Florida Guide > Other Florida
GULF COAST DAY OUT
Many people who visit Orlando never see anything more than the parks. There is so much more to see and our personal favourite is the Gulf Coast.
We start our day by driving to Clearwater and spend the morning on the beach and having a walk along the pier and around the harbour. Its fun just to sit and watch the visitor trying to negotiate their way around the roundabout, it’s usually chaos.
We then take a leisurely drive down the coast passing through Indian Rocks, Reddington Beach and Madiera Beach, watch out for the fabulous homes built next to beach, we can all dream of the day we win the lottery! ! .
We finally reach our favourite place to lunch, John’s Pass with its quaint pier and myriad of shops and cafes. We always time our visit for around 3pm to avoid the lunch time rush. Our favourite restaurant is the Friendly Fisherman, it’s on the pier and the staff are friendly and can recommend dishes for you. The service is usually quick and the food delicious. My favourite is the Crab platter, which includes stuffed crab, crab cakes and snow crab legs and is served with French fries. There is also plenty on the menu for the non fish eaters.
After lunch have a stroll along the pier and watch the dolphins swimming in the Intercoastal Waterway and see pelicans up close. You can also take a trip on a boat for a closer look at the dolphins, its much nicer seeing them as nature intended, and not performing tricks at Seaworld. Afterwards its time for a bit of retail therapy in the shops, where you can buy the usual t-shirts and souvenirs as well as some more unusual items. Check out the link below for more details.
http://www. johnspass. com/
We next drive down to our final destination, St. Pete’s Beach for the rest of the afternoon. Park in the car park and walk over the walkway onto the wonderful white beach. You laze on the beach or take a walk along the beach towards the Don Caesar Hotel, you can’t miss it, it’s the legendary pink palace dominating the skyline. Many famous people have stayed there over the years. Whilst walking along the beach you can pick lots of pretty shells to bring home. Opposite the car park is a Publix store where you can buy cold drinks and sandwiches for a picnic on the beach. Plan to stay for the sunset, its quite spectacular and very romantic. Afterward why not have dinner at Bennigans also opposite the beach before you drive home.
The drive takes approximately one and a half hours from Orlando and I would recommend you try to avoid rush hour. The roads are well sign-posted so you won’t get lost.
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