gulf coast- help needed...

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by Netty, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

    Jan 6, 1999
    Well here goes guys..
    This will be our 5th trip to florida , but our first time of having a week in wdw and then a week in new port richie on the gulf coast.
    Panic is starting to set in now :confused:
    Dh has said we'll prob get bored on the gulf after a week with mickey.and will prob end up going back to kissimmee after a couple of days.:rolleyes:
    All I know is busch gardens is there, and thats it :eek:
    Anyone know what else to do along the coast??
    :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc
  2. Mrs Dazzle

    Mrs Dazzle <font color=009900>Florida-mad (well, mad full sto

    Mar 9, 2002
    :D There's loads and loads to to - as little or as much as you want;)

    There's boat trips spotting dolphins, sunset cruises, pirate ships, there are shelling sessions on the beach (early in the morning for the serious shellers out there - it's a Florida pastime:) ), lovely little shops to visit, mini-golf, or just take a little time and drive around a little and you see all sorts of other beautiful beach resorts.

    You'll wonder where your week went to:)
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  4. GO2209

    GO2209 Mouseketeer

    Aug 10, 2002
    Plenty to do on the Gulf Coast... My personal "must do's" or "do every time" are :

    Dali Museum - St Petes (downtown, not beach)
    Ellenton Mall (outlet mall - over the skyway bridge)
    Sunday Brunch at the Don Cesar hotel (St Petes Beach)
    Sea Screamer - Clearwater Beach, great way to see dolphins and a good way to get wet!
    Hire waverunners (water craft, bit like a motorbike) at St Johns Pass
    University Mall - huge Mall near Busch Gardens
    Fort De Soto - beautiful and quiet beach/national park + fort
    Busch Gardens (of course)
    34th Steet/US19 inland from St Petes, can't think of the place name, but its a glorified burger bar. Go on a Saturday evening and see all the custom cars and hot rods
    Walmart(!) - always go, usually the day before I fly back to buy an extra suitcase!
    Steak and Shake - best burgers in Florida
    An evening at the St Petes Marina - great bars, restaurants etc. A quieter version of universal's 'citywalk'

    I never get bored on the Gulf Coast. There is also something to be said for filling the car up and just driving. Ybor city was an interesting find on one outing...

    You will have a great time - don't worry!
  5. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

    Jan 6, 1999
    THANKS guys for all that info, looks like we won't get bored then!!:D
    jeanette:Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc
  6. CRISSY61

    CRISSY61 Earning My Ears

    Apr 18, 2004
    just read your comments. Like you, we are planning a visit to the gulf next year as a change from WDW. Thinking of staying in St Petes area- any tips on places to visit?
  7. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

    Jan 6, 1999
    We stayed at new port richie/hudson.
    To be honest we went to Clearwater for the day, that was ok.
    Our kids were really bored, after having a week in WDW.
    so the 2nd week didn't go down too well, we went ten pin bowling which they really enjoyed, and also went to Sam's bar at Hudson beach which was lovely, live music, food etc.
    Prices were much cheaper on the coast.
    So it's back to 2 weeks at WDW this year!!
  8. gilld

    gilld <font color=deeppink>Will just have the butler ope

    Oct 23, 2003
    I know lots of you won't agree with this but although there was plenty to do on the Gulf Coast, we hated it there. We stayed between St Petes and Clearwater and although the beach was lovely, there were LOADS of stingrays, which give a mighty sting, in the sea, and we simply didn't like it there at all. There are few, if any, REALLY good hotels, but there are some nice condos.
    Personally, I'd prefer Miami for a fix of coast. If you do decide on The Gulf Coast, you could always do there first followed by Orlando...we did it that way round and I'm so glad we did.
    :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc
  9. SidB

    SidB Lazy by nature

    Feb 3, 2003
    We got back to the UK on Sunday after 2 weeks in Orlando and a week in New Port Richey. Our villa backed on to a lake, and in the first hour we fed the turtles, spotted a snake, lizards, squirrels, moorhens, herons, seagulls, wagtails nesting, and a pelican diving for fish. We all found it refreshing after 2 weeks in the sterility of Orlando.

    We, were myself (40), the wife (29 and some months !), my mum (59), and my daughters, Zoe (almost 8) and Hannah (almost 12).
    We all enjoyed the change in pace.

    The main "strip" the US 19 is similar to the 192 in Kissimee, with all the usual, and some more unusual sights. The places to eat are all pretty similar. We spend time on the beach, and in one of the National Parks (can't recall the name). We also spend the afternoon, and evening in Ybor City in Tampa. It's dead until 9-ish when the bars are jumping, and the clubs are opening. If you've seen Coyote Ugly, it's there in all of it's glory, including the dancing on the bar. We took some time in a cinema to while away some of the time, and were the only people in the theatre. You MUST go to the Columbia restaurant. The food is unbelieveable, especially for the price and you can pay $6 extra to see the Cuban Flamenco show. Not the best I've seen, but it's different.

    If you want a little more life, Busch Gardens is the top spot for thrill rides, and refreshingly different to the usual parks.

    We took a drive through St Pete's and Clearwater, and they were too developed for our taste. Some of the areas were on a par with Benidorm.

    On the drive back from Clearwater we happened upon Crabby Bills restaurant. Man, what a place. We arrived at 16-30 and got one of the last tables. By the time we left, at about 18-00 the queue was around the building and must have had about 60 people waiting. This and the fact that a lot of the customers were local tells you a lot. We each ordered, crab, crab, lobster, a salad, and shrimp scampi (the real stuff, not the battered stuff we get in the UK). The food was out of this world, and I'm not easily pleased. The service was so good we left a tip of 25%. The bill was $90 including tip. Try getting food of this type and quality in the UK for under £90. No chance. We expected dressed crab, but got claws and tiny mallets. The waitress saw our looks and offered to show us what to do. Take a serviette, wrap it around the claw, and tap it gently with the mallet. Crab meat in seconds. The same applied to the lobster.

    Try Hooters on the 19 for the view. No not the serving staff, although that was pretty good also. We ate on the deck, overlooking the river/sea/estuary, whatever it was. We watched boats tying up, and the "sailors" walk straight into the bar. As we finished the meal, we were rushed into the safety of the bar. "Lightening on it's way" we were told. Sure enough, 15 minutes later we had a huge downpour. with thunder and lightening.

    If you think Orlando is the dog's, and has everything you need, you will be disappointed at New Port Richey. Otherwise, it's what you make of it. My daughters loved it as much as their parents, and we will go back, no question.

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