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September St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

September Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

Top Chefs

This dress-up worthy event benefits programs of PARC.  PARC’s mission is to provide opportunities for children & adults with developmental disabilities to exercise their independence and experience life to the fullest.
The Top Chefs event offers open bar drinks, samplings of entrees and amazing desserts prepared by some of the Bay Area’s best chefs working with students from PARC’s Culinary Program.
Proceeds benefit PARC’s programs. Read more about the history of PARC here.

Sample decadent desserts at PARC’s Top Chefs event

Night Market in St Pete

The Night Market in St Pete’s Warehouse Art’s District takes place about 5 times a year in the St Pete Side Lot located at 2133 2nd Ave South.  The best way to stay up to date on the events is to sign up for one on Facebook and then you’ll be alerted to future events.
Attending a market at night is so unusual that its worth a trip.  Local vendors dominate the event and there is plenty of food, shopping and drink.  The market is family and pet friendly.
The market typically lasts from 6 pm to 10 pm, but the 3 Daughters Brewery next door stays open later for an AfterParty!

Clearwater Super Boat National Championship & Festival

180 mph of fun.  Big. Fast. Super Boats.  The 2017 event saw 2,500 boats lining the beaches of the 2.5 mile-long race course.

VIP watch parties are available from sponsor hotels, restaurants and condos along the route.

Parades.  Food vendors. Live Music. More. Oh, and boat races!

2020 Dates: September 25-27

Clearwaer Super Boat 2017

Gulfport Gecko Fest

GeckoFest is Gulfport’s wacky answer to the end of summer.  As noted previously, Gecko’s are Gulfport’s unofficial mascot and definitely the town’s favorite reptile.

GeckoFest takes place in Gulfport’s Waterfront District and is family friendly. There’s food, live music, kids’ activities, street performance artists and a parade.

It might occur to you that a festival named after a gecko might have a colorful backstory and you’d be right. You can read the short history of how the festival got its start, or you can read the O-FISH-al GECKO legends!

(The date for GeckoFest moves between August and September each year, but the Gecko-related events that lead up to GeckoFest are almost always in August.). 2020 Date: September 5th.

10 am to 10 pm.  The Gulfport Trolley and Gulfport’s GetGO offers transportation options so you can attend without worrying about where to park.

Gulfport Gecko Fest Mascot

August St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

August Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday 

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

August Special Events

Great St Pete Cupcake Contest

Held at the Morean Arts Center. 420 22nd St South in the Warehouse Arts District.
Sample and get some ideas of your own, and help St Petersburg choose the Peoples Choice!  Your sweet tooth will thank you.

Great St Pete Cupcake Contest

Pet Pal Pub Crawl

Organized by the Pet Pal Animal Shelter in St Pete, this pub crawl benefits you and animals in need.  Raffle tickets available, Doggie Biscuit Bars at every stop and drink specials.

Art Gecko Show Opening Reception – Gulfport

Artists create larger-than-life geckos in the theme of the current year’s GeckoFest.  In 2018 the theme was Geckocon, so geckos were to reflect the artists’ interpretation of superheroes, villains, cult characters, imaginary locations and more, from comics, books, movies, etc.
After the opening reception the geckos are moved to preview locations in venues throughout Gulfport’s Waterfront District.  The geckos eventually go up for auction at the Gecko Ball.

Gecko Crawl – Gulfport

A limited ticket event, the Gecko Crawl helps usher in “Gecko Season” in Gulfport.  (And believe me, fall is indeed Gecko Season.  They’re everywhere! Babies, tiny babies and more babies!)
Tickets are only available at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar at 3115 Beach Blvd in Gulfport.
Participation in the crawl includes a free drink at each location, a poker run and an after party.  The after-party includes a band and an award ceremony.

FishKids

If you’re going to be in the area in August and you have an aspiring angler in your midst, I don’t think you can go wrong with Fish Kids.
Dedicated to “shaping the next generation of anglers”, this event, or really series of events, promises something for all.  There are learning labs, demos, knot tying, seminars, castnetting, games and a seawall fishing tournament. Get your youngsters educated and involved in the water and conservation now.
Held at ROC Park in Madeira Beach.

Gecko Ball

Another staple in Gecko Season is the Gecko Ball.  Past themes have included Geckocon, Geckostock, GeckoGras, Roaring Geckos and more.
The ball is held at the Historic Gulfport Casino ballroom. Tickets are only available at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar at 3115 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport.
Dress to impress! Scenery and decor provided at the event, along with a cash photo booth, dancing, live music, a live and silent auction and tasty treats.
This ball sells out every year so it is important to get your tickets early.  The 2020 ball will be held on August 29th.

It’s Not Every Day You Get to Dress Wacky!

Geckofest

GeckoFest is Gulfport’s wacky answer to the end of summer.  As noted previously, Gecko’s are Gulfport’s unofficial mascot and definitely the town’s favorite reptile.

GeckoFest takes place in Gulfport’s Waterfront District and is family friendly. There’s food, live music, kids’ activities, street performance artists and a parade.

It might occur to you that a festival named after a gecko might have a colorful backstory and you’d be right. You can read the short history of how the festival got its start, or you can read the O-FISH-al GECKO legends!

(The date for GeckoFest moves between August and September each year, but the Gecko-related events that lead up to GeckoFest are almost always in August.)

10 am to 10 pm.  The Gulfport Trolley and Gulfport’s GetGO offers transportation options so you can attend without worrying about where to park.

