Real Estate News for North Pinellas County

Archive for the 'things to do' Category

Dunedin Farmers Market coming to a close for the season

FullSizeRender (1)There’s a lot of farmers markets around Pinellas County, but my favorite is the one in Dunedin. I stopped by there this morning and I bought a couple of things — a small block of New York cheddar cheese (my husband is a BIG cheese fan) and a bottle of tart cherry concentrate which I’ll use in my morning protein shake.

IMG_0761The best thing about the farmer’s market, however, is just walking around and looking at the offerings — fresh baked bread, various pet products, Thai food products, coffee, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh eggs from free range chickens, and a bunch of other things. It’s a great way to spend a little time on a Saturday morning. (They’re open on Fridays, too.) It’s in Pioneer Park in downtown Dunedin.

If you’ve been thinking about stopping by there, make sure you go next weekend, because its the last Farmers Market of the season.  It won’t be open again until November.

 

 

 

 

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The Koi pond at Bok Tower

The Koi pond at the base of Bok Tower in Lake Wales

The Koi pond at the base of Bok Tower in Lake Wales

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Road trip! – Bok Tower

Road trip rules: There’s lots of interesting places to go and things to see within easy driving distance to North Pinellas County, so find some time in your busy schedule and take them in!  Here are the rules: Road trip locations have to be within a couple of hours of North Pinellas County, and no more than 100 miles (okay, we may stretch it a little if it’s REALLY great). If there’s good food in the vicinity, we’ll provide a recommendation or two.

 

bok tower 239Bok Tower is a great spot with beautiful gardens, a large Koi pond and a gorgeous singing tower, a 60-bell carillon (the bells were specially cast in England). The location is in Lake Wales in Polk County, about 90 miles east of North Pinellas. The tower is located on the highest point in Florida (don’t worry, it is less than 300 feet above sea level – you won’t be needing an oxygen tank).

Bok Tower was opened to the public in 1929. It is considered to be a contemplative garden, so please keep noise to a minimum.

Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for kids. There’s a good restaurant on the grounds that provides good light fare, such as salads and sandwiches.

Learn more at http://boktowergardens.org/

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Food truck wars come to Palm Harbor

I’m starting to turn into a fan of food trucks and, as such, should be able to have a pretty good time this evening in downtown Palm Harbor.

food truck rally posterA bunch of food trucks are expected starting at 5 p.m. today as the downtown’s First Friday event welcomes them. I’m not sure which trucks are showing up, but the Taco Bus and Jimmy Meatballs have been part of the food truck crown during past events in Downtown Palm Harbor.

You probably know the routine.  Different food trucks gather to offer their best delights, and you can move from truck to truck and sample different foods. We went to a food truck event in St. Petersburg recently, and there was everything from Asian food from Guam to seafood to barbecue to gourmet hot dogs to fancy desserts.

Live music will be on hand as well, and there will be games for young and old (how are you at spitting watermelon seeds?)

Sounds like fun! And kudos to old Palm Harbor Main Street for putting on another fun event that should attracts residents of Palm Harbor and beyond. And there’s a fun-raiser component, as well; money raised will be put toward new, decorative street lights for the downtown neighborhood.

A similar food truck wars event, this one in Safety Harbor a while back.

A similar food truck wars event, this one in Safety Harbor a while back.

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Walking in Pinellas County is enjoyable, but not highly rated by some

It’s funny; before we moved to Florida we lived in Bath, Maine, a quaint and attractive small city on the Kennebec River. While Bath was scenic and pleasant, I almost never walked anywhere when I lived there.

There were two reasons: (1) Much of the time it was REALLY cold, and (2) it was very hilly. Walking down the hills wasn’t so bad, but walking back UP was no picnic.

walking shoesWhen we moved to Florida, I was delighted to be able to increase my walking. It was always warm (okay, maybe TOO warm in the summer, but you can always walk in the early mornings, before the toasty factor gets too high), and the nearly flat terrain means none of those challenging grades.

Since I find walking to be much more enjoyable here than up north, I was a bit surprised to find a website devoted to the “walkability” of various communities, and to note that our area of Florida, Pinellas County, and more specifically Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs, were rated pretty low on the walking scale.

