Madeira Beach Travel Guide

For travelers looking for white sandy beaches and warm tropical seas in a laid-back town with unique shopping, Madeira Beach, Florida is a perfect choice. Read about can’t miss attractions, stores, and restaurants in the following Madeira Beach Travel Guide, so you can catch—sometimes literally on a hook and line—the city’s best offerings. Some of the town’s best deals are Madeira Beach vacation rentals, so consider booking beach accessible and budget friendly accommodations here.

What to Do in Madeira Beach

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Set Sail on a Pirate Ship

Swashbuckler youngsters and seasoned pirates will enjoy this cruise that glides into Florida’s waters from John’s Pass. On this authentic looking ship, your family can partake in activities such as treasure hunts, water gun fights, limbo contests, and dance parties, all out on the open sea. If you’re on this ship to please your brood of scallywags, rest assured your kids will be so entertained by the fantastic staff and interactive fun, you’ll be able to relax and absorb the scenery, observe hovering birds, or watch for dolphins.

Experience Adventure

Many adventure companies operate in Madeira Beach and offer parasailing, shell searching excursions, boat or jet ski rentals, deep sea fishing charters, snorkeling tours, and dolphin watching trips. Some companies, like Dolphin Quest, guarantee that you’ll see dolphins up close or your next trip is free. With such good odds, be sure to bring your camera!

If you want to experience the joy of flying, try parasailing above clear aquamarine waters. Fly-N-High in John’s Pass is a recommended parasailing company, both for their service and their equipment. Hubbard’s Marina is a good place to book a chartered fishing guide to take you where the ocean floor drops so you can reel in the really big fish.

Golf with Children or Without

Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf is a must for children during a Madeira Beach vacation. A popular pirate-themed miniature golf course that features two-story holes, caves, waterfalls, and even live alligators you can feed for an additional fee, Smuggler’s Cove is a great place for family fun. For adult golf, visit The Eagles Golf Club for thirty six challenging holes, Bardmoor Golf Club for public access to a private-feeling course, and Fox Hollow Golf Club, a hidden gem with beautiful landscaping.

Have Fun for Cheap (or Even Free)

As any Madeira Beach travel guide will point out, everyone is trying to save money. Even if you can’t spend much, John’s Pass Village is fabulous for window shopping and strolling with companions, and provides a great view of gorgeous sunsets. Walk along the pier, share an ice cream cone, gaze at the sparkling ocean, or watch pelicans fight for tossed fish scraps from boats. Beaches here are free, and it doesn’t cost a cent to sunbathe, build a sand castle, or listen to waves pound the sand beneath your toes. You can watch the setting sun paint the sky with color and walk barefoot on moonlit shores without the use of your wallet. With Madeira Beach vacations, fun fits all budgets.

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What to See in Madeira Beach

John’s Pass Park (or South Beach) is a great place to relax on white sands with a book or soak your body in the surf of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy fantastically warm and clear water and clamshell-white shores at public area beaches such as County Park, Archibald Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, or Kitty Stuart Park. Many of these beaches provide well-maintained services like restrooms, showers, and parking, so you can make a day of it. Bring a picnic, blanket, and umbrella to help you unwind. Kids can fly kites or dig for treasures, and nappers in your group need only a towel and the shade from your umbrella. Whatever your beach pleasure is, let the postcard worthy views of shimmering ocean, brilliant blue sky, and pristine sand erase your stress.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Madeira Beach

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John’s Pass Village Shopping

This historic waterfront village still functions as fishing port, but has opened up to tourism with fantastic shopping and dining options. No Madeira Beach travel guide would be complete without mentioning this shopper’s dream town. Featuring over one hundred vendors from kitschy souvenir shops to unique boutiques, anyone who loves to browse and purchase should at least meander past the storefronts.

Caribbean Jubilee carries handmade knickknacks for display inside or outside your home, and Things, Etc. and Artisan’s Market present interesting selections of beautifully crafted jewelry. For kites, wind chimes, and garden decor, visit Windworks, and try Wild Time if you’re interested in reggae and Caribbean inspired fashion items.

