Home to 2 Superior Small Lodging™ —
Madeira Beach has two extraordinary options, one of which is for the over 21 crowd:
— Shoreline Island Resort (21+ only)
Madeira Beach – known as the beach city that is “two miles long and a smile wide” – is a
Dedicated athletes takes their routine with them wherever they go. This holds true for runners. Most days I get up early, throw on my gear and start pounding the pavement, logging my requisite miles before the sun comes up.
I prefer to run alone. It’s my church – my chance to breathe, think and start my day. There’s something magical that tugs at a runner when you’re staying at the beach. Running at the water’s edge is not as easy at it appears in movies though
After a short jog from where I’m staying, I reach the sand beach and realize, you simply can’t run on this fluid white powdery surface. It takes a careful walk using a completely different motion to keep the sand out of my shoes and to make my way to the packed sand.
In the dark hours before the dawn, I feel the humid salt breeze blow through my hair and hear the waves washing against the gulf shore. I make sure to stay above the wet sand, so I can keep the rhythm of my stride even though I sense the slightest sinking feeling with each step. Every day distractions are soon swept away by the relaxing sound of the sea, the comedic sandpipers running in and out, as they try to catch breakfast among the tide’s foamy aftermath. As I start to perspire, I’m glad I’m out early….it won’t be long before the temperatures start to rise.
I’ve made some mental notes as to where to get on and off the sand and turn around. Fishing piers, be it Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach,
or Long Pier in Redington Beach,
or wooden ramps over protected sea oats, serve as my markers to measure time and distance.
While yesterday was a difficult run, less miles were covered. Today I don my gear and elect to run street-side. I’m amazed how much farther I can run with asphalt under my feet. This morning is met with the mundane side of beach life and it’s not as easy to free my mind – newspapers being delivered, equipment headed to the sand to begin beautifying the beach (who knew her looks didn’t come naturally!), the aroma of food wafting from restaurants make me think of breakfast, employees bicycling to work and fishermen readying to head out to sea.
Tomorrow, I think I’ll get back on the beach as it’s much more peaceful run. For those who like to run in a pack, dawn and dusk options are available around the county…see below.
Have you asked yourself is you can vacation in this area without a car?
Well, the answer is, yes. It’s absolutely do-able – if you don’t mind a mix of transportation and a bit of walking too! But, speaking for myself, my favorite vacations are “walking locations”, where I can see things as I go! And you might find it is easier than you thought!
Below are some suggestions for those who want to forego a rental car or want to use their rental car minimally.
Shuttle van services are often the lowest price option for individuals. Keep in mind that they do stop at a number of locations to drop off others sharing the shuttle with you at local hotels, etc.
Taxis, which are door-to-door, have a set rate and may accommodate 3 or 4 persons and are waiting outside the terminal. No advance reservation is required. You can call a local area taxi service in the community you are visiting and they should be able to give you an estimate of the cost. (They cannot pick you up at the airport, but can deliver you to the airport when it is time to go home.)
Private cars, also door-to-door, charge a flat rate, and may accommodate 3 or 4 persons. These services normally hold a sign and meet you in the baggage area, making you feel like a celebrity! These are a good option for families and small groups.
By the way, private car services are not shown on the Tampa International Airport Ground Transportation page. But, you can ask the Superior Small Lodging® owner/manager where you will stay. Or, you can do an online search for a private car services.
In most towns, the grocery and drug stores may be a ways from the beach or downtown.
++ If you are buying lot of items, a taxi might be the option for you. It’s door to door and usually has a large trunk.
++ If buying only a few items, you may be able to use the Trolley system in your area, such as:
The Suncoast Beach Trolley, which runs up and down the beaches area from St. Pete Beach in the south to downtown Clearwater in the north. Several grocery stores and drugstores are near the route.
