From Clearwater to St Pete Beach

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Oct 25th, 2003, 10:33 AM
  #1
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From Clearwater to St Pete Beach

We are going to go to Busch Gardens for the morning and then on to Clearwater Beach for the afternoon. What I need to know is it worth the time to do a road trip stoping to see the sights down to St Pete Beach and back through St Petersburg to Orlando. Will I have time to stop at a few beaches and shops along the way or will we just end up driving all the time. Not too sure of the distance and what traffic will be like.
I am thinking we should get there around 2 pm or so and would like to be back in Orlando by 8-9pm. I have read there are boats that can take us to Islands. There is also Captain Memo's Original Pirate Cruise. If I had time to take a boat cruise/to Island, which one should I do?


Thanks in advance
Alan
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Oct 25th, 2003, 11:05 AM
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Not sure what you want to do, but the boat rides are at Clearwater. I like the Dolphin cruise. Theres a dinner boat as well.
The ride from Clearwater Beach to St Pete is an easy ride.
Johns Pass is nice. Shops, wave runners, restaurants etc...
As long as you dont get behind some old lady, you should be fine. then you can just take 5th to I275 to rt 4...easy!
Have fun! Weather is great about 85 degrees today
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Oct 25th, 2003, 05:24 PM
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It seems like you are packing in too much into one day. Busch Gardens for the morning sounds OK. And going to Clearwater for the afternoon sounds good .... if that's all you are doing. St. Pete and St. Petersburg Beach are definately worth exploring, but not if you want to get back to Orlando by 8 or 9. It will take 1 1/2 - 2 hours to get from St. Pete to Orlando. Relax and pick one or two of your four choices to do in your one day.
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Oct 25th, 2003, 11:58 PM
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I have to agree with McSmith. Busch Gardens is a full day affair. Traffic in Florida is horrendous and Interstate 4 is even worse. Lots of backed up traffic, it is the major road to Orlando. So you have many tourists not knowing where they are going, and the big rigs and speed demons just add to the confusion. If you wanted to see Sunken Gardens in St. Pete (instead of Busch Gardens in Tampa) in the morning and go to a beach in the afternoon, you would have to be on the road around 6pm to get to Orlando. Also, the Dali Museum is in St. Pete downtown. Save some of your explorations for a return trip to Florida, you will be glad you did. Be sure you have lots of sunscreen for everyone in your party and wear your sunglasses!
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Oct 26th, 2003, 04:19 AM
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I have to agree also! I don't see how you could cram all that into one day. We always stay in Maderia Beach, and while it is nice there (John's Pass is fun for shopping), I don't know if it's worth your while to travel from Clearwater to St. Pete. I'm curious why you are only going to spend the morning at Busch Gardens? It's usually an all day event. If you do just do the morning though and spend the afternoon in Clearwater, that should be fine. I just don't think I'd bother going south of Clearwater unless you can arrive in Orlando later than 8pm.
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Oct 26th, 2003, 06:04 AM
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Thanks for the help everyone. Actualy I have multi day pass to SeaWorld/Busch Gardens so this will be our second day at Busch. We will only do what we really enjoyed the first time and then on to Clearwater. I might just go south 10 or 20 miles and see whats there. Where is John's Pass, it sounds interesting? As well, if I do go south only a little ways which highway is best to get over to I-275 or is it easier to just back track?

Thanks
Alan
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Oct 26th, 2003, 07:24 AM
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It is a nice drive from Clearwater down past all the different beaches to St Pete. If you do go, be sure and go all the way down to the end to St Pete Beach to Passe-A-Grille Beach. This is a far as you can go, but a really quaint area, worth seeing. John's Pass is jsut between Madeira Beach and Treasure Island at 129th Ave and is worth a stop.
When you getfurther down to St Petersburg Beach, do stop and walk around the Don Cesar HOtel. It is a huge pink hotel and you can't miss is. A greand HOtel from the past, and still beautiful. From there, you are almost at Pass-A-Grille. Wander the little town and the beach.
YOu could have dinner at The HUrricane Restaurant in Pass-A-Grille, but what is really special is to go up on the roof and have a drink to watch the sunset.
Backtrack to the Pink Hotel and turn right at Pinellas Bayway which will take you to the I-275.
HAve fun.
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Oct 27th, 2003, 02:43 PM
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If it were me, I'd skip Clearwater Beach altogether. When you leave Busch Gardens, take I275 south to "the Bayway" (southern tip of Pinellas just before the Skyway bridge). Head west on the bayway and investigate Pass A Grille as kodi recommended. YOu can walk the beach, dine at either the Sea Horse(for an old-timey feel with great smoked fish spread, burgers, and view of the Intracoastal) or the Sea Porch at the Don CeSar if you feel like more luxury. Both are better than the Hurricane IMHO. After that, cruise north on Gulf Blvd. thru St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island, ending up at the boardwalk on the NORTH side of John's Pass (you will go over a couple of bridges - check the map).
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Oct 27th, 2003, 03:01 PM
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Oops didn't mean to post yet...

Shop a little at the boardwalk there, and after that, head north to route 694 (Park Blvd), then east to 275 North and back to Orlando.

Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't want to drive all the way from CWB to St. Pete Beach, then back to Orlando. Too much traffic!
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Oct 27th, 2003, 05:22 PM
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Yup, I like Joan's idea better.
Sounds like a good plan.
Joan, thanks for the restaurant tips. I'll try them this winter. I wasn't real crazy about my meal at Hurricane's but loved watching the sunset from the rooftop bar.
Passe-A-Grille area is great.
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