Having finally given in to the fact we are no longer enjoying the Walt Disney World bubble, (yes I know its well over a month since I returned but adjusting back to ‘real life’ is hard), I wanted to talk about a trip we took whilst there through all things travelling to Florida, Ocean Florida. Specifically I wanted to let you know about our Clearwater Beach day trip.
It was always our intension to visit Clearwater Beach whilst in Florida. Mrs F had seen photos of others who had visited this stunning beach on the west coast of Florida. Its white soft sands, its clear water (clues in the name) and its glorious blue skies. Even when she told me, it sounded like the perfect place for a mid-break rest and a place we could visit to recharge our batteries from all the walking and sightseeing we’d done in Walt Disney World.
Ocean Florida are an ATOL protected travel specialist of all things Florida, in fact they’ve been rated the number one independent Florida Specialists. The offer all things from holidays to attraction tickets for your main destinations like Disney World and Universal Studios as well as also offering day trips and tickets for other events in and around Florida.
Although our trip to Clearwater Beach was gifted, the prices are pretty reasonable, with prices for both adults and children priced at £40 each return travel for the 100 mile each way trip.
The air conditioned double decker coach picks up from various hotels around Orlando as well as a couple in the Disney Area. Our closest was a short taxi drive away and pick up was at 8am. On the coach we were kept entertained initially through the coach guide with some initial timings but then left to have a snooze or watch the Clearwater inspired movie which played whilst relaxing on the 2 hour journey, mainly across the I4 motorway.
Once we got close by our Coach guide let us know about some of the history of clearwater, a couple of famous places such as the Word HQ of Scientology and a quick reminder of the pick up location and timings.
Although not included in our price, we arranged through the coach guide to experience the famous Sea Screamer Dolphin Boat Ride which involves a high speed boat ride around the gulf of Mexico looking out for Dolphins who love to chase after the boats waves providing much fun for Dolphins and those on board alike. It was an amazing experience to see the Dolphins in their wild habitat and having so much fun jumping through the waves as well as enjoying a cool sea breeze when the temperature was around 100 degrees plus that day.
Whilst there we had to experience the places main attraction, its beach. We spent a good few hours enjoying relaxing on the sand whilst the children built sandcastles or collected many of the shells which can be found around. The sea was so clear but more importantly so warm too, as its on the Gulf of Mexico, temperatures in the water were said to be around 20 degrees which was just perfect for a gentle swim or a splash around. A world away from those cold Atlantic waves we are so used to in Europe.
Top tip, make sure you are regularly applying sun lotion as Mrs F and I didn’t pre cream like the children and despite putting some on within 15 minutes of landing on the beach, we both felt the effects of a little sun burn as a result.
Before we knew it, it was time for the pick up, 4pm, which is my only criticism of the day. We didn’t actually get to the area until 10:45am and to then be picked up at 4pm felt like a very brief trip in my opinion. Clearwater Beach has so much to offer and explore that we simply didn’t have enough time to even scratch the surface. Although some of the early departure was to do with the fact we were visiting on a public holiday, Memorial Day, and the coach host told us traffic was likely to be bad, I would have preferred to have left a few hours later and put up with any resulting traffic in order to explore this gorgeous coastal resort.
That said, having come back a little earlier than we thought, we took advantage of the multiple stops and got off at one nearer to the shopping malls and explored some of the extra savings to be had on this public holiday day.
It was great to have your trip taken care of, I’m not particularly confident about renting our own car on US roads and therefore trips like this are ideal as you don’t have to worry about finding your way there and back, navigating toll roads and also paying for parking but with tat comes the fact you are restricted by the timings set on the trip, which although typically you should have around 8 hours (its a 12 hour trip minus the travel), we ended up with near six hours and I’ll probably say we needed double that to do all the exploring we’d like.
If you are looking for a day trip, or attraction tickets, or even a full on holiday though, I’d definitely recommend Ocean Florida. Having never heard of them prior to my trip (given we’d never been to Florida before) they were very well organised, easy to contact prior to my trip, as well as seeing they also had an office within Orlando (near to a Target Store we visited) in case of any needs whilst over there. I think next time we’d love to check out other trips like the Discovery Cover or the Kennedy Space Centre, both of which are on offer through Ocean Florida.
Until next time