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Old 09-23-2010, 09:38 AM
 
30 posts, read 95,907 times
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We want to take a day trip to the beach Saturday afternoon. We live in Tampa Palms, which is the best to go to? We are new to the area and would like a suggestion on where to go.

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Tampa
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Clearwater, I guess. In all honesty, once you get to Pinellas County, none of the beaches are all that far from each other.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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Any tips on where to park/go? We've never been to Clearwater and am looking for locals tips. We plan to get to the beach around 10 am.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Tampa
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There's a big parking lot just south of Pier 60 as well as metered spaces along Mandalay and some of the other streets. Traffic can be very heavy out there on nice days. I've sat in traffic for twenty or thirty minutes just going the mile or so from Downtown Clearwater to the Clearwater Beach roundabout.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
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Clearwater Beach gets crazy busy and can be a lot of fun. Do expect traffic and driving around for parking spots. Clearwater is by far the largest and busiest of the beaches.

Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shored, North Redington Beach and Madeira Beach are good alternatives as well, they tend to be less busy and are smaller beaches (sand isn't quite as fine either, but still very nice). Indian Shores may be most convenient for you. Take 275 until you reach the Ulmerton Exit. Take Ulmerton (will become Walsingham) all the way to the water, until it comes to a T at Gulf Blvd. Take a left at Guld Blvd and go south about a mile or two.... parking is on your right $1.25/hour. Plan on paying the machine, getting your receipt and walking back to your car to place the receipt on the dash. Beach is a super short walk from the parking lot.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Tampa
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Like you, I live in Tampa Palms. Yes, Clearwater is the nearest beach. However, I like to go about 5 minutes further to Sand Key Park. They have metered parking, which you pay a nomimal fee. They don't have the shops or restaurants, but you can usually find someone selling drinks. They usually have someone there so you can go parasailing, for a fee. It is away from the craziness of Clearwater beach. If you have little kids, they have a playground set in under some trees.

I like to go further and go to either Ft. DeSoto Beach that has everything, or even further to Anna Maria Island. Parking is a challenge on Anna Maria Island, but it is so nice.

I think it depends on what it is you are looking for.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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Skip Clearwater Beach for the obvious reasons.

I second annaegel's suggestion of Sand Key. It's a nice park, and the giant rocks at the end are something different. There's also some good shell hunting there sometimes.

We tend to go to Madeira beach a lot and "hidden cove". The best thing to do is to find those spots that are less overrun and don't fill up as quickly.

At the end of the day, many of the beaches you can choose will provide you want you need: the tumble of warm waves.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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I'll look into Sand Key. We're not looking for a bunch of restaurants and stuff, just a place not to crowded where my daughters can look for a few shells and play in the sand.
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