WHEELCHAIR-ACCESSIBLE BEACHES IN FLORIDA

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has some form of disability and 1 in 7 struggles with mobility, making it the most common type of disability. For so many, getting onto a sandy beach is either incredibly difficult or simply impossible.

At Help Us Gather, we believe having a disability should not sentence a person to a life of isolation and loneliness. Our 501(c)(3) nonprofit is on a mission to ensure our beautiful beaches are safe, easy to find, and accessible for all.

On this page, you will find a list of the best beaches in Southwest Florida that offer wheelchair access, mobility mats, handicap-accessible parking, and other amenities to ensure your next day at the beach can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.

HUG updates this page regularly, but each mobility mat is the property and responsibility of the city it's installed in. Please reach out to the city's parks and recreation department to confirm the location and current status of their mobility mat before you plan your visit.

What are mobility mats?

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Mobility mats (also called MobiMats) are nonslip pathways that help individuals with mobility challenges avoid getting stuck in the soft, uneven sand, allowing them to access the beach safely and easily. For people who use wheelchairs, power chairs, walkers, have prosthetic limbs, injuries or simply need some extra support in the sand, mobility mats are a game-changer.

The Forward Foundation, a private foundation based in Clearwater, Florida, is partnering with Help Us Gather (HUG) and the Disability Achievement Center to ensure every beach-facing city in the Tampa Bay area has a mobility mat, ensuring equal access for residents and travelers alike to one of Florida’s most precious natural resources.

Learn More

FIND ACCESSIBLE BEACHES

Archibald Beach Park

Madeira Beach, Florida

Madeira Beach’s first MobiMat, donated to the city by the Forward Foundation, was installed at Archibald Beach Park in April 2022. Located near the public restrooms at the end of a small boardwalk, the 42′ accessibility mat is 6.5′ wide with a 25′ wing extending to the south. There is a shower/foot wash on the boardwalk that leads to the MobiMat.

Address: 15100 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Accessible Parking: There are multiple handicap-accessible parking spaces on both sides of the parking lot, including near the restrooms.

General Parking: Madeira Beach uses pay stations and phone apps to collect parking fees of $3.00/hr. Learn more about their fees here.

Gulfport Beach

Gulfport, Florida

Gulfport Beach’s MobiMat, the second of its kind in Pinellas County, was installed in 2019. Michael Ciafone, a resident of Pinellas County and an active advocate for inclusion and accessiblity, helped convince the city to purchase and install the mobility mat. Located near the public restrooms at the center of the public parking area along Shore Boulevard, the 82′ accessibility mat extends from the paved sidewalk onto the sandy beach toward Boca Ciega Bay to a point just before the high tide area. Two wings near the water form a Y-shape. Gulfport Beach is a shorter beach, but parking is much easier here thanks to a large, free parking lot directly next to the beach.

Address: 5730 Shore Blvd S, Gulfport, FL 33707

Accessible Parking: There are four handicap-accessible parking spaces next to the restrooms and two near the Gulfport Beach Pavilion.

General Parking: Parking is free in the large lot that runs the length of the beach.

Indian Rocks Beach

Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

The MobiMat at Indian Rocks Beach is located at the beach entrance between 17th & 18th Avenues, giving visitors of all abilities a safe, easy way to access the shoreline. Indian Rocks Beach is a popular tourist destination, so parking can sometimes be a challenge in the lot directly near the mobility mat on busy days. We recommend arriving early or visiting during the week if possible for the best access to this premier Southwest Florida beach.

Address: 1700 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

Accessible Parking: There are four handicap-accessible parking spaces in front of the restrooms.

General Parking: There are approximately 40 free parking spots in the Indian Rocks Beach Access parking lot between 17th & 18th Avenues.

Spa Beach

St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg’s MobiMat allows those visiting the St. Pete Pier to access Spa Beach. Keep in mind, the St. Pete Pier, which includes Spa Beach, opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes at 11:00 p.m. Parking is a bit far from the beach itself and the MobiMat here is rather short, but the St. Pete Pier does offer much more to do than just beach access thanks to multiple food and entertainment options nearby.

Address: 615 2nd Ave. NE., St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Accessible Parking: There are multiple handicap-accessible parking spots in the Pelican Lot, which offers the closest parking to Spa Beach.

General Parking: Weekday rates in the Pelican Lot start at $2/hour. For more detailed information about parking and rates, please visit the St. Pete Pier’s website.

Treasure Island Beach

Treasure Island, Florida

Treasure Island’s MobiMat, installed in 2018, was the first of its kind in Pinellas County. The removable access pathway made out of recycled materials extends approximately 400 ft. towards the Gulf of Mexico and is 6.5 ft. wide. Two wings at the end of the mat form a Y-shape, giving users a place to turn around or stay to enjoy the beach. The mat provides improved accessibility to Treasure Island’s large, popular beach for people with mobility impairments, pedestrians and beachgoers who use strollers and beach carts.

Address: 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, FL 33706

Accessible Parking: There are three handicap-accessible parking spaces in the Gulf Front Park Lot, located next to the restrooms. Parking in the handicap-accessible spaces is free.

General Parking: There are 77 total spaces in the Gulf Front Park Lot. Parking costs $2.75 per hour. You can pay by using a smartphone and the Parkmobile app, or at the meters or pay stations using cards or cash/coin.

AS SEEN ON

Mobi-mat donation improves Bay Area beach access for those with mobility issues

Advocates for the disabled push for more mobility mats at Tampa Bay beaches

Advocates push for ‘mobility mats’ at Pinellas County beaches

Group works to make Pinellas beaches more accessible

Millions of tourists visit Pinellas County beaches each year. But for residents with disabilities, much of the coveted land is inaccessible.

Read the Article

If you are a community leader interested in having a mobility mat sponsored and installed on one of your beaches, please email events@helpusgather.org. If you know of an accessible beach that is not yet listed here, please fill out the form below & include the location/address of the beach.