John’s Pass

Set between Madeira Beach and Treasure Island, the village of John's Pass enjoys a wonderful location on a small inlet. Renowned for many things, including its Boardwalk, John's Pass Village is a true delight to visit. When strolling along the John's Pass Boardwalk, you can break to savor the ocean views or some good food. Popular snack items, such as ice cream cones, are in good supply along the Boardwalk, and more upscale waterfront restaurants offer more substantial fare. The list of things to do at John's Pass doesn't end at strolling along the Boardwalk and exploring the local dining options. There's plenty more to get into in John's Pass, which is why it figures prominently on the itineraries of many St Petersburg area travelers.

In the earlier 1800s, Florida experienced its fair share of lawlessness. Pirates moved up and down Florida's coasts, and the west coast in particular provided relative isolation. It was at Madeira Beach where a pirate by the name of John Levique hid a chest of treasure not far from the sand. Levique's bounty, however, was lost in 1848, when a hurricane split the then island of Madeira Beach in two. This hurricane formed the inlet on which John's Pass Village sits today, and is Pirate John Levique who inspired the village's name. Levique would remain in the immediate area, reportedly never giving up hope that he would one day find his lost treasure. As his life neared its end, John's Pass had already established itself as a quaint fishing village. Fishing is still a popular thing to do in John's Pass Village, and you can book a fishing charter if you want to get out on the water.

In addition to booking a fishing charter when hanging out in John's Pass Village, you can also book a sightseeing cruise. Should you be planning a St Petersburg wedding, you might look to add a sunset cruise in John's Pass to your list of romantic things to do on the side. Perhaps you'll follow up your sunset cruise with a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants along the John's Pass Boardwalk. You don't have to be on a romantic getaway to enjoy a sunset cruise or evening meal along the Boardwalk at John's Pass Village, however, and you can always stay at one of the Madeira Island hotels or Treasure Island hotels if you don't want to travel far to get to your room once the night wears on. There are also some vacation rentals in both Madeira Beach and Treasure Island if you are interested in a break from the hotel scene.

There's never a bad time to visit John's Pass Village, though you might choose to come in early June if you want to enjoy one of the more interesting St Petersburg area festivals. Every year in June, John's Pass celebrates John Levique Days, which is a three day event that honors the discovery of John's Pass inlet. Also known as Pirate Days, John Levique Days features a street parade, a mock pirate ship battle, a special treasure hunt, costume contests for kids and adults, and plenty more. The streets are alive with artisans and strolling entertainers.

If you are a food fan, you might also plan your John's Pass visit around the village's annual Seafood Festival. Held in October, this three-day-long event features plenty of delectable seafood. It also features an arts and crafts show, live music, a street dance, more than 100 unique shops, a fishing expo, and a Halloween costume contest. Even if you don't visit John's Pass during one of the main local festivals, you are bound to find plenty of fun things to do. Strolling along the John's Pass Boardwalk and ducking into the quaint shops is reason enough to visit, and you can even go parasailing if you are up for some adventure.

Image: Visit Florida

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