The Jolly Trolley will transport you around Clearwater Beach and downtown Clearwater. And, by the way, the Jolly Trolley and Suncoast Beach Trolley routes meet in Clearwater should you need this connection when shopping. (They do not have a scheduled ‘connection’, so you may have to wait a few minutes.)
The St. Petersburg Central Avenue Trolley carries you from St. Pete Beach, which is west of downtown St. Petersburg. It also goes to the Pier area and other locations downtown St. Petersburg.
The St. Petersburg Downtown Looper will get you to great dining in downtown St. Petersburg, and the new Locale Market downtown also.
++ Trolley systems take you to a number of shopping areas in the beach communities. So, for example, if you want to go to Johns Pass Village, the Suncoast Beach Trolley stops there.
++If you want to shop downtown St. Petersburg or Clearwater, see the information above about grocery and drugstore shopping.
++Should you want to find a shopping center, such as the Countryside Mall in the North and the Tyrone Mall in the South, the area bus system can get you there. The system is called the PSTA and routes and schedules are available online.
++The Jolley Trolley can get you to the Clearwater Aquarium and to Pier 60 with ease, if you are not close enough to walk.
++The St. Petersburg Downtown Looper stops at the Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Holocaust Museum and many more places of interest.
++Should you want to visit Gulfport, a charming community on the peninsula, the Suncoast Beach Trolley meets the Central Avenue Trolley at Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg by the bay. From there, you can use Route #15 to go to the Gulfport Casino, which is smack downtown Gulfport!
++Look at the maps to make sure you understand where to get off in St. Pete Beach!
The Suncoast Beach Trolley stops:
++Along each of the beach communities on the barrier islands on the Gulf of Mexico in our area from Clearwater Beach (North) to St. Pete Beach (South).
You can go on vacation without a car and expand your kayaking, biking, or other active outdoor skills without a car.
++Many rental facilities that rent bikes, kayaks and other equipment will deliver it to you.
++Check out the blog at: www.bestgetawayever.com for information about options, resources and equipment. his site is in progress, and there are already a few blogs articles about active sports that area available, including some local resources to rent or use.
++Of course, there will likely be several restaurants you can walk to from where you will be staying.
++If you want to go a bit further, all the various trolleys may make this easy! And, we know your trips to a number of our locally owned restaurants will offer some very great experiences and memories!
So check out your options and take a break from driving if you are of a mind to experience our area close up, assisted by local professional drivers!
Article by J. Mohns, Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach
This video shows the “Bests” of the area. While it’s a marketing video, you can see a lot in 2 minutes! Definitely worth a watch!
In the photo here, this guy is making headway on Madeira Beach! If you are interest in active things to do in our area, we suggest a blogsite that seems to be coming along, called Best Getaway Ever. It can point you to fun things to do and local resources so you don’t have to bring your own kayak, bike, or whatever.
Written by June Mohns, Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach.
Our small, privately-owned Superior Small Lodging™ boutique hotels, inns, B&Bs, villas, beach cottages and resorts are here, offering you accommodations choices you will love. And, you will find Sugary-white sand… dancing dolphins in the clear blue-green water… and 8 barrier islands that make the beaches around the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area near Tampa Bay a postcard-perfect destination!
The year I was married (some years ago), I made a trip to San Francisco and first saw Salvador Dali’s work in person. His artistry captivated me and I hoped some day to see other work he had done. On our first visit to the St. Petersburg – Clearwater area we discovered the Dali museum… We were thrilled to see so much of his work in one place!
Now, I think I can say that even if you are not familiar with Salvador Dali’s work, you will love this museum and be fascinated by his artistry. Plus, the architecture of the museum is captivating — both for it’s creative design and the views it showcases of the waterways surrounding downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.
You can visit any day! The museum is open daily from 10:00am to 5:30pm.
On Thursdays & Fridays, the museum is open late – until 8:00pm.
I recommend taking one of the free group tours led by docents, that are available throughout the day. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and will help you appreciate the work and Dali, in a way that is hard to do on your own. (By the way, private tours at an additional fee may be arranged in advance.)
