Your Gulf Coast Guide to the Best of the Holiday Season
The holiday season is quickly approaching. It's crazy, right? Time sure does fly. We're already into fall and soon it will be Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Year's Eve, oh my! Now's the time to start getting ready by taking a peek at all of the holiday fun that awaits you on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Have you thought about making a beach escape in the upcoming months? Then go ahead and take the next step! Find the right Indian Rocks Beach or Indian Shores, Florida vacation rental for you and your family today. All that's left to do is take a look at this Gulf Coast Guide to the holiday season and start saving the dates.
We've made a case for spending the holidays on the coast before, so in case you missed that post—you really should read it!
The Best of Thanksgiving on Florida's Gulf Coast
Thanksgiving Dinner in Indian Rocks Beach & Indian Shores
When you vacation on Florida's Gulf Coast over Thanksgiving, don't forget that you have everything you need in your vacation rental kitchen to whip up a fabulous holiday meal.
Don't feel like cooking? Then check out our local restaurants and call to see what they're offering that day, then go ahead and dine out this Thanksgiving. We totally understand if you want to trade out the traditional turkey dinner for a Gulf Coast seafood dinner instead. No judgment here!
Tampa Bay Turkey Trot
If you're looking to be proactive this Thanksgiving holiday, consider participating in the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot on November 22, 2018. Run off your Thanksgiving calories ahead of time by joining in the largest running event in the Tampa Bay area with more than 17,000 runners participating annually! There's a race for every skill level, including one for competitive runners, one for recreational runners, and one for walkers.
Top finisher for the competitive races receives a trophy. Best of all, proceeds benefit local charities while canned goods and non-perishable food are also collected in the stadium on race day to be donated. Registration includes an event t-shirt; the races start at 7a.m. Are you up to the challenge? Get registered here.
Tarpon Springs Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Festival
If you're looking for somewhere fun to go during the Thanksgiving holiday, we love the Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Festival in nearby Tarpon Springs on November 24-25, 2018. This outdoor showcase has been a holiday favorite for 28 years!
Kick off your holiday shopping over Thanksgiving weekend in downtown Tarpon Springs. It's a great way to discover unique gifts and treasures from local shops. Find original works from new and established artists and crafters, including folk art, earthenware, paintings, wearable art, body products, pet products, personalized gifts and more. Take a shopping break and enjoy the food and beverage vendors on hand from 10a.m. to 5p.m. both days.
Thankful for Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Last but not least, Thanksgiving is all about being thankful. Read up on 10 reasons we're thankful for Indian Rocks Beach, Florida every single day. Then come and experience it all for yourself. We're also thankful for our guests who choose to vacation with Plumlee Gulf Beach Realty year after year. We appreciate you!
The Best of Christmas on the Gulf Coast of Florida
Holiday Festival of Trees on the Gulf Beaches
The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce hosts its inaugural Festival of Trees event Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 at various locations across the Gulf Coast. The chamber recently announced that a portion of the proceeds will be charitably donated to Tampa Bay Watch, a nonprofit that works to preserve Tampa Bay’s estuaries.
Companies who would like to participate should register in advance, choose a level of sponsorship and will receive a tree to decorate. The decorated tree will be displayed for visitors and available for public auction.
The Festival of Trees is a family-friendly event where visitors can vote for their favorite tree and donate to Tampa Bay Watch while getting into the spirit of giving through holiday music and treats. You can find the Festival of Trees at the Town of Indian Shores Municipal Center on 19305 Gulf Blvd. and in the City of Indian Rocks Beach at 1507 Bay Palm Blvd.
Indian Rocks Beach Christmas Tree Lighting
Speaking of trees, you don't want to miss this big event in Indian Rocks Beach. The IRB Christmas Tree Lighting happens on November 30, 2018 starting at 7p.m. at 12th Avenue Park in Indian Rocks Beach. Get in the holiday spirit and kick off the season with us. See you there!
Holiday Lights Display on Florida's Gulf Coast
Start a new holiday tradition this year by making the Florida Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights in the Gardens event a must-see for your family. The Gardens will once again be bedecked in over a million LED lights. Come out and see many of the traditional favorites, like the snowman family, as well as new additions every year—all while celebrating the season. Community entertainers are also slated to perform, so don't miss it.
