Florida's Barrier Islands

Located just off the west coast of Pinellas County, between Clearwater and St. Petersburg, are 10 barrier islands connected together by a stretch of white sandy beach. We are hoping you have decided to make this your vacation destination. As one of our many visitors, you will discover the tranquility the gulf coast has to offer. Beginning with 27 miles of white sandy beach, great attractions, outstanding restaurants and unique shops, there is something for everyone that will make your vacation a memorable one.
As you cross the bridge into Indian Rocks Beach, you will see our Vacation Rental Office just off to the left on 2nd Street. As you stop to retrieve your accommodation keys and meet our reservation staff, take a few minutes to visit the Beach Welcome Center next door.

MARCH 2008 – March 7th our Beach Welcome Center hosted the Beach Welcome Center Annual Luau with an exciting evening for guests to enjoy live music, exhibits, food and drinks as well as the opportunity to win some fantastic door prizes. Everyone seemed to enjoy the participation and performance of the Busch Gardens Marching Band followed by local musicians performing relaxing, traditional island music that everyone seemed to enjoy. The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary exhibited one of the recuperating patients from the bird sanctuary. Impressive Designs and Florida Wines hosted a wine tasting with many of the Florida wines producing ultra-premium citrus, tropical and berry wines. Made 100% from fresh squeezed juice, their gold medal citrus, tropical and berry wines remain unequaled and unduplicated with their success attributed to the use of quality fruit and the alchemy of a great wine maker. We had a varied selection of foods as our restaurant members featured delectable items for sampling. Beach Welcome Center Members offered additional items as treats and gifts.
With a wealth of beach area information, the Beach Welcome Staff is ready to assist you. With local area information, brochures and information about the famous Orlando attractions, our staff has numerous tidbits of information about our local parks, restaurants and attractions right here in Pinellas County. The Beach Welcome Center sells tickets to the Busch Gardens Theme Park, located just 45 minutes from our beaches. Our one day pass ($67.50/adults and $57.00/children 2-9) can be used continuously any of the following seven days. There is something for everyone at Busch Gardens. From America’s first dive coaster, Sheikra, some 200 feet up and 90 degrees straight down with zero floor, the Tangayika Tidal Wave jungle journey that ends in a drenching 55-foot drop, or Gwazi the area’s largest, fastest double wooden roller coaster to a more quiet visit to enjoy the many shows, animal habitats and beautiful scenery that is just a short drive from here.

BAY AREA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL - Also in March (through April 6, 2008) the 2008 Bay Area Renaissance Festival will be taking place at the Museum of Science and Industry located in Tampa, FL – 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. - weekends only. Travel back to the 16th century to the village of Fittlesworth. Discover an enchanted realm of wizards and warriors among gourmet treats and unforgettable entertainment. Wander past eight lively stages and street theater featuring jugglers, magicians, fire eaters and specialty acts. Watch the live armored contact jousting twice daily, human chess matches, maidens faire, peasants, fools and Royalty. Tickets for The Renaissance Festival can be purchased at The Beach Welcome Center ($15.00/adults, $8.00/children).
VATICAN SPLENDORS - Vatican Splendors Exhibit, presently open and continuing through May 11, 2008, is being held at the Florida International Museum in St. Petersburg with an opportunity to experience 2000 years of Vatican art and history. The Florida International Museum has become one of Florida’s premier cultural attractions, and has hosted over 2.5 million visitors from all 50 states and over 100 countries since it opened in 1995. A trip to Rome may not be on your itinerary in the near future but you can enjoy this new exhibit and witness artifacts including a reliquary containing fragments of the bones of Saint Peter, Giotto’s 14th century mosaic “Bust of an Angel,” personal items and tools of Michelangelo and a terra-cotta sculpture by Bernini. The exhibition begins with the foundations of the Church, a recreation of the second century Tomb of Saint Peter, architectural drawings of the original Saint Peter’s Basilica. The exhibit examines the current Saint Peter’s Basilica commemorating its 500th anniversary. Bramante, Bernini, Raphael and Michelangelo are among those who made artistic contributions. Learn about the election of the pope, liturgical celebrations and the significance of the Sistine Chapel in history. The final gallery, Stories of Popes, gives special emphasis to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Many objects date back to the third century. From the venerated relics of Saint Peter to items from the election of Pope Benedict XVI, this exhibition comprises one of the largest Vatican collections to tour North America. From culture, history and art, explore how the Papacy has impacted, and been impacted, by the world throughout the centuries.

