12 Amazing Things to Do in Indian Rocks Beach (Update 2024)

Indian Rocks Beach and wooden footpath

Visiting sunny Indian Rocks Beach? Looking for the best things to do in Indian Rocks Beach? We got you covered!

This small relaxing beach town with a population of around 3,500 is the perfect getaway in Florida. Once upon a time, Indian Rocks Beach was the ‘playground’ for Tampa’s elite. It is now a quaint beach town that people from all backgrounds can enjoy.

It’s only 30 minutes from Tampa and (close to home for me) 20 minutes from downtown St. Pete! This lively, cute little beach town is the perfect hidden gem to explore by yourself, with a lover or friend, or with the family.

If you happen to be visiting during October, make sure you don’t miss out on the annual Oktoberfest festival!

Let’s dive into this super awesome list of the best things to do in Indian Rocks Beach.

1. Explore Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve

aerial view over Indian Rocks Beach

This gorgeous nature preserve is easily one of the best things to do for nature lovers, those who want to explore the great outdoors or a nice relaxing getaway in the cradle of nature.

Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve boasts 9 acres of gorgeous untouched nature for you to explore and enjoy. There’s a wooden boardwalk through forest, wetlands, and along the intercoastal. You can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife and utterly gorgeous views.

You can take a ½ mile throughout the preserve and feel your mind and body begin to relax and unwind as you soak in the views. They also offer a fishing area and an educational center.

PRO TIP: Level up your experience at this preserve with a pair of binoculars, or bring a journal, some art supplies, a book, or whatever you need to indulge your creativity and truly unwind. This nature preserve is such a special and beautiful place that it’s bound to get your creative juices flowing!


2. Soak up the sea and the sun at Indian Rocks Beach

2 Indian Rocks Beach 3 miles of white sand beaches

Indian Rocks Beach boasts 3 miles of white sand beaches just waiting for you to explore and soak in the rays!

Indian Rocks Beach has no shortage of beaches, with over 27 different entry points to access the luscious Gulf Coast beaches!

With a super laid-back vibe and small crowds during the weekdays, this is the perfect place for a little beach getaway. One of the best perks of this beach perhaps is the various free parking around, so you can lounge about without worrying about racking up a hefty parking bill.

The free parking spots are usually at 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 12th, 15th, and 16th Ave.

3. Visit Kolb Park

wooden footpath in Kolb Park

This lovely park in Indian Rocks Beach near the Tampa Bay area is a super fun place to visit! Kolb Park is another one of the many free things to do in Indian Rocks Beach.

There are two shaded playgrounds for the kiddos, a tennis and handball court, picnic areas, a merry-go-round, and more! Kolb Park is located near the library as well as a community art center. This is a lovely safe alternative to the beach if you are looking to get out of the sand for a few hours.

There are also some great shops and places to get some yummy ice cream right around the corner.


4. Splash around at Splash Harbor Water Park

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach with family, what screams more fun and adventure than a water park?!

Splash Harbor Water Park, located at the Holiday Inn Harborside and open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM, is a super fun activity for the little ones and for the little ones in all of us!

With waterslides over 400 feet in length, the Treasure Cove Splash Zone, the Great White Lazy River, and The Blue Lagoon, there is so much to do for people of all ages at the Splash Harbor Water Park.

PRO TIP: You can rent a cabana to stay out of the hot sun and lounge about all day! This is an awesome option because it gives you the liberty of having a home base at the water park to return to and relax in between fun activities.

PRICE: Rates start at US$28

5. Visit Indian Rocks Historical Museum

Indian Rocks Historical Museum is an excellent educational attraction on Indian Rocks Beach. Go back in time, learn about the history of Indian Rocks Beach, and gain some insight into the beautiful beach town that is Indian Rocks Beach, or as the locals call it, IRB!

This is a super interesting thing to do in Indian Rocks Beach, especially because you can take a self-guided tour by downloading a simple app on your phone.

