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Billed as “Pinellas County’s #1 Tourist Attraction,” it’s amazing how many people have still never heard of Johns Pass Village. This classic waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment destination has been reeling in visitors for years. And it’s easy to see why.
Johns Pass began its life as a quaint turn of the century fishing village, a place where local commercial fishermen gathered before and after heading out for the day. Through the years a market sprung up with the freshest of fresh caught seafood available right off the boat.
As tourism replaced fishing as the top industry in Madeira Beach, Johns Pass evolved into a shopping destination. Today more than one hundred merchants call the Village home. They represent a unique retail environment, multiple dining opportunities and endless entertainment options. Everything from parasailing and jet ski rentals to dolphin watching and shelling tours.
Despite the number of visitors Johns Pass draws each day, there are rarely worries about parking. Metered parking is available on the street and there’s also a nearby multi-level parking garage next to Hubbards Marina.
Of course, if you just want to window shop and then hit the beach, the shoreline is only a short walk away.
If you choose to go between now and November, you should know that some sections of the boardwalk will be closed for business. Construction is underway to create a new attraction at Johns Pass. The Secrets of the Sea Aquarium is scheduled to open for visitors on November 12, 2013.
Guests will be able to view countless species of marine life including tarpon, coral, sea horses as well as many other favorites spread out in 13 aquatic environments and 14 interactive exhibits. Planners are already calling this aquarium “bigger” and “much better” than the former St. Pete Pier Aquarium, which recently closed.
Johns Pass is also home to Hubbards Marina, where you can find a charter to get out in the water for everything from a local tour to game fishing on the flats or deep water to shark encounters and dolphin tours. Hubbards also works hard to promote amateur fishing with annual tournaments for anglers of all ages and experience levels.
But the undisputed highlight of the year at Johns Pass is the annual Johns Pass Seafood Festival. Generally scheduled in late October, when the weather on land and on the water is virtually perfect in Florida, the seafood festival celebrates everything that is wonderful about living in a waterfront community. Food, fun and frivolity, plus vendors, arts and crafts of every description and just about all the fun you can have in a single weekend.
Did we mention, the event is in October and you will be comfortable in shorts and sandals? Yep. That’s Florida waterfront living right there!
While October will be here before we know it, Johns Pass is the perfect place to spend Father’s Day weekend! Have you been down there yet? What did you think?
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Bill is originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area, but now lives in Redington Beach with his wife Kelly and their 9-year old son Hunter. They also have 4 other children in college - Kyle who is a Senior enrolled at Florida Southern University, Kourtney who is a Junior enrolled at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, Zak who is a Sophomore enrolled at Ohio State University, and Alex who is a Freshman enrolled at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. In his spare time, Bill enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle around the various beach communities, spending time on the beach and at the Hard Rock Casino where he is an avid poker and blackjack player, spending time with his family, and hosting their friends and family who visit them, while showing-off the wonderful beach communities.
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