Even more surprising was that cold, hilly Bath, Maine was rated very highly by this website, www.walkscore.com. Here are the scores:

Bath, Maine: 78 (out of a hundred), “very walkable”

Palm Harbor: 37, car-dependent

Dunedin: 45, car-dependent

Tarpon Springs: 38: Car-dependent

Okay, I actually get this. Our Florida communities are relatively young and they are spread out all over the place. Many lack a real central downtown, and you do need a car to get around and run errands. Bath, Maine (and other up-north older cities) are old, and many were established on the banks of rivers. They were centrally laid-out, as automobiles weren’t even around when they were founded.

Still, if you want my opinion, I’d rather walk right here in Florida. Walking in Maine? No, thanks — especially in January.

By the way, Walkscore.com says it “helps you find a walkable place to live. Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.”

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Food truck fun in Safety Harbor

Food trucks line Main Street in Safety Harbor

Food trucks line Main Street in Safety Harbor

As I’ve said on this blog many times, there’s always something to do in North Pinellas County, or in all of Tampa Bay, for that matter.  Local residents love to get outside and enjoy the warm sunshine, and the local organizations and communities know that and plan all sorts of activities throughout the year.

This past weekend, Bill and I drove over the Safety Harbor to check out that town’s first-ever Food Truck Rally. About a dozen different food trucks were on hand, offering everything from barbecue to doughnuts to Korean food items.

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Ordering up snacks at the Korean food truck

The city blocked off a couple of blocks on Main Street so folks could enjoy strolling from truck to truck without the danger of passing cars.

We sampled a number of items and really enjoyed it. We also enjoyed some live music.

This food truck idea has been held in a number of different local communities and they are pretty popular. There has been a little friction about some of these events – some local restauranteurs have objected to food trucks coming in and allegedly stealing away some business from local restaurants. But in this case, local Safety Harbor businesses were “in the loop” and helped with the planning of the events. If there were any objections, I didn’t hear about them.
“The idea is not to compete with our local restaurants, but to enhance our active community and get them downtown on a Saturday afternoon,” Joe Cooper, Special Events Supervisor for the city, said before the event. “We also hope to bring in new faces to the city that will come out and enjoy our shops, restaurants and pubs.”

These food truck events are becoming more popular. We’re looking forward to the next one.

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Don't know the story of this bike, but its color brightens up Main Street
Don’t know the story of this bike, but its color brightens up Main Street

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Tarpon Springs Thanksgiving Weekend Craft Fest

farmer mkt 125Tarpon Springs hosted a nice little craft fair over the weekend that followed Thanksgiving.

Billed as the 19th annual Tarpon Springs Thanksgiving Weekend Craft Fest, the event was held right in the downtown area about a block north of the Post Office. A street was closed down to make room for the white craft tents, and there were all kinds of vendors — artisans of all kinds, food vendors, event a booth for the St. Petersburg TIMES.  

I didn’t buy anything, but I enjoyed poking around. Of course, the REALLY big local arts and crafts fair is coming up this next weekend, Dec. 5-6, in downtown Olde Palm Harbor. That event has been going on for the past 35 years and is (I think) the biggest arts & crafts show in the Tampa Bay area.

Farmers’ Market in Palm Harbor

Fruit and veggie vendor's stand at the Palm Harbor Farmers' market

Fruit and veggie vendor's stand at the Palm Harbor Farmers' market

If you are a fan of local farmers’ markets, you should know that Palm Harbor hosts a very nice little farmers’ market on the grounds of the  North Pinellas Historical Museum at the corner of Belcher and Curlew Road.

This area has a number of good farmers’ markets that are fun to attend.  The one in Dunedin is a good-sized market, and Clearwater has a somewhat smaller one.  I haven’t been to the farmers’ market in St. Petersburg, but it’s supposed to be terrific.

But anyway, back to the Palm Harbor market; it happens every Sunday at the museum, and vendors are on hand from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This past Sunday there farmer mkt 113was a fruit and vegetable stand, a fellow selling very good-looking fresh fish, a woman selling handmade hats, a could of sandwich vendors and several others.  I mostly just nosed around, but I did buy some bananas and some really nice-looking red grapes.

