Senior Travel - Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
A Short Walk to our Nightly Sunset!
The Beach and its views are fantastic!
Sand and Sun Getaway
After a winter of sub-zero temperatures and more than a foot of snow, my husband and I decided to become short-term "Snow Birds" and take a Florida vacation.
My job was to make the reservations. I chose the St. Petersburg area on the west coast of Florida. One of the reasons I chose this area was because our local Flint, MI airport offers non-stop flights to Tampa. After a bit of web searching I bought tickets for $382 on Cheapo Air. I reserved a standard car rental and chose Avis - the best price that day - and found a shiny red sedan gassed up and waiting at the airport.
Next - I searched for a cottage. We just don't like condos or high-rise hotels. I found the Sun Tiki cottages in Indian Rocks Beach Florida. Indian Rocks Beach is a small historic town that has worked hard to keep it's old-style beach community atmosphere. After several high-rise condo buildings sprang up on their beach, they decided to start setting some limits and there is a zone ordinance that only allows four stories above a garage. Many of the cottages and homes on the beach are single story.
Sun Tiki offers three cottages. I chose the tiny one - it is basically a studio with a full kitchen, table/chairs, a comfy couch and tv, a king-sized bed and a full bath. The patio or garden area is very private and lush. My husband loves to sit and read - a lot - so it was perfect for him and I enjoyed a read or two there as well.
Just outside our private cottage is a walkway to the beach - about three minutes walk. The whit sands beach is beautiful and runs for miles north and south. Shelling and bird watching is excellent.
Crabby Bill's seafood restaurant is a few minutes walk along Gulf Blvd. We ate there for several breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The food is excellent, prices very fair and the wait staff are the friendliest and most helpful I've ever encountered. If you're not a pro at eating crab-legs, they'll give you detail instructions and encourage you to 'dig in and enjoy!". Our server found a envelope I left (by mistake) in my booth. The next morning I walked in and she greeted me with it - she'd remembered me and saved it.
There are several other excellent restaurants with great food and service within walking distance of the cottages as well. A CVS drug store was handy for those little items you always forget - or are worried about packing when flying.
The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary: located on Gulview Blvd. (the main road to everything in the area) - a few miles south of us was an interesting and educational experience. It's tiny and nestled between two orange condo buildings. Pelicans great you as you enter and rescued sea birds are housed in enclosures. You can choose a guided tour or wander through the sanctuary and read about the birds and their habitat. The gift shop offers a wide variety of goodies, t-shirts, hats, books, souvenirs, etc.
The Florida Botanical Gardens - located short (ten minute) drive to the east is amazing and very large. We enjoyed the herb garden, Palm garden, banana trees, and many exotic varieties of tropical plants. We also observed many turtles, birds and even an alligator sunny himself on the edge of the lake. We enjoyed the gift shop there as well.
The Dali Museum - I'm a fan of Salvidor Dali and this was our second trip to the museum. Located in the Marina area of St. Petersburg, it's a fascinating and excellent place to explore.
Fort Desoto Park - a beautiful Florida State park with a large fishing pier, beaches and even a dog park. We enjoyed the dog beach as we love dogs and missed ours, so loved meeting dog lovers and their pets.
So, if you're a Boomer couple or even younger and want a sunny getaway spot to relax and escape the harsh northern winters - I highly recommend Indian Rocks Beach, on the sun-set coast of Florida.