The beaches of St. Pete to Clearwater are known for their incredible sunsets. Every evening, visitors and locals take to the sand and pack waterfront eateries to view the famous spectacle: the sky awash in color, the sun sinking into the Gulf. While you can scope out a great sunset just about anywhere along the coast, not all vantage points are created equal. Here are some of the most memorable ways to salute the end of a perfect beach day.
1 Pier 60
The festive Sunsets at Pier 60 ritual on Clearwater Beach, which was named No.1 in the U.S. on TripAdvisor's list of Top Beaches for 2016, has it all: live music, artisans, street performers, even fire eaters. It’s free, 100 percent family-friendly and it happens every evening from 6:00-10:00pm (weather permitting). The gorgeous sunset view is a perfect way to celebrate the end of the day.
2 Captain Memo's Sunset Champagne Cruises
Everyone in the family can unleash their inner swashbuckler on the two-hour Captain Memo's Original Pirate Cruise - an outing on a pirate ship replica that comes with high-energy pirates. Kids can do a deep dive into the treasure hunts, water gun games and face-painting; grownups can sip complimentary beer and wine, and boogie on the dance floor to reggae and steel band music.
3 Redington Long Pier
Take in a quintessential old-Florida experience on 1,200 feet of privately owned planks that extend into the Gulf of Mexico. Rent a rod and fish for some snook or flounder as brilliant colors set the sky ablaze. The Redington Long Pier is ranked as one the best spots in the Gulf to hook a fish, but it's also one of the best places to catch a sunset. Don't feel like you and the kids have to go home once it's dark—the Pier's open until midnight.
4 Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar
It's no surprise that this Clearwater beachfront institution is a top sunset destination—the beach is at the front door and you can watch the sun sink to live music any night of the week. The bar at the Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar is huge, the food and drinks are delicious and the atmosphere calm and casual.
5 Pool Deck at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
Lie back on comfortable chaise lounges while enjoying a sunset cocktail or dinner. Ringed with tropical foliage and lush landscapes, the pool features trickling fountains and spectacular Gulf vistas. Situated eight floors up, you'll get magnificent sunset views from the pool deck at the swanky Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa.
6 Treasure Island Drum Circle Behind the Bilmar Beach Resort
On Sunday evenings behind the Bilmar Beach Resort, dozens of people gather for the Treasure Island Drum Circle and generate hypnotic rhythms on bongos while dancers of all ages conga and twirl. Bring a cooler with some beverages (no glass, though) and take in a one-of-a-kind sunset spectacle at this undisputed family favorite.
7 Rooftop Deck at the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant
The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant in historic Pass-A-Grille offers a rooftop deck with breathtaking sunset views over the area’s southern beaches. You'll want to order one of their famous grouper sandwiches and sip on a tropical drink as the skies fill with pinks and oranges.
8 Hubbard's Marina Sunset Cruise
Free beer and wine flow on the 1.5-hour Hubbard's Marina Sunset Cruise, which launches from John’s Pass and passes by multi-million-dollar waterfront homes on the Intracoastal Waterway. All tours are fully narrated and, no doubt, you'll see sensational color-filled skies from the open decks and comfy seats as you make your way back on Gulf of Mexico waters.
9 Kai Lani Catamaran Sunset Cruise
This 50-foot Kai Lani Catamaran's daily sunset sail is as mellow and romantic as it gets. Leaving from Clearwater Beach, the ship serves beer, wine and soda—all to the tune of island music. The super friendly crew suggests keeping an eye on the after glow as the sun disappears below the horizon.
10 Fort De Soto Park
The award-winning Fort De Soto Park was recently named the country’s best family beach by Parents magazine, and it has tons of historical and environmental significance, too. Make a day of it: picnic, sunbathe, take in the fort and the natural beauty, then stay for the sunset which is beyond breathtaking.
11 Sunset Yoga on Indian Rocks Beach
Offered seasonally, weather permitting, through IRBYoga and Hot Yoga Largo, this unique experience on Indian Rocks Beach will help you unwind by connecting to the energy of the ocean and sunset after an action-packed day. Skip the yoga mat and practice on a beach towel.