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Recent Florida Central West reviews

  • Wonderful place for family holiday!

    "My family stayed at the Pine Warbler house during Christmas week and we could not have chosen a better place. Brian had even setup a nice Christmas tree so we didn't have to worry about making the place festive. We had 6 adults and 4 kids and the sleeping arrangements worked perfectly. The kitchen is fully stocked with everything you could possibly need, even an electric mixer. The kids were probably in the pool more than they were in the house. The solar heated pool was surprisingly warm, even on the chillier days we were there. We really appreciated the little things that were thought of for the house, like the booster seat and step stool for toddlers, beach chairs and beach toys, the collapsible laundry basket, and the nice selection of movies in the master bedroom closet. During our visit, we used the free Honeymoon Island passes for a day at the beach. If you have kids between 3-12 yo, definitely watch the Dolphin Tale movie and consider visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to visit Winter, the tail-less dolphin. Its not your typical aquarium with dolphin shows, but they do a really good job about educating the public about dangers to marine animals. Winter is also a great time for snow crabs so be on the look out for them. We found them at a fruit stand on old-19. The only drawback to the house is the main bathroom, which is a little dated. It would have been nice if it had been bigger and more updated since a lot of us had to share it. Other than that, everything was perfect. Thank you, Brian!"
    Guest: sonicmom Date of Stay: December 2013 Review Submitted: January 9, 2014
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  • Great Vacation!

    "We had a wonderful vacation. The condo was super clean and very comfortable. It felt like home. We have been vacationing in IRB for 20 years and love this location. The beach is easy access to the condo. A lot of awesome restaurants to choose from. We will be staying here again!!!!"
    Guest: Carrie Date of Stay: August 2014 Review Submitted: August 27, 2014
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  • Vacation Heaven!

    "The perfect place for a get-away whether with family or friends. This place has it all! There is nothing better than to get up in the morning, fix a cup of coffee and head out on the pier to watch the fish jump, the manatees or a pod of dolphins swim by and perhaps see a cruise ship leaving port and heading out to sea...and this can all be happening before breakfast! Just 20 minutes from downtown Tampa, an hour from Orlando and less than 30 minutes to terrific outlet shopping...What a terrific location. The house is beautiful with every convenience a person could ask for. Can you tell we had the best time and can't wait to return???"
    Guest: Nancy M. Date of Stay: November 2013 Review Submitted: November 18, 2013
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  • Idyllic Vacation Retreat

    "As the other reviews have covered this bayside house is exactly as depicted in the photos. The house was spotless and well appointed with everything one would need to enjoy their time here. Although too cold for swimming the pool was clean and crystal clear. My one recommendation would be to replace some of the outdoor furniture which is suffering from the harsh Florida seaside climate. As you can see from my rating this did not pose a significant problem for us or detract from our stay. As others have noted fishing is quite good right off the home's dock. I had the best luck when fishing during the incoming tides beginning about 3 hours before high tide. There are numerous nearby locations that sell both live and frozen bait shrimp. Among the countless baitfish and garbage fish I caught I also caught Black Drum, Spanish Mackerel, Sheephead, Silver Trout and Catfish. I don't know what the law states for fishing from a private dock in FL but I had a fishing licence anyway because I was also fishing with friends off their boat. Although I didn't keep anything I caught at the house (had pounds of Grouper from the boat) I did feed some of my bait to a grateful Egret and some of my catch to a Great Blue Heron which magically appear anytime a fish breaks the surface of the water. If you are staying in the area and have found this listing STOP YOUR SEARCH. You won't find a better place to enjoy a vacation or a visit for any reason."
    Guest: Scot F. Date of Stay: December 2013 Review Submitted: December 27, 2013
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Florida Central West Travel Tips

Central West Florida’s beaches in this region have an awesome advantage over those on the east side of the state: their Gulf waters are typically calmer and warmer than those on than the Atlantic Ocean side. Here are the top attractions and sights in Central West Florida:

Tampa

Tampa is an excellent place to vacation for both families and couples alike. Here are some of the top things to do and see:

- Tampa is the perfect spot for any animal lover. Head to the small but impressive Lowry Park Zoo, see lions, tigers and other cats at the Big Cat Rescue and check out the endangered gentle giants of the sea at the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, which is free of charge. There’s also the gorgeous Florida Aquarium on the edge of downtown Tampa, which houses more than 20,000 animals and plants. Make sure to set aside at least three hours here to see it all!

- For adventure, take a trip to Busch Gardens, which combines Seaworld and other animal exhibits with safari-themed rides. It’s the ultimate family theme park, and many people opt to spend more than one day here. Just across the street from Busch Gardens is Adventure Island, which boasts 30 splendid acres of water rides and pools. Another must-visit if you have the time is Dinosaur World, which is just a 25-minute drive east to Plant City. Here, these prehistoric beasts come to life in a large park and play area, where kids can also take part in a fossil dig.

- Tampa also prides itself on its excellent museums, including the Museum of Science and Industry, housed in an other-worldly building, and the Tampa Museum of Art, which has some great kid-friendly exhibits.

- Adults will love the Henry B. Plant Museum, which is housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay hotel and tells a wonderful story of the Victorian era, with gorgeous antiques in an ornate building. There’s also the antique Tampa Theatre for movies, Lettuce Lake State Park, the Tampa Bay History Center and The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

- Of course, the beaches here are top notch, but don’t miss the lovely Fort De Soto Park’s beach, with an interesting war-time history.

St. Petersburg/Clearwater

St. Petersburg is just southwest of Tampa on the bayside, while Clearwater lies straight west. This area offers award-winning beaches, excellent museums and other perfect amenities for your Florida vacation. Here are some of the best things to do and see in the St. Petersburg and Clearwater areas:

- It’s a rare occasion when St. Petersburg isn’t sunny, so head to some of Florida’s most amazing beaches. St. Pete Beach has been called one of the best in the country. Spend the day on its frosty white beaches, keep an eye out for dolphins and grab lunch at Frenchy’s or The Hurricane restaurants.

- Check out the collection of 50,000 tropical plants on a whopping 4 acres at the lovely Sunken Gardens in the heart of St. Petersburg.

- Take a stroll on The Pier, where you can shop for souvenirs and take a catamaran tour. It’s especially beautiful at night.

- If you can handle a day or morning away from the beach, explore the 245 acres of pure nature at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.

- Appreciate the work of a creative genius at the Salvador Dali Museum, which boasts the largest collection of his work outside of Europe. You’ll recognize his tell-tale Surrealist style right away.

- See Winter, the famous dolphin who lost her entire tail in a crab trap when she was only three months old. She learned to adapt and is currently a big celebrity at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

- Hang out on beautiful Clearwater Beach and take a stroll or picnic in Philippe Park in

Clearwater.

Sarasota

Sarasota is about a 45-minute drive south of St. Petersburg. It’s a wonderful place for a Gulf Coast beach trip. Here are the top things to do:

- Siesta Key Beach is known as one of the best in the country. The sand is powdery and glistening and the water is often a deep, gorgeous emerald. It’s perfect for families, as it’s one of the few beaches in the area that doesn’t allow smoking. Also, the gulf waters are warm and calm, so kids can play freely here, and you might even see some frolicking dolphins, adding to Siesta Key Beach’s picture-perfect ambience. If you dare, go parasailing with Siesta Key Parasail & Jetski for a thrilling ride and unmatched views from above.

- Immerse yourself in nature at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the Sarasota Jungle Gardens and the Mote Marine Laboratory.

- Appreciate the arts at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, housed in an ornate structure, and the palm-shrouded, Mission-style Sarasota Opera House.

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