Vacation Rental Blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We're Moving!

That's right folks we took the plunge and moved our blog! Come and visit us at to keep up with the latest and greatest of Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores! See you at the beach!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunsets at Pier 60 & The Sunset Cinema in Clearwater

When you book your Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores vacation rental, you and your family are not only in a prime Gulf beach vacation destination, you're also minutes away from family fun every night of the week. Check out some of the free family fun to be had here on the Gulf Coast!

Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival in Clearwater
Sunsets at Pier 60 is a daily festival that occurs over the sunset hours (be sure to check the festival's website for current hours as they vary throughout the year). It has become a Clearwater Beach tradition and is definitely a local hot spot. This time of year the festival hours run from 4-8p.m. every night of the week in Pier 60 Park on Clearwater Beach.

Photo Courtesy of Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival
The Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival is a free family event popular with both visitors and locals alike. Set against a stunning Gulf Coast sunset and lined with swaying palm trees, you'll find artisans, street performers, musical entertainment, and so much more. There's a little something for everyone with plenty of activities for the kids, too. The park is located right on the beach and its surrounding amenities—a playground, pavilions, concessions, and winding walkwaysadd to the draw of the festival. Fly a kite, play some volleyball, or just stroll the sandy shores; there's plenty to see and do here.

There is a parking lot just south of Pier 60 where parking is available at an hourly rate. Additional parking is also available further south along the beach. The nightly festival is weather-permitting.

Sunset Cinema in Clearwater
Another free family event can found every Friday and Saturday night at Clearwater's Pier 60. Grab a beach blanket or your favorite low-sitting beach chair and bring the family out to the Sunset Cinema. Enjoy a family-friendly movie on the big screen while being surrounded by a warm Gulf breeze and feeling the sand between your toes. Popcorn and soft drinks are available for purchase, so your movie night is complete.

Photo Courtesy of Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival
This weekend on Friday, January 18 the featured movie is Cirque de Soleil - Kooza (appropriate for all ages). Saturday, January 19 the movie Dark Shadows (PG-13) is featured. The Sunset Cinema showings begin around 6p.m. this time of year. For a full listing of featured movies and to check on the latest show times, visit the Sunset Cinema's movie schedule. The Sunset Cinema is weather-permitting.

Have you been to the Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival or the Sunset Cinema in Clearwater? If so, tell us about it in our comment section! We always enjoy hearing from our readers.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Where to Find Fresh Local Fare During Your Gulf Coast Vacation

Stunning Kitchen in Sandcastle II 805
We're all trying to eat a little bit healthier these days, especially since New Year's Resolutions have been made and the holiday feasting is over. One of the best ways to do that is to make some of your own meals where you have control over the ingredients, and you know exactly what is going into the food you eat.

One of the advantages of booking a Gulf beach vacation rental is having the option to make some of your meals at home (your vacation home). It's great going out and trying new restaurants in the area, but it's also nice to be able to relax, take advantage of the amenities, and enjoy a meal in. With vacation rentals offering modern, upscale kitchens to meet your every need, you'll want to take advantage of this luxurious convenience.

You may be wondering where you can find some of the freshest local fare to make your meals both healthy and delicious during your stay on the Gulf Coast. We can help you with that.

Downtown Clearwater Farmer's Market
Located on the 500-600 blocks of Cleveland Street at Station Square Park, the Clearwater Farmer's Market runs every Wednesday from 9a.m. to 2p.m. from October through May. The market is filled with colorful tents and booths offering the freshest farm produce, cheeses, baked goods, cut flowers, plants, and so much more. 

Photo Courtesy of Clearwater Farmer's Market
In addition to the fabulous shopping, there are also refreshments available throughout the market and live music from 11a.m. to 1p.m. Bring your family and friends and enjoy perusing the local goods while also sampling some pastries and coffee or opting for some heavier fare. The atmosphere is lovely, and it will leave you wanting to come back for more!

Beginning in January, the Clearwater Farmer's Market also offers evening hours held on the first Friday of each month (through May) from 4-8p.m. Don't miss it!

