Monthly Archives: October 2013

Frenchys Salt Water Cafe Stone Crab Fest

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival 2013

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater BeachStone Crab Festivals on Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach just celebrated Stone Crab Weekend with the help of some great hosting by area restaurants Friday, October 25th through Sunday the 27th. The stone crabs were devoured by large happy crowds, along with some other great seafood and regular treats from the restaurants.

Enjoying the Stone Crab Weekend at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival tentA few members of our staff visited the Stone Crab Festival at Frenchy’s Original Café, Cooter’s Restaurant and Bar, and Frenchy’s Saltwater Café. Each location had live music, tents to shelter visitors from the midday sun, and lots of food and drinks to go around. During the sunlight hours, the area had plenty of visitors and lots of activity. When the sun went down, the enclosed areas for the festival swelled wall to wall with happy beach-goers.

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Weekend Success

Clearwater Beach sunsetEven outside the event areas, the streets were filled with people. Pelican Plaza, Crabby Bill’s Seafood Co., and some other locations also had live musicians, filling the air at Clearwater Beach with sound. The crowds at Pier 60 were large, and just down the street was the second annual Chalk Walk Art Fest, which drew a large number of onlookers. In addition to the lively crowds and plenty of entertainment, the weather was perfect, with fantastic sunsets. If you are considering visiting the beach during autumn, take a look at next year’s October line up of events. It is a very good time to vacation at Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival at Frenchys

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater Beach

 

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater Beach

Tampa Activities

Activities in Tampa

Tampa Downtown (1)Florida Beach Rentals accommodations are primarily on the beach, or very close to it. But you should know that not too far away are some great day trip activities. Most everything in Tampa is one hour or less from our vacation rentals. Why not give one of them a try?

Big Cat Rescue, Tampa

Busch Gardens, Tampa

Florida Aquarium

Legoland, Tampa

Lowry Zoo

MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry)

Seminole Hard Rock Café, Tampa

Tampa Bay History Center

Tampa International Plaza

Tampa Pitcher Show, movie and dinner in same room

Beach Troubles Solved

Clearwater Beach (155)Florida Beach Vacation Woes

Going to the beach in Florida is a favorite vacation event in America. However, lurking beneath the surface is a host of dangers most people don’t realize. Below is a list of beach-goer risks along with their recommended solutions.

 

White Sand Beaches

Clearwater Beach (255) x2000 aThe warm Florida sun shines down onto the beach, illuminating the blue and turquoise waters which lap against the world famous white sand beaches. When visitors step onto the sand, they immediately come across one of the greatest dangers of the Florida Gulf Coast. The powdery, soft, white sands are bright.

How should visitors to the beach solve this dilemma?

We recommend sunglasses.

 

Warm Florida Weather

Clearwater Beach, Pier 60 (38)aEnjoy the wide open spaces of the Florida Gulf Coast coastline, sharing the gentle breezes with scantily clad beachgoers, tossing the Frisbee, or reclining on a beach chair. But beware, this next one our list might sneak up on you. It’s warm at the beach.

What should visitors who are right at the very edge of the Gulf of Mexico do?

We recommend walking just a little farther West until you get wet. We call this swimming.

 

Endless Stretches of Beach

Clearwater Beach (252) x2000 aBeach chairs and blankets dot the beach along the shorelines of the Gulf Coast. The swaths of soft, white sand reach north and south to the edge of sight. You stand with beach chair and cooler in hand but between you and your destination is a problem. If you walk across the beach, you will get sand in your shoes.

How do visitors overcome this roadblock?

Take off your shoes.

 

Florida Sun

Clearwater Beach (254) x2000 aWhile you stand on your stretch of Florida Gulf Coast beach, digging your toes into smooth, soft sands, you might inadvertently look up. Above you palm trees wave in the breeze, creating a melodic, gentle rattling of leaf upon leaf. But if you look up too high, beware. The sun is bright in Florida!

