“I had a wonderful experience swapping with Kate. Her home is in a wonderful location, close to a small beach and in a very cute little town. One of the perks is that there are lots of restaurants, a small grocery, a couple of kids parks and the beach all within about 10 minutes walking distance of the house. It is a great location to go with kids and the house was perfect for us with a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old. We had great communication with Kate before during and after and they treated our home very well! I would 100% recommend swapping with Kate and her home in Gulfport! Thank you again for a wonderful trip Kate!”
Where is it?
Gulfport is a wonderful little arts town nestled closer to larger cities. It has a small town feel to it with most of the focus around the beach-front road and main street. Along both of these are independent (no chains) restaurants of all types, pubs, small shops, and convenience store. Our house is 5 minutes away from main street and about 5-7 minute walk to the bay beach. Within easy walking distance there is a local theater with pretty good productions frequently produced, a nice library, shop with all basics, plenty of restaurant choices, book store, bars and pubs, playgrounds, tennis courts, dog parks, museum, fishing pier, kayaking, recreation center, and of course the bay beach.
Every Tuesday the main street has a farmer’s market and twice a month there is a big evening celebration called Art Walk with booths, food and music of all types. And usually each month there is some kind of additional city activity or celebration going on. Food and art are important in Gulfport and currently the city is one of the six finalists in the Rand McNally Best of the Road competition vying for “Best for Food.” Grocery stores and department stores are all available with a 10 minute drive.
Also within a very short drive (10-15 min) there are many pristine beaches (Fort de Soto was named America’s Top Beach for 2009 http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm ). There are also plenty of fishing spots from piers and off shore charters, hiking trails, boat and jet ski rentals, and basically all water sports.
If you happen to want more than beach and local restaurants then St. Petersburg is about 7 minutes drive away (http://pleasure.stpete.com/ ). Here there is a lovely art museum and the Dali museum which is amazing. The restaurants and marina are lovely to walk around at night with outside dining and people watching. There is also a nice new movie theatre.
And slightly further afield is Tampa with Bush Gardens theme park, a lovely zoo, and of course more big city activities. Orlando with its mass of themed activities such as Disney parks, Sea World, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and more are about one hour and 45 minutes. All the major cruise lines are close (Tampa, Port Canaveral, and Miami). The Kennedy Space Center is 3 hours and the Everglades National Park 4 hours. The Florida Keys are about 5 hours drive.
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