Last year's 10 days in Florida spoiled me good. I've been on the Atlantic side many times but this was my first Gulf Coast visit. Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Sarasota. It was beautiful.
This is Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, Fl-- right past Caladesi Island where there were tons of crabs. Just spent an afternoon here soaking up a base tan.
Next is Anclote Key- an island 3 miles out from Tarpon Springs. It's a tiny island but really pretty with unusual shells. The boat ride out was interesting...we saw a family of dolphins! If you look closely, you can see the mom and baby swimming behind the boat. The dad was staying ahead of the boat while they were playing in the waves.
On down going past Clearwater, we stopped by Sand Key. Lots of partiers here and lovely beach with tons of white sand. Clearwater Beach had the same scenery- it was just crowded and mostly the younger generation- My kind of place, say about 25-30 years ago.
And yes, there was a thunderstorm every single day!
This is nothing compared to what you're about to see. Sarasota beaches took my breath away. The reason we went the extra two hours down was to find shark's teeth at a particular area called Casperson Beach. I'm going to live in Sarasota when I retire one day- check it out and imagine having coffee every morning looking out over this.
One thing is for sure... I don't think I want to drive this again. 12 hours from upstate SC to the middle west coast stretch in Florida. I'll be flying next time!