The Tampa area has some of the best beaches in Florida. So, whether you're interested in having some fun or want to stretch out on the sand and relax, you can find the perfect beach around Tampa to suit your needs. The next time you plan a beach day, check out some of the following spots on our list of best beaches around Tampa.

Ben T. Davis Beach

Location: 7740 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise until sunset.

If you're looking for the closest beach to downtown Tampa, head to Ben T. Davis Beach. Located on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, this stretch of beach has soft, white sand for lounging, shelters for picnics, and calm waters that are perfect for splashing around with friends or family. This beach is great for catching fantastic views of Tampa and some gorgeous sunsets. It's situated on the Courtney Campbell Trail, a 4-mile trail where you can walk, jog, or bicycle.

Beach volleyball is very popular at this beach. You'll often see local players on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. You can also find kayaks, paddleboards, floating mats, and bicycle rentals nearby. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Caladesi Island State Park

Location: Offshore Island, Dunedin.

Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset.

Enjoy a slice of untouched Florida beauty when you visit Caladesi Island State Park. The park is located on an island, and the only way there is by private boat or a ferry that launches from Honeymoon Island State Park. Once you're there, you'll discover a secluded beach ideal for swimming and relaxing. The island is also an excellent spot for shell hunters. Aside from spending time on the sandy beach, you can also walk the nature trail to the historic Scharrer Homestead or kayak through the mangroves.

While you'll have to bring most of what you need for your day at the beach, the island does have a small gift shop where you can rent beach chairs, beach umbrellas, and kayaks. The gift shop also houses Cafe Caladesi, where you can order casual beach eats, such as burgers, fries, and fruit smoothies.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Location: 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin.

Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset.

Unlike Caladesi Island State Park to the south, Honeymoon Island State Park is conveniently accessible by car from the mainland, making it easier to visit. However, even with its straightforward access, this beach is quieter than many other popular beaches in the area. You can pick your perfect spot on the 4-mile stretch of powdery sand and kick back for a day of relaxation.

If you're interested in activities, Honeymoon Island has plenty to offer. Take the 3-mile nature trail that goes through a pine forest to see what types of plants and animals you can spot. Or cool off by going for a swim in the calm waters. Shelling, fishing, and bicycling are popular activities in the park. It's also an excellent spot for birdwatchers since it has numerous observation areas where you can spot eagles, osprey, owls, and water birds.

Fort De Soto Park

Location: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise until sunset.

Consisting of 1,136 acres and five interconnected islands, Fort De Soto Park is one of the largest parks in the Tampa Bay area. With so much to see and do in the park, it's easy to see why it also has one of the best beaches near Tampa. The park features 7 miles of waterfront, including nearly 3 miles of beautiful beach.

If you enjoy exploring nature, you can set out on the 7-mile paved multipurpose trail, explore the 1-mile nature trail in the Arrowhead Picnic area, or paddle along the 2.25-mile canoe trail. The park has two fishing piers and a food-and-bait concession stand where you can pick up any gear and supplies. Even the four-legged family members can enjoy some time outside at the dog park and beach.

History lovers will like touring the historic fort used as a gunnery and bombing range during World War II. You'll find amenities at Fort De Soto Park, including a campground, boat launch, playgrounds, restrooms, picnic shelters, and a souvenir shop with a snack bar.

Sunset Beach

Location: 9000 W. Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise until sunset.

Located on the southern tip of Treasure Island, Sunset Beach is a lively spot that looks like it comes straight out of Jimmy Buffet's hit song "Margaritaville." In addition to a beautiful stretch of white sand, you'll also discover tiki huts, uniquely decorated homes, and beachfront bars with a bohemian flair. Shaded pavilions, vending machines, and showers are also available.

The beach welcomes sun and sand lovers of all lifestyles, and it's especially popular with the LGBTQ+ community. Plus, as the name suggests, Sunset Beach is one of the best places in the Tampa Bay area to catch spectacular sunsets.

St. Pete Beach

Location: 4700 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise until sunset.

St. Pete Beach is one of the best beaches near Tampa and routinely makes it to the top of many lists ranking the most beautiful beaches in the world. While the long stretch of soft, white sand and beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico is ideal, the beach has plenty of other extras that make it special.

There are numerous beach-side restaurants, bars, and cabana rentals where you can relax. If you're looking for adventure, you can rent a jet ski or go parasailing. Plus, if you want to spend the night, you'll find everything from boutique hotels to full-service resorts lining the beach.

When we want to have some fun in the sun, these are our favorite beaches around Tampa to visit. Did we forget to mention your favorite beach? If so, please be sure to contact us so we can add it to this list.

Image: Caladesi Island Beach by Keith Yahl is licensed with CC BY 2.0