Festival Goers

Great Bay Scallop Search

Not your usual wine, dine and relax event, the Great Bay Scallop Search is an annual resource monitoring event.
Organized by Tampa Bay Watch, the event recruits volunteers to snorkel along set transect lines to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa Bay. The search needs volunteers with shallow draft boats and limited spots for canoes and kayaks.
Bay scallops are important due to their ability to filter water.  They’r extremely sensitive to pollution, thus serving as useful “underwater canaries” to signal changes in water quality.
Bay scallops disappeared from Tampa Bay in the early 1960’s due to highly polluted bay water.  You can see scallop search counts since 1996 here.
Even if you can’t volunteer, it is worth a few minutes of your time to learn about these delightful creatures.

  • If you think sea turtles have challenges, know that of the 12 million eggs a single scallop releases, only one may survive to adulthood.  
  • Tiny blue eyes along the outer rim of the shell detect movement and serve as an early warning system for scallops.
  • Although clams may live 40 years, the average life span of a bay scallop is 12-18 months.
  • An adult scallop can pump as much as 14.7 liters of water per hour by funneling water across open pathways on its gill covers.

Great Bay Scallop Search Helps Count Bay Scallops

Tampa Bay Comic Con

My guess is if you’re interested in a Comic Convention, you probably already have the dates for this one on your calendar.  In advance.  Way in advance. These things are a big deal and attract huge crowds in almost every city that has them. And Tampa is no different.

This event features a roster of comic industry professionals, as well as related celebrities.  Exhibitors reflect a wide variety of interests – comic books, toys, games, Star Wars, manga, artwork, clothing, magazines, and, of course, comic books.

2019 dates are August 2-4, 2019.  The event is family-friendly and FREE for children. Tampa Convention Center; 333 S Franklin St, Tampa

November St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

November Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday Artwalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

St Pete Beach: Corey Avenue Sunday Market

Treasure Island: Open Air Market (Fridays)

November Special Events

Tampa Bay Holiday Market

November 17 and 18, 2018 at the Coliseum, 535 4th Ave N. Free parking. (pay attention to the N or NE or S or SE on the end of street addresses when you head into downtown St Petersburg.  For the sake of your sanity.)

Santa will be there both Saturday and Sunday.  Just in case you need your Santa fix.

Check out the event’s Facebook page here.  They promise to help you with your holiday shopping list.

Tampa Bay Holiday Market is a must for your holiday shopping list

Ribfest

Nov 9-11 Vinoy Park. Tagline – Rockin’ Ribs – Helpin’ Kids.

There’s some really good musical talent at this event. Both mainstream and cover/tribute bands. Check out the lineup here.

A list of “Ribbers” can be found here.

Shopapalooza

Nov28-29, 2020.  Vinoy Park, downtown St Petersburg.  Or more specifically, 198 Bayshore Drive. 10 am – 5 pm.  Admission is free. There are other ways they will get your money.

This event features more than 130 local shops.  There’s a kids’ zone so you can let them exhaust themselves for a bit, then get back to your shopping.

Well-behaved pets on leash are welcomed.  

Where shoppers go to really shop

St Pete Power & Sailboat Show

Heralded as the largest boat show on the Gulf Coast, this event runs from November 29th to Sunday, December 2 at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park in St Petersburg, Florida.

Clearly displaying boats takes up a little space.

In addition to boats you will find marine gear, special events and educational activities. Hopefully no cooking demonstrations for the latest miracle cookware.

Click here to plan your visit! This event is big so you need to know where you’re going.

Kenwood BungalowFest Tour

Nov 3, 2018, 10 am – 4 pm.  This event is in its 20th year and will feature 10 homes that reflect the historic architecture and character of the Kenwood Neighborhood.

Kenwood’s roots are in an avocado grove in 1912, when the grove was subdivided and developed.  Craftsman homes were common, with most homes built between the 1920’s and 1950’s.  However, as suburbanization occurred, many homes fell into disrepair over the next 3 or 4 decades. Revitalization began in the 1990’s, as a few people began buying and restoring these homes.

Historic Kenwood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Purchase tickets in advance here.  (They are also available the day of the event.)  A trolley is available to take you from house to house.

You can read more about Kenwood here and watch a video.

 
Old Salt Foundation Fish Spread Contest

In 2018 this delicious event is being held on November 13th at Gators Cafe at John’s Pass.

Not familiar with fish spread? Check out our blog post on fish spread here.

This is not an observation-only event.  For a $2 donation you can sample all of the entered fish spreads and vote for the Peoples Choice Award winner.  And if making fish spread is your thing, you can enter for only $10 per entry!

Smoked fish spread at its finest

Treasure Island Sand Sculpture Competition and Music Festival

Also known as the Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup.  November 20-24, 2019, near the Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Boulevard.

Several tons of sand, a bit of water, a vivid imagination (and a plan!) and you find the largest masters competition in the southeastern U.S.

The competition is invitational and will feature at least ten master sculptors.

The event’s website is here and the Facebook page here.

View our blogpost on the 2018 event (with tons of photos!) HERE.

Sand sand everywhere

Sponge Docks Seafood Festival

The Sponge Docks are in Tarpon Springs, so a little more of a drive than we normally consider for the St Petersburg calendar of events, but the docks are so different that it is worth the drive.

This event is in its 31st year, so they’ve clearly figured this festival thing out. Admission is free and there is limited free parking at Dog Splash Park at 508 Live Oak Street, Tarpon Springs.

The Tarpon Springs and Greektown Historic Districts (separate areas) ae listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so you may wish to make this an all-day trek and visit them while you’re in the area. The Tarpon Springs Historic District is bounded by Read Street, Hibiscus Street, Orange Street, Lewis Avenue, Lemon Street and Spring Bayou.  The entire area is about 700 acres and it contains 145 historic buildings.

The Greektown Historic District is Florida’s first Traditional Cultural Property listing. Check the App Store Icon on your phone and search for “Florida Stories”.  You can download the app and click the “Discover” tab to find the Walk: Tarpon Springs tour.

