Treasure Island has an interesting tale behind its namesake. The town was still being developed circa 1915, and a few sly (and deceitful) property owners decided to craft a narrative that would draw in tourists. They planted fake treasure chests on the shore and publicized these dupes as authentic buried riches. Needless to say, the lie brought the town attention and, in time, its name.
With a population under 7,000 people, and a total area of about five square miles, Treasure Island is small. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in sun-soaked beauty. Its beaches border clear waters, its humid climate borders on the tropical, and there’s plenty of places to eat and shop, making Treasure Island a worthwhile destination year-round. Below we’ve listed three oceanfront hotels should you want to enjoy the area’s bounty.
From $179/ night
This five-acre resort has a lot going on —aside from its blissfully short walk to the beach, which should only take you two minutes. Two outdoor pools and a hot tub provide plenty of extra opportunity to swim, especially for adults, who can enjoy a pool entirely to themselves. The on-site restaurant, meanwhile, sports a massive, 33,000-gallon aquarium that offers snorkeling. As if that weren’t distinctive enough, there’s also a fitness center, surf simulator and touch tank. The SandBox lounge ups the ante again with live entertainment, drinks and everyone’s favorite fireside treat, s’mores. RumFish Grill cooks up dinner and lunch for more substantial appetites. Can’t wait to get here? If you’re arriving from the Tampa International Airport, this property is only a half-hour drive away.
From $116/ night
You won’t be lacking in tropical sights at Sunset Vistas. As you might guess from the name, there are beautiful views to be enjoyed here. Private balconies are standard with each suite, opening onto stunning panoramas of the Gulf of Mexico’s vast waters. Once the sun starts setting, try ambling through the lush courtyard, or maybe indulge at the hotel’s on-site bar or cafe. When you’re ready for some more stimulating adventures, the staff can help arrange tours, parasailing or scuba diving. Or if you like a more independent itinerary, Treasure Isle Boat Rentals, as well as John’s Pass and Village Boardwalk, are both under a mile away.
From $69/ night
Don’t let the lower price point fool you; this property has garnered highly positive reviews from past visitors and sports all the basic amenities. Rooms come with a microwave, fridge and the usual coffee-making supplies, while the apartment-style suites boast a full kitchenette. Any guest, however, can enjoy the outdoor heated pool, as well as BBQ grills and shuffleboards. The popular John’s Pass is a mile away, and boat rentals are an even shorter distance. Feeling hungry? Waffle House and other cheap eats are nearby. But you’re likely coming here for the beach, and that’s the closest attraction of all: it’s only a minute’s walk away!