Marriages, Vow Renewals, Commitment Ceremonies

Wondering about a Destination Event?

A Superior Small Lodging® may be the perfect location that beautiful, intimate destination wedding ceremony, commitment or vow renewal!  Here are some key points to consider when planning.

Destination Weddings Considerations

Simple, Elegant Decor Is Perfect for a Destination Wedding

Elegance & Simplicity

 In some locations, with a small group, you don’t even need a permit to have an event on the beach. In others, permits are easily secured.

–  All small hotels and resorts will require booking accommodations when a wedding is held onsite, ensuring privacy and convenience for the wedding party.  Larger hotels are less restrictive in this respect, and, of course, have other requirements.

Beautiful, Memorable Setting

Beachfront Wedding at Cay Point Villa, Photo courtesy of Lifelongstudios.com

– Flexibility is greatest with a smaller hotel — and generally you don’t have the very long lead time that many wedding venues have.

– Cost is generally considerably higher at a hotel that requires you to use their catering services, so if cost is a consideration you may want to use a wedding planner (or plan yourself) with a carefully selected caterer.

– Beach front properties, like the CAY POINTE VILLA  and PLAZA BEACH HOTEL BEACHFRONT RESORT are always delightful choices.

Memorable Weddings at Our Destination

Beautiful Location for a Memorable Wedding! Photo Courtesy of Guest of Plaza Beach Resort Beachfront Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Budgets can be managed if you do want a hotel to manage food, etc for you and a hotel like THE BIRCHWOOD in downtown, St. Petersburg would be a perfect choice.  The Birchwood offers the complete suite of wedding services — and have an absolutely beautiful ballroom!  It’s a great choice if you want the sophistication of services and wedding amenities!

Beautiful, Spacious Ballroom at the Birchwood, St. Petersburg, FL

Or… Let The Birchwood’s Beautiful 8000 Sq Ft Ballroom Set the Stage for You!

Written by June Mohns, Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach. ©2015

Exploring Madeira Beach and Treasure Island

Here’s a Great Day Trip…

If you aren’t staying in Madeira Beach or Treasure Island, you might find it fun to visit!  Johns Pass Village in Madeira Beach was chosen as the “Best Shopping Splurge!” location this year in the “2015 BEST OF ST. PETERSBURG CLEARWATER AREA ” video that showcases some fun and fabulous places!
So make time for this fun explore!

Pirate Haunts Plus!

Family Fun... Pirates and All at Island Paradise Cottages

Family Fun… Pirates and All! Photo Courtesy of Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach

I love John’s Pass.  It is the entrance to Boca Ciega bay from the Gulf of Mexico, created by the Great Gale of 1848.  Along the boardwalk, you can always catch the acrobatics of a few of the 250 or so dolphins that live in the area.

First inhabited by the Timucua Indians, legends tell us that pirates, roaming the area, used this area as a base for attacks on both Spanish and English ships!

“The Village” was a fishing settlement that small commercial boats worked out of. Today, what you will find based here are deep sea fishing charter boats, small rental watercraft, a Pirate cruise for kids and adults alike, a dolphin watch cruise or parasailing vessels!

Entrance at John's Pass Village

Photo Courtesy of Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater CVB & John’s Pass Village Association

The former fishing village is now a shopping district, with lots of great dining options and a lively waterfront.  In addition to personal shopping or souvenir shopping, you can enjoy a delicious meal or try the chocolates or “homemade” ice cream from two different shops.  And, a new craft brewery is opening, that we are very excited about also!

Treasure Island

Well, I must tell you that when my family visited Treasure Island many years ago, one of my brothers was sure that buried treasure was left by pirates on the beaches of Treasure Island.  My guess is that today, other young boys have the same fantasy – and also spend hours digging for abandoned pirate treasures!

With an energentic beach shopping district and wide beaches, Treasure Island is a great explore! It has everything from a very, very wide beachfront to sophisticated dining to delight you!