Live music, local seafood, arts and crafts and specialty vendors. Insider tip: Visit Spongeorama while you’re there.  There’s an exhibit center inside along with a short movie/video and the people that work there are extremely knowledgeable.  We wanted to pull up a chair and listen for hours!

You may find a sponge or two. Or three.

Clearwater Beach Uncorked – Sip Savor Repeat

Uncorked is not just a food and wine event in a beach town.  The trademarked phrase for the event is “Wine in your hand, toes in the sand”.  This event is held directly on Clearwater Beach, south of Pier 60.  The event is held rain or shine and there are no refunds for inclement weather.

Children under 21, pets, outside food and drink and backpacks not permitted.

Uncorked

Craft Beer Festival

Get a souvenir tasting mug and sample over 100 craft ales. It’s not every day you can find this many choices in one place.

Hosted at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou in Pinellas Park.  2 – 6 pm November 3, 2018

Fall King of the Beach Fishing Festival

Another great event sponsored by the Old Salt Fishing Foundation, the fall Kingfish tournament Nov 8-10, 2018 is being held in Maderia Beach Florida.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the tournament, so there’s sure to be some celebrations to make it even more memorable.

King of the Beach Fishing Festival

St Pete Beach Bike Fest

Nov 14 -18, 2018 St Pete Beach, Tradewinds Resort.

Five days of motorcycles, music and mayhem. You can find the event calendar here.

October St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

October Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

St Pete Beach: Corey Avenue Sunday Market

October Special Events

VW Beach Bash – Pass-A-Grille

October 20, 2018.  9th Ave from 10 am – 4 pm. In its 10th year.

Betty’s Beach Clean Up starts at 8 am. VW Car Show at 10 am.

Free to the public. Merchandise goes early, so you may wish to order early. Check the event’s Facebook page here. You can order by emailing them or messaging them from the Facebook page and they will ship them a few days after the show.

VW Bash at Pass-A-Grille

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

October 18-21, 2018. Coachman Park, Clearwater.  National and local performing acts.  2018 headliners include The Doobie Brothers and George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers.

Tickets go up the day of the event.  Reserved seating available.  Sounds like a good time!

Honeymoon Island’s Halloween in the Park

October 26-27, 2018 at Honeymoon Island State Park, 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, Fl

Haunted hayrides, carnival games, crafts, DJ music jams, Boo in the Zoo, costume contests (for children 12 and under), bounce houses, scary trail, mythical-magical children’s trail, storytelling! Oh, and ghouls, ghosts and goblins!

$5 ($10?) parking, $5 Haunted Hayride, $10 Wristband (includes most other events). Pricing unclear.

Download the flyer here.

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls!

Howl-O-Fest

October 19 and 20, 2018 at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 6-10 pm both days. 2900 31st St S, at the Environmental Studies Area.

This family-friendly event features Inflatable games, fire shows, hay rides, arts & crafts and trick or treat cabins. Cake Walks at 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm.  Bet you haven’t done one of those in awhile.

St Pete Zombie Food Booze Crawl

Zombie flash mob anyone? Um, maybe? Albert Whitted Park (downtown St Pete) hosts this event with fun, food, live music, and, of course, zombies.

Tons of food trucks and a costume festival.  Admission is free. 6-10 pm.  October 19, 2018

Clearwater Chalk Art Festival

Arts, crafts, a kid zone.  Three days. October 19th, 20th and 21st in 2018.

During these 3 days chalk artists quite literally transform sidewalks of BeachWalk on South Clearwater Beach. Planning on hanging around for awhile and watch these artists create these masterpieces before your eyes.

Competition, prizes and “People’s Choice Awards” on the last day of the event.

Views photos from the 2017 Chalk Art Festival here.

Clearwater Chalk Art Festival

John’s Pass Seafood Festival 

A 4 day celebration, including a halloween Block Party.  Live music.  Costume contests.  Battle of the Gulf Fishing Tournament.  World’s Largest Bloody Mary Toast. Face painting.  Balloon artists. John’s Pass Seafood and Jazz Holiday.

A wonderful comeback for this event, as it looked like it would be canceled after the 2018 event due to increased site fees.  Congratulations team! 2020 Dates are October 23-25.

Location: John’s Pass Boardwalk

Strut, Wag & Rock – Tampa

October 20, 2018 at Ferg’s Live Tampa. 490 Channelside Dr, Tampa. 2-9 pm

This year’s event will have a 60’s theme – “Grateful Dawg Day” and music will be provided by a Grateful Dead cover band, Uncle John’s Band.

The event will have a 100 dog costume contest, although contestants do not have to dress in the theme.

You can register online and proceeds benefit Vets4Pets Charitable Clinic.

Howl-O-Ween Pet Fest & PAWrade St Petersburg

Bring your best furry friend and push, pull or carry him or her in the most spook-tacular PAWrade of the year.

You can make a float to use in the PAWrade, as long as it is not motorized.

Costumes are judged on both the pet’s and pet human’s costume.

11 am – 3 pm, October 27, 2018 at 3 Daughter’s Brewing, 222 22nd St S, St Petersburg, Fl.

Your pet could be here

Treasure Island Children’s Halloween Spooktacular & Fall Festival

October 26, 2018 at the Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis Facility at 10315 Paradise Boulevard, starting at 6 pm.

Interactive Inflatables, Games, Moonwalks, Train Rides, Fortune Teller, Stiltwaker, Magician, Face Painters, Caricature Artist.

Costume Contest 6:30 pm; Haunted House 7-9 pm.

Event flyer here.