Lighted Boat Parades on Florida's Gulf Coast
Lighted Boat Parades are a signature event of the holiday season in Florida. From Clearwater Beach, to Madeira Beach, to Redington Shores, and of course Indian Rocks Beach—there's sure to be a holiday boat parade near you!
This year's Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade happens on Saturday, December 15, 2018 beginning at 6p.m. Whether you participate from the water or observe from the land, it definitely should be part of your Gulf Coast holiday plans. It's a local favorite.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa
Have you been to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa? If not, you are missing out on a ton of holiday fun. It's a seasonal wonderland set in the heart of one of the best theme parks around. Not only is it festive and family-friendly, but it's free with your regular Busch Gardens admission.
Christmas Town beams with twinkling lights, Yuletide shows, holiday shopping and even a visit to Santa’s House. Plus, beloved characters from the television special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" return for some festive fun. The Christmas cheer begins on select dates from November 17 through December 31. Mark your calendar!
Holidays in Heritage Village
Bring a little living history into your holiday this year by stopping by Holidays in the Village at historic Heritage Village in Largo. Visit the 21-acre living history museum located in the heart of Pinellas County where the natural pine and palmetto landscape features some of Pinellas County's most historic buildings. Explore 33 historic attractions, including a variety of historic homes, general store, railroad depot, two schools, church, and more.
Enjoy holiday decorations, garland, and greenery throughout Heritage Village during the holiday season. It's free and family-friendly! Visit the Heritage Village website for dates and details for this year's event.
The Best of New Year's Eve on Florida's Gulf Coast
Clearwater Beach Light It Up New Year's Eve Celebration & Fireworks
Clearwater Beach's Annual New Year's Eve Fireworks Celebration is a great way to ring in 2019. Come and join the celebratory event on New Year's Eve, relax with your toes in the sand, watch one of the world famous sunsets, grab a bite to eat and then ring in the New Year with Fireworks at midnight! All compliments of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce and its wonderful sponsors.
Light It Up Clearwater has been named as a one of the Top Five kid-friendly places to ring in the New Year, by U.S. News Travel, so it's sure to be a celebration the whole family will enjoy.
New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise
Say “Bon Voyage” to 2018 on a Yacht StarShip New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise. This festive cruise is the best way to celebrate NYE on the water. Dine on gourmet food, sip on delicious cocktails and dance the night away under the stars. Yacht StarShip provides party favors and a champagne toast at midnight for guests to ring in the New Year with a fireworks show over the water.
You can depart from Tampa Bay or Clearwater, so check out your options and book your New Year's Eve Cruise today. Hurry, this is a popular event that is likely to sell out!
Busch Garden's Tampa New Year's Eve Celebration & Fireworks
Ring in the new year with music, fireworks and thrill rides this year. Join Busch Gardens Tampa for an awesome New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31! Enjoy thrill rides in the dark, like Busch Garden’s newest family spin-coaster Cobra’s Curse, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, Falcon’s Fury, or Florida’s first triple-launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt. Jam out to music throughout the park and ring in the new year with a park-wide countdown and spectacular fireworks show in Gwazi Park.
And with the park open until 1a.m., you can make the first hour in 2019 a thrilling one! Admission to the New Year's Eve Celebration is included with paid admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
New Year's Eve in Your Gulf Coast Vacation Rental
If a quiet New Year's Eve celebration is more your style, then spending it in your Indian Rocks Beach or Indian Shores rental is the way to go. Go out for a dinner on the town or stay in and make a fabulous meal right in your rental. Wind down the evening (and the year) in the comfort of your vacation-home-away-from-home. Cheer to the New Year as you enjoy the fabulous Gulf of Mexico views and catch a glimpse of the fireworks from afar.
It's your vacation, celebrate how you want to. You deserve it! Cheers to 2019!
More About Your Gulf Coast Holiday Vacay
But wait, there's more! Just in case you need a little more Gulf beach holiday inspiration, check out our previous blog posts that guarantee to get you in the holiday mood. Enjoy!