You don’t have to go far, but you will when you step back in time touring some of the areas notable historic districts. Just down the beach at the southern point of St. Pete Beach is Pass-a-Grille Village, celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. This area was first visited by Europeans in 1528 when the Spanish Explorer, Panfilo de Narvaez anchored off Pass-A-Grille pass. Pass-A-Grille Beach, the most southern tip of St. Pete Beach, is thought to have gotten its name from the Cuban fishermen, known as "Grillers", who camped along the waters edge of the island and would smoke their fish before returning home. Traveling through the pass, you could see the fires on the beaches, hence Pass-A-Grille.
Soon residents began to make Pass-A-Grille their home and in 1902, the first store was built on Long Key Island in Pass-A-Grille. In 1905, Pass-A-Grille opened a Post Office and in 1911, State Legislation declared Pass-A-Grille a town and twenty-one residents voted at the first election. In 1914, electricity came to Long Key Island (St. Pete Beach) and in 1922, the island's first fire station was established - Pass-A-Grille Engine Company Number One. In 1989 a section of Pass-A-Grille was declared a National Historic District. It is one of the very few beachfront historic districts in Florida. The Gulf Beaches Historical Museum has a large collection of photos, of the St. Pete Beach area, spanning the past 100 years.
St. Pete Beach was incorporated in 1957 with the consolidation of the towns of Pass-a-Grille, Don CeSar, Belle Vista, St. Petersburg Beach and unincorporated Pinellas County to become the “City of St. Petersburg Beach.” In 1994, the citizens voted to shorten the name to “St. Pete Beach” to lessen the confusion with the City of St. Petersburg, located on the mainland to the east.