SPCA Tampa Bay Pet Walk

Held in 2018 at Vinoy Park.  Dedicated to raising money to help support the homeless animals of the Tampa Bay community, this event has something for everyone.  Music for the humans, agility courses, costume contents and a doggie water park for your furry friends.

Click here to visit the SPCA Tampa Bay website and learn more.  

It looks like the 2020 walk has been moved to April at the new Pier.

St Petersburg Festival of the Arts

Rather than a single festival, the St Petersburg Festival of the Arts is really a month-long series of artistic events ranging from plays to music to film to dance to wine.

The events are spread out during the month, so click here to be taken to the website and their listing of events and more information.

December St Petersburg Area Events Splashy

December Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday Artwalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

St Pete Beach: Corey Avenue Sunday Market

Treasure Island: Open Air Market (Fridays)

Lighted Holiday Boat Parades

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the numerous lighted boat parades that take place along the waterways of Pinellas county.

The exact dates vary from year to year, but they’re generally coordinated and spread out so that they don’t all convene on the same nights.

Following is a listing of the area lighted holiday boat parades.  You can visit the specific event’s website for more details.

  • Gulfport & Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade – December 8, 2018
  • Treasure Island’s Lighted Boat Parade – December 14, 2018
  • Pass-A-Grille and Vina Del Mar Boat Parade
  • Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade – December 15, 2018
  • Redington Beaches/Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade
  • Madeira Beach Festival of Lights Holiday Boat Parade – December 8, 2018
  • St Pete Beach Holiday Boat Parade and Winter Festival in the Park – December 7, 2018
  • St Petersburg Annual Rotary Club Illuminated Boat Parade – this event has been canceled for 2018 due to ongoing construction at the Pier.

 

If your explorations are taking you outside of the St Petersburg area during the month of December, Florida by Water publishes a very comprehensive list of boat parades around the state, complete with short descriptions and links to websites. (But ours is more helpful if you’re in just the St Petersburg area.)

Florida By Water Boat Parade List

December Special Events

St Pete Boat Parade & Winter Festival in the Park

You can dress up for this one.  The Parade Viewing Party starts at 6 pm in Horan Park and includes music, hot chocolate, art projects for children and a visit from Santa.  Admission is free.

Horan Park is next to the St Pete Beach Community Center at 7701 Boca Ciega Dr.

Click here for the parade route.

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Jingle Bell Kids’ Fishing Tournament

In 2018 this event is being held on December 1 at John’s Pass Village.  The entry fee is an unwrapped toy and non-perishable food item.  Donations benefit Santa’s Angels and The Kind Mouse.

All fishing myst be done from the dock or beach only. No fishing from boats or kayaks.

See the Angler Amory website for more rules, pictures and details!

Snowfest

No fake snow here! Sixty-four tons of snow will fall on North Straub Park in early December. (Possibly December 1 in 2018)

St Petersburg Annual Rotary Club Illuminated Boat Parade

This event is organized by the Rotary Club, this event moved back to downtown St Petersburg in 2017.  The boat parade starts at 401 Bayshore Dr, NE at 6 pm and the other festivities start at hour earlier, at 5pm.

Gulfport & BCYC’s Holiday Boat Parade

December 8, 2018.  The parade begins at Gulfport Municipal Marina, passing by the Boca Ciega Yacht Club clubhouse, then to Williams Pier, Town Shores, Pasadena Yacht Club, Pasadena Golf Estates and Dolphin Boulevard South, finally visiting Isla del Sol and returning to the BCYC clubhouse for the Post Parade party.

Visit the website to download a boat parade flyer, or to find out how to participate with your boat!  Entry “fees” are unwrapped toys for Operation Santa.

And see below for Gulfport’s Holiday Hoopla, taking place on the same day!

Click here for a link in Paradise News about this event that is in its 33rd year.  Sponsors are needed!

sailbcyc.org/christmasboatparade

Gulfport’s Annual Holiday Hoopla

Holiday Hoopla is a celebration of arts, crafts, foods, holiday music and roving holiday characters.

The festivities run from 10 am to 6 pm on Beach Boulevard in Gulfport’s Waterfront District.  The event benefits Operation Santa and Gulfport families in need.  Come find one-of-a-kind gifts that cannot be found anywhere else!

           Roving Rudolph at Gulfport’s Holiday Hoopla

Historic Old Northeast Candlelight Tour of Homes

This event is being held December 9th in 2018.

Check the HONNA (Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association) Facebook page for details as the event gets closer.

Christmas Market & Parade on St Pete Beach

The parade starts at St Pete Beach City Hall (155 Corey Ave) and heads west down Corey Ave, south on Blind Pass Road, east on 73rd to Bay Street and back to City Hall.

The best parade viewing areas will be along Corey Avenue and parking is available at the Community Center.

This event also includes a visit from Santa and an opportunity to meet with all the Whos in Whoville. Grinch themed crafts, face painting and light refreshments too.

Pass-A-Grille and Vina Del Mar Boat Parade

This small event starts at Merry Pier in Pass-A-Grille. I’ve heard that Santa will make an appearance at The Seahorse, where St Pete firemen will cook burgers and hot dogs outside.  Santa is also available for pictures with the kids.  Luminaries along the sea wall and carolers at Merry Pier.

Festivities start at 5 pm.

Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

The parade starts at the Holiday Inn Harborside. then goes under the Walsingham Bridge and ending at Harbor Drive North.

Redington Beaches/Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade

This boat parade goes from the Tom Stuart Causeway to “The Pub” restaurant in Indian shores.  The event starts at 5:45 pm.

New in 2018 is a lighted dock competition, but this would be hard to experience unless you’re in the parade yourself.

Festival of Lights Madeira Beach Boat Parade

The Madeira Beach “Festival of Lights” boat parade begins at ROC Park and ehads down the Intracoastal Waterway to John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk.

