Two things that go together extremely well are spending time at the beach and reading a good book. We love looking into things that tell us more about our area and so reading regional themed books is our thing. Put that together with reading at the beach and you have a unique opportunity to lay back on the Bay Area beaches while reading about the Tampa Bay region. Our beaches include Clearwater Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach, and St Pete Beach with county and state parks close by such as Fort Desoto Park, Caladesi Island State Park, and Honeymoon Island State Park. Imagine, if you will, sitting in your favorite beach chair or reclining on a cozy blanket atop of the soft white sands of the West Florida coast while you read an enjoyable book. We’re going to give you a head start by suggesting some good reads related to our area.
Yesteryear I lived in Paradise; The Story of Caladesi Island by Myrtle Scharrer Betz tells the story of a homestead set upon one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Once called Hog Island, this remarkable location is now a Florida state park, attracting visitors from across the globe. Myrtle Scharrer Betz was a child living at her parents home, the only house on the island, long before the days when tourism touched its shores. This book is her tale of those years.
Ghost Stories of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Pinellas County: Tales from a Haunted Peninsula (Haunted America) is written by Deborah Frethem. This book dips readers into the history of America’s tourism playground to unveil a somewhat darker and creepier side. If you love chills referenced with historical tidbits, this will make a perfect beach-side read.
It’s no bull!: The true story of the taming of northeast Pinellas County by Arthur F. Olds tells the story of taming what is now one of the most populated areas in Florida. Before settlers arrived, however, Pinellas County Florida, home to Clearwater and St Petersburg, was a wild and untamed land, filled with cougars, bears, and alligators.
Hidden History of St. Petersburg by Will Michaels is an account of lost tales from St Petersburg, Florida. What forgotten and rare tales of history occurred on the shores of Tampa Bay? The book unveils the back pages of one of America’s favorite cities.
Florida Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide To Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series) by Diana Gleasner and Bill Gleasner. From the Off the Beaten Path series, this book covers the hidden gems of Florida, of which there are many. You may find, in America’s most southern state, that if it’s off the beaten path, the passage of time has left it very much unchanged.
Weird Florida: Your Travel Guide to Florida’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Charlie Carlson is an investigation of what’s strange in Florida by the guys who brought us Weird U.S. Does Florida have some odd attractions? You bet it does.
Florida State Parks by Michal Strutin is a recreational guide to natural lands of the American peninsula. Florida State parks are a pleasant mix of developed and wild lands where wildlife and recreation abound. Boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking and loads more are at your finger tips. This is a great trip planner.
Florida Authentica: Your field guide to the unique, eccentric, and natural marvels of the real Sunshine State by Ron Wiggins. A humorist, Ron Wiggins takes a unique perspective at the most intriguing places the state has to offer. This is another great book for those planning a Florida road trip.
Backroads of Florida – Second Edition: Along the Byways to Breathtaking Landscapes and Quirky Small Towns by Paul M. Franklin with photographs by Nancy Mikula takes you on an amazing trip through Florida’s hidden byways. If you haven’t traveled the forgotten roads of the state, you are in for a treat.
Dream State: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and Other Florida Wildlife by Diane Roberts. Eight generations of history told by descendant and Florida native lays bare the lives of personalities that shaped the state.
Black Out by Lisa Unger is a fictional tale set in Clearwater, Florida. While the events are fictional, the tale leaves you free to imagine the actions taking place in the beach-side community of Clearwater. If you want a beach read that will take you away while keeping you local, this one will do it.
The Year of Necessary Lies, by Kris Radish spins the fictional tale of a socialite who leaves her comfort zone behind to delve into the wilds of Florida on a bold mission. Set in 1903, Florida was a place just beginning to blossom into civilization. This beach read will take you away to that past.
These are our picks for locally flavored books about the Clearwater Beach and St Pete Beach region. While you are free to read anything you please while you lounge upon our shores, why not pick up something helps you grow some roots, even if just for a little while.
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