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Water Activities...

Maryland
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84 posts
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Water Activities...

Just booked a condo at Lands End in August for 2wks and traveling with a family of four (DH, DS 19y/o, DS 10y/o, and mua). Will be renting a vehicle for our stay. Little OCD and have read countless online travel guides but would prefer personal reccomendations on the following water activities if possible:

1) Looking to parasail. Is there a particular area that is best to do this and can your reccommend a certain outfitter? Was looking at Johns Pass but open to suggestions...

2) Looking to charter a sailboat for the day (under $700). This will be our splurge and highlight of our trip if we can swing it. Has anyone hired encore sailing or sailing florida? Or have reccommendations on a reputable co?

3) Looking to go kaying. If you only had time to go kaying in one area which would you choose, Fort de Soto or Weeki Watchee River with Sweet Water Kayaks?

4) Looking to hire a 19' boat or jet ski's from Dolphin Marine Rentals. Has anyone used them before? Where did you go?

Your assistance is greatly appreciated! - Tania

Clearwater, Florida
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1. Re: Water Activities...

I won't be too much help, but...

1) No area is better than another really. Will just be a different view of whats on land in the area you are. Go for the more convenient/closest one I would say. View will be great anywhere along the coast.

2) I have no idea, but that is a nice splurge. Hope it works out perfectly for you.

3) Either will be very nice. FDS will be much closer. Weeki Watchee is about a 75 minute drive, Ft.DS just 20 minutes or so.

4) Never used them, have fun !!

You've probably heard of www.johnspass.com .But if not, it is a fun place to visit.

Several other boat tours from Hubbards Marina at John's Pass. www.hubbardsmarina.com

SPB, FL
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2. Re: Water Activities...

1) I agree that no one area is preferable, but one consideration is whether or not you hope to take pics of the parasailers from the ground, or whether all of you plan to go up. Some companies will allow only the paying participants to go out on the boat (this can depend on how busy they are). If the boat leaves from John's Pass, those left on the ground (if any) won't be able to see the others when they are up in the air. If you book the parasail from the beach, the folks who stay on the ground will be able to see and take pics of the ones who are parasailing.

2) I haven't heard of either of those companies, but I would suggest checking out www.dolphinlandings.com also.

3) Yes, Fort DeSoto is much closer, and has a lovely marked trail through the mangroves. We always see lots of bird life, fish, and oyster beds here, and during the summer months, we often see manatees!

4) We have never used Dolphin Marine, so I can't comment on them but we have been very happy with boat rentals from www.frenchysjetski.com

A very nice boating trip is encircling the islands of Treasure Island and Long Key (St Pete Beach). Head north up the intracoastal, and go out to the Gulf through John's Pass. Head south and cruise along TI beach (you will pass in front of your condo!), then cross Blind Pass and cruise along St Pete Beach. At the southern tip of SPB, there is a small, undeveloped island called Shell Key. It is fun to drop anchor (or beach the boat) here and do some exploring and shelling. (Shells are usually far more plentiful and more interesting than what we normally find on the beaches.) You could bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the island, or, after leaving here, you could head up Boca Ciega Bay to the intracoastal. Just minutes north of Shell Key, before you pass beneath a bridge, you will see, on your left, two restaurants with docks for boat-up dining. Both are good, casual, seafood-centric places. Then continue up through the intracoastal to the marina. Throughout the trip, keep an eye out for dolphins, rays, sea turtles, manatees, pelicans and ospreys!

www.seacritterscafe.com

www.wharfrestaurant.org

SPB, FL
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3. Re: Water Activities...

I just re-read my response my response to 1), and it barely even made sense to *me*! Sorry :(

To try to clarify, I was trying to compare places from which to book your parasailing trip, with the two main options being the docks at John's Pass, or being picked up by the parasail boat directly from the beach itself.

Maryland
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4. Re: Water Activities...

Yay! Thanks Mark and Maya for your feedback - all has helped me make some wise decisions. So far I came up with the following:

1) John's Pass for Parasailing will be the ticket. It makes sence to stay local if there isn't any remarkable difference.... why waste precious time on travel. Kind of already knew but was second guessing and OCD LOL. Now to pick the vendor...

2) Maya thanks for the link.. will be sure to look and keep shopping around. Mark I really hope it works out too.. if it doesn't I will thew the captain over board myself! LOL.

3) Fort De Soto kayaking will be the ticket. 75 minutes travel to WW... no thanks. Will save for another trip. Will be traveling to Bush Gardens and Maybe to the Zoo or Aquarium already - mandatory request from my 10yr old because he feels cheated out of Disney LOL.

4) Maya thanks for reccomending Frenchy's. Heard good reviews from them too. Dolphin Marine Rentals is located on Treasure Island so may be more convineant. They were Voted #1 JetSki/Boat rental by BeachLife entertainment guide readers according to their website. Don't know if that means anything but will keep researching for now. Still undecided.

Maya you explained just fine, I understood the idea anyway :) 1000 thanks for the boating trip advise. Not familiar with this area so every suggestion is helps. Did you do this on your own boat? - Tania

Maryland
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5. Re: Water Activities...

Btw, I never spell check so do apologize for typos in advance..

SPB, FL
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6. Re: Water Activities...

We don't have a boat - we have Something Better - A Friend With a Boat! lol

But we have done this trip many, many times. It is easy to manage even if you're not familiar with the area, and it is lots of fun. It's interesting to see all the resorts from the water, and the cruise up through the intracoastal will take you past some gorgeous waterfront homes. And you will almost assuredly see a lot of marine life.

Not beating the drum for Frenchy's, but it is right on Blind Pass, where the bridge connects TI and SPB, so it is quite convenient as well, about 1.5 miles from Land's End.

Maryland
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7. Re: Water Activities...

Wow Maya you are so lucky! I want one (a friend with a boat):). Thanks for the tip on Frenchy's - it helps to know the distance. I am all about convineance. - tania

Iowa
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8. Re: Water Activities...

Great ideas. We will be there in the middle of July and I am trying to figure out what we are going to do other than sitting on the beach! Does anyone know about how much parasailing is? My daughter would like to do this. We are going to go to Egmont Key as we have been there before and we feel it is well worth the $$.

Can't wait!

SPB, FL
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9. Re: Water Activities...

tania, Yes, we are very lucky :-)

knott, Parasailing prices vary depending on how high you wish to go. More line=higher price! It is roughly $45-$80. Look for coupons in the visitors' guides.

Also, there is a new boat trip going out to Egmont Key that you might be interested in. I have not been on it, but I've heard good things!

www.islandboatadventures.com

Have fun!

Iowa
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10. Re: Water Activities...

Thanks! I would have had no clue that the higher you go the more it is...will have to look for some coupons!

That is who we are going on. There was a special on the chamber's web-site for 1/2 price tickets awhile back and I snagged some. It does look like they have a lot of fun! I'll report back after our trip!

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