The event starts at approximately 6:30 pm and goes until 9 pm.

Check out the event flyer here.

Treasure Island’s Lighted Boat Parade

Treasure Island says its lighted boat parade is like Las Vegas on the water – dazzingly decorated boats of all kinds.  There is a friendly competition for prizes.

The TI Causeway Bridge closes to vehicular traffic during the parade (usually around 7 pm) and stays closed for 30 – 45 minutes to allow the boat parade to pass through.

The best public viewing areas for the Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade are:

  • 115th Avenue on the Isle of Palms
  • Treasure Island Causeway Bridge
  • Kingfish Drive at John’s Pass (Gator’s Cafe & Saloon)
  • Blind Pass Bridge (between Treasure Island & St Pete Beach)

Click here for a map of the parade route.  It’s an old map but the route hasn’t changed in years.

Corey Avenue Art Festival

December 1 and 2, 2018.  10 am to 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday. 595 Corey Ave in St Pete Beach Fl.

More than 100 talented artisans with jewelry, pottery ceramics, photography, painting, clothing.  There is also an expansive Green Market with plants, orchids, exotic flora, handmade soaps, gourmet spices and other goodies.

Renting Cabanas and Lounges – Treasure Island

How to Rent Cabanas and Lounges

If you head out to the beach on Treasure Island or St Pete Beach, you’re sure to see colorful lounges and cabanas.
On Sunshine Beach they are sunshine yellow.
On Treasure Island Beach they’re a rich turquoise and blue. Lest you be prompted to think that you have won the lottery, or that you’re at the Magic Kingdom and all your wishes have come true (sorry, wrong town) or that it is first come, first served…I’m here to make certain you know that these items are not free.

Umbrellas and lounges are taken down each evening and put up each morning by an attendant

Beach Service Operators

The operators of these services vary according to beach location.

Taylor Beach Service

Taylor Beach Service operations spans from 104th to 120th Ave on Gulf blvd, including the area adjacent to the Municipal Beach at 112th Ave

Hubbard’s Marina Cabana Rentals

​​Hubbard’s operates in the area around Gulf Front Park at 104th Ave and south to the 99th Ave.

Sand Dunes Beach Services

Sand Dunes (also the Taylor family) operates the cabanas and lounges on Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach and Upham Beach (part of St Pete Beach).

​These cabanas and loungers are operated by Hubbard’s Marina in the area of Gulf Front Park and southward for about 5 blocks.

Services at Sunshine Beach and Municipal Beach

Sunshine Beach is the beach closest to our Treasure Island home rentals.

Insider Tip: How to pay

Taylor Beach Services takes payment in cash, and by check in limited circumstances.  No credit cards.  Hubbards prefers cash, but can take a card in a pinch. Prepare to have an imprint of your card taken if you choose the credit route!

Availability and Pricing

Following is availability and pricing for equipment at Sunshine Beach and Municipal Beach, operated by Taylor Beach Service.

Cabana with two lounges. There’s a 2 hour minimum with a charge of $15.

3 hours – $20

One day – $30

2 Days or More – $25 per day

Per week – $150 per week

Extra lounge – $5 per day

Prices include tax.  No refunds. Credit days for bad weather.


Your haven for the day

Insider Tip: Umbrellas

Umbrellas are usually rented by the day due to weather restrictions and safety protocols. No one wants to be injured by a flying umbrella!

How To Rent From Taylor Beach Services

It’s pretty easy! Just take a seat. The attendant will follow up with you and you handle payment with him or her. Lounges “close” at 6 pm, but I’ve been told that if you want to keep them for longer, say to have a nice comfy place to relax and enjoy sunset in the summer, they can show you how to stack, stow and lock them up when you’re finished.

Services at Treasure Island Beach

Cabanas, lounges, paddleboards, bikes and kayaks on this section of the beach are operated by Hubbard’s Marina.  They have the turquoise cabanas and blue cushions on the loungers.
Hubbard’s rentals run from the beach in front of Gulf Front Park and go all the way south down the beach to the Island Inn which is a large hotel on the right side of Gulf Blvd. (About 5 blocks south of Publix.)

Availability and Pricing

Cabana sets – 2 hours for $15
Cabana sets – 3 hours for $20
Cabana sets – all day for $30
Lounge chairs plus umbrella – $15
Lounger only – $5
Umbrella only – $10

It’s very easy to swim, play and just generally hang out here.

How To Rent From Hubbard’s Marina

Reservations can be made by calling 727-393-1947. If you make reservations they can work with you and have specials for multiple rentals, as well as breaks on extended and weekly rentals. If you’re renting without reservations, feel free to sit until the attendant comes by to collect.

You can park at the Gulf Front Park Lot at 104th Ave and Gulf Blvd, or at several others outlined in the downtown parking map.

On Sunday evenings this area of the beach is also home to the Treasure Island Drum Circle.  (If you’re trying to find the Drum Circle from the street rather than the beach, it’s across from Publix and Safeway, near the Bilmar Hotel and the Thunderbird Hotel.)

Insider Tip: extended length equipment rentals

If you rent with Taylor Beach Service in advance for longer than one day, the equipment is tagged with your name for the duration of your stay

Schiller Water Bikes can be rented from Hubbard’s

Services at Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach and Upham Beach

Cabana rentals at Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach, Pass-A-Grille and Upham Beach are operated by Sand Dunes Beach Service, also part of the Taylor family.

Insider Tip: paddleboards and kayaks

Hubbard’s also rents out paddleboards, kayaks and beach bikes from the beach location.

The Taylor family operates Surf Rentals at 121st Ave behind the large hotel Sunset Vistas Beach Front Suites also has kayaks and paddleboards for rent.