Free 2-hour parking is available at Garden Avenue Garage with ticket validation, just see the Market Manager. The market is stroller, bike, and handicap accessible. There are always new businesses relocating to the downtown area, so it's a great way to get to know them.

Largo Open Air Market
Another great option for shopping local and finding the freshest fare is found at the Largo Community Center on Saturdays from 9a.m. to 2p.m. The Largo Open Air Market invites you to browse its wide variety of vendors selling fresh local produce, artisan foods, unique arts and crafts, health and beauty items, and so much more. You can find it all here in one beautiful outdoor setting. 

The market is open every Saturday from September through May. Bring your family and friends out for some entertainment and fun while bringing home some of the best local products to enjoy. The Largo Community Center is located at 400 Alternate Keene Road.

Plan Your Gulf Coast Vacation Now
We hope you're planning your 2013 Gulf Coast vacation right now. January is a wonderful time to take full advantage of getting away to our white sandy beaches, sparkling clear waters, and brilliant sunny blue skies. While you're here, come on out to our area markets and experience buying local at its best. We hope to see you soon!

Have you been to any of our local farmer's markets? How did you like the experience? What did you buy? Tell us about it in our comment sectionwe love hearing from our readers.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Planning Your 2013 Indian Rocks Beach & Indian Shores Vacation

It's never too early to plan for your next beach vacation! Indian Rocks Beach offers miles of white sandy beaches, sparkling clear waters, and relaxing warm sea-salt air. When planning your 2013 Gulf beach vacation, we thought it would be helpful to know a little bit more about vacationing in the towns of Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores.

The History of Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores
As their names suggest, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores hint at a history of Indians, among other things. The legend of the Indian Chief, the healing mineral spring, and the place where travertine rocks line the shoreline can be found here.

Early homesteading on the island is noted in the early 1800s with other settlements springing up throughout the mid to late 1800s. As time went on and more people found out about this island paradise, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores became increasingly popular vacation and residential destinations. In 1905, the railroad ran a spur line from the mainland to the beach. Ferryboats transported pedestrians to the island. There was a barge to carry horses, buggies, and even a few automobiles to the summer resort too. In 1916 a wooden bridge was built to replace the spur line. The community continued to expand and experienced a growth and building boom after World War II. 

A great place to visit to experience Indian Rocks Beach as it was and to learn more of its history is the Indian Rocks Historical Museum. This historic beach cottage is located in Chic-a-Si Park at the heart of Indian Rocks Beach. Enjoy displays and exhibits which take you on a journey from prehistoric Native American Times, through the days of early pioneer settlements, and continuing through to the modern era. Museum hours vary so be sure to check out their website for hours of operation. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

Today, residents and visitors enjoy the original character of this Gulf beach destination. Warm welcomes and friendly smiles are ready to greet you and introduce you to a little piece of paradise. For further information on the history of Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores, visit their respective websites.

Things To Do in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores
Indian Rocks Beach boasts 27 public beach accesses/parks, so you'll always have plenty of options when it comes to spending your days on the beautiful coastal shores. This family-friendly vacation destination offers recreational facilities in many of its numerous parks. Facilities include tennis courts, basketball courts, a ball field, a leash-free pet park, and a state-of-the-art skateboard park. Make time during your stay to check out the recreational programs and events sponsored by Indian Rocks Beach.

Another highlight of the area, is the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve located on 903 Gulf Boulevard. This 9.3-acre preserve features a wildlife habitat, native vegetation, wetlands, educational boardwalk, as well as interactive, passive and natural park areas. Other perks of the preserve include comfort areas, cultural resources, a fishing pier, a nature center, an observation pier, paved hiking and walking trails, a pavilion, picnic areas, water access, a dog park, and so much more.

Indian Shores shares the family-centered environment by also offering a nice variety of parks, recreational facilities, and playgrounds. The community of Indian Shores prides itself on offering recreational programs and opportunities for all ages and interests. Whether it's ballroom dancing, Zumba, oil painting, yoga, Tai Chi, bridge, or senior activities, there are many classes to choose from and the prices are very reasonable. Be sure to check out the recreational offerings during your stay.

