Can you believe this is our first real vacation, hardly any work, flying together, hardly had our phones, and just enjoyed each other’s time? Work has always taken over both of our schedules, as well as everyday life, which only allowed us to go a couple days at a time but this time, we spent 6 days somewhere! Our adventure brought us to one of my favorite places! Clearwater-Dunedin area in Florida! I used to talk to Bob of all my memories with my family and how I fell in love with the area. Bob decided to surprise me with a full trip there for Christmas! So sweet and we were both so excited!
I always told Bob that this was my “real home” or “I am moving to Florida one day” and to my surprise Bob immediately felt the same way once we got there. We both fell in love with the warm weather, the windows down with the sun on our faces, and the beach smells leaving Tampa airport! I was so excited to just be near the water, (I grew up in a condo on the beach and the water always brings out the best in me). Our hotel was beautiful, the trips we had planned couldn’t be better with the islands, destinations, and all the food we wanted to try. I know traveling days are always exhausting but we couldn’t have been more enthusiastic to get moving and exploring.
Overall, the trip couldn’t have been more picture-perfect, well besides it having to end. I loved all the restaurants we went to and all the little shops in Clearwater. My favorite memory of this trip was simply getting to be with Bob and holding his hand through town having conversations, sharing memories, and planning out future together. Our memories on the islands we explored are everlasting and the sunsets were even more perfect. I couldn’t be more thankful for the trip, the man beside me, and how grateful I am for our travels and life together.
We of course couldn’t take a trip without giving some info to our viewers and sharing our thoughts on the food, hotel, beaches, etc.. We wanted to get into more detail of everywhere we went, even if we didn’t film as much. So, here is everything we did, flight info, directions, and more…
Day 1 – Travel Day & Food!
Our first day was mainly a travel day. We booked our trip through Priceline (Hotel & Flights) which was around $1200 total or $600 per person. This ultimately meant that we were flying Spirit. Spirit is not all that bad, but try and be smart about your personal item as carry-on and check bags do cost extra. We arrived in Tampa around 3:45PM and headed to get our rental car. By the time we drove from the airport and got checked in to our hotel (Pier House 60) it was around 5PM. Another thing to note is that parking was not included with our hotel stay, so that was an extra $20 a day. We went looking for dinner and decided on Frenchys, which was only a short walk away. If you go there definitely give the Garlic Crab Fries a try. It was so nice to be eating outside (coming from freezing weather back home in Pittsburgh) and just having a nice breeze from the ocean. By the time we were done eating the sun had set so we walked across the street to the beach and just enjoyed the night together.
Day 2 – Caladesi Island
Caladesi Island was one of the main reasons we opted to rent a car for the week. There really is no easy way to get there from Clearwater and an Uber would cost quite a lot so it just made sense for use to rent a car. Caladesi Island is not technically an island, but really can only access it by boat. The way to do that would be to drive to Honeymoon island (about 30 minutes, $8 per car to get on the island), and then take the Caladesi Island ferry across. The ferry costs $16 per person, but if you go to their website you can print a $1 off coupon. Your ticket includes the ride there and ride back. So just get get to Caladesi Island you are looking at $38 for two people if you use the coupon.
Not the cheapest thing to do, but it is definitely worth it! The ferry drops you off at the marina and there is a small cafe there (which serves alcoholic drinks!). From there it is a short walk to the beach. Walking out on to the beach you definitely feel like you are on an island and it is far less crowded than Clearwater beach. We ended up spending most of our time just relaxing at the beach, but you can also rent kayaks, and there are a few wildlife tails too.
Caladesi Island couldn’t have been more relaxing and Kayla and I both agree that it was our favorite thing of the entire trip. After spending most of the day on the island we took the ferry back and of course we were hungry. We ended up finding The Ozona Pig, which is this amazing BBQ place in the small village of Ozona. It ended up being the best meal we had all week!
Day 3 – Clearwater Beach & Seafood
Day 3 was another beach day, but we decided to stay close and just go to Clearwater beach. It was quite nice just being able to walk right across the street and go to the beach! Our hotel provided towels too so we really didn’t need to bring anything extra, although you could rent chairs and cabanas. We spend most of the day relaxing at the beach and then it was time for food. I wanted to find some seafood so we opted for Cooters, where I got the Old Bay Steamer Bucket, it was awesome and definitely hit the spot!
After eating we went back to the beach and watched the sunset together.
Day 4 – Honeymoon Island
Another place we wanted to spend time at was Honeymoon Island. So we hopped in the car and drove about 30 minutes to get there. Again it is $8 per car to get onto the island, but once you are there it is beautiful. There are a few different beaches on the island that you can choose from, but we went all the way to the end to North Beach. Again there were far less people at Honeymoon Island than at Clearwater beach, which was nice. We spent almost all day on the island just relaxing.
After leaving Honeymoon Island we wanted to eat somewhere outside so we opted for Palm Pavilion, which had an outdoor deck right on the beach! The drinks and food were both very good!
Day 5 – Clearwater Beach & Swimming
On day 5 we woke up to rain, but it did clear out pretty quickly and we headed across the street to the beach. With the sun out we tried to get in the water. Being that it was February the water was not exactly warm, but it was fun to be out there.
The wind started picking up and with all of the sand it made things a little uncomfortable outside on the beach. We decided to head back to the hotel and check out the pool, which was heated. We spent a couple hours at the pool and then went back out to the beach. We walked all the way from Pier 60 to the end of the beach were you come to the Opal Sands resort. We ended up going to their outside bar, which was right on the water. It was really nice to relax there and enjoy some good drinks.
We ended the night at Jimmy’s Crow Nest, which is on the top floor of our hotel. They give you a free shot at sunset, which was pretty cool! The drinks there were pretty good as well and you can’t beat the views!