4 Best Ruskin Florida Beaches (Hillsborough County)

Ruskin, Florida, is in Hillsborough County, the west-central region of Florida. It is a little town on the north side of the Little Manatee River and is known for its beautiful, pristine beaches. The natural beauty and all-year-round sunny Ruskin weather attract travelers to this region.

There are not many beaches in Hillsborough, so we also made a list of beaches near Ruskin FL in this article.

The 4 best beaches in Ruskin, Florida are:

  1. Apollo Beach
  2. Bahia Beach
  3. E.G. Simmons Regional Park Beach
  4. Davis Island Beach
Ruskin, Florida, Sunset

4 Best Ruskin Florida Beaches (Hillsborough County)

1. Apollo Beach

Apollo Beach is a small city along the eastern side of Tampa Bay, about 22 square miles, and 3 miles of it are of water which goes around its harbors and communities. It’s an affluent neighborhood, enjoying growth and becoming a desirable place to live in the Tampa metro area. It is a small town with a big city feel. It is not yet overcrowded.

One of its perks is the natural wonder of its beach, Apollo Beach. It’s a place to escape the metro area, and you’re just looking for something natural. It’s just 6 miles from Ruskin, following the US-41 route. Or take the historic A1A Scenic Highway; you’ll find it at the southernmost end in New Smyrna Beach. Apollo Beach is just a massive, though inspiring sweep of sand.

The Apollo Beach Preserve re-opened in September 2020 because they just completed a 37-foot observation tower and rehabilitation of an existing seawall. The tower is wheelchair-accessible, the first in the county, and it offers fantastic panoramic views. The preserve has picnic pavilions, a hiking trail, restrooms, and parking. Though it has a sandy beach, swimming is not allowed because of swift offshore currents. Nonetheless, there are swimmers, sunbathers, fishermen, and nudists. 

Remember, if you’re in Ruskin and thinking of beaches, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Florida comes to mind.

Things to Do

While you’re in Apollo Beach, there are other attractions to experience. A visit to the Manatee Viewing Center is worth it. See wild manatees swimming around Big Bend or drifting through the bay.

Experience two of the best restaurants in the area: Circles Waterfront Restaurant serves seafood, steak, and signature cocktails; and the Asian Fusion Buffet for an all-you-can-eat Chinese food, sushi, and other Asian favorites.

Apollo Beach also has all the shopping places you’ll need, including stores like CVS, Publix, and Winn Dixie.

2. Bahia Beach, Ruskin

Palm Trees, Sunny Day

During its heyday, Bahia Beach was the toast of the town in Ruskin, Florida. It opened 60 years ago in Shell Point Road, Ruskin, a quarter-mile section of white, sandy beach on Tampa Bay.

Today, Sunset Grill Waterfront Restaurant & Tiki Bar and The Inn at Little Harbor occupy the location and are still patronized by tourists and locals. The beach is still popular, though private, and can be found inside the neighborhood of the resort. The beach is often referred to as Bahia Beach on Sunset Grill Little Harbor.

Bahia Beach is a small beach with a nearby boardwalk and fishing pier that affords panoramic views. It offers swimming, kayaking, fishing, watersport rentals, shelling, bathrooms, beach volleyball, and great views of the sunset. It also provides free parking. If you’re looking for accommodations, Harborside Suites Hotel and Condos are nearby.

The Bahia Beach Nature Preserve is some distance inland to Bahia Beach, a restored cooperative project between Hillsborough County, the Environmental Protection Commission of the county, and the SW Florida Water Management District. It intends to create new wetlands to enhance wildlife and marine habitat and improve water quality that goes into the bay. You will find here ducks, wading birds, shorebirds, and bald eagles. There is also a hiking trail in the preserve.

Behind Bahia Beach is the marina that adjoins Tampa Bay. It offers fishing charters and dolphin tours.

If you’re in Ruskin and thinking of beaches, Bahia Beach, Ruskin, Florida is a great option.

3. E.G. Simmons Regional Park Beach

E.G. Simmons Regional Park was founded in the mid-1960s, developed from 258 acres of mangroves with land areas and meandering waterways. It also includes another 200 acres of swamps, now a reserve as a bird and wildlife sanctuary. It holds certain endangered species, like the Roseate Spoonbill and the Bald Eagle.

The park is located 3 miles north of Ruskin on Tampa Bay. In addition to being a waterfront wildlife sanctuary, it also features a 700-foot beach along the bay, picnic facilities, two playgrounds, kayak rentals, boat trips, and lots of swimming and bird watching.

It is a popular camping ground with 103 sites. All of them have electricity, potable water, picnic tables, and fire pits. You can also use the public restrooms and the hot and cold shower houses.

Activities you can do at Simmons Park are swimming, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, camping, volleyball, and strolling. Remember that Simmons Park Beach is a Ruskin, Florida beach.

Amenities Include:

  • Barbecue Grills
  • Fire Pit
  • Boat Ramp
  • Camping
  • Canoe Rentals
  • Kayak Rentals
  • Pier
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Hot & Cold Shower Houses
  • Swimming Area
  • RV dump stations

4. Davis Island Beach

Davis Islands is a Tampa neighborhood in Hillsborough County, made up of two islands connected by bridges. It is the closest to downtown Tampa (3 miles) and has views of the Port of Tampa.

Davis Island Beach is the largest public beach in the area. It is quite narrow, but it is lined with palm trees and connects to the four-mile Courtney Campbell Trails popular with bikers and strollers. The beach may not be that great for swimming, but it’s popular with families picnicking, watching the boats on the bay, and sunbathing. The beach has a dog park, picnic area, canoe launch, and boat ramps. Davis Island Beach is an accessible Ruskin beach in Florida.

Going southward, you’ll find the Davis Island Dog Beach. Not far is a private yacht club that sponsors sailing races and a cruising fleet, the Davis Island Yacht Club.

While the beach is about 10 minutes from the airport, it’s just 15 minutes from downtown.

Davis Island is very pedestrian-friendly and dog-friendly. East Davis Boulevard is the commercial district of Davis Island, and here you’ll find blocks of restaurants, bars, and cafes. You’ll see folks dining on sidewalk restaurants enjoying Tampa’s nice weather. There are also many locally-own small retail shops, including pet stores for pet needs.

Conclusion – Ruskin Florida Beaches

Bench Chair Overlooking Beach in Florida

To summarize, here are the 4 best beaches in Ruskin, Florida.

  1. Apollo Beach
  2. Bahia Beach
  3. E.G. Simmons Regional Park Beach
  4. Davis Island Beach

If you’re staying in Ruskin and would like to hit the beach for any variety of purposes, from relaxing in the sun to engaging in watersports, check out one of these beaches.

Kris Peter

A positive individual enjoying the journey, and always searching for adventure. I created Sunlight Living to help my parents (and eventually myself) prepare for retirement. About Kris

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