Sand Dunes beach equipment rentals at Pass-A-Grille

Conclusion

All of these are operated by local, long-running family businesses. Attendants are professionals and can help stake umbrellas and get everything set up where you’d like it. Prices are reasonable and renting is easy. Restrooms, showers and parking lots are near each location that has these cabana rentals. Great choices if you want to show up and relax and not get a workout hauling your gear to the beach!

“In the waves of change we find our direction.”

Anonymous

Read more about Treasure Island’s beaches in our guide!

Bikes Gulfport and Treasure Island

Bike Routes and Rentals in Gulfport and Treasure Island

With so much beautiful weather year-round, Florida is a natural spot for a bike ride.

You can ride around the local neighborhoods, checking out what’s happening with local projects, visiting shops and restaurants, the Tuesday Fresh Market, the Gulfport Marina, the Treasure Island Friday Market, bike to Gator’s for lunch.  There are so many quiet neighborhood streets you can just cruise around on and that may be all you need.

However, if you’d like to venture further afield, read on!

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”

Isak Dinesen

Winning Bike Rides

We’ve outlined our top riding suggestions below and provided rental spots near each ride.
You can hop on the Pinellas Trail, head out to Fort DeSoto Park or bike beachside along the Treasure Island Beach Trail.

Riding on the road is not necessary – we have safe trails and pathways!

Ride #1 – The Pinellas Trail

Officially named The Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, this rail-to-trail urban pathway runs from St Petersburg north to Tarpon Springs. In 2017 an additional 5-mile section was opened into Pasco County.  The pathway is part of the Coast to Coast Connector, a developing trail network that will span 250 miles across the state.

Gulfport Spur

There is a Gulfport “spur” to the trail, just north of Gulfport Boulevard, off of 55th St near Tomilson Park.  The section closest to Gulfport travels through mostly urban landscapes, crossing streets with dozens of pedestrian bridges.  The street crossings that are not protected via an overbridge almost always have a marked crosswalk with flashing lights.

Ride Planning Resources

The link below is an invaluable resource in planning your ride.  It contains link to maps, links to rules, links to audio tours, bike rental locations along the rental and emergency assistance information.

http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/

Gulfport Spur to the Pinellas Trail

Insider Tip: ABC Bicycle Rentals – The Pinellas Trail

Helmets included at no charge! Rentals include “Flat Packs” and water bottle cages.

ABC Bicycles is a bike shop near the trail and I have used them for purchasing bike accessories as well.  They’re located very close to the trail, so you may be able to drive here, get bikes and head out on your way. Rentals include “Flat Packs” and water bottle cages.  Hybrids include kickstands and a lock.  Helmets are included at no charge or you may use your own.  Hybrid, Road and Electric Assist bikes are available!

Here’s the link to general rental information:  http://www.abcbicycles.com/rentals

Complete rental policies at ABC Bicycles can be found here: http://www.abcbicycles.com/about-us/policies#bicycle-rentals

Maybe a sunset ride is in your future?

Ride # 2 Fort DeSoto

Fort De Soto park is worth a visit for many reasons besides the multi-use trail.

It is the largest park within the Pinellas County Park system and is made up of five interconnected islands, or “keys”.

Total acreage is 1,136!

There are more than 328 species of birds here, an historic fort, 7 miles of waterfront (including almost 3 miles of beautiful white sandy beach, a boat launch, playground, restrooms, food concession area, two fishing piers, a nature trail, a dog park and ferry service to Egmont Key!

So you can see that there are plenty of reasons to venture out on a bike on the 12-foot-wide asphalt multipurpose trail.

Ride Resources

The park service has a wonderful resource-rich webpage to the park and its features here: http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm

Insider Tip: United Park Services – Fort DeSoto

Ten types of bicycles built for one to eight people!

Rentals at Fort DeSoto – United Park Services

The rental location is located on the multipurpose trail behind the Fort & Gift Shop.  Phone number is 727.864.1376.  Ten unique types of bicycles built for one to eight people!

http://www.unitedparkservices.com/bike.html

Nice, wide flat surface to ride along the Treasure Beach Trail – but under construction (or repairs?) August 2018

Insider Tip: Cycling resources

For a list of bike rental locations – Check Here
To plan out your ride – Check Here

TIBT Sign at the 119th Ave entrance

Ride #3 – Treasure Island Beach Trail

On the southern end of Treasure Island is Sunset Beach, which runs from the 119th Ave S to Gulf Front Park.  (If you see the Shake Shop on Gulf Boulevard, you’re about 1 block north.)
There are other beach access roads along the way linked to Gulf Boulevard street access.
The concrete path is flanked by a short wall on the beach side.  The wall helps keep sand off the trail while still allowing full beach views. (Note: As of August 2018 the trail is under construction at multiple locations to repair cracks.  It’s annoying enough to have to get off the trail if you’re walking.  If you’re biking its a non-starter until construction is complete.  I would estimate it is completed by some time in September. Treasure Island’s website says it is supposed to be completed in August.)
Anyway, one of the nice things about the trail is it’s width, smooth surface, unobstructed views of the beach landscape and access to restaurants (and some condos) along the way.  You can get to Sloppy Joe’s from this trail.

Schiller water bikes available for rental through Hubbards at either Johns Pass Marina or on the beach

Bike Rental Options on Treasure Island

Treasure Island Boat Rentals, Mad Beach Sports
(including electric bikes and fat tire bikes)
Hubbards Marina
(Schiller water bikes)
Erika’s Bikes, Boats

Partial map of Coast to Coast Connector Network

Coast to Coast Connector

If you’re an avid cyclist, you may already know about Florida’s Coast-to-Coast Connector.  When completed, this connection of bike paths will link communities between St Petersburg and Titusville.

