Adventure Cruises Perfect for Your Tampa Bay Beach Vacation

The Tampa Bay beaches, particularly St. Pete Beach, have some of the most beautiful waterways of the entire Gulf coast. Unlike the California Pacific coast, Florida’s Atlantic coast, and even the Eastern coast of Florida, the Gulf coastline is pristine and free from litter. The water is clear and wildlife is plentiful. It provides the perfect backdrop not only for a Tampa Bay beach vacation, but also an adventure cruise.

Adventure cruises are short, leisurely boat trips that last two to four hours and span the coastline. Cruisers can take part in sightseeing excursions, including exploring the land from a different perspective and wildlife-watching.

Dolphin-watching is the most popular attraction among adventure cruisers. The fall and winter months, while not as enticing to the vacationer, offer plenty of opportunities to see dolphins because of their migration southward for the winter. During the fall months, it’s actually pretty common to see dolphins bobbing up and down, in and out of the water. If you’re looking for dolphins, there are several charter boats that offer dolphin watching exclusively.

You can also take an adventure cruise to enjoy a day filled with snorkeling or shelling. Boats can depart from St. Pete Beach or Treasure Island and head out to Egmont Key State Park or Fort DeSoto. Those places also offer unbelievable opportunities to observe Florida wildlife in its most pristine, unadulterated form, including a national wildlife refuge. They also feature special landmarks such as historic Fort Dade and the Egmont Key Lighthouse. Be sure to bring your camera so you can capture these gorgeous places.

Adventure cruises typically hold anywhere from 30 to 50 people although you can rent out a charter boat among friends for several hours. Prices are around $ 25 to $ 35 per adult or child, and typically supply you with a life vest, snorkel equipment, and more.

Those rates are in-season rates, however, and you may be able to score some off-season deals if you visit during the months of September, October, November, December, January, or February. Just don’t expect to snorkel or go for a swim during that time, although September and early October would be exceptions.

Make sure that whatever charter boat you ride on has all the necessary safety equipment specified by the U.S. Coast Guard and that the boat and captain are both licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Many Tampa Bay beach charter boats offer snacks on board, beverages, bathrooms, and are handicap accessible but it’s wise to call ahead to make sure special accommodations can be made.

Looking for nearby St. Pete Beach Condos or to stay in a Treasure Island Condo Rental? Resort Rentals offers some of the most affordable, family friendly Tampa Bay Vacation Rentals, including beachfront suites and more.

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Florida’s Best Beaches – St Pete Beach

People come here from around the world to have a family vacation or be just bring a friend, to get married in a picturesque setting or spend the day fishing to their heart’s content uninterrupted by responsibilities. Some find it a great location to get to other attractions, or to escape after a busy week at Disney World, or just to run relatively undisturbed by the water for their daily exercise. Whatever their reason, the beauty of this beach is a huge magnet.

You may be wondering about the different names of the area you knew as a kid coming here with your family. St Pete Beach became a separate city of about 10,000 people, and includes Passagrille, Belle Vista and what was called St. Petersburg Beach. Then there is the city of St. Petersburg to the east. Don’t worry, everyone there knows what you are talking about.

There are 39 acres of public beach to enjoy, and almost that many of park area. People keep coming back as the beaches are beautiful, the rates are good if you are on a budget, and avoiding the spring break college crowd at Daytona has its own benefits. The crowds can swell at the beach but not in the same wild party way.

Don’t want to drive or rent a vehicle? Take the Beach Trolley around or a taxi. The Beach Trolley runs along Gulf Boulevard every 30 to 40 minutes and if you’re using it a lot, consider a day or week pass. St. Petersburg, Clearwater and the rest of the Tampa Bay area are accessible by the trolley. Bats Taxi Service can get your around, and it cheaper if you have a few people coming from Tampa International airport, than getting an airport shuttle to St Pete Beach. Compare prices first. Bats Taxi phone number is 727-367-3702.

Some people prefer a private residence rather than a hotel even if that means walking to the beach a few blocks instead of being right by the water. According to one woman from Denver I met on the beach, she and her husband keep renting small homes from Frank Hurley Associates rental and real estate office, and it is has been a popular choice for those people flexible about not being right on the sandy beach. 1-8–=783-6929.

And don’t forget to check out the Honda Grand Prix at St Pete Beach during April/09 if you are lucky enough to be the area!

Voted one of the best beaches in Florida, for repeat visitors this has never been a question.It is gorgeous, not too busy and is an escape for many each year. Voted One of the Best Beaches in Florida

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Pass-A-Grille Beach

Pass-A-Grille Beach is regarded by some as the ‘hidden gem’ of Tampa Bay’s beaches. It features prime location off the coast of St. Petersburg, and as a division of St. Pete Beach on its southern-most tip, it allows you to escape to the carefree, “Old Florida” island lifestyle, while still being close to the mainland.

