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Top 10 Florida Gulf Coast Attractions You Won’t Want To Miss This Holiday Season

Top 10 Florida Gulf Coast Attractions You Won't Want To Miss This Holiday Season | Plumlee Vacation Rentals


With the holidays coming up, we hope you have plans or are in the process of making plans to vacation in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores. Escape the impending cold weather, gloomy gray days, and snowy weather (yuck!) and head for respite in the sun, sand and surf found on our lovely Gulf of Mexico shores.

Hey, a sandman trumps a snowman any day. Right?

The Gulf Coast of Florida is the perfect place to be this time of year if you’re in the mood for celebrating in the sunshine, frolicking on the beautiful Florida coastline, and spending quality time with the ones you love in a relaxing, laid-back tropical atmosphere. Where to stay is easy (a Plumlee Gulf Beach vacation rental, of course); it’s deciding how to best spend your limited vacation time that is sometimes hard.

While you’re here, we want to make sure that you know what our recommendations are for Gulf Coast attractions and things to do in and around Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores. We certainly don’t want you to miss out, so we put together this little top ten list. Let’s count ’em down. Here we go!

Top 10 Gulf Coast Attractions Near Indian Rocks Beach & Indian Shores, FL

International Plaza & Bay Street | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#10 International Plaza & Bay Street

Shopping, shopping, shopping, eating, and more shopping. That’s what you’ll find at International Plaza & Bay Street in Tampa, located right next to the Tampa Airport. If you’re looking for a shopping mecca, look no further. Here you’ll find three large department stores, 15 restaurants, and over 200 unique specialty shops. It’s part indoor shopping complex, part outdoor open-air village. It’s a great place to find something for yourself, look for souvenirs to take home with you, or start your holiday shopping.

Heritage Village | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#9 Heritage Village

History comes to life on a daily basis at Heritage Village in Largo.

Immerse yourself in times past and explore what life in Pinellas County was like before cell phones, laptops and all of the comforts of modernization we take for granted today. Exhibits, historic structures, native plant trails, gift shops and more are in store for you during your visit. Holidays in the Village offers the quintessential holiday experience where each of the historic buildings is decorated true-to-style and the in the time period each reflects. Did we mention it’s free?

Pinellas Trail | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#8 Pinellas Trail

Walk it. Jog it. Bike it. Skate it. The Pinellas Trail is a 47-mile multi-use trail that follows the line of an abandoned railroad corridor running from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg. The scenic greenery along the trail takes you through some of Pinellas County’s most beautiful parks, breathtaking coastal spots and residential neighborhoods. The Pinellas Trail has some interesting history behind it, so be sure to read more about it. This time of year is perfect for hitting the trail. Give it a try!

Busch Gardens Tampa | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#7 Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa is the place for the thrill-seeker in your midst. Okay, you don’t need to be a thrill-seeker or even know one to have a blast at Busch Gardens Tampa. Here you’ll find attractions, rides, entertainment, a premier zoo, restaurants, shops, live music and special events all year long. Holiday events this time of year include Howl-O-Scream which is the park’s annual Halloween fright fest. Try it, if you dare. Christmas Town begins in late November and celebrates the season in style. Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland where you’re surrounded by the sights, sounds, smells and flavors of the holiday season. Any time of year, you’ll want to put Busch Gardens on your day trip itinerary. 

John's Pass Village & Boardwalk | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#6 John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk

Spend the day on the waterfront in Madeira Beach at historic John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. There is so much to do at this favorite local spot. With over 100 merchant shops, plenty of places to dine, fishing events, water sports, activities and entertainment galore, you can easily make a day of it here. Special holiday events this time of year include the Seafood Festival in October, the Veterans Day Boat Parade in November, and Christmas in the Village in December. There’s plenty of parking and the beach is right nearby. We love it!

On-the-Water Tours & Activities | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

Okay, okay, we kind of took the easy way out on this one. There are too many wonderful places to choose from to pick just one, so we kept it general in the hopes that you’d try a few. Dolphin cruises, fishing charters, shelling tours, parasailing, and other on-the-water activities abound here. Why wouldn’t they? The Gulf of Mexico waters are inviting and you’ll want to plan to spend some time exploring the local waters while you’re here. Check off a bucket list adventure during your next Florida Gulf Coast vacation!

Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#4 ZooTampa at Lowry Park

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is the ideal setting for kids and kids-at-heart, as well as any animal lovers you have in the crowd. Take a walk on the wild side and explore animals and their habitats along with lots of fun entertainment, special programs and events. The holiday season offers Creatures of the Night, Christmas in the Wild, and Noon Year’s Eve. Check out upcoming  ZooTampa’s special events, as well as ones that happen all year long. Yoga in the Wild, Toddler Tuesdays, and Zoo University are some popular favorites.

Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#3 Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach

Sunsets at Pier 60 are not to be missed! Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach is one of the best places around to catch the evening sun as it sinks into the horizon over the Gulf of Mexico waters. It’s also a happening place where you’ll find local artisans, live entertainment, buskers and special events throughout the year. The nightly festival offers family-friendly fun for all ages. We especially love the Sunset Cinema: free family-oriented movies right on the beach! Check out 10 Things You Should Know About Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach here.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#2 Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) sets the standard, a very high one at that, when it comes to animal rescue, healthcare and rehabilitation. If the animals can’t be released back into the wild, they find safe harbor here. That in itself is reason enough for the mostly volunteer-run CMA to make our top 10 list. But, there’s more. Dolphin Tale stars Winter and Hope reside here and their inspirational stories are worth getting to know better. And, they are super cute! The CMA offers so many opportunities to get up-close-and-personal with its resident marine life. It’s a must-see!

Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

#1 The Gulf of Mexico Beaches

It is not surprising at all that we pick the beach as our #1 Gulf Coast of Florida attraction. That’s what people are drawn to and that’s why they come back to our shores year after year. The coastal beauty is intoxicating, the sugary sands are warm, soft, and inviting, and the sparkling clear gulf waters are rejuvenating. Then there are the swaying palming trees, the relaxing colors of the coastal palette, the smell of sea-salt air, the vibrant sunrises and sunsets, and the laid-back vibe of our local area. There is no doubt about it, life is a beach and we adore it so. Follow the link in the heading to our Plumlee Beach Cam to get your Indian Rocks, Florida beach fix anytime you need it! 

That’s our Top 10 list of the places we love on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Don’t forget that many of these attractions are partnered with the Tampa Bay CityPass where you can save over half the price on this bundled admission to many of our locally loved attractions. Get yours today!

Top 10 Gulf Coast Attractions You Won't Want To Miss This Holiday Season | Plumlee Vacation Rentals

Book your next Florida Gulf Coast vacation today!

How many of these local attractions will you get to visit this year? 

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