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Lighting up the Holidays at Tarpon Springs Boat Parade

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 by MB No Comments

Warm Florida Holiday

Snow Place Like Tarpon

The Central West Coast of Florida is famous for its white sand beaches, sunshine, and a bounty of vacation activities. Unbeknownst to many however, is a whole other activity that we do quite well, and that’s the holiday season. While it might seem unlikely that Florida does the festive season the way it’s meant to be, that’s okay. We don’t do it the way you’d expect, and that’s what makes it so fun.
The coast from Clearwater Beach down to St Pete Beach is actually a great place to spend the holidays. Aside from not freezing in the winter, the local populace has come up with a host of ways to celebrate the season. While snow will never be part of the scene, that doesn’t stop the holiday lights from coming up, and, perhaps to compensate, they’re done with flair.

Holiday Lights in the Garden

Christmas palm tree

The Thanksgiving to New Year’s span is kicked off at in Largo with the Holiday Lights in the Garden at the Florida Botanical Gardens light show. The gardens are an amazing display on any day of the year but during the holidays nighttime gains an added dose of awe. The exotic trees, plants, and walkways are lighted with what seems to be a million lights. The gardens are extensive and no part has been left out of the light show. Santa and his misses make an appearance for photo opportunities with the kids while the adjacent walled garden has an electric train circling the central Christmas tree. The light display truly deserves he title of must-see.

Lighted Boat Parades

lighted boat parade

The other holiday season crowd-pleaser is the lighted boat parade lineup. Florida has become famous for them and our coast definitely participates in the phenomenon. This year I attended the Tarpon Springs Lighted Boat Parade. It’s one of the regional favorites because of the accessibility to the waterfront and because of the major street event that goes with it called Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs. The street event pulls in tens of thousands who, if they choose, can stream down the street to Spring Bayou where the boat parade is held.
Spring Bayou has a waterfront sidewalk that winds along the calm waters for a very long way. Spring Bayou derives its name from the spring near its main pier. Most people are not aware it is there, flowing huge volumes of water into the bayou every day. The waterway winds around, giving spectators a choice of where to watch the parade. Banked sides add to the perfect venue, with the attendees using the grassy slopes much like a stadium.

Tarpon Springs Holiday Boat Parade

Holiday lights on boat

The first sign that the boats are approaching is the music that many of the vessels are playing. With thousands of dazzling lights, they round the bend and ply into the bayou. The event is lively, with people in the boats shouting holiday greetings and the spectators returning the hails. The highlights this year were the rowing team and a brightly lit Sea-Doo that spun in rapid circles. Cheers rose highest while the rowing team circled the bayou, going faster than the most of the boats, although the whirling Sea-Doo gained plenty shouts each time it went into a spin.

Video:

I invited some friends, one of which had never attended a boat parade! We had a good time watching the parade and over-stuffing ourselves on food from the Snow Place Like Tarpon street carnival. It made for a memorable night shared by many thousands of local residents and hopefully a good number of visitors to Florida too.

Boat Parade Tarpon

Other posts you might enjoy:

Wonders of Winter on Clearwater Beach

Sky Surfing Clearwater Beach

Treasure Island Kite Festival

 


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Crossing Tampa Bay on a Bike

Posted on: November 28th, 2016 by MB No Comments

Courtney Campbell Causeway

Causeways have one purpose; or at least they’re supposed to.

Bike on Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail

When a body of water requires a long bridge, one way to avoid a costly bridge of pure concrete is to pour dirt instead, creating a long strip of land on which to put a road. To maintain the flow of water and to allow boats to pass, true bridges are built along the way. The result is several long island-like structures with a few bridges hooking them together. And, just like that, you have a road across a large body of water that previously created a barrier for motorists.

Courtney Campbell Causeway

The Courtney Campbell Causeway spans the waters at the northern end of Tampa Bay, Florida. In one of the most populated areas of Florida, causeways like this one changed a drive that used to take two or more hours into one that now takes only twenty to thirty minutes. The Courtney Campbell is one of three such long causeways that cross Tampa Bay, connecting Tampa with St Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as providing access to a dozen other smaller cities.

