Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 751: Clearwater Beach - Cleveland Street - Sand Key Park - Winter from Dolphin Tale

Clearwater Beach
Day #751 * Hike #938* New Track #744
Thursday December 6, 2012 -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
Cleveland Street -  Clearwater, Florida
My Tripometer: 45 Minutes * 1 Mile * +0 Feet

We were in route to our next destination and then we saw a sign; "Cleveland Street District".  I had heard of this area before and since I was on a Cleveland themed vacation, why not!  We parked the car, got out and walked along Cleveland Street.  It was Thursday morning and the place was dead...

At the end of the district the road headed down hill toward the water.  Since my next destination had to do with water, this was our turn around point, thus eliminated any possibility of gaining elevation gain for this hike.  Man, how many hikes have I done recently with a +0 elevation.  When I finally get back to Cali, the mountains will feel like Mt. Everest!!!

Our drive over to Clearwater Beach took us past the home of Winter, the dolphin with the robotic tail from the movie, Dolphin Tale.  I never saw the movie but the kids say it was fantastic.  This place was busy from kids on a field trip and since it cost money and wasn't in my agenda, we continued forward to my next hike...

Day #751 * Hike #939* New Track #745
Thursday December 6, 2012 -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
Clearwater Beach - Pier 60 - Clearwater, Florida

My Tripometer: 2.5 Hours * 1.5 Miles * +0 Feet

Pier 60 (West)

State Route 60 spans across the state of Florida from Pier 60 West on the Gulf Coast to Pier 60 East.  We parked our car here to begin our next hike.

 Before we began our Beach Walk, we crossed the street...

 Our Lunch Cruise

We had an hour before the ship sailed off so after glancing through the shops at the harbor, we walked back across the street to hike out into the Gulf of Mexico...

 Beautiful Water

 Now I see why they call it Clearwater

IMHO, this is the nicest beach I've ever been to... (aside from Green Sand Beach in Hawaii and Bethells Beach in New Zealand... okay, so it's the nicest beach in Florida.  Panama City is said to be voted the nicest beach in the United States.  Error.  I can tell you that we headed up there on Friday and no way was it nicer that Clearwater.  The sand is equally as white and yes, Panama City Beach has fluffy snow sand, but the water is warmer in Clearwater, the waves are calmer and the water is clearer...

 We circled back to the boat, ended our hike and began our lunch cruise...

 Yes, I am the Captain; No...

 Tom Cruise owns this house.  Really, he does... So what!

 a controlled burn

 Alyssa was the bartender

It was such a pleasant ride and the buffet food was good too.  There were only 10 people on board this ship, and we made up 4 of them.  Free Rum Punch, man, all day baby.  Alyssa and Ayden helped entertain the other guests and I spoke to an older woman from Sanibel Island, where we just were.  Come to find out, she was originally from Cleveland.  Small world, eh?

Day #751 * Hike #940* New Track #746
Thursday December 6, 2012 -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
Sand Key Park - Clearwater, Florida

My Tripometer: 0.5 Hours * 1 Mile * +0 Feet

What a waste of time and money.  My bad!  After the cruise we drove off the peninsula and made our way to Sand Key Park.  I was forewarned by another Big 10 native, a family guy from Wisconsin, who advised me that he was warned to feed the self pay parking machine because the rangers are ruthless.  Really, there is like 5 cars in this huge parking lot.  So okay, I paid the fee and began our hike...

Lots of Open Space, and I do mean open.  But, the sun wasn't shinning right here?  It was cooler, windy and the waves were choppy (no good for Alyssa's broken arm).  No one was around, I ran around and the wife and kids headed back to the car.  After my 1 mile tour, I joined them...

Day #751 * Hike #940* New Track #746
Thursday December 6, 2012 -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
Clearwater Beach - Clearwater, Florida

My Tripometer: 1 Hour * 1 Mile * +0 Feet

We came back, but this time to the North side of the beach; the area that we did not conquer earlier.  I toured the off routes before rejoining up with the family.  Apparently, we were on a hunt for shells and...

 Clearwater Beach Wins!  The area as a whole is a must visit.  Good Times...


  1. South Beach, really. Different vibes in Clearwater for sure. As for the nightlife, hit Ybor.

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