One of the awesome things about living on Florida’s Gulf Coast is the free show staged nightly by Mother Nature.
The sun dipping behind saltwater and white-sand beaches, or over impressive city architecture, is enough to spur you want to move here, and we at ICI Homes can help if you check out our work at three master-planned communities in the Tampa Bay area — opens in a new windowAsturia, opens in a new windowBexley and opens in a new windowFishHawk Ranch.
But, if you’d occasionally like to enjoy a Gulf Coast sunset somewhere besides your back porch or lanai, we have suggestions of how to do sunsets in Tampa.
Being on the water while watching the sun go to bed over the Gulf of Mexico is a pretty sweet experience. There are all manner of Tampa Bay-area cruises and boats and marinas to patronize.
You might enjoy a sea kayaking or paddleboard sunset adventure. How about a “tall ship” sailboat? A group cruise on a tour boat? A wine or dinner cruise? Even your neighbor’s Boston Whaler, packed with kids?
Google the options or ask your new neighbors, co-workers or friends for cruising suggestions. Someone in your new community might be a boat captain!
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park
This is a less expensive option. All you’ll need is good timing (and no rush-hour traffic jams). The Sunshine Skyway Bridge — the high-spanned bridge that carries Interstate 275 over Tampa Bay south of St. Petersburg and Tampa — also looms over a Florida state park.
It’s a fishing destination created out of the previous version of the Skyway. The western view toward the Gulf is almost unobstructed except for a few small islands.
Elbow up with other sunset photographers and anglers, and you’ll come away with some amazing photos.
The Tampa Riverwalk
Head downtown to the Tampa Riverwalk, the 2.4-mile pedestrian trail that winds south to north along the eastern bank of the Hillsborough River. It passes major hotels, restaurants and attractions, and offers seating along the way.
One spot the Riverwalk passes is Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Spread a blanket, plop down a lawn chair, and enjoy the sun setting over the silver minarets of the University of Tampa’s historic Plant Hall, on the west side of the river.
Or, head to the northern end of the Riverwalk to catch the sunset from the lawn in front of Uelele, a popular restaurant that showcases Florida food. Grab a cocktail from the bar.
This is a prime sunset spot for tourists — lots of fun people with which to ooh and aah. It’s in Madeira Beach, west of metro Tampa.
John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk is the hub — more than 100 assorted retail, food and drink establishments clustered around the John’s Pass waterway that empties into the Gulf. It’s a local take on Mallory Square’s sunset extravaganza in Key West.
The small historic beach town on the last spit of Gulf-front acreage in St. Pete Beach, boasts a beautiful public beach, easy street parking, and restaurants and bars for refueling.
Grab a bit to eat and drink, then cross Gulf Way and set up your beach chair in the sand. You can’t beat that front-row seat.
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