How does a beach-goer solve this one?

We recommend wearing a hat, preferably embroidered with the name of the beach you are on.

 

Have Fun on the Florida Gulf Coast

Clearwater Beach (189)The Florida Beach Rentals staff loves the beach. Yes, it is a good idea to be prepared. A hat and sunglasses, sun tan lotion and a towel are recommended. But really, the beach is heck of a lot more fun than it is anything else.

440 West Condo 508 S Review

Florida Beach Rentals

Florida beach rentals enjoys keeping our guests up to date on upgrades and improvements to our rentals. On a recent update photo shoot I had the opportunity to take in the accommodations for this beach front rental condominium.

 

Buildings FrontProfessional Seaside Charm

This tower condo is crisply decorated for the upscale guest or business professional. The modern decor blends well with the amenities such as an exercise room, rec room with pool table and sitting area, and the Gulf-side pool surrounded by a large deck.

 

2. Dining roomComfortable Floor Plan

The floor plan of this fifth floor condo couldn’t be simpler. Everything is within easy reach, including a serving window from the kitchen to the dining room that has the added bonus of providing a harbor view from the kitchen. The couches are cozy and the harbor view can’t be missed through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors.

 

7. Master bedroomHarbor View Master bedroom

The master bedroom is large but the mirrored closets and en suite vanity and bathroom add even more to the space.

 

17. Patio viewCoffee Nook with a View

Aside from the dining room table with a view, the balcony is the most obvious coffee nook in this channelside beach rental. A seat on the patio furniture offers a view of both the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Beach Inlet. When the sun is shining bright, the white sands on the bottom light up, giving the waters a turquoise hue. Watch Clearwater Harbor boat traffic go by with the shores of Sand Key just beyond.

Honeymoon Island fisherman at sunset

Clearwater Beach voted Best Sunset Location

Clearwater Beach Voted Best Place to Watch the Sunset

Florida sunsetReaders of USA TODAY and 10Best.com have voted Clearwater Beach the best place to watch the sunset. We here at Florida Beach Rentals agree! The Gulf of Mexico provides a variety of colors; turquoise and blue in the daylight and fantastic reds and oranges at sunset. The weather produces clouds over the Gulf quite often, giving the setting sun a tapestry to cast its colors upon. Many times clouds hover over nearby Tampa, making the Clearwater skyline a beautiful backdrop, with towering clouds lit with pinks, yellows, oranges and reds. With the over-land backdrop and the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico, some of the sunsets at Clearwater Beach create strikingly beautiful images that will remain in  your memories for a lifetime.

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

Honeymoon Island sunset

 

 

Hurricanes and the Central Gulf Coast of Florida

hurricane-symbolHurricanes do influence Florida Gulf Coast weather. The systems are large and create an effect on weather at remarkable a distances. The good news is that the Central Gulf Coast, where Florida Beach Rentals is located, does not receive direct impact very often. The warm waters of the Gulf most often send the storms northward until they meet with winds crossing the United States from the West, putting the Northern Gulf Coast in the bull’s eye. (Yikes!) Another piece of good news for the Central Gulf Coast is that modern meteorology predicts storm paths with admirable accuracy, providing ample forewarning of impending activity. Storm season coincides with summer months, when waters are warmest, the peak of the season going from July through September.

Fishing the Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Pass (11)Fishing the Florida Gulf Coast

Many distinct fishing environments await fishermen along the coastline of the Florida Gulf Coast. Enjoy unique experiences on seagoing vessels above the wide, shallow continental shelf or wading in shallows of the intercostal waterways. Cast off a white sand beach or float amid the mangroves in Florida’s wilder areas. Wherever you go, you will discover why the Gulf Coast of Florida is one of the nation’s hotspots for fishing.