Pass-A-Grille Beach is tucked off the beaten path, literally. If you’re heading down Gulf Boulevard, you go until you cannot go any further, and then veer to the right, merging onto Gulf Way. You’ll immediately know when you’re there. It looks pleasantly unfamiliar. Where St. Pete Beach is cluttered and chaotic with hotels and vacationers everywhere you look, this little town is peaceful and quiet. The pace of everyday life slows down.

You’ll notice people do a fair amount of walking in Pass-A-Grille. The historical downtown district lends itself to casual sunset strolls along the beach. You can pay to park at the metered parking and you’re your pick of where you want to go. There are eclectic shops, boutique hotels, locally-owned restaurants, homemade ice cream parlors, and art galleries up and down the streets of Pass-A-Grille.

Unlike St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, and Clearwater Beach, where there are lots of Gulf front hotels and condominiums, Pass-A-Grille Beach has more unobstructed views of the water than any other beach in Pinellas. You can literally drive down Gulf Way at night and look out onto moonlit waters. You can stop, park, and get out at virtually any moment to take a stroll along the beach, or catch a bite to eat at the world-renowned Hurricane Seafood Restaurant.

A big reason the area has escaped vast commercial development and maintained its ‘Old Florida’ charm is because of its historical designation and because the community fought hard to keep Pass-A-Grille’s 31 blocks of real estate primarily residential. Because of this, you’ll see families everywhere. Fathers will take their sons and daughters to Merry Pier for fishing, which has been part of the Pass-A-Grille lifestyle for centuries.

Pass-A-Grille Beach was inhabited by the Tocobaga native Americans between 1,000 – 1,700 A.D., who enjoyed a fishing lifestyle. The Europeans who landed in 1528 also enjoyed the fishing lifestyle and found the area perfect for that very need. The name “Pass-a-Grille” actually comes from the French “Passe aux Grilleurs” which means ‘passageway of the grillers,’ with the grillers being fishermen who would cook their fish right on the shore.

In 1857’s visitors began vacationing in the area for short trips, with the first hotel and first ferry boat services being offered in 1886. Soon hotels began to sprout up along the Gulf Beaches. The wealthy began taking day and weekend trips to the area. The Gulf Beaches’ first church was built in 1917, and is now home to the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum.

Many homes that were built in the 1950s and 1960s are still their today and epitomize the old Florida ‘beach cottage.’ If you get the chance, take that turn off the beaten path and experience the charming beach town of Pass-A-Grille. You will most certainly fall in love, and possibly never want to leave.

Interested in learning about Treasure Island Vacation Rentals? Liberte Management offers affordable Treasure Island Condo Rentals in beautiful Tampa Bay, the perfect place for a magical Florida getaway.

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Fall Marks Opening of the New Corey Fresh Market in St Pete Beach, Florida

It may not feel like it just yet, but the weather is cooling down in the St. Pete Beach area as the seasons transition from summer to fall. The scorching heat has been replaced by a gentle breeze, while the air feels cooler and lighter.

Many of the locals here say it’s their favorite time of the year, the time spent mostly outdoors, strolling for long walks on the beach in the morning or mid afternoon, then visiting some of the quaint shops and boutiques along historic Corey Avenue, stopping by Madeleina Cottage for eggs and crepes.

And now, residents and vacationers alike will be able to enjoy this type of atmosphere with the new Corey Fresh Market, which opens Sunday in October, from 9 am to 2 pm. The market, which emulates the style of an open-air, farmer’s market, will feature a variety of local food, produce, art, antiques, gifts, even toys for your pet, along with free music.

The event will begin with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, will mark the debut of this new market which will run from October 2011 to May 2012. Corey Avenue merchants, including jewelry stores, restaurants, gift shops, antique shops, clothing stores, art shops, boutiques, and more, will take part in the market, which still has openings for vendors who are interested in joining.

Visitors can enjoy fresh smoothies, made with real fruit, or ice cold lemonade as they walk from Blind Pass Road to Boca Ciega Drive, where the market will take place. The market is perfect for just you or even better when you go as a family or among friends. The local artisans and farmers that come are very friendly and offer quality merchandise and gifts at very low prices.

The local stores will also open their doors so you’ll want to visit them as well. Some popular shops to visit include Corey Corners Antiques and Collectables, Buttons, Bangles & Beads; Kapfer Glass Studio, Florida Jean Company, Elegante Eyewear, and more. Restaurants include Madeleina Cottage, PJ’s Oyster Bar, Avenue Gourmet, and more.

Other happenings along Corey Avenue include the annual Corey Halloween Bash, the Annual Fall Sidewalk Sale in November, and the annual Corey Holiday Art/Craft Show. Those who don’t live in St. Pete Beach who are just visiting are well-received by the locals at these events. Locals range from young families to snowbirds and retirees.

Visit the Corey Avenue Business Association to learn more about the new Corey Fresh Market.

Looking for nearby St. Pete Beach Condos or to stay in a Treasure Island Condo Rental? Resort Rentals offers some of the most affordable, family friendly Tampa Bay Vacation Rentals, including beachfront suites and more.

