Category Archives: Florida

Enjoying the Gulf Coast Day at Clearwater Beach.

Miles of sugar white sand with the turquoise Gulf of Mexico waters on one side and an award-winning Florida beach town on the other, that’s Clearwater Beach.

Approaching the beach all that separates you from the sand are scores of palm trees.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

We avoided the crowds and parking issues that can arise, by visiting on a weekday right after a holiday. Yes it is a popular tourist spot, but for good reason. πŸ™‚ We were hooked as soon as the car went into park.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Amongst the heart of the beachfront is Pier 60. Across its length you’ll find a souvenir shop and a lot of fisherman. In the evening it’s the place to be as “Sunsets at Pier 60” takes over. You’ll find street performers, music and people selling gifts every day as the sun is setting over the gulf.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Pier 60 #LoveFL

It was hot and humid with the sun coming down directly on us. That’s par for the course on a summer day in Florida. We managed to score some $1 waters and spent some time hiding under palm trees and in shops to cool down. They do have beach umbrellas available for rent as well as chairs.

Tip: Another option for cooling down is to look for the turtle statues. They all sit up-top the showers just off the beach used to clean the salt and sand off. The icy cold waters also make for a great way to cool down in a hurry.

Whether we were on the pier or beach, a beautiful view always stood in front of us. I’ll let the rest of the pictures tell the story. Anyone game for some bungee trampoline jumping?!

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Make sure to make the short trip over to Clearwater Beach if your going to be around Tampa and St. Petersburg.

There is more to Clearwater Beach then just hanging on the sand and pier. Stay tuned for stories on some of the fun we had on the water that day.

What other beaches would you recommend checking out along the gulf coast of Florida?

An Early Morning Stroll Along Pass-a-Grille Beach.

The gulf coast in Florida, especially St. Pete Beach, is well-known for their beautiful sunsets. Waking up right after sunrise one summer morning, I found the area to be just as scenic during the early morning hours.

I approached Pass-a-Grille Beach and the historic district alongside near St. Pete Beach’s southern most point. Some small dunes were all that separated Gulf Way and myself from the sugar-soft sands and the Gulf of Mexico. It was time to walk the short wooden bridge and see more of the gulf with every step.

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

The early morning sun, some blue skies, a calmness to the water and not a sole around, I had this part of the beach all to myself.

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

Well almost! Some people were hanging out on the pier off in the distance and I hope that other person wasn’t taking a bath haha. πŸ™‚

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

It wouldn’t be a morning along the beach in these parts without a bunch of seaweed that washed ashore overnight.

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

The romantic park bench was just hanging out waiting for someone to sit. A beautiful place to just hang out and stare off into the vast, turquoise waters of the gulf. The sun continued overhead, but off in the distance storm clouds were forming over the water. Just par for the course in Florida. πŸ™‚

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

Who is that guy checking out the “Welcome To” sign? πŸ™‚

St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico, Florida

Pass-a-Grille and this part of St. Pete Beach is off the beaten path, a mile or two south off the main highway. It’s a recommended stop. You’ll find shopping, ice cream, restaurants and fishing opportunities to go with the beach. Merry Pier is definitely worth a look.

Checkout the beauty of a St. Pete Beach area sunset. Are there any off the beaten path beach spots you would recommend along the Florida Gulf Coast?

St. Pete Beach: The Views, Cocktails & Seafood of Crabby Bills.

Crabby Bills Seafood in St. Pete Beach, Florida sits right along the beach and Gulf of Mexico. The up-top outside deck provides beautiful tropical views during the day and romantic sunsets each and every night. A rum runner or two and some Sea Scallops and Bairdi Snow Crab are the last pieces to the puzzle of a fun St. Pete Beach experience.

I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

St. Pete Beach, Florida, tropical cocktail, Crabby Bills

St. Pete Beach, Florida, tropical cocktail, Crabby Bills

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, beach

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, beach

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, beach bar

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, seafood, scallops

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, seafood, king crab

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, sunset, Gulf of Mexico, beach

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, sunset, Gulf of Mexico, beach

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, sunset, Gulf of Mexico, beach

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, sunset, Gulf of Mexico, beach

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, seafood, scallops

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Crabby Bills, seafood, king crab

Food-wise you aren’t looking at the same dishes more than once. πŸ™‚ The photos are from consecutive days. When you find great seafood why not order it again. The sides of choice are the Southern Green Beans and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Crabby Bills has other locations in St. Cloud and nearby Clearwater, but how can beat the beauty of being alongside St. Pete Beach and the Gulf of Mexico?!

What delicious, scenic, outdoor dining fun have you had in your travels? Or around home?

Tampa: A Helicopter Skyline Tour.

When photographing a city skyline people like to walk and drive to various vantage points, grab a shot from the water and look for the high rises when landing or taking off in an airplane. What about getting up close and personal to the heart of a city via helicopter?

My wife and I had the chance to see the Tampa, Florida skyline via a helicopter tour from Old City Helicopters. We met the helicopter in the Davis Islands neighborhood at Peter O’Knight Airport. You could already see the skyline off in the distance from the runway.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Upon take off Seaplane Basin and Hillsborough Bay sat right in front of us. My wife sat in front with the pilot and I was the backseat flyer. πŸ™‚

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Doing a 360 in the air there was the heart of Tampa off in the distance along with the Seddon and Sparkman water channels.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Before reaching downtown we went over some ritzy neighborhoods.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Our pilot was friendly and made sure we were safe and having a great time. He also pointed out various spots all along the way. Can anyone guess whose white mansion with the pool that is in the center of the picture? Hint: He is retiring from his sporting profession this year. πŸ™‚

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, celebrity home

Well it was time to head into downtown via a brand new means, getting goosebumps as we got closer and closer. Nothing like capturing a photo of someone capturing a photo of a city skyline in the air!

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

You could almost touch the buildings. The tallest building in Tampa and along the Florida Gulf Coast is the 42-story 100 North Tampa building to the far left.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Looking to the east you can see McKay Bay, also capturing more of the neighborhoods as we looked away from downtown in each direction. Typical of Florida, you have dark ominous clouds on one side and clear blue skies on the other. πŸ™‚ We lucked out with no rain during our tour.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

It was time to head back towards the airport and Hillsborough Bay.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, Tampa Bay

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

We circled the bay getting some skyline and marina shots from out on the open water, I mean over.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline, harbor

Back to Peter O’Knight Airport we go, where you’ll find lots of small planes and helicopters taking off continuously.

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour

Tampa, Florida, helicopter tour, skyline

tampa-helicopter-tour-025

We went on the Bay & Downtown Tour. Along with various Tampa tour options, Old City Helicopters also provides aerial tours of St. Petersburg, the nearby Gulf of Mexico beaches, St. Augustine and the Florida Keys. You can get flight instruction or even just go on a ride that is photography based. Checkout their website and Facebook page for more information.

We had a great time and would definitely recommend this excursion when visiting the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area.

Old City Helicopter tours, Tampa, Florida

Have you ever had a helicopter tour? Any around the heart of a city?

Florida: The Sunsets of St. Pete Beach.

No matter the evening, viewing a sunset on St. Pete Beach along the Florida Gulf Coast is magical. The beach, sand, palm trees, Gulf of Mexico and other beach goers in combo make for a romantic and beautiful setting every time. A great spot for honeymoon! πŸ™‚ I’ll let the pictures from various summer evenings do all the talking.

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

Where are your favorite spots, either around home or that you’ve come across in your travels, to capture a sunrise/sunset over and over and over again?