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Beaches  












St Petersburg
and Clearwater Beaches
Florida's Beach is where you want to be! Close to everything, yet miles away. A beautiful peninsula located on Florida's West coast, the area is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and by Tampa Bay to the east.

Home to Fort De Soto Park, America's #1-rated beach, we offer 35 miles of white-sand beaches on some eight major barrier islandsSituated on the Golf Coast, both of these locations have excellent sandy gently shelving beaches and warm water. Parking is about $10.00 a day and you can hire beach chairs and umbrellas on the beach. Plenty of restaurants shops and bars.  Located an approximate 2 hour drive away on West I-4
 
Cocoa Beach

Just six miles long, and mostly less than one mile wide, Cocoa Beach is truly a unique place! Where else can you choose between watching a space launch from the beach or precious animal species in their natural habitat? You can choose between a swim in the ocean, or a quiet kayak exploration off the Banana River islands, from our river shore? Play a round of golf at our 27-holes golf course, surf cast from the beach for dinner, or just enjoy a day at the beach where you will likely see dolphins at play or be lucky enough to see an occasional whale in migration. Widely known as the surfing capitol of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach is the hometown of surfing champions.


The primary attraction to Cocoa Beach is the weather. With its coastal location and positioned where two climatic zones (sub-tropic and temperate) meet, our weather usually avoids extremes. This unique location attracts wildlife indigenous to both climatic zones, as well as coastal and migratory species. And, of course, our weather, beaches and local amenities attract human visitors as well! Many of our residents first experienced Cocoa Beach as visitors and eventually relocated here!
This beach allows no cars or bikes you can park in the pier car park for about $5.00 or several other parking areas along this stretch of coast. Take a walk up the pier and enjoy a meal watching the surfers and volleyball players. This is where the world famous Ron Jon’s Surf Shop is located, it also caters to Skateboarders. Very low key area. Only 1 hour away from Kissimmee take Highway 192 East to the 417 to Cocoa Beach Exit. It is not too far from Cape Canaveral.

Daytona Daytona Beach
North - Ormond-by-the-Sea and Ormond Beach are located at the north end of the Daytona Beach area. The Ormond Beach area was once home to the Rockefellers and the Flaglers, as well as the early automotive pioneers who tested their inventions on the hard-packed beach.Today Ormond Beach features attractions like the Casements and Tomoka State Park. Visitors seeking a quieter part of the beach can find it in the Ormond Beach area. In fact, beach driving is not allowed at the northern end of Ormond Beach or in Ormond-by-the-Sea.
Central - Daytona Beach, made famous as the "World Center of Racing" and home of NASCAR, is the best known of the seven area communities. Although the wide stretch of white sandy beach is still the biggest attraction here, the Ocean Center convention complex, the new Daytona Beach International Airport, the new Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golf course, and the Halifax Harbor Marina hail the renaissance which has been taking place in Daytona Beach over the last several years. Historical sites like the Main Street Pier, the Oceanfront Boardwalk and the Clocktower in Oceanfront Park add to the appeal of this exciting city.
South - Daytona Beach Shores was formed in 1960 by a group of moteliers who called themselves "2,000 Cottages." This relatively new city was incorporated in 1967, and stretches for 5 1/2-miles along the Atlantic Ocean. At the southern tip of the peninsula is the scenic fishing village of Ponce Inlet. Local charter fishing boats are located here, along with several of the area's best seafood restaurants.You can actually drive on this beach for 23 miles, or as locals say, cruise. During February, March and April it host lots of events including Bike Week in late February. Visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences  - Multi-cultural exhibits in art, science and history. Permanent and traveling exhibitions.  Planetarium shows.
 
Open Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.1040 Museum Blvd. Daytona Beach (386) 255-0285 www.moas.org

 
Remember that beer and alcohol are not allowed on the beach


ormond beach


Ormond Beach
or in Ormond-by-the-Sea.
Central - Daytona Beach, made famous as the "World Center of Racing" and home of NASCAR, is the best known of the seven area communities. Although the wide stretch of white sandy beach is still the biggest attraction here, the Ocean Center convention complex, the new Daytona Beach International Airport, the new Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golf course, and the Halifax Harbor Marina hail the renaissance which has been taking place in Daytona Beach over the last several years. Historical sites like the Main Street Pier, the Oceanfront Boardwalk and the Clocktower in Oceanfront Park add to the appeal of this exciting city.

