The weather is getting warmer and warmer, and it’s that time of year again - beach season. In just a few weeks, school will be letting out and people will flood the beaches. So whether you have to wait till school is out or can start hitting the beaches now, you can prep for your beach trip. Here are 5 great beaches not too far from the Lakeland area.
This beach is popular because of its pristine broad sands and visitor accommodations. It’s a barrier island off the Gulf Coast, south of Tampa Bay. It includes 3 cities on the 7-mile-long island: Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, and Anna Maria. From Lakeland, it’s about a 2 hour drive to get there, but the white sands and beautiful waves are worth the time. On the island’s 3 piers, you can fish and dine, and if you want a more ____ experience, you can hire a fishing charter boat or schedule a sunset dinner cruise. Local restaurants include Small Town Creamery, Slim’s Place, Bortell’s Cocktail Lounge, Beach Bistro.
This beach town located just south of Clearwater has a wonderful combination of nature experiences and historical richness that you won’t want to miss. The town’s name came from when it was first populated by white settlers. The Native Americans in the area believed the rocky spring had healing powers, and would gather at the rocks for ceremonies. When the settlers would see the tribes going to the spring, they would say, “The Indians are going to the rocks.”
The beach at Indian Rocks is beautiful, and the many beach access points makes it easy to get to the water. The area also has a nature preserve and a Beach Art Center, as well as a historical museum set up in a beach cottage. You can also hire charter boats and go sport fishing.
A larger city in the bay area, Clearwater not only has beautiful beaches, but the attractions of a metropolitan area as well. In Clearwater, you can visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Winter the dolphin from A Dolphin’s Tale lives. The city also offers a wide range of activities for visitors: beach shopping, beachfront spas, pirate cruises, dining cruises, boat tours, fishing tours, charters, and fine dining. You can also go paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, and other fun beach activities. Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach offers fishing, a recreational park, and a nightly crafts and entertainment market called Sunsets at Pier 60. Because this beach is so popular, you won’t run out of things to see and do.
Longboat Key, located just south of Anna Maria Island, is just as popular as its northern neighbor. It has 11 beach access points, which makes it easy to find a place to enjoy the sand and sun. The area is also great for bird watching and a variety of outdoor activities like kayaking, canoeing, picnicking, and playing sports on the beach. The nature trails in the area allow you to see the native flora and fauna up-close. Since the beach is close to Anna Maria Island, you can also enjoy its beaches very easily. If you’d rather not experience nature so closely, the area also offers luxury resorts, fine dining, waterfront golf, and beach shopping.
Located on the Atlantic cost, Cocoa beach is a little farther from Lakeland than the other beaches. But because it’s on the Atlantic coast, it offers a different experience than Gulf Coast beaches, with bigger waves and better sunrises. Cocoa beach is an hour drive east of Orlando, and is home to the Kennedy Space Center. It also has numerous historic sites and museums, including the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science, Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum, Air Force Space and Missile Museum, Alma Clyde Field Library of Florida History, and the Florida Surf Museum. As far as outdoor activites, Cocoa beach offers deep sea fishing, eco tours, airboat rides, golf, shopping, dining, cruises, and more.
Are you ready to hit the beaches? I know I am! If you need any other info on the Lakeland and Central Florida areas, or the real estate market in general, I’d be happy to help! Please contact me through email, phone - (863) 450-8847, Facebook, or my mobile app. Hope to talk to you soon!