And, the museum offers complimentary audio guides — on a first come, first served basis. These also will increase your enjoyment and appreciation of the works that you see.
For anyone who wants a great treat, the Dalí Museum has an amazing café, called “Cafe Gala”, named for Dalí’s wife, Gala.
They offer a light menu, that includes a variety of Tapas (and small plates of appetizers), plus some amazing Spanish soups. And, don’t miss the deserts (flan!) and cookies, and a most surprising and lovely wine and beer selection.
If you go early, the café has light breakfast items and pastries. And, coffee lovers will be thrilled at their delicious coffee, espresso, cappuccino and macchiato.
The café is open during regular museum hours. And, you have the choice of eating in the café dining area or outside on the Avante-garde patio. If you run short on time, keep in mind that you do not need a ticket to visit the café (or the gift shop).
A parking garage is located on-site ($10), plus there is also on-street, metered parking and parking lots nearby.
A downtown trolley, the Looper Trolley, stops near the Dalí Museum and the cost of only 50 cents! More information on the Looper at: The St. Petersburg Looper Trolley
The following Superior Small Lodging™ members are offering two free adult tickets (regularly $48.00 for two) with a one week stay!
By June Mohns, Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach. ©2015
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!
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!
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!
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!
Both communities host unique, colorful festivals each year.
If you’re coming to Madeira Beach
If you’re coming to Treasure Island
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!
Both 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:
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
Dunedin, a charming small waterfront community, offers this top-rated Superior Small Lodging™:
Settled by Scottish families more than 100 years ago, Dunedin – from its position on the coast – offers some of the most breathtaking vistas along the Florida coast.
Clearwater Beach and Clearwater offer these extraordinary Superior Small Lodging™ resorts and inns:
The City of Clearwater has been welcoming visitors since the Tampa Bay area was first settled. It is a city that loves its visitors! And, accolades to nearby Clearwater Beach – on the barrier island – assure visitors to Florida that this is a great destination option. Recently, Clearwater Beach was named, by “Condé Nast Traveler”,
Gulfport, the earliest city in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, offers a picture-perfect setting for one exceptional Superior Small Lodging™ for the over 21 crowd…
— the Sea Breeze Manor Bed & Breakfast (21+ only)
Located on the Pinellas Peninsula (mainland), Gulfport faces the Boca Ciega Bay and has a large, well-equipped public beach with free parking.
Indian Rocks Beach Superior Small Lodging™ choices are extraordinary and include:
Running 2.5 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, Indian Rocks Beach welcomes a visitors to enjoy
Indian Shores and Superior Small Lodging™ go together like ham and eggs! Your extraordinary choices include:
A narrow little strip of land, in some places only a block wide, you will find the relaxed,
North Redington Beach is home to an extraordinary boutique Superior Small Lodging™ bed & breakfast, the:
The friendly little town of North Redington Beach has an eclectic mixture of
Pass-A-Grille, a uniquely distinct neighborhood of St. Pete Beach has it all! Plus 5 exceptional Superior Small Lodging™ options:
Pass-A-Grille, a charming and distinct ‘old’ Florida neighborhood that is technically a part of St. Pete Beach, has beachfront parking and amazing Gulf views.
St. Pete Beach – with its four miles of award-winning beaches – has six extraordinary choices for visitors, one of which is for guests over 21 exclusively.
— Pasa Tiempo Waterfront Resort (21+ Only)
St. Pete Beach was awarded the 2012 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award based on TripAdvisor® reviews of millions of travelers. It was voted the No.1 beach destination in the U.S. and the No. 5 in the world in 2012!
St. Pete Beach is the largest island community on the Gulf,
St. Petersburg, the 4th largest city in Florida, sits on the waterfront. Across from the waterfront park sits an extraordinary boutique Superior Small Lodging™, the:
St. Petersburg is a hub of culture and tourism. And,