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John’s Pass Village Dining

All shoppers need refueling; visit Kilwin’s for highly rated fudge and a variety of ice cream flavors scooped into fresh, house-made waffle cones or Sugar Daddy’s Ice Cream for creamy, old-fashioned scoops. Addicted to the Bean is raved about by locals for its great coffee, baked treats, and blended coffee drinks, topped off with free Wi-Fi and friendly baristas. Addicted to the Bean’s excellent cup of Joe just might fulfill the prophecy of its name and make you a coffee addict.

For more substantial food, The Hut and Sculley’s serve local seafood grilled and plated with yummy sides. Time Out Restaurant doles out big portions of comfort food for reasonable prices including burgers, shepherd’s pie, and fried cod, and The Friendly Fisherman is a good choice for families. Or grab a hot dog from a cart on the boardwalk for a cheap and casual meal on the go.

Other Madeira Beach Restaurants

Mario’s is tiny and hidden, but you can’t beat their Italian dishes including excellent veal, signature pasta, and steaming bread. Waltz Fish Shak provides patio seating and fresh local seafood, Gulf Bistro offers romantic French cuisine and mood lighting, and for sushi, try Osaka Japanese Restaurant.

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When to Visit Madeira Beach

Year-round temperate weather makes Madeira Beach vacations accessible whenever you can take time off. Summer and spring break are busier times and can therefore mean higher rates, while January and February are off-peak months and deals are often available, especially on Madeira Beach rentals. Various fishing competitions are held throughout the year, so check listings if you want to watch or compete, and John’s Pass Seafood Festival in October is a great way to celebrate fish with the city that reels in more grouper than anywhere else in the state. Another fun event is John Levique Days, a summer festival that fills the streets with merriment in honor of an unfortunate pirate who lost his treasure but found John’s Pass.

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What to Bring to Madeira Beach

Since you’re never far from the beach here, bring flip-flops or other beach friendly footwear, casual clothes, a swimsuit, lots of sunblock, and sunglasses. Many things like towels and toiletries are included with your Madeira Beach vacation rental, so check your contract before you pack. Any decent Madeira Beach travel guide should tell you not to bring work. You are on vacation, after all.

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Local Services in Madeira Beach

For a small beach town that feels easy-going, don’t expect services to be lacking. Madeira Beach vacations are bolstered by a city that is proud of its clean roads and sidewalks, its fire and police units, and its peaceful neighborhoods. Visitors can feel safe in walking to restaurants and beaches, and friendly residents encourage visitors to ask for help. For local takes on food venues, shops with great finds for less cash, public transportation options, or fishing hot spots, just ask! With a city whose catch phrase is, “Two Miles Long and a Smile Wide,” how can you go wrong?

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What to Know About Madeira Beach

Madeira Beach is a relaxing town. Just two miles from end to end, you can walk or bicycle to almost anywhere you want to go, and there are no streams of honking taxis or crowds in the crosswalks. Gulf Boulevard follows the stunning coastline for a scenic route across the city, and it’s nearly impossible to get lost. The small town atmosphere is a welcome respite from the hectic bustle of daily life. Upon arrival, slow down, breathe the ocean air, and let your tension slip away.

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Getting to Madeira Beach

Travelers can fly into Tampa and take a shuttle, taxi, or rental car to reach Madeira Beach. Most airline carriers serve the Tampa International Airport, and flights are frequent and easy to find.

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Why Madeira Beach Vacation Rentals?

Almost all Madeira Beach vacation rentals are within walking distance of the powdery shores or are directly on the beachfront. Imagine waking up to ocean sunrises and saving money by making coffee and breakfast in the kitchen of your rental home. After a day of fishing, barbecue the grouper you caught on your deck grill and eat al fresco as the sun sinks below the horizon. Enjoy more privacy, space, and options with Madeira Beach vacation rentals than with cramped hotel rooms and get more beach bang for your buck as well.

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