This Under-The-Radar Florida Beach Is A White Sand Haven Beloved By Locals

It's no secret that if you're traveling throughout the USA and in search of a beach, Florida will seldom disappoint. There are beaches that remain a bit more well known, like South Beach in Miami (which is particularly great if you enjoy a lively nightlife scene). Another is Cocoa Beach, the closest beach to Orlando and also one of the most family-friendly. However, the state has well over 1,000 miles of coastline with close to 200 public beaches. In short, there are a lot of beaches to travelerblog in Florida that remain under the radar.

If you're looking for a lesser-visited and lesser-known beach with stunning waters, look no further than Upham Beach Park. It is located just 20 minutes from St. Petersburg, which is pristinely set between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. The weather and scenery here are such pure paradise that it's only fitting that it is home to one of Florida's best-hidden gems. Upham Beach Park is small but close enough to major cities that you can truly get the best of both worlds.

What to do at Upham Beach

Located within St. Pete Beach, Upham Beach Park is quite small, so just a day here is enough to get the most out of your beach experience. Aside from sunbathing and feeling the sand beneath your feet, there are a few other activities you might want to add to your itinerary when visiting. No proper beach day is complete without good eats. For the best bites in Upham Beach Park, head to Paradise Grille. Fuel up in the morning with an omelet or breakfast burrito, or opt for something more fitting, like a seafood platter with peel-and-eat shrimp or grouper nuggets.

While not directly in Upham Beach Park, Sharkeys Glass Bottom Fish Feeding LED Night Tour is nearby and gives ample activity to anyone who is an equal part nature lover and night owl. The late-night kayaking tour has a 4.5 rating and nearly 150 reviews, with many particularly praising how much wildlife they saw. One of the best places to stay and wake up to the idyllic views of the Gulf of Mexico is Caprice Resort. It is located directly on the water and even has a stellar swimming pool. 

Nearby cities worth visiting

Upham Beach Park, as stunning as it is, is just a small part of what you should see in this part of Florida. Combine nearby St. Petersburg with your trip to the beach; it is a city well worth visiting on its own. In St. Petersburg, not only will you enjoy the natural beauty of the extremely walkable city, but you can also visit the Salvatore Dali Museum, Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center, and even embark on a Craft Beer Trail. You also won't want to miss the St. Pete pier, which is especially ideal at sunset.

Tampa is another major nearby city. Less than an hour's drive away, Tampa has plenty of attractions, with some of the most popular being Busch Gardens, the Tampa Riverwalk, and Tampa Bay History Center. If you make it to Tampa, you'll want to ride the TECO Line Streetcar System, which is a free, fun, and unique way to cruise around the city. If you fly into Tampa International Airport, make sure to keep an eye out for the 21-foot tall flamingo, nicknamed "Phoebe." The giant flamingo is a 2022 award-winning art installation by artist Matthew Mazzotta.