Waterfront Recreational Playground

While causeways were originally intended to do no more than support a road, the truth is that when you build and island, people will come. Causeways throughout the region have become recreational favorites for the people of the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. Since the “dirt” in Florida is actually sand, that’s what causeways are made of. Where sand meets water, you have a beach. It is easy to imagine why these areas become popular. Beyond the obvious attraction of sand and water is the relaxed atmosphere. Causeways are laid back areas where come-as-you-are applies. Parking often follows a similarly loose guidelines. While city codes do apply, such as no fires, for the most part you can do as you please.

Courtney Campbell trail sign

Regarding the tradition of public use and recreation on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the cities of Clearwater and Tampa agreed. Like the great railroad built across the USA, the two cities built bike paths from their shores toward the opposite city, meeting halfway across Tampa Bay. The effort resulted in a ten-mile bike path linking the two cities together. The Tampa side completed in 2013 and the Clearwater side in 2015. The news was greeted by locals with enthusiasm. The drive between the two cities had always been known as a scenic drive, treating visitors who land in the Tampa airport with sweeping water views on their way to the beaches that are across Tampa Bay. With the new bike and walking path, the vistas were now open to everyone.

Sunset on Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail

Making the most of the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail

When I heard about the trail opening last year, I put it on my list of things to do. After moving much closer to the trail, I set out to see it for myself. The ride turned out to be more enjoyable than I expected. The levelness of the trail was, perhaps, the greatest bonus. With little effort, I crossed half the causeway in the blink of an eye. Because I went after work, the November sun was setting while I rode, offering a view even better than I imagined. The trail is a great place to take in the view, blow off the stress of the day, bird-watch, and, of course, get some exercise. If you are a cyclist or an avid walker who is visiting our area, you might want to put this trail on your list.

Courtney Campbell sunset

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Ditching a Car for the Ferry to Clearwater Beach

No Roads Found to Caladesi Island

Pinellas Trail Bicycle and Walking Path

 

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Fun in the Autumn Sun on the Florida West Coast

Posted on: November 22nd, 2016 by admin No Comments

Autumn Events 2016

Super Boat Races Sep 30-Oct 2

The Super Boat races were as much fun as they always are. Tons of people show up along the beach and crowd onto the pier to watch the most powerful racing boats in the world roar by. You can hear the sound all along the beach and when you get close enough, you can feel the vibrations in your chest. This is an event that is worth fight the crowd for. If you want to draw the event out, attend all three days, enjoy the boats on display in Coachman Park, and dine on the carnival style food available along the marina.

Super Boat at Clearwater Beach Super boat Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Jazz Holiday Oct 13-16

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is a perfect excuse to lay out on  your beach blanket in the park and listen to some music. The greats of jazz appear to fill Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater with excellent jazz music. The event is a laidback yet exciting event, with daytime and nighttime music to enjoy. Clearwater Harbor provides the backdrop and a nice place to stroll either on the way or out.

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Chalk Walk chalk art festival Oct 20-23

The Chalk Walk Festival is only a few years old but it’s already a favorite at Clearwater Beach. This event draws ample spectators to stroll down the Beach Walk sidewalks watching the chalk artists create intriguing images. It makes the beachfront stroll just that much more exciting to visit. While you’re there, the beach restaurants are right beside you and the white sands that made Clearwater Beach famous are just across the street.

Mermaids sidewalk chalk art Chalk Walk art Clearwater

Stone Crab Festivals Oct 21-23

The Stone Crab Festival is another Clearawater Beach and regional favorite. While stone crab season is much longer than the two-day festival, this event brings the season to light and a whole lot of people together. Live bands, dining tents, and trinkets make this festival a hit. Several Clearwater Beach restaurants offer their own venues for the event.

Stone Crab Fest

Volleyball America Nationals Oct 22

While a volleyball tournament at Clearwater Beach is nothing new, this one occurred during the Chalk Walk Festival and the Stone Crab Festival, rounding out the festival atmosphere at the beach. Set next to Pier 60, which runs a sunset festival of its own each night, the volleyball tournament drew in yet another dynamic for this top-weekend-of-the-year for Clearwater Beach.