Where To Stay in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores
Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores offer a nice variety of vacation rentals in the Gulf Coast area. Choose from cozy beach cottages to luxury condos, and everything in between. These accommodations offer a wide range of amenities to make your Gulf beach vacation complete.We can help you with short-term rental, long-term rentals, and more permanent options like relocation or retirement.

We hope to see you in 2013 on our beaches and in our towns. Come see us this year and get to know us better. Happy vacation planning!

Are you planning a 2013 vacation to Indian Rocks Beach or Indian Shores? Please tell us about it in our comment section. When will you be here? What will you do? We always love hearing from our readers!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Top 3 Things To Do To Celebrate the New Year on the Gulf Coast

We're almost finished with 2012 and looking forward to the new year of 2013. As you celebrate the holiday season with family and friends, take time out to peruse some of the New Year's Eve events occurring in the Gulf Coast region. We hope to see you out and about at some of these unique and fun festivities. 

Here are our Top 3 Things To Do To Celebrate the New Year:

#1 The Annual Dog Parade at the Florida Botanical Gardens. Pets are members of the family, too. Let's not overlook this important part of the family during this busy time of year. Why not carve out some time to celebrate with man's best friend? Take him (or her) out for an afternoon of fun at the Florida Botanical Gardens 4th Annual Dog Parade on Sunday, December 30.

Registration runs from 1:00 to 1:45p.m. with the parade beginning at 2p.m. Let your pet strut his stuff and compete for prizes in a wide variety of categories including Best Puppy, Best Adult, Best Senior, Ugliest, Best Botanical Costume, and Best Dog/Owner Dress Alike. There's even a prize for just showing up. Registration is $10 for one category and an extra $5 for each additional category.

Come early (from noon on) and take advantage of the informational dog booths, including the Ask A Vet booth. All pets must be leashed and owners are asked to clean-up after their pet at all times. Shock collars are not permitted. Further information and registration forms for the dog parade can be found here.

#2 Sin City New Year's Eve Party in Clearwater Beach
Shepard's Beach Resort in Clearwater hosts a Las Vegas themed night of gaming and parties to ring in the new year on Monday, December 31. With a premium open bar, two bands, two DJs, and three parties, it's going to be a night not soon to be forgotten. As midnight approaches, a champagne toast and fireworks display are part of the celebration.

Ticketing information and party packages are available here. Make your reservations soon before they sell out!

#3 First Night St. Petersburg
This year marks the 18th Annual New Year's Eve First Night celebration in St. Pete on Monday, December 31 from 5p.m. to midnight. With a focus on the arts, St. Petersburg brings music, drama, lights, dance, games, fire, bubbles, stories, fun, fireworks and more to various venues throughout the downtown area. Two fireworks shows are scheduled at 9p.m. and midnight.

With all there is to see and do at First Night, you may want to review the full schedule of events beforehand. Ten dollar admission button online sales continue until 12p.m. on Sunday, December 30. Tickets are available the night of the event at all venues where performances or activities are scheduled.

Enjoy your holiday celebrations and be safe as you ring in the new year. Remember to start planning now for your 2013 Gulf Coast vacation. Browse our premier vacation rentals located on the quiet, pristine shores of Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores and select the perfect one for your Gulf beach getaway. We look forward to seeing you in the new year! Cheers!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pre-Holiday Fun on Florida's Gulf Coast

The holidays are soon upon us. In addition to the hustle and bustle of the season, there's also plenty of things to see and do this time of year on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Besides basking on our beaches and soaking up some sun, sand, and surf, consider adding a couple more fun events to your pre-holiday weekend lineup.

Tampa Bay Bucs vs St. Louis Rams in Tampa
Are you ready for some football? This is a great weekend to make plans to watch a home game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the St. Louis Rams this Sunday, December 23 at 1p.m. 

Spend some time with family and friends this weekend. Pack up some tailgating supplies and make a day of it. This Week 16 football game has two of the NFL's most hard-nosed coaches on the field, so it should be an interesting game. You can find game day previews and predictions here. Ticket information and purchasing can be found on the Ticketmaster site.