 

 

Gulf Coast Fish

Clearwater Marina (14)The best known fish along the Central Gulf Coast is the tarpon, thanks to the namesake city, Tarpon Springs. Among the tarpons watery neighbors are Spanish mackerel, grouper, kingfish, snook, redfish, and many others. A local favorite is the mullet, a fish known in the region for its frequent, trademark leaps into the air. The varieties are endless.

 

Go Fishing on the Florida Gulf Coast

Clearwater Marina (19)Join the many others who have learned what our coastal waters have to offer. Fishing charters abound for the avid enthusiast as well as many favorite local shoreline locations. If you are coming to Florida for your next fishing vacation, be sure to contact Florida Beach Rentals for more information.

Dog Beaches and Parks

Dogs at the Beach

What could be more fun that taking your pooch for a run off the leash or down to the Gulf to splash in the water. The Central Gulf Coast has a good number of areas to run your pet. Some require leashes while other are fenced areas that let your best friend run off the leash among his peers.

dog on beach

dog on beach

Dogs on beaches

dog on beach

 

 

 

(Dogs on the beach pictures are from our Pinterest boards)

Inland Dog Parks

These parks have fenced enclosures where your dog can run unleashed. Most of them are divided into areas for small dogs and large dogs to provide your pet with the best experience possible.

Anderson Park

Anderson Park is a nice large park located on the shores of Lake Tarpon with lots of shade and picnic opportunities. It’s a great place to hang out.

39699 U.S. HWY. 19 N.

Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

More info

 

Boca Ciega Millennium Park

This park is known for its many civic events and runs along the shores of the inland waterway across from the Redington beaches.

12410 74th Ave N

Seminole, FL 33772

More info

 

Chesnut Park

Chesnut Park is one of the most scenic woodland parks in the county, running along the southern shores of Lake Tarpon. Lots of picnic areas and two playgrounds.

2200 East Lake Road

Palm Harbor, FL 34685

More info

 

 

Eagle Lake Park

This park is a few miles inland from Clearwater Beach on Hwy 60, which starts as the causeway to the beach. A pleasant walking trail circles the lake as well as a few picnic tables and a playground.

1800 Keene Road

Largo, FL 33771

More info

 

North Shore Park

This pleasant waterfront park offers great views of Tampa Bay and downtown Tampa.

901 North Shore Drive Northeast

St. Petersburg, FL

More info

 

Sand Key Park

Sand Key park is directly south of Clearwater beach, just across the bridge across Clearwater Harbor Inlet. It is a spacious park with a wide swath of beach.

1060 Gulf Blvd.

Clearwater, FL 33767

More info

 

Walsingham Park

Walsingham Park covers an enormous number acres and is a pleasant lakeside location for a Sunday drive, walks, bike rides, picnics and other activities for large, spacious parks.

12615 102nd Ave. N

Largo FL 33778

More info

 

 

Dog Parks at the Beach

Honeymoon IslandWhile fences might exist at these shoreline dog parks, many of them are open areas without restraints. What that means is that, often, they require you to keep your pet on a leash.

 

Fort Desoto

Undoubtedly one of the finest beaches in America. Take your pooch here and enjoy Dogs are allowed off the leash at the designated dog beach! There is an entrance fee to the park.

3500 Pinellas Bayway S.

Tierra Verde, FL 33715

More info

 

Honeymoon Island

Also one of the finest beaches in America. A short hike through a wilderness area brings you to the shore. There is an entrance fee to the park and dogs must remain on the leash as it is close to other beach-goers and fishermen.

1 Causeway Blvd

Dunedin, FL 34698

More info

Florida Gulf Coast Rainy Day Activities

Florida Weather

Pop Stansell Park, Palm Harbor (6)Although the Florida Gulf Coast receives sunshine nearly every day of the year, some days we have to put up with rain. Most rains here on the Central Gulf Coast come in with a dazzling display of dark clouds, thunder and lightning, but depart soon after. Summer is well known for these storms, and those-in-the-know simply wait them out and go on with their day –even at the beach! On the rainiest days, however, even well-seasoned Floridians huddle inside to make the best of indoor activities. We have prepared a list of activities just in case you are with us.