South - Daytona Beach Shores was formed in 1960 by a group of moteliers who called themselves "2,000 Cottages." This relatively new city was incorporated in 1967, and stretches for 5 1/2-miles along the Atlantic Ocean. At the southern tip of the peninsula is the scenic fishing village of Ponce Inlet. Local charter fishing boats are located here, along with several of the area's best seafood restaurants.You can actually drive on this beach for 23 miles, or as locals say, cruise. During February, March and April it host lots of events including Bike Week in late February. Visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences  - Multi-cultural exhibits in art, science and history. Permanent and traveling exhibitions.  Planetarium shows.
Open Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.1040 Museum Blvd. Daytona Beach (386) 255-0285 www.moas.org
 
 
siesta beach sand bar.jpgSarasota
 
Sarasota is an area cultural center with a nice blend of museums, gardens, theaters and parks. Sarasota is on the west coast of Florida just south of Tampa Bay. The area has some excellent beaches out on the barrier islands of Longboat Key, Lido Key, and Siesta Key.
One of the best known landmarks in Sarasota is the Ringling Museum. This former Ringling estate was once home to John and Mabel Ringling of the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Circus and the "The Greatest Show on Earth". The Ringling Museum shows off its exquisite grand Italian Renaissance style architecture on the outside with marvelous treasures of art on the inside. Paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods are on display. The museum also has a collection of antique circus wagons and memorabilia.
On the way from Sarasota to the barrier islands is St. Armand's Circle. This upscale shopping district is a collection of boutiques, galleries and restaurants.Longboat Key
The barrier islands offer fine Florida beaches at Long Boat key, Lido Key and Siesta Key. Lido Key has a nice park at its south end offering picnicking and fishing.
Indian Rocks Beach
 
Indian Rocks Beach is a favorite beach communitiy in Pinellas County. It runs for about 28 blocks (about 3 miles) along the Gulf of Mexico, between Belleair Shore to the north, and Indian Shores, to the south. Sure it's overbuilt, but there are lots of beach houses, and fewer condominiums than on most Pinellas beaches. And, the condos are three stories or less. No big high-rises here. There are plenty of beachfront rentals and lots of excellent restaurants and shops to enjoy. Fast food and corporate chains do not have a presence on Indian Rocks Beach. The City has a beach management plan and takes great pride in maintaining their beaches, dunes, vegetation, and wildlife. The really remarkable thing about Indian Rocks Beach is that the city provides FREE parking to all beaches except the main Pinellas County public Beach at 17th Avenue (you have to pay to park, but it does have restrooms and outdoor showers). Every street end provides a path to the beach. Most streets provide at least a few parking spaces for cars.
                           


Tbeaches floridareasure Island is located between Sand Key to the north, and St. Pete Beach to the south. Treasure Island generally is another overbuilt, over-commercialized beach town, where you can't even get a glimpse of the water until you've parked your car and walked past the beachfront resorts and condos.  Treasure Island does provide good beach access, and the County beach actually has FREE parking. The nicest beach in my opinion is down at the south end of the island in an area called Sunset Beach. See for yourself by checking out the photos below. Treasure Island is easily accessed from the City of St. Petersburg, Florida. There are plenty of beachfront rental condominiums and some hotels and beach houses for rent. Treasure Island has no shortage of restaurants and small shops that cater not only to visitors, but also to a large population of residents.

Belleair Beach
The Beach: With just under a mile of beach, the city has five beach access points. The beach itself is wide -- up to 250 feet of sand to the waterline. But because of the city's residential character, few visitors get to enjoy it.
Amenities: Belleair Beach has 11 parks, tennis courts, a basketball court, a boat ramp and municipal marina for residents, but offers little to attract outside visitors.

 
Honeymoon Island (Dunedin)
Located in Dunedin, Florida, Honeymoon Island is home to Honeymoon Island State Park. It attracts more than 700,000 visitors each year and is a welcome respite from the congestion of Pinellas County. Honeymoon Island features a long undeveloped shoreline, half of which is a sandy beach, and the other half is virgin pine forest marsh, mangrove, and grass flats off-limits to motor boats. Honeymoon Island is a perfect place to enjoy a kayak trip, especially since it is so close to Caladesi Island. Birding, shelling, fishing, hiking, biking, beaching, strolling: it's all here on Honeymoon Island.

florida beaches

Honeymoon Island is shaped rather like a lobster claw. The entrance from the Dunedin Causeway is at lower right. Roads only provide access to about half the island. The shallow bay to the right of the island is off limits to boats with motors. The right side of the "lobster claw" is virgin pine forest. Great Horned owls can be heard calling even during the day. Since they are such large birds, they are fairly easy to spot sitting high in a pine tree. 
 
