Local Information

Madeira Beach - This beach is near a small tourist center which recently completed a multi-million dollar face-lift which has quaint stores, restaurants, buildings and inexpensive tourist trinkets.  It is right next to John's Pass, an old style (but up to date) fishing village, where you can rent jet-skis or cross the Pass bridge and go out for the evening on an entertainment boat. You also can go out on a dolphin watch cruise or a deep-sea fishing boat from here.  Sunsets on the beach here are beautiful.  There are usually pelicans around the pass (where boats pass through to the Gulf), which are large (cute?) docile birds waiting for a free fish meal from the boats. This is one of our favorite beach areas because it is low key and quaint looking (when you walk north of John's Pass village). Tip - If you want to beat the parking meters at the beach parking lots, just cross the street to John's Pass shopping area, park there for free for 3 hours (and why not patronize their reasonably priced stores in return). One feature which may be positive or negative to you is that there are many sea-shells at this beach. Hotels here are plentiful, also low-key, reasonable and cater to every budget and taste. One negative thing that happened to us once was we went there during a swarming of "Love Bugs" (which are common throughout central Florida) and there were zillions of these harmless insects flying to the shoreline, making it impossible to be comfortable (or breath with your mouth open). This type of insect swarming is rare and normally not a problem. Take I-4 West which will turn into to I-275 South toward St. Petersburg. Before you actually get to downtown St. Petersburg you will see signs directing you to the Gulf Beaches. Follow them.