We recently spent some time in our RV on the West Coast of Florida in the Clearwater-Tampa area and had a great time. There are lots of things to do, places to visit and great restaurants to try all while maintaining safe social distancing.
Here are our suggestions for fun things to do while RVing in the Clearwater-Tampa area.
Bike or Walk the Tampa River Walk
We had no idea that Tampa had such a fantastic Riverwalk! It’s 2.5 miles long and has lots of restaurants and cool things to see. Since it’s right on the river, there is plenty of breeze to keep you cool. It is dog friendly and if you get thirsty or hungry, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to quench your thirst at!
Make sure to bring along some bottled water for your pooch, because even with the breeze it can be hot.
Where To Eat at Tampa Riverwalk?
We highly recommend eating at Ulele! The food and service at this unique restaurant are outstanding.
The Gonzmart family that owns the famous Columbia Spanish Restaurants (another one of our favorites) began this restaurant in 2014. There’s a great backstory of why the family started this restaurant on this particular property and what inspired them on the website. They serve the freshest local ingredients inspired by Native Americans.
Everyone that we know that knows Tampa said that we couldn’t visit Tampa without experiencing this restaurant, and they were right we loved it!
The food and drinks are amazing, and it’s worth the visit to see the beautiful statues and artwork and to learn the story of Princess Ulele (pronounced You-lay-lee).
Walk The White Sand Beaches of Clearwater
Clearwater has some of the most amazing beaches with beautiful white sand leading out to crystal clear sapphire waters.
We toured the beaches in our tow vehicle and were lucky enough to randomly discover Sand Key. Just over the bridge from Clearwater Beach, Sand Key had lots of shopping and one of our favorite restaurants right on the water- Columbia!
This family-owned Spanish restaurant never disappoints and we always plan a stop when one is nearby, so this was a great surprise! The managers and staff were friendly and helpful sharing local knowledge and tips and we even got to bring our dog Rider since the outside dockside seating area is dog friendly!
Visit Honeymoon Beach- A Dog Friendly Beach
When we heard about the dog-friendly beach at Honeymoon Island State Park, we knew our dog Rider would love it! It’s a Florida State Park and is well worth the $8 admission.
This is about a quarter-mile walk to the water from the parking area, so make sure you have shoes and are ready to walk in the sand.
You can spend the day playing in the water with your dog or just watching the other dogs. Bring a raft and you can float and enjoy the sunshine. When you have worn yourself and your dog out, there’s a dog washing station at the top of the parking lot path. Bring some puppy shampoo and a towel and you can get Fido clean before getting into your car.
Rent E-Bikes in Dunedin, Or Bring Your Own
Dunedin is a cute small town about 30 minutes from Clearwater and has world-class biking trails. There are many cute shops and restaurants to visit and the town is immaculately clean. Visitors often say it looks like a town out of a movie, since everything is so colorful and manicured.
if you didn’t bring your own bikes, locals told us the best place to rent bikes in Dunedin is Kafe Racer. They even have Electric Bikes!
Visit Tarpon Springs- Famous for Sponge Divers and Greek Food
We had no idea that Tarpon Springs Florida was originally settled by Greeks, or that they still have the highest percentage of Greek Americans in the United States! Back in the 1900s, a Greek businessman began recruiting sponge divers from Greece, and before long, the sponge industry became the leading industry in Tarpon Springs.
Besides being the largest provider of sponges in the world, Tarpon Springs is also known for its Greek Food! With the high concentration of Greeks living in the area, it’s no doubt that they would bring their culinary skills with them.
We toured the cute Spongeorama that is still a working sponge factory and bought some sponges to bring home. There’s a free little movie that they play that explains the sponge industry that is pretty old, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn something and enjoyed it!
Take A Boat Ride and See Dolphin
There is even a little boat tour business called Sponge-O-Rama Cruises. For a reasonable price, you can take a short boat ride around the Gulf of Mexico and the Anclote River for some dolphin watching!
The locals are very friendly and sent us to Yianni’s for lunch. It was honestly the best Greek food we have ever eaten!
Experience the Epiphany- The Greek Blessing of the Boats and Waters
We learned that Tarpon Springs is also famous for the January 6 Epiphany ceremony.
The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral hosts this annual event in which young divers bring up a cross and the church blesses the boats and the waters.
Our visit was in July, but we’re planning on a return visit to experience what looks like an amazing event!
Where To Park Your RV In Clearwater-Tampa
Bay Bayou RV Resort
We stayed at Bay Bayou RV Resort while visiting the Clearwater area because several friends recommended it.
Bay Bayou accepts all sizes and types of RV’s and is very clean and well maintained.
The resort is located on the water and the location is great for exploring surrounding areas. The staff is friendly and accommodating.
Bay Bayou has a pool, clubhouse, laundry facilities, and two dog parks, although some facilities are limited for social distancing as required by Tampa COVID restrictions.
Our site was shaded and spacious with a concrete pad, picnic table, and plenty of parking room.
The internet at Bay Bayou is not strong enough for streaming, just for checking email and limited internet searches.
Even with the limited internet, we would definitely stay at Bay Bayou again!
6 Day RV Trip through Clearwater-Tampa Florida with recommendations and itinerary