The goal is to provide a safe and scenic way for visitors to explore Florida on bike and on foot.  The “C2C” is a major priority within the Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan.

Click on the map above to be taken to the full version on the website.

Click HERE to view a video about the C2C.

The coverage C2C network is really something to behold.

When we drive from Texas to Florida, we usually avoid I-75 (very prone to frequent accidents and long backups), which means we cut down from I-10 and go down 98 through Perry, Chiefland (GPS Bermuda Triangle), Crystal River, Homosassa Springs and then pick up 589 Toll, the Suncoast Parkway.

The Suncoast Trail parallels the toll road in that area.  Read more about the Suncoast Trail here.

For now be warned that there is a gap between the Pinellas Trail and the Suncoast Trail, north of Tarpon Springs.  (If you visit the map above you’ll see that the Coast to Coast Connector is estimated at 250 miles, with current gaps estimated at 69 miles. Additional funding is needed to complete it).

Insider Tip: Splashy Houses with bikes

The Shack & Flunky; Casa Sol, Harbor Mist. Isle Be Back, Tyn & Marty’s Old Fashioned Beach Cottage

Splashy Bikes

Splashy does have bicycles in a general bike pool, however they may not be available to you during your stay.

Also, not all of our rentals are large enough to keep the bikes inside while you’re not riding them.

Splashy bikes and bikes with homes are not to be taken outside of the general neighborhood. (In other words, please don’t load them up in your vehicle and take them to Fort DeSoto).

Riding on the Pinellas Trail is fine, but keep in mind that we will not be able to come get you should the bike need maintenance.

“The cure for anything is salt water: At the beach, treasure is what we find, not what we buy.”
From How to Live at the Beach

Sandy Gingras

Bike Etiquette

If you’re using the bikes at one of our rentals, we ask that you do not ride them in the sand or lay them down in the sand.

If you’re renting a bike, please follow the rules they’ve laid out for you in your agreement.

Leave a comment below and tell us if you have a favorite ride!

The Guide to Treasure Island Beaches

The Beaches of Treasure Island

Does water call to you? Then you’ve found your place!

Treasure Island—a true island—is only connected to the mainland via the TI causeway to the east, the John’s Pass Bridge to the north and to St Pete Beach via the Blind Pass Bridge to the south. To the west of Treasure Island? Nothing but the big, beautiful Gulf of Mexico.In fact, Treasure Island is touched by water everywhere you look, with the Isle of Capri and Paradise Island resembling fingers beckoning in the waters of Boca Ciega Bay.

Get a bird’s eye view of Treasure Island’s geography in these short aerial videos. Note that every road and street is just a stone’s throw from the water! 

So, how do you choose which beach to spread your towel on in this water-surrounded paradise?

Read on!

“The cure for anything is salt water, sweat, tears or the sea.”

Isak Dinesen

The Big Three

Treasure Island has three distinct beach areas: Sunset Beach, Sunshine Beach, and Municipal Beach/Treasure Island Beach.All three beach districts share similar sand quality (white and soft), water color and clarity (greenish blue and clear) and wave size (moderate; waves range from flat to choppy, depending on wind and weather), but have some distinct differences, too.

Gorgeous turquoise waters

1. Sunshine Beach

Sunshine Beach is on the north end, running from just south of John’s Pass for about seven blocks to 120th Ave. With fewer hotels and more residential areas, this stretch of Treasure Island is laid-back and loved by locals.

There is only one parking lot (at the Snowy Egret on 126th Ave), but if you’re staying at one of our homes on Treasure Island, you won’t need a car. Just cross over Gulf Blvd at the pedestrian crosswalk at 119th Ave or at 120th Ave and stroll on over to the beach.

Your best bet is to hang out here, around beach near the crossovers.

View from the jetty on the south end of Johns Pass, north end of Sunshine Beach

To the north, the beach can get a little narrow, but at 119th and 120th Aves., it’s wide enough to give distance from the condos and The Treasure Island Beach Trail (which starts here), but not so wide that carting your gear to the tide is a chore.

Insider Tip: Sandbars

insider tip: sandbars

This area of the beach – Sunshine Beach around 120th and 119th – near the Shake Shop – is one of my favorites! The water is shallow enough that you can swim out to the buoys—particularly when the tide is out—and still touch bottom. It’s a great area for little ones just getting their feet wet in the surf.

There are a number of sandbars in the area, too. Bring along a waterproof camera for scrapbook-worthy snapshots. You may meet sea creatures like sand dollars hanging out on the sandbars, but please leave these creatures where you found them. (They’re living things, too!)If your sweet tooth strikes while you’re visiting Sunshine Beach, you couldn’t pick a better spot than the Shake Shop. Try the peanut butter shake or for something really different, the lime milkshake.  Not a typo. Lime. Need a bathroom and don’t want to trek back to the house? There is a restroom on the second level of the Sunset Vistas condo building, just off the elevator.

This view of Municipal Beach is taken from the snack bar.  The beach and the water are off in the distance.  This is the widest section of beach in the area. Just something to keep in mind.

2. Central Beach Area – Municipal Beach & Treasure Island Beach

Next down the coastline is the central beach area, which consists of Municipal Beach and Treasure Island Beach. This central area runs from 120th Ave to the intersection of Gulf Blvd and 1st St SE.

Municipal Beach is somewhat unique in that it is owned and maintained by the City of St. Petersburg rather than by the City of Treasure Island. It’s also probably the most commercial section of the beach, which is not surprising given its central location in the heart of Treasure Island.

The beach at Municipal Beach is exceptionally wide—wider than any other part of Treasure Island. Though you’ll have to haul your gear, the big beach offers the benefit of blocking out any noise from the road and condos.