I’ve written about the Dunedin and Clearwater farmers’ markets in the past — you may want to scroll back a few pages and look those over.  It’s nice to have one in Palm Harbor, and you can combine your visit with a tour of the North Pinellas Historical Museum.

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Fourth of July in Dunedin and Palm Harbor

two-boats-fourthPeople everywhere have their own favorite ways of celebrating the Fourth of July, just as they have special ways of observing every holiday. In Tampa Bay, we have parades and cookouts and fireworks displays like everywhere else, but people around here love to celebrate just about everything by getting on (or near) the water.

We spent a little time this morning poking around some of the favorite beach spots in Palm Harbor and Dunedin, just to see what people were doing.  Sure enough, the beachs were jammed with people, and the nearby waters were loaded with watercraft of all kinds.

Most of these picture were taken on the Dunedin Causeway, which runs from the mainland out to Honeymoon Island. There’s also a ferry that runs from Honeymoon fourth-of-july-fishermanbiggest-flagIsland out to Caladesi Island, which we wrote about recently as being the nation’s very best beach, at least in the opinion of at least one person who makes such nominations.

We also took a picture of what we believe is the largest American flag in all of Pinellas County — it flies over an auto dealership on US19. If you know of a flag bigger than this one, which is supposed to be just a little bit smaller than the size of a tennis court, we hope you will let us know.

We hope you are having a great Fourth of July, wherever you may be.

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Flags at the entrance to Harbor View subdivision, Dunedin

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Fourth of July fireworks planned for Pinellas County

fireworksFireworks displays are planned this weekend all over Pinellas County. Here is a partial list:

CLEARWATER

• Clearwater Celebrates America, July 4, Coachman Park, 301 Drew St. A free celebration that includes the following: Mostly Pops Orchestra with John and Mary K. Wilson; craft show, and concessions. Gates open at 4 p.m., fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

• Clearwater Marine Aquarium, July 4, 11 a.m. — 5 p.m. Food, music, dolphin shows. Admission: adults $11, seniors $9, kids $7.50. www.SeeWinter.com.

DUNEDIN

• Dunedin Hometown USA, July 3 at Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave. Gates open at 6 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Free admission.

LARGO

• Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, July 4, 7 – 10 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. www.largoevents.com.

GULFPORT

• Day-long celebration July 4 including fishing derby, sandcastle building, car show and community parade. Celebration starts at 8 a.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.

REDINGTON SHORES

• Fireworks display July 4 after dusk in the county park, 182nd Avenue and Gulf Boulevard.

TREASURE ISLAND

• Fourth of July Constitution Boat Parade and Rally July 4 from noon to 6 p.m., at Gator’s Café on Kingfish Drive. Boat Parade will sail through John’s Pass between Madeira Beach and Treasure Island around 3 p.m. www.constitutionparade.com.

• Beach Blast July 3 and 4 behind Bilmar Beach Resort, Treasure Island. Fireworks at 9 p.m. July 4. www.mytreasureisland.org

PINELLAS PARK

• Freedom Fest July 3-4. England Brothers Band Shell, 5120 80th Ave. N. Fireworks after dusk Friday. Laser light show Saturday night. www.bayareaentertainmentonline.com.

ST. PETE BEACH

• Fireworks along the Gulf of Mexico at dusk July 4.

ST. PETERSBURG

• Rock ’n Wings concert July 4 at the Albert Whitted Airport, First Street and Fifth Avenue South. Gates open at 3 p.m. Music, classic cars, aircraft. Bring beach chairs or blankets. Admission $10 for adults, $5 for children aged 6 – 12. Children 5 and younger free. Parking $5, free for motorcycles.  www.rockwingsconcert.com.

• Fourth of July Extravaganza at 1 p.m. July 4 at The Pier, 800 Second Ave. N.E. Performance by the Cool Daddies from 1 to 4 p.m. Drum circle 4 – 5 p.m., Tampa Bay Rays “watch party” 8 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Free. www.stpetepier.com.

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This information is believed to be accurate but is NOT guaranteed –check before you go.

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