Beach volley ball pier 60 Clearwater Beach volleyball October

John’s Pass Seafood Festival Oct 27-30

The Madeira Beach favorite tourist destination of John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk set up its own seafood festival again this year, including a Halloween costume contest in its midst. The food on display ogled passersby and satisfied anyone ready to chow down. A large dining tent included a live stage for a well-rounded experience. In addition to this fantastic foodie event were plenty of vending stalls plus the great shops and waterfront boardwalk that have made John’s Pass a coastal favorite for the region.

Johns Pass Seafood Festival Johns Pass Seafood Festival

Tarpon Springs Seafood Festival Nov 11-13

The Tarpon Springs Seafood Festival added the Greek flair for which Tarpon Springs is so famous. The fishing-town-gone-tourist-stop has plenty of gift shops to entertain you for hours, which made a fantastic venue for a seafood festival. This event allowed attendees to walk the street and choose from a wide array of seafood plus Greek food.

Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

Taste of Indian Rocks Beach Nov 12

Taste of Indian Rocks Beach is a one day event that puts out a pretty big spread. Folks attending this event gathered in the park for this Saturday event in the beach town that still retains the feel of Old Florida while having no problem keeping up with today.

Indian Rocks Beach

Discover Egmont Key Nov 12-13

This unique event took you on a ferry ride to an island that has oddly escaped fame. The sand and palm trees cover this island that sits right at the mouth of Tampa Bay, which is why it has the history it does. Military bunkers from the past as well as crumbled barracks make this island a fascinating place to visit. Once off the ferry you could inspect the old lighthouse, walk along sandy palm shaded trails, stroll the old brick streets where the barracks used to stand, and then explore the old military compound inside and out. The Discover Egmont Key event was just a really good excuse to visit a place you should have checked out before anyway.

Egmont Key lighthouse Egmont Key ruins

St Pete/Pass a Grille Chowder Challenge Nov 13

The Chowder Challenge might be the best culinary event of the year, at least if you like chowder. Top restaurants of the region chip in to present their best chowders. Guests received samples of various types and then sat down to taste and fill out a survey sheet. At the end, you got to vote for your favorite chowders. If you love food, outdoor events, and especially chowder, this event was not to be missed.

Chowder Challenge St Pete Pass a Grille

Sanding Ovation Nov 16-20

Sanding Ovation earns a place in the strata of events not to be missed on the Central Gulf Coast of Florida. The key draw are the sand sculptures made right on the beach at Treasure Island. On the last day of the event, the votes from visitors and sculptors determined the top sculptures for the year.

Sanding Ovation sculpture Sanding Ovation vendors

Dunedin Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival Nov 19

This was one of the most entertaining events of the year for not only music but for beer tasting and souvenir shopping. Tents with Celtic themed items lined the field to explore between music sets. The Celtic bands were top notch and a whole lot of fun to watch. The later the night got, the wilder the music became. Add beer tasting to the mix, and, well, it was a lot of people having a lot of fun.

Celtic Music Fest

 

 

Look for these local events coming to the Central Gulf Coast of Florida this holiday season.

Clearwater Turkey Trot, Nov 24

Florida Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights in the Garden, Nov 25 – Dec 31

Snow Place Like Tarpon Festival and Tarpon Springs Boat Parade, Dec 2

Clearwater Color Run, Dec 3

Clearwater Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, Dec. 10

Madeira Beach Holiday Boat Parade & ROC Park Concert, Dec 10

Treasure Island lighted boat parade, Dec 11

Indian Rocks Beach boat parade, Dec 11

Clearwater Beach Outback Bowl beach event, Dec 30

Clearwater Midnight New Years Fireworks, Dec 31

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Escape Room Joins the Fun in Clearwater Florida

Clearwater Color Run Strikes Again

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

 

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The Big Florida Hunt of 1869

Posted on: September 25th, 2016 by MB No Comments

The year of the big hunt was 1869. Florida had been part of the United States for only 48 years and Pinellas County was just getting its start. In fact, it was not yet called by that name. It was a wild, and as yet untamed area in that year. Wild animals roamed freely; too freely for those trying to settle in the area, and into the development of the area emerged the idea for a major hunt. To picture the area properly, however, you must first undo the infrastructure that spreads across what is now the state’s most populated area.

