The first stop on our round trip through the northwest of Florida was the small coastal town of Indian Shores, right on the miles of sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico. After a long flight with jet lag and 2 small children, we found this to be an ideal destination to arrive in Florida and relax for the first few days.
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Things to know about Indian Shores (Florida)
Indian Shores is a picturesque coastal town on the west coast of Florida and is known for its stunning sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The metropolitan area is located in Pinellas County between the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater and is part of the Tampa Bay Area. The municipality covers an area of around 1.8 square kilometers and has a population of around 1,500 inhabitants.
The beach at Indian Shores is known for its fine white sand and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike who want to enjoy the sun, the beach and the relaxed atmosphere. There are many opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, fishing and water sports along the coast. Attractions in Indian Shores include the Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve, a nature reserve with hiking trails and viewpoints. There is also the Indian Rocks Beach Art Center nearby, where visitors can attend art exhibitions and workshops.
We had originally been looking for accommodation in Clearwater Beach. But the prices for hotels and accommodation there are beyond our expectations. So we found a super nice apartment in Indian Shores via Booking.com. The apartment is located in the Mariner’s Pointe apartment complex directly on the Intercoastal Waterway (location in Google Maps), which separates the mainland from the offshore island chain. The beach is about 150 meters away on foot.
Our apartment 503 was on the 2nd floor, had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a large balcony with a great view of the Intercoastal Waterway and the mangroves. In the adjoining garage there was all kinds of equipment for the beach (chairs, parasols), sand toys for the little ones, as well as bicycles and even stand-up paddle boards. We were really super satisfied and paid a total of USD 799 for 6 days (5 nights), which is around EUR 150 per night.
As always, we booked our rental car for Florida through Billiger Mietwagen. For a midsize SUV “Jeep Cherokee” at the rental company Thrifty at Tampa Airport we paid for 24 days incl. of all insurances (we always take the all-round protection) and a 10% coupon we paid 620 EUR, i.e. about 26 EUR per day. In addition, there was another EUR 90 per child seat for the entire rental period.
The beach at Indian Shores
Like almost everywhere on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Indian Shores has a beautiful sandy beach that is perfect for families with small children. Super fine sand, turquoise water, lots of shells, a gently sloping beach, hardly any waves and a water temperature of 29 degrees in September… it’s quite bearable 😉
And what we found really great in Indian Shores: as there are no large hotel complexes here, we had the beach partly all to ourselves! And if you still want a bit of action, you can quickly get to Clearwater Beach (15 minutes) or John’s Pass (10 minutes).
Relaxing on the Gulf of Mexico
We spent our first 5 days in Florida relaxing on the beach every day. This was really perfect for our two small children (and us ;-)) to get used to the time change (7 hours time difference to Germany).
As there are no parasols or other shade options on the beach, we bought a beach shell for EUR 35 beforehand. It’s light (950 g), fits perfectly in our suitcase and offers perfect protection from the hot Florida sun. The beach shell is available here at Amazon.
All travel reports from Florida (2023)Sun, beach, palm trees, sightseeing, beautiful hotels, pools and the world of Sea World, Walt Disney & Co... We were really looking forward to this vacation in Florida. We put together a wonderful itinerary for our almost 4-week trip through the Sunshine State, with places that we were largely unfamiliar with. In the following travel reports we tell you about our experiences in Indian Shores, Clearwater Beach, Wakulla Springs, Panama City Beach, Orlando, Winter Haven and Treasure Island.
Our travel reports
➥ (1) Indian Shores Beach > Relaxing on Florida's Gulf Coast
➥ (1) Clearwater Beach > Clearwater Marine Aquarium & Pier 60
➥ (2) Wakulla Springs > Alligators, manatees & a boat trip through the marshlands
➥ (3) Panama City Beach > Beach, activities & food
➥ (3) Panama City Beach > Shell Island & St. Andrews State Park
➥ (4) Orlando > A full day at Discovery Cove
➥ (4) Orlando > SeaWorld Thme Park
➥ (4) Orlando > The Magic Kingdom Theme Park (Disney)
➥ (5) Winter Haven > Legoland Florida - A world of colorful bricks
➥ (5) Winter Haven > A day at the Peppa Pig Theme Park
➥ (6) Treasure Island > Relaxing under the Florida sun