John’s Pass, a cut or pass located in Madeira Beach, connects Boca Ciega Bay with the Gulf of Mexico. It’s known for its stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. With over 100 merchants that inhabit its village and boardwalk, it is now considered a former fishing village turned top tourist attraction.
With the volume of merchants present in the area, John’s Pass offers unique retail shopping and a variety of restaurants. You can find everything there, from essentials to gifts to souvenirs. There are also lots of exciting and relaxing aquatic activities and John’s Pass fishing charters to indulge yourself in.
If you’re planning to go on a vacation in the Sunshine State, John’s Pass is one of the places you shouldn’t miss. Aside from the unique shopping experience and the variety of aquatic activities it offers, it also has a rich history. To help you get to know more about John’s Pass, we’ve outlined some of the most important things about it.
The History of John’s Pass, Florida
Silva and Levique, who had disposed of a green turtle cargo, were returning from New Orleans in the summer of 1848 when they encountered a strong hurricane. With the torrential winds and rains, the shoreline was literally being rearranged in front of their eyes, making it impossible for them to see landmarks.
They hid in a cove on the shoreline to weather the storm. After the wind had slowed down, Levique started to search for an inlet into Boca Ciega Bay. Although he knew there were a few waterways around the bay, he used a new waterway that had been created by the hurricane. It was located between Treasure Island and Madeira Beach.
The discovery took place on September 27, 1848. For the next 100 years, the area was lawless. This continued even after Florida was established. The wildlife of the coast was being driven to extinction by ruthless poachers. It became urgently necessary to create a conservation effort.
In 1980, William Hubbard convinced city officials to build a boardwalk in a public waterfront development. He began adding old-world-flavored shops to the sidewalk in 1982. John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk grew over the 40 years and has become what it is today.
John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk
As mentioned, John’s Pass, Florida, is an outdoor shopping and dining area that has over 100 restaurants and stores. John’s Pass Grille is one of the many. Locked Up – John’s Pass and Yogurt city are others.
During the daytime, you can also enjoy different John’s Pass fishing charters. There are also tons of merchants that rent out complete equipment and safety gear for parasailing, kayaking, and boating.
John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is the place to be in the evening. It is packed with tons of bars that serve a wide variety of refreshing tropical drinks for you to try. There are also live bands that offer unique music entertainment.
There are also several festivals held in the village and boardwalk area. Among those held annually are the following:
- John’s Pass Seafood Festival – John’s Pass Seafood Festival is the most well-known festival in this location. This four-day outdoor festival features hundreds of local vendors, art and craft shows, and other family-friendly activities. It is the East Coast’s second-largest seafood festival. This festival doesn’t only offer unlimited fun, but it also helps raise funds for charities. The city, municipal authorities, and many other companies sponsor the event.
- John Levique Pirate Day Festival – The festival is held in May in memory of John’s Pass founder. It attracts tens of thousands of people and is filled with stalls, entertainment, food, and beverages. There is plenty of pirate-themed merchandise, as well as performances and fair rides, such as a mechanical bull. This event offers rollicking fun under the clear skies of the Sunshine State. An enacted battle featuring many pirate actors is one of the highlights of this festival. It features musketry and sword fights, as well as walking the plank. As the crowd watches, thunderous cannon fire erupts from the railing and boardwalk.
Where is John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk?
As mentioned, John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk form part of Madeira Beach’s township. It is just a short walk away from the sandy beach along the Gulf Coast waterfront. This area is located 15 minutes north of St. Pete Beach and is easily accessible from Clearwater and Largo in the north. Tampa Bay is located less than 30 miles from the I-275 S.
Madeira Beach is 10 miles away from St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport and 20 miles away from Tampa International Airport. You can drive through Alt. 19 to reach the destination in many different ways.
Is there a parking area in John’s Pass?
There is ample metered parking right in front of the village as you approach it. A modern six-story parking garage was also opened in 2007 at the southwest corner of John’s Pass, 179 Boardwalk Place W. Madeira Beach, FL 33708. It is located on the east side of Gulf Boulevard, just before crossing the John’s Pass Bridge. It is open everyday, from 6 AM to 12 AM.
Are pets allowed in John’s Pass?
Madeira Beach has pet restrictions. However, small dogs with leashes are allowed in the village and boardwalk area. Certain businesses may enforce blanket restrictions, though. No matter how friendly people or businesses are, dogs must be kept on leashes in public places for both the safety of the pets and their owners.
Visit and Explore John’s Pass
John’s Pass is indeed one of the best places to visit in Florida. It offers tons of restaurants, stores, and attractions. If you’re planning to visit it, don’t miss trying some of the aquatic activities in the area.
At Sunshine Scenic Tours, we provide the best shark boat tour in John’s Pass. We cruise the waters of Boca Ciega Bay and bring tourists to the most stunning attractions and the best spots for dolphin sightings.
Our crew has superior knowledge and familiarity with John’s Pass and its nearby areas. They are sure to make your vacation in Florida an unforgettable and worth-cherishing experience. We look forward to having you here!