Festivals

Both communities host unique, colorful festivals each year.
If you’re coming to Madeira Beach

  • In early May, come celebrate John Levique Pirate Days. You will be amazed at how many pirates, pirate molls and pee-wee pirates you will see!
  • In October, join us the for the John’s Pass Seafood Festival! Fabulous food and great music!
  • Almost any month, participate in a fishing tournament and mini-festivals to celebrate the competing fisherfolks.
Kite Festival - A Fun Time for Participants and Spectators!

Kite Madness on the Beach at Treasure Island, FL

If you’re coming to Treasure Island

  • In January, don’t miss the Eastern League’s Treasure Island Sport Kite Championships held along the beach. Spectacular!!!
  • Every Sunday there is a Beachfront Drum Circle, that is sure to entertain you.

Street Fairs

Discovery is the key word at our local street fairs. Vendors bring an interesting array of usually quite affordable, treasures. And, It’s all at your pace!

  • Madeira Beach hosts a “Wednesday Morning Market” from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. each week along Madeira Way.  Crafts, fresh vegetables, pet boutique items and more are available.  And there’s always a food truck and food vendors to tempt you!
  • Treasure Island offers a “Friday Market” street fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Treasure Island Park just off 107th Avenue.

Holiday Festivals

2011 Florida- Robin's Graduation 512Both Madeira Beach and Treasure Island have boat parades – by locals, for locals. But you can join this fun! There is no no charge to view the parades. Just take your position along a seawall and see some very creative boat decorations! Boat parades are held at:

  • Veterans Day
  • Christmas season

 

 

Be sure to check each city’s calendar for dates.
The 4th of July always features professionally done fireworks displays in both cities. Come a bit early and stay a bit late to see fireworkss displays in other cities along the beaches!

By June Mohns, Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach. ©2015

Bringing Young Children to the Beach?

A Great Place for Families with Young Children!

After the beach, here are my top 3 favorite ways to entertain young-uns! ☺  (I’m a grandparent who is just sharing our experiences!)

The Clearwater Aquarium

winter-at-the-clearwater-marine-aquarium

Winter Playing Underwater!

Photos courtesy of Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater Convention Visitor Bureau.

This great little rescue and rehabilitation facility is home to the world-famous dolphin, Winter, who has a prosthetic tale. The aquarium offers hands-on activities that range from touching sea critters to a crafts-activity room fro those who need a few minutes of coloring and crafts!

The dolphin education show, offered several times a day, is a hit with adults and children of all ages! (Open daily)  These dolphins really show their amazing capabilities at the show, and you might want to call ahead for the schedule so you do not miss this.  Definitely worth the making time for the dolphin show!

For more information, see their website at: http://www.seewinter.com/visit-us

 

Great Explorations Children’s Museum, St. Petersburg, FL

GreatExplorationsPlayground GreatExplorationsTheaterPerfect for rainy days or after getting enough sun.

This museum re-invented itself a couple of years ago and it has some of the most imaginative and engaging exhibits for young children that you will find! (Open daily)

More information is at: http://www.greatex.org

 Photos courtesy of the Great Explorations Children’s Museum.

Tarpon Springs and the St. Nicholas Boat Line Sponge Diving Demonstration

StNicholasBoatLineBoatPhotos courtesy of the St. Nicholas Boat Line, Tarpon Springs, FL.

Tarpon Springs doesn’t actually look like Florida too much! It looks more like a little Greek fishing community – at least along the waterfront!  It’s largely populated by descendents of immigrants who were recruited to dive for sea sponges almost 100 years ago.

The boat ride is short (30 minutes), inexpensive, and informative. And, the diver who demonstrates sponge harvesting wears a diving costume like you see if books!  The diving outfit is complete with big, weighted shoes and a helmet shaped like a ball. (Open daily, weather permitting)  For More Information: http://stnicholasboatline.com/

 Don’t Miss the Beaches, of Course!

Obviously, our Gulf Beaches are headliners here for families. Out gentle waves, soft white sands and easy access to restaurants, restroon and lodging ensure fun in the sun! Visit our magnificent beaches from Clearwater Beach (North) to St. Pete Beach (South).

 

Article by June Mohns, Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach. ©2015