time -- We don't want our various precautionary warnings to spoil your beach vacation dream fun - there are risks even when home and the same thing applies to travel or vacations. Just don't forget water safety always comes first --regardless of where you seek your ideal water fun! That said, let's talk about Pass-a-Grille Jetty and Pier Safety, when it comes to the dangers of rip-currents.
Rip currents are a real factor anywhere in the world and anytime you are in the ocean waters and here in Florida they are the BIGGEST risk for swimmers and even people who did not intend to swim. They aren't easy to spot. They are extremely prone to be in areas where jetties and piers exist. Just because the water looks clear and calm doesn't mean that a rip current isn't lurking beneath the surface or that you can't get pulled out even if you are just a wader or a child playing at the edge of the water and the beach.,
Far too often the person who actually drowns in rip currents is the family member, friend, or heroic by-stander who was trying to rescue others caught in rip currents, such was the recent case of a Lakeland, Florida woman, who was a beloved wife and for mother of six who died after trying to save some of her children who got caught in a rip current.
The saddest part of this still another rip current death near the jetty at Pass-a-Grille is also remembering another woman over four years earlier who met the same fate in about the same spot. It's a heavy reminder that jetties and piers aren't safe swim zones.
Rip current deaths are largely preventable and the key to putting an end to these untimely and unnecessary deaths is public education. Please join the efforts to end such tragedies and save lives - perhaps your own!
Check out this great video