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  • Things to do on Shell Key Preserve

Things to do on Shell Key Preserve

Shell Key Preserve is one of the best things about staying in a hotel in Pass-A-Grille. In fact, it’s one of the best things about the whole of the St Pete area! We recommend that everyone who stays with us takes the time to hop on the Shell Key Shuttle (just a short walk from the hotel) and spend the day on this beautiful barrier island.

The shuttle will take you out to Shell Key, which is just off the coast south of Pass-A-Grille, and pick you up again later in the day. There are also sunset cruises available for those with a romantic side.

Shell Key is wonderfully quiet. Take a picnic lunch and a blanket and just watch the stress melt away. The warm, shallow waters are ideal for a little wading or relaxed swimming. Many people go out to Shell Key for a day of complete relaxation with a cooler and a good book, but there is plenty to do as well.

General Info


As the name suggests, Shell Key Preserve is the perfect place to go for shelling. The shuttle offers free shell bags so you can wander peacefully along the beach and collect sand dollars and other treasures from the sea. For the best shells, walk a little further and explore the less visited areas of the island. You never know what you might find.


Shell Key Shuttle also provides free snorkels. Whether you're a seasoned diver or have never tried snorkeling before, this is a great place to try it. There are calm waters and plenty of safe places to swim as well as fantastic wildlife. There's plenty to see around Shell Key and only half of it is visible above the water line!

Birding and wildlife watching

The Preserve is also an important haven for wildlife. Some areas are reserved for birds only-no human beings allowed- but if you love birds, bring your binoculars and you'll have a day to remember. During Spring, Winter, and Fall thousands of birds visit Shell Key and the surrounding islands, including spectacular Black Skimmers and American Oystercatchers.

Dolphins are not uncommon around the Key, and sometimes lucky visitors will also spot a manatee or two in summer. Taking a cruise around the barrier islands is usually the surest way to spot both these wonderful mammals.

Travel Tip


Fishing (within the usual Federal and State regulations) is allowed in Shell Key Preserve, and the shallow waters are ideal for catching Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Pompano, and Spanish Mackerel. Be sure to bring bait and tackle with you.

Because Shell Key is conserved and managed to keep it as unspoiled as possible, there are no permanent facilities on the island. That means no toilets and nowhere to get snacks or drinks, so be sure to bring plenty of your own.

hibiscus bedroom with tv, bed, blue chairs


Hibiscus and the Palmetto share a semi-private patio overlooking the gardens. Relax and enjoy the slower pace of Pass-A-Grille at our inn on the beach. The room is cool and comfy and comes with a complete kitchen.

Persimmon Bedroom


Persimmon features many windows to take advantage of fantastic natural light and landscaped gardens. The Persimmon does have a kitchenette and the bathroom has a shower.

orange blossom bedroom

Orange Blossom

The Orange Blossom is located on the ground floor of the Inn with views of the garden. It comes with a queen sized bed with modem decor and natural light. The kitchenette has all the modern amenities.

Orange Blossom
Gulfstream bedroom with white and blue decor


Located on the top floor of the Inn, the Gulfstream comes complete with a king bed, cathedral ceiling, kitchenette, bathroom with shower, and wraparound balcony with Gulf and sunset views.

If you have any questions, please call 727.360.8844