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Family Friendly Things to Do on the West Coast

As we move into the most beautiful time of the year in Florida, many in the area often have family and friends visiting our beautiful part of the state from up north and locations afar. What can you do to entertain your family, friends and out of town guests this winter vacation?

Get outside and enjoy what the west coast of Florida has to offer with your Gulfstream Boat Club membership! From our favorite dockside dining options to pristine state and local parks, we’re here to show you why the west coast is the best coast!

Check out these things to do around Tampa, St. Pete and Tierra Verde for the perfect boat day!

Things to Do on the West Coast


Just minutes from Gulfstream Boat Club Tierra Verde, Fort de Soto and Egmont Key offer Florida’s west coast the perfect escape!

Fort De Soto

Both a historical park and wildlife refuge, Fort De Soto is a picturesque area where you’ll find five interconnecting islands along

 the Gulf of Mexico. Its 1136 acres provide a backdrop for lots of fun activities, like scenic walks, bike rides, plus gorgeous white sand beaches. Spend a lazy afternoon splashing around in the warm shallow waters surrounding the park, keeping a sharp eye out for color seashells hidden along the shoreline. Keep your eyes peeled for the many aquatic birds that build homes and nurseries on this group of islands, and dolphins frolicking in the shallows!

Egmont Key

This secluded island at the mouth of Tampa Bay is a short boat ride from the Fort and less than 30 minutes from our Tierra Verde Club. It’s a beautiful refuge to drop anchor, relax, and make memories with family and friends along the shore. Visitors to Egmont Key can enjoy swimming, fishing and snorkeling. Bask in the sun on the warm white sand beaches or venture along the paths carved out by the Union Navy.

Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

When the new Sunshine Skyway Bridge was built over Tampa Bay, the old bridge was turned into the world’s longest fishing pier. Located at both the north and south sides of the mouth of Tampa Bay, the pier provides a saltwater fishing experience that you won’t soon forget!

Some of the most popular fishing at this pier includes snook, tarpon, grouper, black sea bass, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, sheepshead, red snapper and pompano.

Dockside Dining

In addition to world-class boating, fishing, and other exciting family friendly water sports, Tampa Bay boasts a broad selection of restaurants that welcome boaters to dock and dine! Here is a collection of our local favorites around the bay with dockside dining options.

Whether you sit down or take it to go, flavorful fare and refreshing drinks are the perfect complement to a day on the water!

Hula Bay Club – Tampa Bay

Hula Bay Club neighbors our Tampa Club making it the perfect spot to start or end your day! Gulfstream Boat Club Members can grab everything they need for a fun lunch on the water (we love the fresh crab

Hula Bay Dockside Dining Gulfstream Boat Club

 cakes!) After your reservation, Members can kick back on their deck and take in the sunset with a great view of our docks, with a poke bowl and refreshing beverage.

You’ll find live music playing 6 days a week at Duke’s Island Bar downstairs. T

he retired surfers bar is the place to be on the weekends when the evening breeze kicks in. You might even spot a pod of dolphins swimming around the docks down below!

Island Grill and Raw Bar – St. Pete Beach

Find the perfect island vibes as soon as you step on the dock! Island Grill resides in the same marina as our Tierra Verde location, making it the perfect beginning, middle or end to your boat day. Featuring a large menu, fresh raw bar and plenty of island favorites there is something for everyone. Try the fresh catch of the day or, if you’re a fisherman, bring in your catch and they’ll cook it for you!

Buoy’s Waterfront Bar – St. Pete Beach

Make your way to Buoys Waterfront for small town vibes in the heart of paradise. Mingle with the locals, and enjoy chef inspired fare with all local and island inspired ingredients to hand crafted cocktails.

St. Pete Pier Courtesy Docking

The St. Pete Pier is one of our favorite places to enjoy dockside dining in Tampa Bay. The pier was renovated in 2021 to feature a three-tier building that covers all your breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert needs. Gulfstream Boat Club Members can dock their boat on the south side of the pier. The 10 slips are first come first serve so you won’t need a reservation.

Sea Critters Cafe – Pass-A-Grill

Seafood cafe on the water with deck dining & free boat dockage for diners.

Things to Do on the West Coast ON and OFF the Water

Family-Friendly and On the Water 

Offshore Fishing Gulfstream Boat Club

Venture offshore

Fishing offshore on the West coast is one of the most memorable angling adventures you’ll ever experience. It’s hard to beat fishing as a way to get your kids outdoors and connected with nature! The waters around the Tampa Bay and Tierra Verde are teeming with grouper, red snapper, mangrove snapper, hogfish, tripletail, amberjack, cobia, mahi mahi, and more!

Fish Tampa Bay

Inshore Fishing is one of the most exciting ways to spend a winter day on the west coast! The best part – it’s great for all ages! A wonderful time on the sea involves a lot of fishing and no seasickness for beginner anglers, and inshore fishing is all that and more! Whether you have never fished a day in your life or you are a seasoned professional, you will surely have a blast. You can expect to catch Triple Tail, Red fish, Snook, Snapper, Flounder, and many other varieties of fun-to-catch fish.

Beer Can Island

Beer Can Island, noted on most maps as Pine Key, is a popular spot to swim, socialize and enjoy the day. Warm, sandy-bottomed waist-deep water makes for a fun day of splashing around and you can easily stroll up to the sandy island.

Cruise like a local

Day cruising without necessarily having a destination or a specific goal/activity is a great way to spend the day on the west coast! Locals and visitors both love relaxing cruises along the water, taking in the sights, spotting wildlife, and soaking up the sunshine. There are endless miles of shoreline to explore throughout Tampa Bay, from downtown to St Petersburg.

Snorkeling at Shell Key Preserve – Pass-A-Grille

There are numerous snorkeling hot spots all over the west coast of Florida paradise, but Shell Key is a special treat! It’s a lanky island south of historical Pass-a-Grille, and is home to Florida’s largest sand dollar population. Beautiful sea urchins, rare whelks, and delicious scallops cover the ocean floor. The most common fish you’ll run across is the ray. Don’t fret! These quiet specimens are perfectly harmless. Don’t forget to pack the underwater camera for some once in a lifetime photo opportunities!

Family-Friendly and Off the Water 

After a day exploring the great outdoors with Gulfstream Boat Club, check out these fun family friendly activities to keep the good times going on shore!

The Florida Aquarium

Go from tree level to sea level while being entertained and educated at The Florida Aquarium! With thousands of animals and plants including sharks, alligators, seahorses and more, you’re sure to have an amazing aquatic experience.

701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Glazer Children’s Museum

Play with purpose at the Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa’s interactive, learning laboratory where children play, discover, and connect to the world around them!

110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602

The Salvador Dali Museum

Visit an unparalleled collection of works by renowned artist Salvador Dalí, from iconic melting clocks to imaginative visual illusions and avant-garde symbols. Shop, play, wander and quench your curiosity for all that is Salvador Dalí and beyond.

1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Ybor City

Stroll the Ybor City neighborhood built in the early 20th century by cigar-factory workers from Cuba. From great places to eat to fun activities, this area has it all. If you happen to be wandering the city on a Saturday, you can spend some time at the Ybor City Saturday Market!

Explore the Best of the West Coast with Gulfstream Boat Club!

There is so much to see and do throughout Tampa Bay. Enjoy the entire Bay your way! Ask our Member Services team for more ideas on how to spend your boat day, whether you’re planning family-friendly activities or a special day with loved ones. Our larger, premium fleet will get your family there in style and comfort.


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