Dine, Shop and Enjoy the View
“The Great 1848 Hurricane of Tampa Bay” cut a pass from the Gulf of Mexico to Boca Ciega Bay, and this pass was first discovered and used by a pirate named John, hence the name John’s pass. Having the feel of an old-time fishing village, today’s John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is just a delightful way to spend a day of shopping, eating, and sightseeing, and that is just what we enjoyed today.
There is nothing like dining on seafood at a restaurant where you can look out the window and have a gorgeous view of the water. Watching the water and passing boats just seems to make the meal taste fresher, more authentic, and enhances the whole dining experience. There are at least 14 restaurants that I counted on today’s trip to the village and boardwalk, but we chose to eat at Friendly Fisherman, the boardwalk’s original seafood restaurant. We were lucky enough to be seated at a window table overlooking the pass, and with the view we had, I could have stayed in that restaurant all day. The menu selection at Friendly Fisherman is quite large so if you go there, better bring your appetite! We were also pleasantly surprised by the menu prices, as seafood restaurants in Florida typically tend to be on the pricey side; we found Friendly Fisherman prices to be very reasonable.
After gorging ourselves on a delicious seafood meal, we needed to walk off those calories, and the boardwalk along the pass is a great place for a relaxing walk. The view from the boardwalk of the calm, clear water, the seabirds, passing boats, and if you are lucky, the occasional dolphin. It is Florida’s ocean paradise viewing at its best.
The marina along the boardwalk presents many opportunities to take a themed boat ride out on the water. For the adults, a floating tiki bar awaits or for, what is always a hit with the youngsters, a water tour on The Pirate Ship. If you are the adventurous type, then perhaps a wave runner rental or doing some parasailing would be more up your alley?
I myself love the shops at John’s pass. They are not cheap t-shirt touristy type of shops that you sometimes find along the beaches in Florida, but shops with high-quality merchandise and unique gifts. From jewelry stores to Florida apparel to even a kite store, you are sure to find that perfect gift to take back home. Heck, buy yourself something while you’re at it; I did!!
Now no fishing village would be complete without adult drinking establishments, and at John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk, there is no shortage of those. Live music and good times await, and if you are a cigar lover, you have to stop into Cuban Paradise Cigar & Cafe’.
If you plan a trip to John’s Pass, be sure to make time to visit a John’s Pass unique attraction, Kiss a Gator, where yes, you can actually kiss an alligator? Also, be sure to pause a moment at the Fisherman Lost at Sea Memorial located at the boardwalk entrance.
No matter what kind of “another day in paradise” you are looking for, you can find it at John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. From great seafood to Florida-style shopping to adventures on the water, to enjoying an adult beverage with a view, it’s the tropical life here, so come on down and enjoy!!
John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is located on Florida’s gorgeous west-central gulf coast, about 25 miles from Tampa International Airport and 13 miles from St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport. The Suncoast Beach Trolley, a transportation service with routes up and down the Pinellas County beaches, with a cash fare of $2.25 per ride, does have a stop at John’s pass or, if you drive yourself, parking is 1.25 per hour.
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