Florida: Indian Rocks Beach, Tommy’s on the Beach – The Perfect Togethering Spot with Your Kids.
From the deck watch dolphins a play; steps from the door hop on a quaint yet useful trolley or simply relax on a private white sandy stretch of beach. Count pelicans, sip iced tea and wait for the next awesome sunset.
Located between Clearwater Beach and St. Petersburg Beach, Indian Rocks Beach is one of our favorite family vacation spots because the pace is slow, non commercial and definitely friendly. This section of the Gulf coast has history and a carefree spunkiness making it ideal for disconnecting and day dreaming. In the 1920s the barrier island community was a secret weekend getaway for wealthy Tampa residents, and today it offers three miles of perhaps the friendliest beach in Pinellas County. Family vacation base.
Tommy’s on the Beach is located on the Gulf of Mexico with a grassy space and sand dunes framing the beach. It is a vintage vacation spot reminiscent of the 1950s/60s, freshly renovated in a colorful pink, yellow, and white retro style. You might expect to see Annette Funicello or Frankie Avalon sunning in the courtyard. Each vacation rental unit has a fully furnished kitchen with microwave and dishwasher, iron and board, all linens, towels and beach towels, gas grill, private deck or patio, beach chairs and umbrella, local telephone, full size futon, and free wireless internet access. Need to know:
This location works for families with young children, families with teenagers, girlfriend getaways, vacationers with disabilities, older travelers, and pet owners.
Surrounded by an easy-paced island atmosphere Tommy’s on the Beach is just minutes from plenty of intense fun making if the mood strikes and if not it is still an ideal vacation base for one, two or three generations to come together for fun. From the doorstep (almost but not quite on the beach) you’ll find a hammock under the trees and three picnic areas so it is easy to be on the beach without the sand. Play shuffle board, volleyball, or Tetherball without leaving your vacation base. Guests have access to plenty of beach supplies including beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, noodles, ice chests, and fishing equipment. Bonus points:
Tommy’s is within walking distance is a delightful French bakery, shops and a movie theater. And the Beach Trolley Service runs between St. Pete to Clearwater making it effortless and enjoyable to explore the area. A spot for family togethering.
If you are looking for a family reunion spot Tommy’s may be just the ticket. Cozy and comfortable the units provide flexible space and many ways to enjoy time together. Better yet, owner Jan Bowers has years of experience arranging details for guests wishing to celebrate together. From unique beachside weddings and graduation getaways to family reunions and sibling togethering she knows how to connect the dots and make special things happen. Location on the planet:
Tommy's on the Beach 2302 Beach Trail Indian Rocks Beach, 33785. (727) 734-3956 or www.tommysonthebeach.com Family Fun in the Area.
High energy activities in the area include some of the best family fun in Florida. Ride the Sea Screamer in Clearwater; investigate the Clearwater Marine Aquarium; sail away with Captain Nemo. The city park four blocks away has both a basketball court and playground for tykes. Bonus points:
Play with your pooch. Indian Rocks Beach has a stretch of beach on the Belleair Causeway reserved for canine beach bums.
Ride the trolley.
Tommy’s on the Beach is located a few steps away from Suncoast Beach Trolley System Mile Marker # 18. This is an easy fun way to sightsee along the beach without driving or needing find parking. Trolley runs from Clearwater Beach south to Pass-a Grille. A schedule is available both by phone and online. PTSA information line (727) 540-1900 or www.PSTA.net Snoop for a deal.
From shell cover vases and vintage ash trays to formerly loved t-shirts and lime green flip-flops, no two days will be the same at Church of the Isles Thrift Store located about two blocks from Tommy’s. Friendly volunteers manage the ever changing assortment of recycled items and offer insider tips with a little coaching. Open each Tuesday and Saturday from 10 AM – 2 PM. 200 Church of the Isles Thrift Store 24th Avenue, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785. (727)595-1038. Where did we eat?
In a plaza only a short walk of Tommy’s you will find freshly baked bread, scrumptious pastries and decadent cakes. Also in the plaza is Sandy’s Restaurant serving all American beach food and Thai Pan Alley offering more exotic yet affordable eat in or take-out food. Café De Paris Bakery 2300 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785. (727)593-0277. Kayak the shoreline.
During our stay we used Johnny for kayaks. Beach launching is easy and the chance of spotting dolphins is excellent. Most mornings the same school of dolphins swims about 100 yards off of the beach along the buoys line. The mornings when we were out kayaking they were often within arm’s length. One morning while I was out I spotted a huge loggerhead turtle also within touching distance. Go on a turtle watch.
Summer Guests at Tommy’s have the added bonus of turtle season. Loggerheads (protected, endangered species) return to this section of beach to nest at night. To facilitate the nesting process from May through October accommodations along the beach practice a lights-out policy. Once incubation is complete the hatchlings pop from the sand and scatter toward the sea. Information on how to become involved may be found at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767 or www.cmaquarium.org Arrange time on the water.
Contact Captain Mike and create a family adventure. He offers island trips, sunset cruises, general sightseeing and fishing on the Cat’s Paw. Captain Mike Longnecker may be found at Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Marina Harborside, 401 Second Street, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785. (727) 391-1438 or mobile (727) 580-3106. Rent a boat.
If you have the skills and desire to navigate the area on your own then the guys at IRB Boat Rentals will make it happen. Rent a 21 foot Cobia or maybe try a 25 foot Tri-toon. Holiday Inn Harbourside 401 2nd Street Slip 10, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785. (727) 517-1122 or www.irbboatrentals.com
Content created by FTF. Comment and images provided by Lisa Kamps-Duac. Copyright 2012.