Ruskin, FL, is a retirement mecca, nestled along the banks of the Little Manatee River in Hillsborough County. This quiet little Florida city that sits less than 30 miles from Tampa enjoys stunning natural surroundings that include access to some of the best and most beautiful beaches in Central Florida. While you can easily drive to dozens of beaches from Ruskin, here are the 7 closest, and most desirable, seaside locations to explore.
Located right in Ruskin, Bahia Beach is probably the closest place to access the ocean from your Ruskin home. This quarter-mile stretch of beach along Tampa Bay is nestled inside a Little Harbor Resort. Here, you can pursue a wide array of exciting beachside activities, including the following:
- Collecting shells
- Water sports
- Viewing sunrises and sunsets
- And more
Add in restaurants that are walkable to the beach and an ideal location right within Ruskin, and you have the perfect beach for daily enjoyment of stunning Tampa Bay.
Apollo Beach, FL, is a tiny town located just six miles from Ruskin. Within this unincorporated census-designated place of just over 14,000 residents is the 63-acre Apollo Beach Nature Preserve. The heart of this beautiful natural area is the 2-acre Apollo Beach, where seaside recreation is available along peaceful sandy shores.
While you cannot swim at Apollo Beach, you can bring a picnic to enjoy beside the ocean, sunbathe to your heart’s content, or take in the jaw-dropping views of Tampa Bay that are available in the 37-foot, wheelchair-accessible observation tower. You can also walk the beach’s nature trail and enjoy fishing along the shore.
For a quiet beach where you can enjoy carefully preserved nature, beautiful aquatic species, and non-swimming beach activities, it is hard to find an area better than Apollo Beach.
Siesta Key Beach
Located just an hour from Ruskin is TripAdvisor’s 2020 Number 1 Traveler’s Choice Awards winner: stunning Siesta Key Beach. As one of the best beaches near Ruskin, FL, this unique seaside destination boasts soft quartz sand alongside turquoise-colored waters. A vibrant beach that attracts both tourists and nearby residents alike, Siesta Key also has endless amenities and features to enrich your time along the ocean.
Come to this 8-mile long beach to pursue any of your favorite ocean-based activities, including:
- Shell collecting
- Dolphin watching
On the beach, you can also pursue sports and activities such as tennis, or volleyball. Playgrounds for the grandkids are abundant, as are gorgeous views, especially at sunrise and sunset.
In the area surrounding the beach, you can also find entertainment and food from abundant vendors. Reserve a luxury hotel for a memorable night or two away, affordable apartment rentals for a longer stay, numerous mouth-watering dining options, nightlife and shopping.
St. Pete Beach
If an hour is a little too far for you to travel to enjoy jaw-dropping ocean side views, you can drive the 45 minutes to St. Pete Beach in Pinellas County. This seaside resort city was named TripAdvisor’s Number 1 beach in 2021, and for good reason.
Quieter than the bustling Siesta Key Beach, St. Pete Beach still offers access to unbelievably white sand stretching alongside the beautiful sea. Check out nearby fishing piers and boat ramps to enjoy activities on the water, or just enjoy walking, sunbathing, and swimming in the clear waters.
In addition, St. Pete Beach offers fresh seafood dining in its many nearby restaurants. From fish to oysters, fast food to fine dining, these eateries make enjoying the beach a tasty experience. Plus, St. Pete Beach the city has much to offer in the way of unique shopping, attractions (Check out the aquarium), and other attractions.
Treasure Island Beach
For a remote beach feel that does not compromise on attractions or white sand, check out Treasure Island Beach in Pinellas County. Located near St. Pete Beach about 45 minutes from Ruskin, this seaside location has blue waters, palm trees, and nearby hotels and restaurants to make you comfortable.
Don’t settle just for sunbathing or enjoying the view from a hotel balcony, though. You will want to check out the Treasure Island Trail for a long walk, ideal for bringing your furry friend along or even taking the bicycle out for a scenic ride. Stroll the nearby boardwalk or fish off the side of the boardwalk.
Ready to hit the water? You can take advantage of 3 public boat ramps and a marina to get easy access to get your boat out on those beautiful blue waters.
Clearwater Beach is a little further away than other beaches near Ruskin, Fl, but the nearly 1.5-hour drive is well worth it. One of the most famous, and beautiful, beaches in the state, Clearwater Beach is located near Tampa Bay.
Known for its pure white sand, long stretches of blue water, and family-friendly vibes, Clearwater Beach has a small-town feel despite its popularity. Jump in the water here; swimming is allowed. Or, enjoy luxurious sunbathing, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating, parasailing, and more.
If you want more land-based fun, check out the numerous restaurants and attractions in the larger city of Clearwater. Or, grab a sunset tour, dolphin tour, or dinner cruise for a little pampering and a lot of fun.
South of Ruskin in little Bradenton Beach, Florida, Coquina Beach is less than an hour’s drive from most points in Ruskin. With sand renowned for its perfect appearance and soft feel, this beach promises a beautiful beach experience that includes tall pine trees and areas of shade.
Coquina Beach offers a number of exciting tours to enjoy, such as boat tours and even a paragliding tour. In addition, you can expect to swim, walk, sunbathe, walk the paved multipurpose trail, and take advantage of the beach’s grills and game tables.
If you do not want to bring a picnic to enjoy, you can grab a bit to eat at the Coquina Beach Café. Wheelchair accessible and with all the practical amenities you need, this is a beach to enjoy regularly when you reside in Ruskin.
No matter where you roam from Ruskin, you are sure to find a beach nearby. Choose our Ruskin-based Little Manatee or River Haven communities for attainable Florida living that includes easy access to your favorite seaside locations!