Sand Key Beach is located just to the south of Clearwater Beach on Florida’s gulf coast. The gorgeous white sand beaches have attracted visitors for many years. I have been coming here since I was a child. Of course, it is not what it once was. The secluded beach hidden behind the dunes and sea oats, where as a teenager I would hangout with friends around a bonfire until the wee hours, is now hidden behind multistory buildings with private parking and strict security. Thousands of people live, work and visit this upscale area every year.
Happily, where the sand meets the water remains much like it was. The beach is still the beach. Getting to it is another matter, but it is not impossible. If you are not staying at one of the condominiums or hotels, public access to the beach is still possible at Sand Key Park. A county park where a $5.00 parking fee is good for the day.
The best time of year to visit Florida’s beaches — in my humble opinion — is in December. The crowds are thinner and more tolerable. The hot humid summer has waned weeks ago and milder temperatures prevail. I am not one that enjoys baking in the sun. This week has been especially good. Sunny skies with low-eighties during the day and sixties at night has been the consistent theme. So, when our daughter presented an opportunity to spend the weekend at a Condo on Sand Key Beach, we jumped at it.
We took my mother with us. It was a needed getaway for her. With COVID concerns coupled with recent heart surgery, she hasn’t left her house in quite a while.. She was so excited, she called her sisters to tell them where she was. She went on walks with us. It was the most exercise she’s had since her surgery. I believe she had a fabulous time.
We enjoyed two stress free days in the warm, salty air. We lounged, we walked the beach, we collected sea shells. Across the street were shops and restaurants. We most certainly had to check that out. A word of warning — the price tags at the shops are what you may expect at an upscale beach resort area. We ordered takeout from the Columbia Restaurant for dinner. It is an iconic Tampa Bay Area restaurant that has been in business since 1905 featuring Cuban and Latin cuisine. The food is excellent. At night we opened the windows and listened to the waves roll ashore. Restful sleep came easy.
Before we locked the door to head for home, Grammi and I sat on a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico while sipping a cup of hot tea. The morning sun crept between the rows of condominiums. There was a gentle offshore breeze so the sea was smooth. Fog hung in the distance. A pelican glided effortlessly above the water. It was a spectacular sight bringing a calm peacefulness. We are blessed to live in Central Florida, especially this time of year.
Until next time—happy days, safe travels and God bless.