Can You Vacation in our St. Petersburg Clearwater Area Without a Car?
You Want to Vacation Here without a Car?
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!
Here’s How You Can Vacation without a Car!
Below are some suggestions for those who want to forego a rental car or want to use their rental car minimally.
Getting To and From the Airport
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.
To and From the Grocery or Drugstore?
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.
Seeing Some Sights?
++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