For the most part, a trip to the beach should be a fun, carefree outing where you can kick back and enjoy all the great things the waterfront has to offer.  But, alas, there are rules, rules that will keep that beach-going experience easygoing and carefree for everyone.  Of course, rules are hardly the most exciting things in the world, but it's good to know them when you're visiting Clearwater or St. Pete Beach areas.

Beach trips are nice, but hefty citations aren't, so here are some tips for avoiding trouble with the law on Pinellas County beaches.

The majority of beaches along the St. Petersburg/Clearwater prohibit all alcoholic beverages, but there are some exceptions.  Both Madeira and Redington beaches allow the consumption of alcohol, except for drinks in glass containers.  Treasure Island also permits alcohol on their beaches except for the Sunset Beach area between 85th and 99th avenue, the area that surrounds the popular beach bar Caddy's.

The ban covers Saturdays and Sundays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m, but at night in this area, drinking is allowed.

Pets are banned from all public beaches in Pinellas County, but Fort De Soto and Honeymoon Island both have some awesome dog beaches.

Bonfires are also completely prohibited on St. Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, and all other beaches in Pinellas County.

And, last but not least, sleeping overnight is prohibited on all Pinellas County Beaches.

That's not too bad, right?  Head out to one of the 727 area's awesome beaches and enjoy some fun in the sun soon!