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Know Before You Go: Madeira Beach, FL

Every year, devotees of sun and sand flock to Madeira Beach’s 2.5-mile stretch to enjoy its pristine beaches, waterfront restaurants, and gorgeous sunsets.


Legends say that a pirate first settled our hometown. Today, Madeira Beach – a small strip of land along the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and just west of St. Petersburg – is one of Florida’s top destinations. Known as “Mad Beach” by the locals, you won’t be disappointed with a wide variety of restaurants, lively entertainment, watersport activities, and a long list of fun, unique experiences that the entire family will enjoy. See what you need to know before you go to Madeira Beach, Florida!

Getting to Madeira Beach

No Florida vacation is complete without visiting one of our world-famous white sand beaches! Mad Beach offers public beach access through the Pinellas County Parks and Preserves Department. Compared to beaches like Clearwater or St. Pete Beach, it’s a little quieter, but we like that. It’s popular, but not overcrowded.

You will find ample parking at Madeira Beach Access Park. The facilities include parking for 104 cars and they only charge $3 for 2 hours. You’ll also find public restrooms, showers on the beach, and umbrella and chair rentals.

Top Things to Do in Madeira Beach

John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk

Considered the #1 tourist attraction in Pinellas County, John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk at Madeira Beach is the launchpad for our world-famous pirate ship and is surrounded by a ton of fun things to do.

Spanning 1,100-feet along the intercoastal, you’ll enjoy a day filled with fabulous eateries, local shops, and a long list of exciting water-based activities. There is no shortage of fun as you and your family will discover the sights and sounds of this historical destination.

Click here for more information on John’s Pass at Madeira Beach.

Go Fishing

Similar to our sister ship Dolphin Quest’s guarantee to see dolphins, many local fishing charters in John’s Pass, FL run fishing charter trips with a “no fish, no pay” guarantee. It’s best to set a couple of days to truly experience all fishing in John’s Pass has to offer.

Along Madeira Beach Reef, about six miles offshore, you can fish for Snappers, Hogfish, Groupers, and other delicious fish. Or you can pick a local favorite Boca Ciega instead. This is a popular inshore fishing spot where adventurous anglers can go into federal waters later

Did you know: Fishing is also a huge draw with more grouper being brought into John’s Pass than any other place in the state! If fishing isn’t for you, it’s okay. You can still have the taste of it with some of the best seafood in Tampa Bay. Want grouper? Try The Boardwalk Grill passengers routinely say it’s the best grouper sandwich in John’s pass.

Mad Beach Brewing Company

Venture off the boardwalk and head upstairs (or use the elevator) to grab lunch and maybe a beer. They offer daily deals on flights that include both beer and sangria.

Watch the Sunset

Plan to spend a day soaking up the sun under the beautiful, blue Florida sky. When you visit John’s Pass, you won’t want to leave.

Dip your toes in the waters of the gulf and enjoy watching the sun as it sets into a sky of pink and orange. It’s a sight you won’t soon forget.

In the Fall…

If you’re vacationing in the fall, every October, Madeira Beach hosts its famous John’s Pass Seafood Festival – a 3-day celebration with music, craft vendors, and of course, amazing seafood! It’s a must-do if you’re visiting Tampa Bay.

Mad Beach: A Piece of Pirate History

The history of pirates in Madeira Beach dates long before the Pirate Ship Royal Conquest set sail out of its waters. Legend has it that a pirate named John LeVigue was the first European to settle the Madeira Beach area, thus the basis of Madeira’s pirate influence.

The Pirate Ship Royal Conquest

Want to channel your inner pirate? Set sail on the Pirate Ship Royal Conquest! While aboard our 56-foot pirate ship, you will enjoy a two-hour ride along Treasure Island and Jungle Prada that will transport you to the days of Blackbeard and buried treasure. We guarantee a swashbuckling adventure of a lifetime!

There’s no chance for a boring vacation in Madeira Beach! Come see for yourself! For more information about the Pirate Ship Royal Conquest, including rates and availability, please contact us today at (727) 423-7824.

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