 



Madiera Beach
madiera beachMad Beach, as they call it here, stretches for about two miles at the southern end of Sand Key in Pinellas County, Florida. At the southernmost end is John's Pass, famous for it's grouper fishing fleet and John's Pass boardwalk, filled with shops and restaurants. Madeira Beach provides two main public beach accesses and plenty of street-end accesses, many of which have limited, metered parking. The Tom Stuart Causeway (S.R. 666) will take you right to the northern reaches of Mad Beach, just south of Redington Beach. Madeira beach has lots of small beachfront resorts and rental condominiums. There are also plenty of funky beach houses within a block or two of the beach. The water here is great for swimming and wading and the beach sand is generally white and soft. You will have to pay to park at any of the beach access points, but if you are staying on the beach or within a few blocks of the beach, that won't be an issue. If you stay nearer to John's Pass, you can walk to just about anything you might need or want. The City of Madeira Beach website has lots of info on this busy Gulf Coast island town.


North Redington Beach
The Beach: Have no doubt, North Redington Beach is serious about protecting its turtle nests, so when visiting during the summer season, be particularly careful where you step. The 90-foot-wide, mile-long beach has six beach access points. None have restrooms or showers.Redington Beach, FL : North Redington Beach Looking South - May 2007
Amenities: Visitors can rent personal watercraft, aqua cycles, kayaks, beach chairs and umbrellas just behind the Doubletree Beach Resort on Gulf Boulevard. The Conch Republic Bar and Grill is a favorite of residents and visitors. Beachfront food and spirits can be had at Mangos Restaurant & Tiki Bar at the Doubletree. For lunch or breakfast, try the Frog Pond Restaurant -- and for gourmet quiche, Sweet Sage is a can't miss. If you are looking for a fine dining experience, try Wine Cellar Restaurant.
Some drawbacks: Pedestrian safety is a particular concern in North Redington Beach, which strongly encourages visitors to used marked crosswalks on Gulf Boulevard.

The Redington Shore Beach
Redington Shores Public Beach AccessThe Beach: There are 11 separate access points to Redington Shores beaches. Three have showers and one -- the county park -- has restrooms.
Amenities: Perhaps the most well known attraction here is the Redington Long Pier, extending about 1,200 feet out into the Gulf of Mexico. The town also has a number of motels. Popular spots include the Friendly Tavern, particularly on karaoke nights, the Fort Knox, and, of course, there are Shells on the Beach and The Lobster Pot for fine dining.



Fun Florida Facts
Want to learn a bit about Florida? Need a game to keep the kids amused en route to your favorite beach destination? Read on for some trivial but intriguing facts about Florida:
What is Florida's nickname?
While there are some not-so-polite nicknames, we're looking for the answer of "The Sunshine State."
What is known as "pure Florida sunshine"?
Florida orange juice. Singer Anita Bryant once told TV viewers that, "A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine."
What is Florida's State flower?
Despite being nicknamed The Sunshine State, the sunflower doesn't represent Florida - the orange blossom does. With more orange groves than anywhere else on Earth, this little blossom earned its status. Bonus points if you knew that Florida produces 75 percent of all oranges grown in the U.S. and provides the rest of the world with 40 percent of its orange juice.
What Florida City is known as "the Venice of America"?
Fort Lauderdale's many canals and waterways earned it this title.
Which Florida City was dubbed the "Cigar Capital of the U.S."?
Tampa's historic Ybor City district owns this title. In 1885, Don Vincente Martinez Ybor brought cigar-making to Tampa, where it established the city's reputation.
What are Florida's NHL hockey teams?
Despite the warm weather, Florida has two teams - the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. Bonus points if you knew Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
What's Florida's claim to fame in sports?
It's one of the few states to have won a championship in every major league sport - hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in 2004, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have both won the Super Bowl, the Florida Marlins have won the World Series twice and basketball's grand prize went to the Miami Heat in 2006.
What famous author is said to have penned his best works while living in Key West?
Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote in Key West for more than a decade. During his time in Key West, he finished the final draft of A Farewell to Arms and the classic short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro."
Miami's Seaquarium was home to what famous 1960s television star?
This question is a bit of a trick. If you said "Flipper," you're only partially right. The answer should be "Flippers" since five dolphins actually played the role.
What famous inventor wintered in Fort Myers, where his home still exists today?
Thomas Edison. Bonus points if you can name some of his inventions, which include the light bulb, stock ticker and an early form of motion picture camera.
What multi-billionaire owns Mar-a-Lago, Ocean Boulevard's extravagant Italian-inspired mansion?
Donald Trump. Surprise, surprise
 
 

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