FYI: Links and photos below following this blog.
Our first trip in the midst Covid-19 was a much-needed beach get-a-way. Honestly, it was a little scary our first time out, and it was more surreal realizing that everyone is going through the same things everywhere. We were careful, and everyone we encountered stayed their distance and respected the rules of social distancing. All my fears faded while sitting on the beach and feeling the ocean breeze on my face. No worries, but still precautious.
We decided to drive to Treasure Island, Florida to enjoy some beach time. Treasure Island is one of our favorite spots. Our family has been coming here regularly since Lucas was a little boy. My husband found it because our 5-year-old at the time loved pirates. Imagine the disappointment after the first visit when he realized it was not the real Treasure Island but a laid-back beach town. This has been a sweet memory for our family, and we have this conversation every visit.
Where: Treasure Island is located below the busy beaches of Clearwater and Tampa. The beaches are not as populated as other areas and it has a family atmosphere. You will find easy access to the water, and the sand itself is clean white and firm so it is easy to walk on. You can rent umbrellas, chairs, and cabanas here as well, but our resort furnished beach chairs and we ended up renting 2 umbrellas for $20 each the last day so we could stay out longer.
Resort: We stayed at Bilmar Beach Resort located at 10650 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island, FL. We like this little resort and have stayed here on several occasions when we can get a good price on it. Because of Florida being in Phase I of reopening, this was the resort's first week opening back up and we were able to get a room for $125 night. This was a great deal as they usually go for $300+ in season. Another plus, the rooms there come with equipped kitchenettes so you can have an affordable visit and eat leftovers which came in handy with our family-style Italian dinners we ordered during our stay. (More on that below)
Another important thing about this resort, especially when you are flying into this area, you can find great restaurants in walking distance, no car needed if that is an issue. The restaurants here were just opening to dine-in, but most restaurants were still takeout only, the week we visited. This was not a problem for us because we were not quite ready for the dine-in experience after quarantine.
Food: There is a drug store and Publix grocery store in walking distance, and we were able to buy beach snacks and breakfast items for our room and beach.
We love, love, love Original Pizza and start talking about what we will eat from there as soon as we know we are going to be in this area. It is a small little store front restaurant but do not let that deter you, the food is amazing! Open since 1988, it has been a staple for us during each of our visits. Homemade sauces and bread to die for. They not only serve pizza but Italian dishes and deserts as well. We ate from here three times during our visit and OMG…everything was delicious!
Sloppy Joes is attached to this resort and is always a guaranteed good spot for sea food. I love the fish and chips and the firecracker shrimp for here. If you can wander off, you can find better seafood but for the post quarantined visit we were happy to be eating some fresh seafood and some of our favorites.
Budget: $625 Room
$400 Meals/Snacks for three adults
For you Tiger King fans, you know who you are!! We stopped by Wildcat Rescue on Easy Street on our way back home. However, it was totally closed with no signs saying that it was even there. Looked like they put up new fence poles and metal gate with posted signs. I guess we are not the only curious ones wanting to see the tiger zoo since watching the Netflix documentary. I hope the cats are doing well!
Amazing sunset on Treasure Island Beach
Some of our dishes from The Original Pizza