LOCAL - With the abundance of things to do right here in our local area, we will continually try to feature some of our local attractions. It is apparent you will have to return many times to our area to enjoy all that our Gulf Beaches has to offer. Best to begin right here along our gulf shores.

Gulf Coast Fishing - Many of the visitors to the Gulf Coast area are interested in local fishing. Whether casting a line from the intercoastal waterway or directly from the shores of our gulf beaches, there is an abundance of fish that are popular in this area. Common to our Suncoast waters are Crevalle Jack, Silver Trout, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Bluefish, Snook, Red Drum, Gag Grouper, Cobia, Whiting, Black Drum, Barracuda, Sheepshead, Speakled Seatrout, Flounder, Mangrove Snapper, Bonito, Black Sea Bass, Permit and Florida Pompano. A saltwater fishing license is required for non-residents and can be purchased at all county tax collectors’ offices and many bait-and-tackle shops (obtain on line at marinefisheries.org). Licenses can be purchased for three 3 days at $17.00, seven days at $30.00 or a one-year license for $47.00. The fishing license is not required if you are fishing for recreational purposes from a pier that has a valid pier saltwater fishing license or from a recreational vessel (party boat, charter or for-hire vessel) that has a valid fishing license. Children under 16 years of age do not need a license.

Redington Long Pier - Extending over 1000 feet into The Gulf of Mexico, the Redington Long Pier is located in Redington Beach. Take a walk out onto the Pier for just $2.00. The wooden structure provides some great views back to the shore for those willing to walk its planks. Walk over the Gulf of Mexico, smell the salt water, catch the cooling gulf breezes while sitting along the many wooden benches located along the pier. A prime location to watch many birds that are drawn to the fish smell associated with a real fishing pier. Located close to the famous Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, there is an abundance of local birds to watch - the long-necked herons, colorful pelicans, along with the many seagulls, flighty terns and numerous pigeons just to mention a few.
For a small fee of $10.00 you can fish from the pier without a fishing license. Fishing rods are available for rent. Bait as well as snacks are sold in the little shop at the pier entrance.
Fishing is so popular here in our gulf waters, that numerous fishing boat charters offer deep sea fishing for both half and full day fishing excursions. Whether you wish to join one of the many fishing charters available on a daily basis, or plan a private trip for your family, there are many local sea captains offering private trips for individuals, families and small groups.

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary - Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to a diverse variety of fabulous native wild birds. While visiting our area, you will see hundreds of different species of waterbirds, landbirds, and birds of prey. If you would like to learn more about these interesting, beautiful creatures, you can visit the famous Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary located along our gulf coast in Indian Shores. Based on the admission of over 7,000 to 10,000 birds per year, Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, Inc. is the largest wild bird hospital and rehabilitation center in the United States.
Founded in 1971 by zoologist Ralph Heath, Jr., the Sanctuary is world renowned for its innovative rehabilitation techniques, and it was the first facility to breed Eastern Brown Pelicans in captivity. The Sanctuary is staffed by experienced professionals and many dedicated volunteers. Similar to a human hospital, it is equipped with emergency facilities, a surgical center, recovery areas, and an outdoor recuperation area. Display areas feature permanently injured birds that have been given a home at the Sanctuary. Any offspring they produce are released into their natural environment. At any given time, the visitor can view in excess of 600 wild birds. A non-profit corporation, The Sanctuary depends solely on donations and the support of caring individuals. The Sanctuary is open 365 days a year, from 9:00 a.m. until sunset, and admittance is always free.

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