Pine Island Beach Park in Weeki Wachee, Hernando County, Florida
This tucked away, small, and clean beach was unknown to us and discovered only by chance when Weeki Wachee Springs was full to capacity. A parking lot attendant told us about Pine Island Beach just a short jaunt down the road. And it was short but man is it off the beaten path.
Pine Island Beach is a small peninsula beach with one side facing inland waters and salt marshes while the other side faces the Gulf of Mexico.
What separates this beach from others and what cemented it as the cutest, littlest, secretive beach are the amenities. What it lacks in size it makes up for in features, such as a Volleyball net, pavilions with picnic tables, outdoor grills, small wooden lookout (not for fishing), showers, restrooms & a playground shaped like a pirate ship for kids. The small rock jetty & sea wall distinguish this beach as well.
Parking is $5 for the WHOLE day (machine accepts cc or cash) but it is limited which helps keep this locals only beach uncrowded.
We didn’t pack a lunch, just snacks & drinks, as we were expecting to eat at Weeki Wachee Springs, so we were delighted to find that there was a cafe on Pine Island Beach as well. Willy’s Tropical Breeze Cafe, is much more than a beach snack shack. Offering varieties such as fresh fish sandwiches, pick n’ peel shrimp, clam strips, fried okra, zucchini fries, bratwurst and the usual hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, nachos, milkshakes & more. This is beyond your normal beach fare. The burgers were generous, awesome & decently priced. But bring cash–they don’t accept credit cards. Nor do they serve alcohol.
• The shallow water swimming area at low tide is perfect for young kids. You could go out 50 yards and it would still only be at your knees. The clear water was perfect for my older child to practice snorkeling.
•Its family friendly
•There is an ATM & vending machines
•handicapped accessible ramps & restrooms as well as a baby station in restroom.
• park ranger on duty
•There are no major hotels or high rises anywhere near by & that is a welcome change. That’s what makes this a great hidden gem.
•Limited parking- once it’s full its full. No lifeguard on duty
•This is not a walking beach; its small & there are no real seashells to collect (classic gulf Florida beach).