 

Shop the Day Away

The Florida Gulf Coast has some great places to shop. Two major malls with great décor and lots of interior space are the International Mall in Tampa and the Countryside Mall in Clearwater. These malls will keep you occupied for hours, long enough to outlast most of the coastal inclement weather. For more unique shopping experiences, try the Barnes and Noble bookstore that includes a large children’s section, or the eclectic Christmas Wonderland year-round holiday shop.

 

Play the Day Away

Entertain the kids with the Clearwater Celebration Station or indoor go-karts in Tampa. Both locations are a great way to keep the kids happy. The Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa has fantastic opportunities for the kids to play and learn. Another item of interest for the kids located right on beach is the Clearwater Beach Library, which often has planned activities for both kids and adults. For another at-the-beach activity that’s a pure thrill try indoor surfing!

 

Catch a Movie

Florida storms (4)Our two biggest and best movie theaters are the AMC 20 at Woodland Square including IMAX and Cobb Theaters at the Countryside Mall. For a unique movie experience, try the Tampa Pitcher Show. Yes, it’s spelled correctly, alluding to the drinks and dining available at your seat during the show.

 

Go on an Adventure

Winter the dolphin

Winter the dolphin from Dolphin Tale

Load up the gang and head out to a fun day of sightseeing indoors. The Central Gulf Coast has a long list of museums, some fantastic aquariums, and great dining opportunities abound. If you want more, then try a cruise aboard Clearwater Harbor’s Calypso Queen or gamble at the Seminole Hard Rock casino or right on the Gulf aboard the SunCruz Port Richey Casino

 

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Pop Stansell Park, Palm Harbor (4)Keep in mind that while our storms can pack a punch, they  come and go quickly. Tune into the news or ask a local what type of weather event they expect . To say that the sun will come out tomorrow is an overstatement. Most often, the sun will come back out today.

How to Prepare for Florida Gulf Coast Beaches

Florida Beach Basics

Clearwater Beach (244)

While many people know what the essentials are for a beach vacation, let’s go over it again just to be sure. The beach is sunny and bright, so preparing for warmth and sunshine is a must. Take suntan lotion, a hat, and sunglasses. These basics will get you started at the beach, protecting you so that you can have your day of fun in the sun. Some sort of sandal is also a good idea, making the transition from boardwalk to sand easy.

 

Optional Goodies for Florida Beaches

Clearwater Beach (195)x500What should you bring along when you go to the beach? With your essentials above handled, the rest becomes optional. Lying on the warm sands and playing in the surf will make you thirsty. Be sure to bring something refreshing to drink. Reclining on a beach chair with earphones delivering your favorite music is a popular option. You might also want to bring along a Frisbee or a football to keep the day lively. Chips can refuel your body with energy and might even replace some of the salt you sweat away while you play. Remember to use plastic rather than glass on the beach.

Florida Beach Experience

Clearwater Beach (155)What can you expect on for a day on the beach along the Florida Gulf Coast? It is usually sunny and the weather is nice and warm. Gulf waters are warmer than most, making for a chill-free dip in the water. Plenty of beach-goers flock to the beach all year round, making it a dynamic place to be. Amenities for visitors abound. Fantastic tourist shops line the beachside avenues and casual diners nestle in right alongside finer dining. Restrooms and beach showers are often just a short walk away.

 

Create Your Own Florida Beach Style

Clearwater Beach off Cabria Cottage rental (14)What will your style at the beach be? Will you lie on a towel or will you recline on a beach chair? Will you bask in the sun or retreat beneath an umbrella or nearby palm tree? Will you bring the whole family or just your spouse or close friends? The beaches are vast, providing you with a choice between a vibrant, active beach scene or a secluded location on the far reaches of the coast.

Will your favorite beach style include walking, throwing a ball, swimming, or simply relaxing the day away with a book? The choices are many, and they are all up to you.