Have a hankering or forget some beach essentials? The retro Snack Bar is located at 112th Ave on the Municipal Beach. You can buy snacks (go figure!), floats, sunscreen and other beach essentials here.

Nature lovers: keep an eye out for vegetation like sea oats, sea grapes and palm trees here.

There’s also a children’s playground here at Municipal Beach.

Playground equipment outside the snack bar at Treasure Island’s Municipal Beach – 112th Ave.

A little further down the beach is Treasure Island Beach at Gulf Front Park.  The section of the beach is not as wide as it is at Municipal Beach.

You can park at the Gulf Front Park Lot at 104th Ave and Gulf Blvd, or at several others outlined in the downtown parking map.

Wander on down to Gulf Front Park on Sunday evenings and you’ll find hula-hooping, dancing, kids playing…and adults acting like kids. This is the Treasure Island Drum Circle.  (If you’re trying to find the Drum Circle from the street rather than the beach, it’s across from Publix and Safeway, near the Bilmar Hotel and the Thunderbird Hotel.)

Insider Tip: ADA Beach Access

There is a fabulous mobility mat (MOBI MAT) available at Gulf Front Park, at 10400 Gulf Blvd.  Find out more about it at our blog post here. Anyone who has difficulty walking in the sand can use it to get out to the beach.

Also in this area is the giant (and we do mean giant) waterslide. You have to pay to ride—but boy, is it fun. You can spot the Treasure Island Slide from far away, so just keep walking in its direction!

Tiny water slide

Bathrooms and outdoor showers can be found at Gulf Front Park (10400 Gulf Blvd at 104th Ave) and at Municipal Beach (11200 Gulf Blvd at 112th Ave).

Insider Tip: Alcohol on the beach

Alcohol is allowed on some portions of Treasure Island beaches, a rarity in the state of Florida.  Read more here.

Glass is never allowed and you’ll pay a hefty fine if caught. And no one wants to step on glass at the beach. So be cool!

Surfers are often seen at Sunset Beach

3. Sunset Beach

On the southern end of Treasure Island is Sunset Beach, which runs from the Intersection of Gulf Blvd. and 1st St SE south. Like Sunshine Beach, this beach is also primarily residential.Sunset Beach has a half-mile boardwalk which goes around the tip of the island. This boardwalk is a lot more like the traditional boardwalk than the one on Sunshine Beach.  It is raised off the ground and goes through shrubs and dunes along the beach.  It also passes by a lot of condos that prohibit entry off of the boardwalk.

Beach Sunset

You can find a nice blog post on the Sunset Beach Boardwalk here and a video of a walk along the boardwalk here. (You can start about 15 minutes into the video.)

This area is also home to the Sunset Beach Pavilion (8000 W Gulf Blvd), a beautiful (and affordable!) place for special events on the beach, beloved for its iconic location and endless views.The pavilion can be rented through the City of Treasure Island website. If you visit this special place, you’ll see why weekend dates may be rented out years in advance, so consider a (quieter) weekday as an alternative for your event. We’re happy to give you the low-down on local businesses that offer package wedding deals.

Insider Tip: sunset beach cam

Get prepared for your trip or re-live memories by viewing the Sunset Beach cam!

Sunset Beach is also the beach you’re most likely to spot surfers, particularly if winds are high or if it’s stormy. There’s a jetty at the far end, plus picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.Across the jetty is the northern end of St Pete Beach. Like Sunshine Beach to the north, this beach is narrower than the Municipal Beach, but is full of vegetation and local character.

Admit it! You want one. See our Tip Box below

Insider Tip: Where to rent those yellow cabanas!

Read our blog post and find out how to secure those signature yellow cabanas, umbrellas and lounge chairs for yourself!

“At the beach, treasure is what we find, not what we buy.”

Sandy Gingras

Leave a comment below and tell us what you love about these beaches!

Florida Shell Shop Treasure Island

Why You Should Visit The Florida Shell Shop on Treasure Island

If you’re vacationing on Treasure Island, The Florida Shell Shop should be on your to-do list.

The Florida Shell Shop is a real treasure. Sure, you can buy “shells” at the local grocery or drugstore, or even try to harvest your own (please don’t!). But if you do that you’ll miss experiencing a nostalgic slice of Florida that is still thriving today – The Florida Shell Shop.

Read on for our tips on experiencing this tidbit of authentic Florida


Move slowly so you can take it all in. See the colorful carryalls mid-photo? These are for the shells you’re almost certain to want to collect.

What Can You Find at The Florida Shell Shop?

  • Shell wind chimes
  • Big shells
  • Shell wall signs
  • Small shells
  • Shell coasters
  • Shell greeting cards
  • Tiny shells
  • Shell jewelry
  • Coral
  • Real buoys
  • Fake buoys
  • Huge shells
  • Stained glass shells
  • Shell greeting cards
  • Really tiny shells
  • Shell Christmas ornaments
  • Shell identification guides
  • Shell books
  • Shell stickers
  • Shell food (Ok, not really shell food, but Florida-related sauces, candies and other treats)
  • Shell Christmas trees

They might even have a copy of The Shell Seekers lying around if you look.

Why The Florida Shell Shop Matters

The Florida Shell Shop was established in 1955.  That’s a long time ago folks.  Before I was born and I’m OLD. It’s also a family-owned business.
We are huge supporters of local businesses and family-owned enterprises, so we like to point them out just in case you are too.

The Florida Shell Shop at 9901 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island.

Take Action!

So what are you waiting for? Hop in your car, head on over, grab a shopping bucket and find a treasure-trove of beautiful shell gifts!

Then come back and tell us what you found that you couldn’t live without in the comments below!

Visit the shop’s website for hours and address here.