pinellascounty_2-700px-framed

Pinellas County’s namesake was the pine tree, its name originating from the abundant scrub pines that grew across the area. It was a very different place back then, the only roads carved through the palmetto palms, oaks, and pines. After clearing, carts and early automobiles still had only the soft sands of Florida to drive across. The hot and humid weather offered no reprieve, other than measures pioneers built into the homesteads, such as breezeways, doors facing the prevailing winds, and kitchens built separately from the houses. Mosquitoes did as they pleased and the original population of alligators ruled the inland waterways.

heritage-village-cabin-aged

Ranchers discovered Florida and liked it. Grass grew in a frenzy, invigorated by frequent rains, providing ample food for cattle and horses. In fact, the first cowboys in the Unites States worked their trade in Florida. With livestock came the struggle against predators. Panthers and black bears roamed the region, unchecked by the fledgling settlements that sprung up.

Florida_black_bear

While Fort Harrison occupied a central location, the region had yet to gain its first incorporated city. The road from Tampa, then known as Fort Brooke, was long and arduous. Despite the hardships, people continued to arrive to settle. Just two decades earlier, the U.S. had opened the way for land grants in the regions not yet settled with the Armed Occupation Act. The American Civil War had just ended four years earlier and the people were eager to create new opportunities.

heritage-village-house-aged

So it was that the people of future Pinellas County decided to make the land more inhabitable for people and livestock. Hunting parties were organized with the goal of eliminating the threat of bears and cougars. One can imagine that ranchers joined the ranks eagerly. The sound of gunfire would have echoed across the palmetto palm flats and through the forests of tall scrub pines. In the end, the two species were driven back, leaving the peninsula that forms the shape of Tampa Bay open for development.

Florida_panther

In the present, the region has grown into the most populous area of the state of Florida. The well-known cities of Tampa, St Petersburg, and Clearwater occupy the terrain now, drawing new visitors regularly to their beaches and other attractions. The sandy roads of old are covered by pavement but still sometimes travel past broad swaths of pine and palm forests. Kitchens are now inside the house, chilled by the wonder of air-conditioning. Horse and cattle ranching still thrive in Florida but have moved to other parts of the state where the lands are broad and open. But what of the Florida panther and black bear? They survived the attempted extermination, though in greatly reduced numbers. The black bear inhabits scattered forests throughout the state while the panther has been relegated to the most southern regions where the fairly untamed wilds of the Everglades and its adjoining wilderness areas create a safe habitat. Through management, their numbers continue to return from the brink, leaving those of us in the present with the satisfaction that a piece of our world’s natural past yet survives.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Curious History of Philippe Park

Florida Springs

Where the Heck is Pinellas County and Why Should I Care?

 

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Life among Florida Mangroves

Posted on: September 20th, 2016 by MB No Comments

Mangroves trees are a common sight along the coast of Florida, some growing only to the size of bushes while others reach heights of fifty feet or more. But who really cares about mangrove trees? If you knew more about them, you might be more interested. Not only do they create a habitat for a host of animal species but they also protect the shores of Florida from erosion. In fact, they are durable enough to withstand hurricanes, and that makes them important. So keep reading to learn more. The next time you’re in Florida, you’ll know that a gathering of bushes along the coast is actually quite a bit more.

Caladesi Island mangroves

They are easy to recognize thanks to their root systems, which are designed for living in saltwater shallows. The longer you stay in Florida, the more likely you might be to notice that not all mangroves are alike. You will also surely notice that mangroves are perfect places for animals to take refuge. And, while a coastline of mangroves might not be as nice as a beach, the trees play a vital role in protecting the land.

eagle-point-park roseate spoon bill Florida

Florida has a number of varieties of mangrove trees but some only exist in the southern half of the state that does not experience freezes. The two varieties that have spread throughout the state are the red mangrove and the black mangrove. While that might not seem important, if you enjoy testing your knowledge in the real world, you can easily identify the two of them on your own.

magroves and foot bridge

Red mangroves are only red on the inside. You can see the color when you remove the bark. So how will you know one when you see it? That’s easy. They are the ones up on stilt-like roots. Array of a roots in a red mangrove forest is amazing to see. Those roots are also very attractive to animals. Fish and shellfish live underneath of them, birds will hide among them, and crabs love to climb them. There is even a type of snake that can live its life perched on the stalks. If that sounds creepy-crawly, well, okay. That’s hard to argue against. When you consider, however, that you are never going to successfully walk through a red mangrove forest, it puts it back into perspective. The reason they are such good hiding places is because it’s nearly impassable terrain. Larger predators, including alligators, are not going to negotiate the thousands and thousands of closely placed roots. Residents and visitors to Florida can enjoy the red mangrove forests from the outside. Thanks to their design, it is easy to see into the forest. That is best done from a small boat, where the gentle sea breezes can keep you separated from one of the less pleasant denizens of the mangroves, which is the no-see-ems.