The self-guided tour takes you along 14 stops throughout the museum. This is a great activity to kill some time, as it takes about 1.5 hours to get through. Be prepared to do some walking as the tour is over 2 miles long!

You can also learn about the Indigenous history of the area, with a special focus on a Native American Chief by the name of Chic-a-Si. You will also learn about colonial settler Harvey Hendrick, the resurgence and heyday of the area in the 1950s, and everything else in between until the present day. Now it’s a modern-day beach paradise. However, like many other places in Florida, it has a rich history that visitors should learn about!

You will see some pretty epic featured exhibits and artifacts from a shipwreck, walk through a historical beach cottage and see photos from the area over time.

PRICE: Free but donations are appreciated!

6. Check out the Seaside Bird Sanctuary

Looking for unique things to do in Indian Rocks Beach? Check out the Seaside Bird Sanctuary and get a glimpse into the absolutely incredible work they do to help Florida’s injured wild birds!

The Seaside Bird Sanctuary is a really incredible place to visit on your trip to Indian Rocks Beach. Located in Indian Shores, not far from Indian Rocks Beach, Seaside is a wildlife rehabilitation center that aims to educate the public on their work to help rehabilitate injured birds and nurse them back to health! The birds are eventually released back into the Florida wild when they are nursed back to health.

The Seaside Bird Sanctuary is on 3 acres, and as you explore, you will get to see over 100 species of birds that permanently reside at the Seaside Bird Sanctuary.

You can expect to see Pelicans, gulls, hawks, owls, blue herons, and so much more. At 2:30 pm daily, there is a hand-feeding Pelican presentation, as well as a screech owl presentation on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Lastly, be sure to check out the shaded garden area as well as their observation tower and witness some absolutely breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.

PRICE: Free, but donations are appreciated!

7. Grab some oysters at the Salt Rock Grill

The Salt Rock Grill is one of the best places to eat in Indian Rocks Beach. Make sure you head there for dinner or happy hour for some hard-to-resist eats and drinks!

They even have their own fishing boats that go out every day and bring back some fresh catch that is some of the freshest and most delicious seafood you’ve ever had! Opt for the Chef’s Choice, which is always some freshly caught fish right off their very own fishing boats!

You can make a reservation on their patio or on the water for some gorgeous waterside views of the Gulf while you eat some delicious fresh catch. Definitely don’t miss out on their oysters from the raw bar, lobster bisque, tuna sashimi, and steaks.

8. Explore the Florida Botanical Gardens

This is by far one of the best free things to do in Indian Rocks Beach. Just over the bridge in Largo lies this 100-acre botanical garden oasis begging to be explored!

Florida Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous tropical paradise that will leave you in a state of awe, wonder, and relaxation. As you stroll through the various habitats and exhibits and are in the presence of incredible tropical flora, you will start to unwind and feel a sense of deep connection to the Earth and these gorgeous specimens.

Perhaps best of all, this attraction is pet-friendly! Take fido for an awe-inspiring stroll through a gorgeous tropical botanical garden. Open from 7 AM – 5 PM, this is one of the best things to do in Indian Rocks Beach.

They even have a 60-acre farm where you can see all sorts of local plants and animals. They also offer all sorts of events, such as yoga in the garden as well as other educational talks that are great to do with the whole family.


9. Take a stroll down Gulf Boulevard

aerial view over Gulf Boulevard

Gulf Boulevard is the major road that runs through Indian Rocks Beach and provides access to the beaches, eclectic shops, restaurants, and more.

If you find yourself in a position where just one day at the beach is not enough to satisfy your beach craving, there are plenty of Airbnb, quaint motels, and resort hotels all along Gulf Boulevard. You can find taverns, restaurants, artisans, and all sorts of amazing goodies along Gulf Boulevard!

Don’t forget to grab some breakfast at Indian Shores Coffee for a delicious sweet treat. Not feeling up to biking? No worries. Strolling down Gulf Boulevard is just as fun and filled with so many life and fun experiences waiting to happen.


