If you park at the north end of the large lot at Honeymoon Island State Park (1 Causeway Blvd., 727/469-5942, www.floridastateparks.org/honeymoonisland , 8 a.m.–sunset daily, $5 for up to 8 people per car) and walk down to the beach, you may wonder what all the fuss is about, as the beach at Honeymoon Island is consistently ranked among the best in the state.
The shoreline is equal parts sand and rock, making it difficult to walk across, much less lie down on. A hundred or so paces south, however, the rocks disappear and large swaths of soft white sand open up, leading into the warm shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is slightly more crowded but nonetheless charming.
All along the beach there are restroom and shower facilities, and at the southern end there’s a snack bar.