Red mangrove

Black mangroves live up on the shores, rather than in the water like the red mangrove. You can identify them by their breather roots. If you ever find yourself by the shore and see a tree or bush surrounded hundreds of straw-sized stalks protruding from the mud, sand, or water, then you are looking at a black mangrove tree. Those actually are breather roots, drawing nitrogen for the unseen root system below. The trees will often sit right at the shore where they experience the ebb and flow of tides.

black mangrove roots

Here in Tampa Bay area, we have warm enough winters to also have the white mangrove growing on our coastlines. It is not as easy to identify as the other two because its roots are all below the ground. On the other hand, it is usually found hanging out with its cousins, the red and black mangroves. They tend to grow taller and, more importantly, they grow on higher ground, preferring to avoid the tidal waters. Florida parks often have boardwalks that pass through mangrove forests. If you see a mound with a tree growing from it, it is probably a white mangrove. Vice versa, if you identify a white mangrove, look down and you will see it is on higher ground.

white mangroves

Once you are very familiar with mangrove trees, you will know that their leaves grow differently and have different shades of green. Once you know that, you can actually spot the rise and fall of coastal lands from aerial photographs, which is handy for boating and fishing (and Google Maps enthusiasts).

black mangroves on Florida island

Mangroves are so important for the preservation of coastline that cities have legal codes regulating their pruning. Chopping down all the mangroves on your property so that you have a water view might seem like a nice idea but your waterfront will then be open to erosion and very vulnerable during major storms – and your neighbors as well.

weedon-island-kayaking

So, the next time you are in Florida and you see a shoreline of bushes and think, “I wish that was a sandy beach,” don’t be so sure. Mangroves play an important role in keeping Florida safe.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Sharing Natural Paradise of Three Rooker Bar

Discovering the Artificial Reefs of the Florida Gulf Coast

Native American Indian Mounds of the Florida Gulf Coast

 

 

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Fishing Charters on the Florida West Coast

Posted on: September 14th, 2016 by admin No Comments

A fishing charter into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico is a dream come true to many. The beautiful blue waters, the warm climate, and the fantastic fishing combine to create one of the best fishing charter locations in the country. But what does a fishing charter on Florida’s West Coast entail? That’s a we’re going to answer.

Fishing the Gulf of Mexico

While you can also find the larger tour boats that take large groups, most fishing charter boats are relatively small, taking four to eight people. That means you need to be prepared to spend time in close quarters with companions and the boat crew. Here at Clearwater Beach Marina, crews are almost always a team of two.

Clearwater Beach Marina

It is a good idea to choose a comfortable boat. The reason is the length of the trip. The Gulf of Mexico is shallow along Florida’s West Coast while the best fishing is in deeper waters. That means charter boats most often will take you straight out into the Gulf, heading for the shelf where you will experience the best fishing. Powerful engines are standard equipment and the boat ride is usually a lot of fun. The entire trip is most often set as half day and full day, which means either four or eight hours. If you want the best fishing, however, ask for the full day. That will get you well over the shelf and into the waters that will fill you cooler with fish and usually a bit more.

Gulf of Mexico fishing

Florida is famous for sunshine. Your chances of sun on a morning trip into the Gulf of Mexico are very high. Our skies usually start clear with clouds slowly gathering as the day goes on. Larger boats provide interior areas but the more common charters do not. That means you will be in the sun most of the day. Even if you are acclimated to being in the sun, be sure to use sunscreen to avoid getting burned. On the upside, you will be out on a very blue body of water in the bright Florida sunshine, which is actually quite nice.

