Treasure Island is a whimsical paradise with three miles of pristine white sand beaches covering a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. The island got its name from an early hotelier who claimed to have found treasure chests buried along its picturesque shoreline. Whether the story was true or not, the name stuck, and this quaint community has been known as Treasure Island from 1918 onward. Treasure Island has a charming seaside feel with many unique shops and restaurants.
Treasure Island incorporated in 1955, and many of its homes and resorts were constructed around this time. There are also many newer properties, including grand custom-built estates that feel like private resorts. Other housing options include stylish oceanview condominiums.
• Luxurious estates
• Delicious seafood restaurants
• John’s Pass Village
• White sand beaches
Like the supposed buried treasure that gave the island its name, Treasure Island is a hidden gem on the shimmering Intracoastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Treasure Island offers diverse activities on the waterfront, from beach party hotspots to quiet, family-friendly stretches. Treasure Island is a great starting point for fishing as well as taking boat cruises to see marine wildlife and visit neighboring islands.
Gators Café & Saloon spans the waterfront at the northern end of Treasure Island. With multiple bars and four stages featuring daily live music, this lively spot proclaims itself as the world’s longest waterfront bar. Inside, discover a tiki lounge and multiple screens showing live sports.
At the southern end of the island, John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk has over 100 shops and restaurants and an abundance of options for boat rentals and tours. Pick up clothes and gifts at Island Rags and Wild Time Caribbean Trading Company, rare music and pop culture memorabilia at DD Collectables, hand-rolled cigars at Cuban Paradise, saltwater taffy at Zeno’s Sweet Shop, boutique items for four-legged friends at Paw Paws, or exotic teas and spices at The Spice & Tea Exchange. Kilwin’s is a gourmet, family-run sweet shop selling decadent chocolate boxes, indulgent fudge, and ice cream.
Dining choices at John’s Pass include family-friendly seafood chain Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and freshly-caught fish at Friendly Fisherman and Wild Seafood Company. For drinks, sample craft beers at Mad Beach and award-winning local wines at The Florida Winery or head to the energetic Bamboo Beach Bar & Grill for frozen cocktails and live music. Caddy’s on the Beach is another beach party hotspot on Gulf Boulevard with casual eats, DJs, and live music.
Treasure Island’s three main beaches are Sunshine Beach just below John’s Pass in the south, St. Petersburg Municipal Beach in the middle of the island, and Sunset Beach in the north. These beautiful stretches of white sand offer captivating views and public amenities such as showers, changing rooms, children’s play equipment, and beach volleyball courts.
Sunset Beach is known as the Southern Jewel of Treasure Island for its spectacular twilight setting. Treasure Island’s classic resorts include the Thunderbird Hotel, which has been owned and operated by the same family since 1957. The Thunderbird’s facilities include an oversized heated pool, a tiki bar with live music, and laid-back al fresco Italian dining at Feola’s Italian Ristorante.