Welcome to Gulfport
Don't tell anyone, but Gulfport is the cutest, quirkiest little beach town that's not on the barrier island beaches. Nestled at peninsula's end within Boca Ciega Bay, this LGBT-friendly artist community exudes that elusive, easygoing, fun-loving attitude that Florida made famous. The hard-to-resist spell is in full effect on sultry evenings when the trees along Beach Blvd glow with lights and the outdoor restaurants burble with laughter.
It doesn't compare to the barrier islands, of course, but Gulfport does have a beach with a playground and a shady picnic area.