Boating Florida West Coast

If your fishing experience is anything like mine, you might ask whether you are actually going to catch any fish. The answer is yes. The Gulf of Mexico is known for its excellent fishing. Whether you are looking for a good fight or a good meal, you have a chance of encountering either. Tell your boat crew what you prefer and, chances are, they will be able to accommodate.

Two Tails fishing charter

When it comes to extras, each boat is different. Some will tell you to bring a cooler of your own beverages. Others will provide drinks for you. Usually, it’s a little of both, with waters provided and other types of drinks on a bring-your-own basis. Let your boat crew know what you have in mind and they will tell you what you need to buy. If you think the ride is too long to go without eating, be sure to find out what is provided and what is not.

Florida West Coast Grouper

Keep in mind that when you bring the fish back, your charter crew will offer to clean the fish for you. That means you walk away with fish that is ready to cook. But, here on the West Coast of Florida, a good catch is not a surprise. Because of that, restaurants that sit near marinas will often take your fish and cook it for you! Yes, you will have to pay for the meal, but the cost of the fish subtracted. It’s a great way to enjoy your catch without the need to learn any recipes.

Florida sport fishing

When you put all the factors together, and you love fishing, the overall image is a good one. Fresh air, good food, sunshine, sparkling waters, and some hefty bites on your line are all in store for a fishing charter on the Florida West Coast.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Discovering Anclote Key All Over Again

Finding the Lost Dunedin Pass

Fort Desoto Beaches, Boating, and History

 

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New Beach Rentals on the Florida West Coast

Posted on: September 6th, 2016 by admin No Comments

We are always looking for quality vacation rentals to offer at our beaches. When we get new units, we get excited about it. Here are few new units we wanted to share with you.

Clearwater Beach

 

Sandpearl 607D

Adorning Clearwater’s pristine beachfront, Sandpearl Residences offers the highest caliber of guest experience and quality of appointment on the Gulf Coast. One of the newer resorts on Clearwater Beach, Sandpearl seamlessly blends refined amenities and nature’s splendor to create moments that enrich the spirit well beyond your stay.

Sandpearl Residence vacation rental Clearwater Beach

This luxurious 3 Bedroom 2.5 Bathroom Sandpearl Residence Condo is 2,181 sq ft and easily accommodates the whole family. The spacious living room has a flat screen TV and plenty of seating.

The large kitchen with granite counter tops and island is the perfect for mealtime. This unit has two dining tables, a small table in the kitchen and a more formal setting in the dining area.

The spacious balcony has a beautiful view of the white sand beach and ocean water in addition to overlooking the Sandpearl pool.

Master bedroom has king size bed, flat screen TV and attached full bathroom with garden tub, walk in shower, vanity and private lavatory.

The first guest room has queen size bed and attached full bathroom with walk in shower and the second guest room has queen size bed. There is an additional half bath in the unit and laundry room with washer and dryer.

Some of the rooms in the condo have motorized blinds and adjustable lighting switches.

Beautiful pool area has access right on to white sand beach of Clearwater.

This is a luxury monthly rental property. While this unit is in the Sandpearl Residences, it is a separate entity from the Sandpearl Resort next door. Guests of the Residences have access to all Residences amenities. Resort amenities are not included.

See more about this unit here.

 

House on the Bay

“House on the Bay” is a charming three bedroom, three bath house with a wonderful view of Clearwater Bay.

Florida Beach Rentals House on the Bay sunroom

This home is spacious and has all the essentials a family could want in a vacation rental. Enjoy a large living and dining area plus a cute kitchen with tile counters and pass-through to the sunroom.  The open, airy sunroom is the perfect place for family interaction with comfy couches to watch TV and cozy dining area.  Panoramic windows capture captivating waterfront views.  TVs in every bedroom and three full bathrooms.

House on the Bay has a great backyard adjacent to the water with a waterfront dock. It is the perfect place to sit and pass the time away watching all the exciting endeavors happening at Clearwater Harbor.

Come on over to the House on the Bay and have a great waterfront vacation.

See more about this unit here.

 

Harborview Grande 307

Come spend your vacation in this gorgeous three bedroom, two bath condo with breath-taking views of Clearwater Bay.