Best Beachfront Breakfast Spots on St. Pete Beach

Nothing starts the day off quite like an invigorating walk along the beach or a hearty breakfast. Why not combine the two? Plenty of folks living in St. Pete Beach and nearby St. Petersburg do it, opting for waterfront and outdoor dining in tropical paradise. If you’re vacationing there, you should too, savoring every moment of a Gulf breeze amidst the sunshine. We’ve got you covered here with plenty of waterfront dining options.

Paradise Grille on Pass-A-Grille Beach

This is your go-to spot if you’re dressed in your swimsuit and ready to spend the day relaxing under the sun. It’s open from 8 a.m. to sunset seven days a week. There are beach chairs and shaded cabanas throughout. Choose from omelettes, egg platters, pancakes, sandwiches, and more. You can make it an all-day extravaganza too – they offer lunch and have a bar that opens at 11. You can also enjoy the Beach Bazaar on Fridays and Sundays from 9 am to 3 p.m., featuring tons of local artists and musicians. And speaking of music, they offer Saturday karaoke from 2-6 p.m.

The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

The historic Hurricane on Pass-A-Grille Beach may not be directly on the water. It’s actually across the street from the Gulf. But its spectacular Gulf views from three stories high, early hours, and extensive menu make it an ideal breakfast destination. Breakfast is served seven days a week starting at 7 a.m. with omelets that are to-die-for! You can also enjoy some of the finest seafood on the beach, including fresh Gulf Grouper and their world-famous 1945 Crab Cake.

The Sea Horse

The Sea Horse offers the best-priced breakfast on St. Pete Beach. Located on the intracoastal of Pass-A-Grille, you can get eggs, cheese grits, corned beef hash, home fries, pecan pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches and more. You won’t find anything above $ 7.00, with most entrees under $ 5.00. They serve breakfast until 1:00 p.m. so you can sleep in just a bit. They are closed on Tuesdays, however.

Nina’s On the Beach

Nina’s on the Beach is an intracoastal hidden treasure located where St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island meet, near Sunset Beach. It features a delicious assortment of favorites like eggs benedict, corned beef hash, creamed chipped beef, waffles, and more. Service is fast and friendly, and it’s a popular spot for locals. You’ll catch a really nice breeze sitting outside on this quiet corner of the beaches and you’ll feel cozy and comfortable inside with friends.

Madfish

From the outside, you’re probably not sure what to expect. The outside looks like an outdoor railroad bar, or something futuristic, from outer space. This diner, located on St. Pete Beach, is the place you want to go to splurge on a hearty, gourmet breakfast. Chef-inspired creations include ribeye steak-n-eggs, potatoes, and toast carved from prime rib. Bananas foster French toast is a favorite, along with light diner pancakes. If you get there early, as in the first three tables, you’ll receive free doughnuts on the house.

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Spring Fun in the Sun on St. Pete Beach

Put away your thick trench coat and boots and trade them in for a pair swim trunks (or a bikini if you’re a girl), and flip flops! You don’t have to stay up north and endure another snowstorm – it’s already beach weather on Florida’s west coast, giving you a great excuse to get away and enjoy one of the most beautiful year-round climates in the U.S.

An early spring is one of St. Pete Beach’s best-kept secrets. Locals start going to the beach as early as February, enjoying crowdless beaches with plenty of room to wiggle their toes in the sand. The water is still fairly, cold, but resorts offer heated pools, should you wish to cool off, and you can enjoy plenty of activities in the sand and nearby outdoor areas.

You’ll always find a game of pick-up beach volleyball, and plenty of people who will play with you, whether it’s at a resort or one of the area’s beachfront bars. Locals enjoy an active lifestyle and are friendly with vacationers. Ask to join in on the fun!

The St. Pete Beach area is filled with avid runners and cyclists. There are running groups that run nearly every morning on the beach, and you can find a 5k race or road race nearly every weekend. Plenty of these races offer fun runs and fun rides too, so you and the family can get together and get some great exercise in while on vacation.
Markets are always popular in St. Pete Beach. Historic Corey Avenue always has a great Sunday Market. It also has arts and crafts festivals and art shows that feature the work of local artisans, with some exquisite jewelry, paintings, clothing, pottery, free music, spices, and more.

This is a great time of year for boating. You can usually score some off-season deals on boat rentals, including cruisers, wave runners, Jetskii rentals, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and more. You can also go on sightseeing and fishing excursions, enjoying a rare glimpse of Florida’s spectacular west coast.

Visit Fort DeSoto and Shell Key, enjoying Florida’s majestic wildlife in its purest form. You’ll be mesmerized by a colorful array of birds, sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, and even alligators in the fresh waters.

Snorkeling is always a great way to explore shallow waters – just not in the fresh water where the alligators are. If you do visit Fort DeSoto, be sure to watch for signs where there is no swimming allowed. Sharp currents can be dangerous.

No matter how you choose to explore Florida’s outdoors, there is never a shortage of things to do or fresh air to invigorate your lungs. It’s just the type of retreat you need!

Interested in learning about St Pete Beach Condos? Liberte Management offers affordable Tampa Bay Vacation Rentals in beautiful Tampa Bay, the perfect place for a magical Florida getaway.

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