The best beach towns near Tampa for every traveler

blue waters and a boardwalk by the beach in Fort Myers, Florida
the sun setting over the ocean in Naples, Florida

Maybe you’re looking for a getaway to the sand and waves, but without any hustle and bustle. Luckily, there’s no shortage of Gulf Coast shoreline within a few hours’ drive of Tampa, and it’s peppered with lazy beach towns and cities with laid-back vibes. Kick back, relax, and indulge your inner beach bum at one of these charming beach towns near Tampa.

Beach towns near Tampa for families

If you’re visiting Florida with your kids or even your in-laws, there’s plenty of family-friendly fun to be found. Best of all, no matter where you wind up, you’ll always have beautiful shoreline right at your fingertips.

the ocean calmly washing upon the beach on a sunny day

Holmes Beach

De-stress at a Holmes Beach vacation rental. This small city is nestled on the shores of Anna Maria Island, with plenty of space to lounge on the white sand or splash in the waves. Manatee Public Beach spans seven acres and features volleyball courts, a gift shop, and even a little cafe. Start your morning with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe—you’ll need plenty of energy to explore and play!

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waves washing up on the beach in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria

Just down the road from Holmes Beach, you’ll find Anna Maria, the island’s namesake. It’s also home to Bean Point Beach, the place to go if you want to escape the crowds. Luckily, many of our Anna Maria vacation rentals are within easy walking distance to Bean Point. Take a picnic lunch with you before walking, bicycling, or even taking the trolley to explore all that Anna Maria has to offer.

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Bonita Springs

Our Bonita Springs vacation rentals are surrounded by Florida’s natural beauty, from state parks to nature preserves. Located about two hours from Tampa, you’ll find a thriving arts culture and multiple fine arts festivals every year. Be sure to visit the Barefoot Beach Preserve, and keep an eye out for sea turtles and tortoises. Bonita Springs’s mini golf course, jet ski rentals, and plenty of eateries and shopping will entertain the whole family.

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Beach towns near Tampa for nature lovers

If sitting on the beach isn’t your preferred activity, these towns are perfect for a more outdoorsy getaway. Florida’s state parks, aquatic wildlife, and iconic Everglades are not to be missed—and you’ll find an abundance of ways to explore them.

houses and palm trees by the beach in Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers Beach

Anglers will love our Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals, situated in a prime location for catching big, feisty fish like grouper. Or you can grab your hiking shoes, trail runners, or bike and head to Lovers Key State Park. There are five miles of trails just for you on Black Island, one of Lovers Key’s smaller barrier islands. Try kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or canoeing along the serene waters.

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Boats at the docks in Marco Island, Florida

Marco Island

This barrier island is an oasis of beach resorts, golf courses, and marinas surrounded by nature preserves. Our Marco Island vacation rentals are near Picayune Strand State Forest, Florida Panther National Wildlife Preserve, and Big Cypress National Preserve, just to name a few. Naturally, the area is great for bird-watching, so be sure to pack your binoculars.

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Bustling beach towns near Tampa

If a glass of wine in your hand is just as important as sand between your toes, head to these towns for a more cosmopolitan getaway. Each one has plenty of activities to keep city-dwellers entertained, from shopping to golf to nightlife.

St. Petersburg

What isn’t there to love about Florida’s Sunshine City? Visit the Sunken Gardens for an afternoon of exploring gorgeous botanical displays. Experience the surreal at the waterfront Salvador Dalí Museum or catch breathtaking ocean vistas from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. At the end of the day, you can relax with a cocktail at your oceanfront St. Petersburg vacation rental.

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Naples

Golfers will love the variety of top-notch courses near our Naples vacation rentals. For an iconic Florida experience, tee off at the championship course at Eagle Lakes Golf Club, where you’ll be surrounded by the state’s famously beautiful Everglades. If shopping is more your style, Fifth Avenue South offers designer clothing stores, fine dining, art galleries, and more.

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Sarasota

Our Sarasota vacation rentals are perfect for those seeking easy access to Tampa—about an hour away—without the crowds. Shop ‘til you drop in Saint Armands Circle, known for its boutiques, art galleries, and high-end dining options that offer plenty of fresh seafood. Or you can visit museums on subjects ranging from classic cars to modern art. And of course, you can spend some time exploring Sarasota’s beautiful beaches.

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