You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Travel

Sunday Morning: Pass-A-Grille, Fla.

Beach chairs sat unused at the Paradise Grille.

Diane Bair for The Boston Globe

Beach chairs sat unused at the Paradise Grille.

The pace on this southwest Florida island shifts to slow-mo in sultry summertime, especially on a Sunday morning, when the hours melt as sweetly as an ice cream bar from Paradise Sweets. Just one block wide, this little sliver of beach colony sits at the southern end of St. Pete Beach, which serves as the unofficial town square.

The day begins early on this sea-oat-fringed stretch of sand: Squadrons of white ibises and skittering sandpipers are the first shift, scouting the shore for treats the ocean delivered overnight. Their human counterparts arrive soon after, stooping to scoop up whelks, sand dollars, and other glistening treasures. The pickings are especially fine after a tropical storm.

Continue reading below

There are the regulars, like “metal detector guy,” whose fingers are bedecked with gold wedding bands he has found in the powdery sand, and the fishermen, who cast their lines from the jetty as two brown pelicans stand sentry.

By 9 a.m., a crowd gathers for breakfast at the beachfront Paradise Grille. Savvy diners eat quickly, since bold sea gulls will snatch the toast right out of your hand. Now the families come, led by the little ones who toddle straight to the water.

The sun shimmers against a backdrop of blue-on-blue, and the day feels like it could go on forever. If only!

DIANE BAIR
AND PAMELA WRIGHT

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week