Florida Beach Rentals Harborview Grande 307 balcony

This unit has all the conveniences of home that includes a full kitchen and wet bar with built in wine cooler. Open floor plan makes for easy family interaction.

Each bedroom has its own flat screen TV. The master bedroom has an attached full bathroom and access to the balcony.

Walk out onto the balcony to relax or look for dolphins, sipping your favorite beverage as you take in the scenic view. Beaches of Clearwater are a short 10 min walk. This unit also has a boat dock available for use. Immerse yourself in vacation life at this Harborview Grande vacation condo.

See more about this unit here.

 

Harborview Grande 707

Your relaxing, fun-filled vacation awaits you here in this beautiful 7th floor, three bedroom, two bath condo.  This spacious vacation rental has all the conveniences of home with a full kitchen and flat screen TV’s.  The balcony will dazzle you with its large size and beautiful views of the Clearwater Bay.  Take a few moments to breath in the warm, salty air before heading off to the nearby beach.

Florida Beach Rentals Harborview Grande 707 view

This open floor plan has 1800 sq ft for the family to interact.  Unit also has washer and dryer for your convenience.

On site pool is heated during the months of November through March.

There is one assigned parking spot in the covered garage and secure entry.

Harborview Grande is centrally located to all kinds of restaurants, shops and activities. Stroll the new Beach Walk to Pier 60 to play, eat and shop on the Pier.  Daily sunsets are free!!  There are summer movies on an extra-large inflatable screen at the park next to Pier 60.

See more about this unit here.

 

Belle Harbor 307M

This beautiful 3 bedroom, two bath Belle Harbor unit overlooks the courtyard and enjoys partial views of Clearwater Bay.

Florida Beach Rentals Belle Harbor 307 patio couch table

The open floor plan of this unit is perfect for the family, featuring large living, dining and kitchen areas.  The kitchen has granite countertops stocked with all of the conveniences of home.  Quaint kitchen bistro table is wonderful spot the have coffee.  A breakfast bar with seating for 4 is a great place for a quick meal.  If you are feeling a little more formal, the dining table will accommodate with seating for six.  The living room has two comfy couches, a flat screen TV and delightful electric fireplace… so charming.  Walk out onto the balcony and take in the sun and warm breeze with peek-a-boo view of the Clearwater Bay over the beautiful clubhouse

The master bedroom is spacious with a king bed, flat screen TV, balcony access and attached master bathroom.  Master bathroom has a walk in shower, his and hers vanities, and private lavatory.

Second and third bedrooms have king beds and patio/balcony access.  Guest bathroom has shower/ tub combination. Unit has washer and dryer too.

Unit has one garage parking space.

Belle Harbor has heated pool, hot tub, grills, work out facility and community room.

Monthly rental

See more about this unit here.

 

Ocean Sands 504

Ocean Sands 504 is a beautiful, newly renovated studio right on the white sands of Madeira Beach. Enjoy our fabulous sunsets on your private fifth floor balcony.

Beachfront condo Florida West Coast

Nothing was left behind when modernizing the unit, from the kitchen to the bathroom. The recent updates include all stainless steel appliances in the kitchen along with beautiful white granite counter-tops and a flat surface cook top. The kitchen is very functional with a full-size fridge, range, microwave, and a dishwasher for your convenience. Kitchen overlooks the dining/living room area and right out to the beach! The dining table seats four with two additional seats at the breakfast bar. This condo has great entertainment for many hours outside or inside.

Inside, the HDTV is a whopping 42” with high-definition digital cable and a blue ray player. The Murphy bed in the living area is disguised, yet easily transitions in or out of its hiding place as needed.

Madeira Beach, as well as Ocean Sands, has a lot to offer. On-site at this vacation rental you’ll find a junior Olympic size pool, a Jacuzzi, a tiki hut, a large charcoal barbeque, shuffle board, and plenty of lounge chairs. Madeira Beach offers soft white sands and gorgeous sunsets for your slice of paradise. For the days not spent on the sand, there are countless places nearby to experience. John’s pass has The Friendly Fisherman Restaurant, Hooters, Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company, unique crafty shops, Fishing, Dolphin Tours, Ghost Tours, The Florida Winery—more than enough unique shops and restaurants to spend a whole day, if not two!

