Kick Scooting Road Trip Spring 2012 - Florida's John's Pass, St. Pete Beach, and Tampa
[ KICK SCOOTING - 5/5/2012 - Part 4 of 4 - www.LetsKickScoot.com ]
John's Pass, Zentangle, and a rented recumbent
MARCH 10, 2012
continued . . . With a wee sunburn on my shoulders, I decided that today would be a day of rest, at least for me. Phil, on the other hand, rented a recumbent from Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole, Florida, and has decided to ride the entire Pinella Bike Trail, which he should complete tomorrow.
John's Pass, once a thriving fishing village, has maintained the look of a thriving fishing village, but now with schools of tourists, not fish. (Tourists smell better.) The pier's antique atmosphere is charming and definitely worth your time, despite the proliferation of nearby T-shirt shops, most of which the same designs.
Based on "location location location," I love lingering at The Hut and Sculley's restaurants, both managed by the same company. The Hut features pier dining, plus an indoor/outdoor dining room where you can appreciate sea breezes without being baked under a hot sun or blown away. Sculley's features rustic boardwalk dining, plus indoor space. These restaurants are located side-by-side just to the left of the main pier entrance. I highly recommend them!
The rest of my day was given over to Zentangling, a fairly recent name given to the art of drawing patterns. I've been interested in the subject for years, but never understood how to approach it until accidentally discovering Zentangle books on Amazon.com. The book I'm currently referencing is Yoga for your Brain: a Zentangle workout by Sandy Steen Bartholomew.
Kick scooting around St. Pete Beach
MARCH 12, 2012:
Last year, we drove around St. Pete Beach, a Florida barrier island just south of Treasure Island on the Gulf, but didn't spend any time in the area.
The 4.5 mile route started just in front of Loews Don Cesar Hotel, also known as the Pink Palace and Don-Ce-Sar Place, roughly marked on the map between (1) and (6), and ended with a beach-front tour of the hotel (6).
The stretch of heavenly level sidewalk along Gulf Boulevard, which turns into Pass a Grille Way on the east side of the island (2) provides sweeping views of Tampa Bay water and, as you get closer to the end, numerous benches upon which to enjoy those views. The 80-degree temperature, gentle sea breezes, bright-blue sky, and ocean smells we experienced made a perfect visit atmosphere.
Whereas the east side (2) features a long, clear stretch next to water, the Gulf of Mexico side along Gulf Way (3) features a natural dune-fronted beach. In the middle of this area, at Pass-a-Grille (4), is a beachy snack bar and clean changing rooms.
Sunset Way, a road/alley between 22nd and 30th Avenue, marked as (5) on the map, runs through a purely residential district. Although it is not advisable as a tourist to drive a car through this section, you can easily do so on a kick scooter or bike.
The entire area provides an outstanding touring experience for kick scooter riders because of regularly changing scenery, shore views, beach access, interesting architecture, from modest to mansions, and just enough restaurants to provide comfort without glitzy distraction.
Tampa - The Florida Acquarium and the American Victory Ship
MARCH 14, 2012
Our plan today was to arrive early in Tampa, see the famous Florida Aquarium, then kick scoot in a nearby residential island as well as in Ybor City.
Among the amazing sights we saw at the aquarium were sharks (of course), petting tanks, people in diving suits swimming with the fishes, and the very rare Australian Leafy Dragons (see below).
Immediately behind the aquarium is the The American Victory Ship Mariners Museum, housed in a working merchant marine vessel that once carried military cargo from World War II through the Viet Nam conflict.
Last night in Florida
MARCH 15, 2012
Tonight is our last night in Florida as well as my 68th birthday. Soon after posting this blog, I'll begin packing. I wish I could bring home the perfectly warm weather with sweet, ocean breezes. Instead, we have a bag of souvenirs for our grandchildren.
Once in Tampa, we kick scooted a round-trip of about five miles between the Florida Aquarium and Tampa University, which is partially housed in the historic Plant Hotel (below). We also covered quite a bit of ground along the bay, including the Tampa Convention Center and the edge of that elusive Harbour Island. Lush scenery. Sweet breezes. And by 2:30PM, a very hot sun.
We finished our day back home in Treasure Island, where we dined on the beach at Sloppy Joes and watched the sunset; a fitting end to a wonderful time.
Remaining sections of this 4-part, Kick Scooting Road Trip Spring 2012 article:
Florida's Plant City and Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
St. Petersburg, St. Armands Key, Lido Beach, and Sarasota
<|> <|> <|> Renting a Recumbent and Kick Scooting in John's Pass, St. Pete Beach, and Tampa
Other articles published about this trip:
Questions? Just ask!
Article by Karen Little. Photographs primarily by Karen Little with help from Philip Little. First published on www.LetsKickScoot.com on 5/5/2012. All rights reserved.