I KNOW THIS LOOKS LIKE A LOT TO READ, BUT IT IS FULL OF INTERESTING STUFF. SO PLEASE READ ON.......Enjoy great restaurants and drinking establishments within walking distance or a short drive. The original Crabby's Bills (specializes in seafood, of course, but also offers land food items) is across the street. They usually have some type of live entertainment daily outside at the Loading Zone, which also serves breakfast daily. Jake's Cantina, PJ's Oyster Bar, Jimmy Guana's at the Holiday Inn Harborside Marina, Los Mexicano's, Slyce Pizza, and many other restaurants are within a short walk.
Our favorites for a really nice meal are GUPPY'S (indulge yourself with at least a dozen raw oysters, served icy cold with Key Lime Tequila Cocktail Sauce (sounds fancy, doesn't it?), fried oysters, which are nicely prepared and have a delicate crispiness to them, tuna spring rolls (one of my favorites), or any of their seafood entrees or daily specials which are always fresh & delicious) - SALT ROCK GRILL (ask for the deep fried lobster tail - not on the menu but they will make it for you) and a dozen icy cold raw oysters - BACKWATERS on Sand Key (sit outside on the intracoastal waterway, and partake of the butter blackened NY strip or one of many terrific seafood dishes), and E & E STAKEOUT GRILL in Belleair (great steaks and daily specials, awesome pork chops, believe it or not, and the best escargot I've ever had, but not enough of them).
Must try our local Florida favorites - smoked fish spread, available at most restaurants on the beach, grouper sandwich, best at FRENCHY'S and DOCKSIDE DAVE'S (not much on atmosphere, but known for their black grouper sandwiches and the biggest onion rings you've ever seen), she-crab soup at Frenchy's, and Stone Crab which is seasonal Oct. - May.
Tropical Ice Cream shop, featuring Hershey's ice cream and specialty coffee drinks is right across the street, which may be good for some, or not so good for others. But, you can rent bicycles right next to the ice cream shop, so if you do that first hopefully you can enjoy your scoops quilt free!
Ride the Trolley along Gulf Blvd. if you don't feel like driving. But, make sure you have plenty of time to spare. It goes from Clearwater Beach to St. Pete Beach and stops anywhere you would like along the way. Visit Johns' Pass Village in Maderia Beach for some souvenir shopping and eats. You are guaranteed to spot some dolphins in the Pass. It's a fun way to spend an afternoon. Visit Clearwater Beach and eat at one of the Frenchy's restaurants or Hooters, or your choice of many others. Check out the Sunset Celebration at Pier 60 (not that you can't have your own from the balcony of our condo). Visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (Home of Winter the Dolphin). Secluded Caladesi Island State Park (accessible only by ferry) has super shelling as well as dolphin sightings. The Greek community of Tarpon Springs (about 45 minutes north) has some great restaurants and bakeries - must bring home some baklava! Stroll the shops and historic docks there - once the sponge-fishing capital of the world - and sail with St. Nicholas Boat Line to see guys in old fashioned wet suits and bell shaped diving helmets snatch sponges from the ocean floor. Enjoy a round of Golf or Putt-Putt. Try parasailing. Charter a boat for fishing or rent a boat for leisure from the marina at the Holiday Inn. There are lots of other charters available also from John's Pass, Clearwater Beach, or Bay Pines Marina. Take in a game and support our local sports teams - Rays Baseball (GO RAYS!), Buccaneers Football, Lightning Hockey.
Tampa area attractions such as Busch Gardens, Adventure Island Water Park, Lowry Park Zoo, Florida Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), International Mall, and Seminole Hard Rock Casino are all about a 45 minute drive.
Visit Derby Lane for some entertaining greyhound racing. Downtown St. Petersburg is a 30 minute drive. Visit the Dali Museum or Holocaust Museum, walk the waterfront and have dinner at one of many restaurants there. Our favorite is the Oyster Bar on Central Ave.
St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, about an hour drive, is a nice place to spend an afternoon shopping and eating (seems like that's what we do around here!). Ellenton Outlet Mall is on the way there.
Orlando area attractions (Disney, Epcot, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World, Discovery Cove, etc.) are about a 90 minute drive. Check out the Blue Man Group or Cirque de Soleil while in Orlando. There are several outlet malls there also.
Or, partake of my favorite activities of all - RELAX IN THE HAMMOCK SWING ON THE BALCONY, IN A CHAIR AT THE BEACH UNDER THE UMBRELLA, OR ON A NOODLE IN THE POOL OR GULF! Don't forget to have your favorite frosty beverage in hand! Life is good.