The Ocean Sands Condos are located right on the sands of Madeira Beach, which is centrally located to St. Petersburg, John’s Pass Village, Clearwater Beach, and Tampa Bay.

See more about this unit here.

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Discovery Tour of Anclote River and Anclote Key

Vacation Rental Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodations or Flight, Which to Book First

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Beach Temperatures on the Central West Coast of Florida

Posted on: August 29th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Clouds over beach

How Warm is Florida?

We get a lot of requests for info on what the temperatures are here in Clearwater Beach, Florida, as well as our area in general. While you might think they are mostly aimed at finding out how warm it is here in the winter, a lot of them want to know our summer temperatures too.

Beaches of Tampa Bay

This coastline, in general, is called the Central Gulf Coast of Florida. Our portion of that coast is the beaches of the Tampa Bay area which border the Gulf of Mexico. That encompasses the beach towns of St Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, and all the beach communities between. It also includes the beach parks of Egmont Key, Fort Desoto, Caladesi Island State Park, Honeymoon Island State Park, and Anclote Key Nature Preserve.

Clearwater Beach morning clouds

Summer on the Florida West Coast

Summer is where we will start. To shortcut the conversation, our summers are hot. It’s Florida. June, July, August, and September are the hot months. No surprise there. According to the U.S. Climate Center website, our average summer temperatures are 89 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit/32 Celsius. Of course, that’s the average. It does go above and below those numbers. Add the humidity brought to us by the Gulf of Mexico and it feels quite warm.

Hyatt pool deck view

 

The saving grace from the heat is the same thing that makes it feel warmer, and that’s the Gulf of Mexico. All you have to do to cool off is dive in. But there’s more to it than that. The Gulf is not quite as cool as you would imagine. In the summer it reaches the mid-eighties. This summer we had a few days of ninety. That was warm but it only lasted a short while and then the water perceptibly cooled off – down into the eighties that is. Despite how warm that sounds, it’s still refreshing to dive in and it does cool you down.

Winter trips to Florida are famous. People come here to escape the winter chills of the north, from both the U.S. and Canada. But how warm is it exactly? There’s good news and bad news. The bad news first. To someone who lives in Florida, it gets cold! The good news, to someone from the north, it’s not cold at all. December, January, and February are the coldest, with a bone chilling 55 degrees Fahrenheit/12 Celsius. Winter water temperatures range around 70 Fahrenheit/21 Celsius.

Swimming Gulf of Mexico

While we joke about how cold it is here we know that it’s really not. However, we once in a while get a person who thinks we enjoy eighty degrees all year long, and that’s just not true. We experience winter, just on a very mild scale. The truth is that our winter is very refreshing. After a summer of high temperatures, a cool winter is actually quite welcome.

The remaining months between summer and winter are some of our favorites. Oddly, they are not as popular with visitors. If you lived in Florida and knew how amazing the weather was, you’d wonder why that was true. It’s not chilly, it’s not hot. We refer to that as very nice weather. The temperatures range between 65 and 85 Fahrenheit/17 and 20 Celsius. They are very enjoyable months to be outdoors.

Clearwater Harbor sunrise

As for rain, we do get that. For nine months of the year we get rain like everywhere else, which is to say, every now and then, whenever nature feels like it. In the summer, however, the weather gets very predictable. The days start sunny, then in the mid-afternoon the clouds gather. By about 5pm, it’s time for a rain storm, often a thunderstorm with dazzling lightning. By 6pm to 7pm, the rain is gone and its time to walk the streets again in the remaining hours of daylight. You can almost set your watch by it. While odd weather is always a possibility, that is pretty much what to expect. So will it rain on your summer vacation here at the beach? Yes, it will. Will it ruin the day? Not at all.

Clearwater Beach rain

That’s the summary of our weather here on the Central Gulf Coast of Florida, especially in the Tampa Bay area and its beaches. The reality is that it’s pretty nice just about any time of year, so long as you’re not expecting something else. So if you are coming to visit us, you now have a better idea of what to anticipate. That often makes for a better stay.

Sunny beach day Clearwater Beach

Other Posts You might enjoy:

Paradise Lost; A Beach in Peril

Wild Winter Wonders on the Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Barrier Island Breakdown


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