Which Tampa area beach with Teenagers?

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May 18th, 2001, 08:22 AM
  #1
Susan B.
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Which Tampa area beach with Teenagers?

We are planning to fly into Tampa the first week in August with our 2 teenagers (15 & 16). I have been looking at St. Pete Beach and Also Treasure Island/Madiera Beach as an option. My main concern is that there be an area to walk around and shop, eat at restaurants, etc. They seem to like the touristy stuff. Which of these areas would be better? Or are there other beaches that have more going on, like Clearwater or Bradenton/Anna Maria Island. Those looked pretty sedate but I wasn't sure. Any advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!
Susan B.
 
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May 18th, 2001, 09:09 AM
  #2
xxx
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As I teenager, I preferred Clearwater, St. Pete's and John's Pass beaches. Madeira, Redington, etc. are usually much quieter.
 
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May 18th, 2001, 11:22 AM
  #3
Sarah
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I was in Clearwater Beach a few years ago for a conference. Granted it, it was during spring break, but the place was packed with teenagers who all seemed to be having a great time.
 
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May 18th, 2001, 12:01 PM
  #4
joan
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Susan, just imagine how I feel when, as a resident of Treasure Island who has a 15-yr old and 17-yr old, my kids get in the car and drive themselves to a DIFFERENT beach! The coolest place to be is either the beach at Tradewinds Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach, or the Pier at Clearwater Beach. TI $ MB are nerdy (might be because I'M here?) Of the two, I would pick Tradewinds. Clearwater is way too crowded for my tastes. They have a new "roundabout" there which causes weekend traffic to come to a complete standstill - it takes 45 mins to go 4 blocks. Of course, this makes great for boy-watching!
Enjoy!
 
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May 18th, 2001, 01:28 PM
  #5
Olive Oyl
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Roundabouts may work in England but not in Clearwater Beach, where no one is used to them and more than 50% of the cars in this one aren't too sure where they need to be anyway, because they are tourists. It is a nightmare. The first several months after it opened they were averaging one accident every single day--don't know if that has calmed down.

My first time through, even knowing where I wanted to go, I got shot out one road too soon, having found myself at the last minute, in a lane that only exited, and ended up driving halfway back to the ICW bridge before finding a place to turn around and give it another shot. gt;

If you can get around the circle though, Clearwater Beach north of the Pier is probably the prettiest beach in this area. Very wide. Very fine, white sand. Sedate, it is not!! Sedate starts around Longboat Key.
 
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May 18th, 2001, 03:32 PM
  #6
Sal
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I'm very partial to Anna Maria, esp. for families. If you research the beaches by name here, you'll get plenty of good information.

Unfortunately, most of the beach communities are very spread out. Therefore, finding one where you can walk to a good selection of shops and resaturants is difficult.
 
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May 21st, 2001, 05:52 AM
  #7
Brian in Atlanta
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We just got back from Anna Maria Island (partly due to Sal's recommendation) and we liked it a lot. However, if I were still a teenager, I sure would rather be on Clearwater Beach.
 
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May 21st, 2001, 03:22 PM
  #8
Sheri
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I live in Bradenton about 4 or 5 miles from Anna Maria Island. The beaches here are beautiful - much more natural and less touristy. I love them. But I think most teenagers on vacation would like Clearwater or St. Pete beaches better. Yes, they are tourist laden, but they have a much younger crowd there. If your teens don't complain of being bored easily and like just a quiet day at the beach with small shops and restaurants, then they would like Anna Maria. And there are other things to do...you can rent a jet ski or boat, go fishing or wind surfing, visit the museum in Bradenton where Snooty, the oldest living Manatee in captivity, lives, go to Myaka State Park east of Bradenton and see the aligators in the wild, go to Sarasota (about 10 miles south) for more unique shops, or visit Mote Marine Museum on the south end of Longboat Key. Busch Gardens in Tampa is about 50 miles from Bradenton and the trip to Orlando and all the theme parks is about a two hour trip. You can get to St. Pete over the Sunshine Skyway bridge (driving over the bridge is a great experience in itself) in about half hour. We love it here because it is close to everything but has a small town feel. Where ever you decide to stay, I hope you enjoy your trip. Don't forget the sunscreen. It can be brutal even on a cloudy day in August. We can always tell the tourists when we go to the store in the evening. They are the ones that look like a cooked lobster and whince with every step!
 
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May 23rd, 2001, 06:12 AM
  #9
Susan B.
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Thank you all so much for your responses. I looked at some web sites for Anna Maria Island and they look lovely but a bit too sedate for the teens. Maybe we'll take a drive down there during our trip. But I'm still torn about exactly where to stay. I'm leaning away from Clearwater simply because there are not alot of choices right on the beach. I've narrowed it down to either the resort area of St. Pete Beach (Sandpiper/Alden) or more of a Mom & Pop type place on Treasure Island, perhaps within walking distance of John's Pass. Is that advisable? What are the smaller places like along St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island? Are most of them OK? or questionable? We generally stay at the larger more established resorts when we vacation, but are thinking of trying something different this trip. Any feedback is appreciated!
Thanks,
Suzie
 
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