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The Weather, the Fishing, the Sunsets, the Atmosphere
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In a nutshell
Treasure Island is a good throw back to what "old" Florida used to be.
Getting to Treasure Island from Tampa requires the crossing of the Howard Franklin Bridge. This bridge spans Tampa Bay and offers a GREAT view of the outlying city and the approaching "beach-like" setting. Once you are on Treasure Island there are many bridges and causways that allow you to cross the ICWs (Intercoastal Waterway) with ease. If you are looking for something to do, a drive down I-275 towards Bradenton might be rewarding for you. While traveling on I-275 you'll have to cross the famous Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which spans the mouth of Tampa Bay. The bridge is about 7 miles long and you'll probably have to pay some tolls on your way there, so keep your quarters handy--as at all times on Treasure Island; for toll bothes can be frequent depending on where you are headed.
Updated Sep 16, 2003
John's Pass is a boardwalk that lines part of the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway) that separates Treasure Island and Madeira Beach. This place is full of shops and restaurants to keep one busy for an evening. Also located here is Hubbard's Marina. This is famous for its deep sea fishing trips, reasonably priced, and will not return you to the dock empty handed.
What to buy: Most of the shops here are the typical "vacationer's" shops. If you really want to find something different travel inland to the Wagon Wheel Flea Market. It is only open on Saturday and Sunday, but you never know what you might find.
What to pay: Be prepared. Some shops will "see you coming."
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Gulf Blvd. between Treasure Is. and Madeira Beach
Treasure Island and the surrounding areas can be hard to navigate. It is pretty easy to get around in the northern areas because the streets are situated in a grid but as you head south the island thins out and the streets start to curve. They also have a tendency to change names without warning and the main streets usually have a name and a number and the street signs refer to these numbers. For example US alt 19 is also Seminole Blvd. Since it is an island and in the shape of an oval if you keep driving you will eventually get to your destination even if you are lost but who wants to spend their entire vacation couped up in their car. Invest in a good city map and you will have few worries. There is construction going on just about everywhere here so expect delays on the road and especially during rush hour.
Written Nov 30, 2008
Deep Sea fishing is a large draw for tourists. John's Pass offers a variety of fishing including party boats with 1/2, 3/4, 12 hour, and all day fishing trips. They also have a 48 hour fishing trip which goes 100 miles off shore to the famous Gulf Middle Grounds. These boats carry about 60 people on the average.
Unique Suggestions: The trick is to stay at the back of the boat. Tourists always run to the front, but when the boat begins to anchor, it drifts a little. And since the anchor is in the front of the boat, the front of the boat may drift too far off the reef. Results, little or no luck fishing. But, the back may drift more center on the reef. Result, a lot of luck fishing. Another tip, if you have a surf rod with at least 20 lbs. test line, take it for the 1/2 trip. (And bring some extra tackle, you will be hung up on coral sometimes). It is cheaper to use your equipment than theres, and I've found it is more efficient. I've caught so many more than those around me because my pole is not that "crane" like pole they give you that won't let you feel the nibbles as well.
John's Pass also offers private charters for inshore and offshore fishing. Plan to spend about $30-$35/person for the 1/2 day trip...and obviously it gets more expensive the longer the trip.
Fun Alternatives: If fishing doesn't strike your fancy, John's Pass offers parasailing and wave running. After trying wave running for the first time, I had to do it again during the same trip. There is plenty of shopping and resurants to keep you busy .
Written Jan 6, 2004
Favorite thing: Treasure Island is far from the rushed society many of us wake up to every Monday morning. Treasure Island is very relaxing. Though watch out! Many people like to wander off around the beaches of Treasure Island. Watch out if you are bare footed. Off the regularly traveled pathes and beach areas, one can expect to find sand burs stuck to the bottom of one's foot....and they hurt!
Becareful about the sun. Many don't realize it until it is too late. A bad sun burn can ruin any trip. Just use common sense about staying out in it too long. You don't want your back to be a big blister and then pop under your t-shirt and it look like ice tea...
Fondest memory: My fondest memories of Treasure Island are the outstanding sunsets and scenery. There is a picture of a typical sunset on the left.
Updated Mar 15, 2003