The Florida Orchestra Presents Holiday Pops in Clearwater
The Florida Orchestra is joined by 150 voices of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay this weekend on Sunday, December 23 at 7:30p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater hosts this Holiday Pops performance which features family favorites such as Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, Hanukkah in Santa Monica, Joy to the World, The Twelve Days of Christmas, O Come All Ye Faithful, just to name a few.

Tickets for this performance range from $17.50 to $47.50 depending on seating. Ticket information and purchasing can be found here.

Concertgoers have the opportunity to give back to the community by bringing canned food donations to the performance. The donations benefit the Tampa Bay Harvest food bank services to help those in need this holiday season.

Indian Shores Lighted Boat Parade
If you missed the Indian Rocks Beach boat parade last weekend, you still have the chance to see the Indian Shores/Redingtons Lighted Boat Parade held this Sunday, December 23 at 6p.m. The boat parade starts at The Pub in Indian Shores and heads south. Don't miss it!

Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals
Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Rocks Shores invite you to the beautiful white sandy beaches and crystalline waters of the Gulf Coast this winter. What better time of year than now to spend some time with us here? 

Get away from the cold, cloudy days and come to a place where the warm temperatures, blue skies, sunny shores, and swaying palm trees can help you through the winter blues. Find your spot in the sand, and let go of your cares for a while.

Our Gulf Beach vacation rentals offer direct access to the beach as well as convenient access to the surrounding Gulf Coast action, while also offering the perfect amenities for you and your family. It's never too early or too late to start planning your beach vacation.

We hope to see you soon! If you're coming to vacation with us in the upcoming months, let us know about it by dropping us a line in our comment section. We always appreciate feedback from our readers.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade & Other Seasonal Events

The holiday season is in full swing and so are the holiday events in and around Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores. As you enjoy the pristine Gulf beaches and spend time relaxing in your premier vacation rental, be sure to leave some time in your vacation agenda for these local events.

26th Annual Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Whether you plan on being a participant or an observer, the Indian Rocks Beach (IRB) Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is an annual favorite. Beginning at 7p.m. on Saturday, December 15 at the Holiday Inn Harbourside in Indian Rocks Beach, you'll see everything from sailboats to powerboats of all sizes and styles in this parade. The parade begins at the Holiday Inn Harbourside and continues north through the coastal canals ending just south of the Belleair Causeway.

In addition to the seasonal décor and brilliantly lit boats, the participants compete for awards for first through third place in various size categories. If you'd like to participate in the IRB Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, you can find the full registration and awards details here. Otherwise, just come on out and enjoy this free and festive event!

Annual Tarpon Springs Christmas Parade, Santa Fest, and Christmas Stroll
Make a day of it in Tarpon Springs on Saturday, December 15 starting with the Tarpon Springs Christmas Parade and Santa Fest beginning at 10a.m. Continue celebrating the season from 11a.m. to 8p.m. with the Tarpon Springs Christmas Stroll at downtown Tarpon Avenue and the Sponge Docks.

Find your spot and watch the street parade, as well as enjoying various Christmas activities such as a candy cane hunt, refreshments, live entertainment, holiday shopping and specials, and so much more. There's something for everyone. Take time out to enjoy the historic downtown area, dine in the restaurants, and explore the town.

The Nutcracker at the Largo Cultural Center
What is the holiday season without a performance of The Nutcracker? On Saturday, December 15 at 2p.m. and 7:30p.m., and on Sunday, December 16 at 1p.m. and 6p.m., the Bay City Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Largo Cultural Center.

It's your opportunity to join Clara on her journey to save her beloved Nutcracker from the giant mice who battle toy soldiers. Of course then there's the palace of the Sugarplum Fairy along with dancing candies and waltzing flowers. This holiday classic is sure-to-please. Ticket prices range from $18.50 to $25.50 plus applicable service fee, add $5 for tickets purchased at the door. Purchase online tickets here or you can find discounted pricing at the Box Office.

Have you spent the holidays in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores in the past? What did you do? What did you see? We'd love to hear about it! Our comment section welcomes you. 

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