10. Go to Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium building

Looking for something super fun to do when it rains in Indian Rocks Beach or trying to escape the hot Florida sun? Head on over to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium! This is a great activity to do with the family in Indian Rocks Beach.

Well known for its marine life rescue missions, this is the perfect opportunity to learn all about the incredible marine life in Indian Rocks Beach.

They are also the main rescue for all sorts of aquatic mammals and animals, such as dolphins, manatees, otters, pelicans, sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks! They even have some marine celebrities, dolphins named Hope and Winter, which starred in the movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2!

Don’t miss the underwater viewing tank, where you can see all sorts of sea animals and even some mermaids swimming around! The kids will absolutely love this, and the inner kid in all of us will love it too!

PRICE: US$36 for adults and US$27 for kids

11. Grab a bite at Guppy’s on The Beach

This should be high on your list of places to eat in Indian Rocks Beach. Guppy’s on The Beach is also known for serving up some of the freshest seafood on the Gulf Coast!

The executive chef, Chef Scott, offers incredible daily specials for lunch and dinner. At this casual dining spot, you can try some of their famous dishes, such as Guppy’s Ceviche, chef’s oysters, calamari, bacon-wrapped swordfish, locally caught grouper, and more!

If you’re not hungry, head on over to Guppy’s for happy hour! Happy hour is 4 PM to 6 PM with beer, wine, and specialty cocktails such as a Guppy Hurricane, Bloody Mary, sangria, or a Gulf Coast Margarita!

12. Go on a Fishing Charter

fishing boat in the sea

Looking for some deep-sea adventure? Then hopping on a fishing charter tour is the perfect activity for you and the whole family!

Head on out to the deep seas and catch some incredible fish! There are many local guides and fishing charters available. Sometimes local hotels and Airbnbs work with local tour guides, so be sure to ask wherever you are staying!

You can choose from a private or group fishing charter, and before you know it, you will be in the deep seas fishing for some Florida classics like grouper, cobia, tuna, snapper, and more! You can also pick whether you want a deep sea or a shallow water charter for a super fun day at sea!

Looking for a place to stay on Indian Rocks Beach? Here’s where I stayed, and I absolutely loved it! There’s a pool, a lounge, and a fully-stocked kitchen – what more could you ask for?

Book Your Stay in Indian Rocks Beach

🤩 Best place to stay:Meranova Guest Inn
👪 Family-friendly score:High
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free activity:Seaside Bird Sanctuary
👧 Best attraction for kids:Swimming

FAQs about things to do in Indian Rocks Beach

grass on the beach

🌃 Things to do in Indian Rocks Beach at night?

Some fun things to do in Indian Rocks Beach at night are to take a stroll down Gulf Boulevard or head over to Guppy’s on The Beach for happy hour! There are plenty of fun activities!

☔ What are the best things to do in Indian Rocks Beach when it rains?

Some of the best things to do in Indian Rocks Beach when it rains are going to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the Seaside Bird Sanctuary, the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum, and the Indian Rocks Historical Museum.

🧑‍🦯 Is Indian Rocks Beach walkable?

Yes! Indian Rocks Beach is a pretty small beach town spanning about 3.5 miles long altogether. Indian Rocks Beach is generally considered a pedestrian-friendly beach that’s well-suited for walking.

🏖️ Are Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores the same?

Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores are right next to each other. You could drive to one or the other and not even realize it since they are so close to one another. So they are basically the same!


trip to Indian Rocks Beach

There you have it! The absolute best things to do in Indian Rocks Beach that you are not going to want to miss out on!

I absolutely loved my trip to Indian Rocks Beach. It was the perfect little beach getaway. I enjoyed walking around, viewing nature, soaking up the rays and lying on the beach, and eating delicious, fresh seafood!

I hope you enjoyed this list and create some incredible memories on the Gulf Coast of Florida!

In love and gratitude,

Amira G.

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group of friends having a picnic on a sunny day

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