Things to do on the Gulf Coast Florida
Tampa - Busch Gardens
Two words spring to mind when you think of Tampa. Busch Gardens! Arguably the best theme park in Florida, especially for those of you who are serious adrenaline junkies and love being thrown any way but upright! 'Sheikra' is Busch Garden's piece de resistance and yes it's as terrifying as it looks while you're queuing! Aside from the theme park, check out the historic city area, home to brick lined walkways and old cigar factories. More and more cruises also depart for the Western Caribbean now from Tampa - plus it's just 1 hour's drive from Orlando!
Tarpon Springs - Sponge Factory
Tarpon springs on the Gulf coast is famous for its sponge diving, whilst visiting the gulf coast it makes a great day out to visit and experience some of the traditions from years gone by. Spongeorama sponge factory boasts the world's largest collection of natural sponges, whilst taking you through some of the history of the sponge docks and the sponge industry, then also take a sightseeing cruise out on the waters, a day to remember.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
The centre is dedicated to marine rescue and rehabilitation, an awe inspiring experience and a must do whilst in the area. This is where you will find "Winter", the very same dolphin who plays her self in the film "Dolphin Tale" the film has inspired millions around the world with her courage and determination to survive against the odds.
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Be at one with nature in this fantastic state park, up close and personal with the West Indian Manatee it not only the Manatees in their habitats you can see, Black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, alligators, crocodiles, river otters, snakes and more. Many educational and recreational activities can be found at the park it's a nice easy day.
Pier 60 located in Clearwater is always worth a visit, a relaxing stroll to soak up the atmosphere and the scenic sunsets are a sight to remember. Nearby there are plentiful shops and restaurants to visit before the sun goes down.
Dolphin Watching Cruises
Enjoy a guided tour of the Clearwater harbor and the Gulf of Mexico, watching the Dolphins in their natural habitat is a fantastic opportunity whilst taking in the sights of the shores and beaches of the Gulf Coast. Choose from a variety of cruises, Dolphin watching, sun sail, sunset cruise, wine on the water sunset cruise, moonlight cruise and even star gazing cruises - enjoy.
Everglades National Park
One of the most famous destinations in Florida if not the most famous. Home to over 600 species of birds and animals with an equally huge eco system of plants - there's no place quite like the Everglades National Park. There's masses to do in Everglades National Park, including camping, hiking, eco tours and even overnight 'wilderness adventures' - there's something for everyone. Best time to go is winter and you're almost certain to see birds, fish, panthers and yep, Alligators. Highly recommended
Areas to Visit on the Gulf Coast of Florida
Located just a short drive from Tampa, Clearwater boasts mile after mile of stunning white sand beaches and warm azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There's the usual beach activities (snorkeling, swimming and diving to name just a few) but there's other stuff to do besides. There are festivals, extensive parks and well worth a visit is Moccasin Lake Nature Park. If you are interested in the underwater world, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is also well worth a visit. Recharge those batteries and chillax in Clearwater.
Also known as the 'City of Palms' for it's palm tree lined streets but also known for its stunning Gulf Coast Beaches. Depending on when you travel, you might be lucky to catch a pre-season winter baseball game as Fort Myers is the winter training ground for the legendary Boston Redsox. There's condos, beach villas and some superb hotels in and around Fort Myers - cannot recommend it enough.
Similar to Boca Raton, if you want cheap then Naples is not the place. Golfers flock to Naples as there are no less than 80 championship Golf Courses and as such Naples is known by many as the Golfing capital of the world. Add into the equation some of the best shopping anywhere on the planet along Fifth Avenue, more superb beaches and dozens of 4 and 5 star resort style hotels to stay in - go September, October or November and you may get lucky and the bargain of the century.
St Petersburg (St Pete's)
Very similar and close in fact to Clearwater, with an average of 360 days of sunshine per year (if only in the UK we hear you sigh!) it's not rocket science to work out why this place brings UK families, couples, retired people and singles in their thousands. Again the beaches rule this place and pricing is usually spectacularly cheap for quality hotels. There's the Holocaust museum, powerful and emotional, or how about Salvador Dali Museum and for kids you must check out the Grand Explorations Museum. Highly recommended!
Famous as the home for the Ringling Brothers circus. There's a lot of style about Sarasota and of course there's some awesome villas with own pool at great discounted prices. Longboat and Lido Key are well worth looking at, especially if a family or larger group. There's so much to do in Sarasota asides from beautiful beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, including Museums, operas, golf and boat races too!
The waterways that entwine around Cape Coral are home to some of the finest luxury villas anywhere in the USA. Commonly, waterfront homes come with your very own motorboat so you can go exploring and sure to see Manatees, dolphins and maybe the odd whale. It's another playground to the rich and famous and some of the homes we have on offer are just out of this world. If you're going as part of a larger family or group, then you can still relatively bag yourself a bargain. Makes for a great 2nd week after the hectic and manic theme parks in Orlando!
Another typical idyllic South Florida holiday destination. There's numerous homes to consider, all with own swimming pool. Also worth seeing in Port Charlotte include is a state owned wildlife refuge where nature enthusiasts can see Florida's flora and faunae in their natural habitats. Also, perhaps consider visiting the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, but it covers many hundred miles - meaning there's picnic, walks or just chillaxing in a quiet spot with a good book. As is custom in Florida, there's a huge number of golf courses - from the very easy to the sternest test.
Tucked away in the mangrove islands of South West Florida is Marco Island. It's still relatively untouched by human hand and it definitely has the wow factor. Mile upon mile of white sand beaches, some stunning Hotels but without the ridiculous price tag. Superb fishing and untamed wilderness make this place unique. It's not a party island so if you're looking as a couple or family wanting beautiful surroundings, great restaurants serving fresher than fresh seafood, top class hotels and sunshine 360 days of the year - look no further this is the place!
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