Madeira Beach, Gulf Coast, Florida
Today we decided to go to the coast as we hoped it would be a little cooler there, being by the water. We could go east to the Atlantic coast or west to the gulf coast. The gulf won.
Although there are several places we could have gone to we plumped for Madeira Beach and John's Pass area as we knew there would be quite a few places to go there, hopefully in the shade.
It took us about 1.5 hours to drive there and it is basically one road (I4) right till you get to Tampa then you get onto another road to get to the Treasure Island and Medeira Beach areas. You have to cross a long bridge which connects the mainland to the islands.
When we got to Madeira Beach we had to wait at the swing bridge to allow a couple of boats to enter the bay.
Before we set off I had researched where to park as we didn't want to spend ages trying to find somewhere to park. I found a multi-storey garage which I thought would be a good idea as it keeps the car undercover in the heat. Fortunately, we found the garage easily and it was right in the hub of John's Pass.
We had been to John's Pass twenty years ago and really enjoyed the quaint little shops and the historic boardwalk so we hoped it hadn't changed too much. We were pleasantly surprised. The boardwalk has lots of restaurants, shops, cafes etc. It is very quaint and picturesque and pretty much how we remembered it.
This is a pirate boat that you can go out on dolphin tours! There are also loads of pelicans. I love pelicans!
Our plan of escaping the heat didn't really work, it is even hotter here! To get out of the heat for a short while we went into a small cafe. Chris had a coffee and some mini donuts and I had black cherry ice cream. All were lovely and can definitely recommend Mad Beach Mini Donuts.
The next few hours were taken up with wandering around all the shops, some we only went into to escape the heat. You can pretty much buy anything here from clothing and gifts to beer and burgers. There are lots of small restaurants as well as bigger brands such as Hooters and Bubba Gump. We would have enjoyed it so much more if the heat had not been so oppressive.
As we were close to the sea and lots of fish about we thought we should have a fish meal at one of the restaurants as you really cannot get fish any fresher than here. We went to the Friendly Fisherman Restaurant as it had indoor, air-conditioned seating. We both ordered fish and chips in a basket for $15.
We were expecting to get a large piece of fish and some chips in a basket, but instead, we got several small pieces of fish and not a basket in sight! We were very disappointed with this meal, it was nothing special, very mediocre and I would not eat there again if we go back.
After our meal, we decided to head back to Orlando. On the way to Madeira Beach we saw some RV's that had been "planted" in the ground like an art sculpture. Reminiscent of the cars on Route 66. So on the way back I got my camera ready to capture them.