Monday, January 28, 2008

Biking Pinellas Trail, Strolling thru Gulfport

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day after a somewhat cloudy Gasparilla, so I made sure I took advantage of the blue skies and temps in the 60's. Started the day having a little Einstein Bagel and Tea with Debi in the Nursery she was working at, Exotica Nursery on 22nd Avenue South and 44th Street. Its a really nice nursery with lots of tropical plants, a huge Koi pond, and every species of Bamboo and Palm you could find. A perfect place for breakfast, up in the tree deck deck overlooking the gardens below. Our friend Jason that owns the place does an amazing job of Landscaping(he has done several projects downtown St. Pete). After breakfast I wanted to check out the Pinellas Trail, it starts at 34th Street and 5th Avenue and winds up over 30 miles to north of Tarpon Springs. I biked just the first 8 miles(16 round trip), I found it to very relaxing and peaceful, it follows an old rail track, so you are in heavily wooded area, or behind stores, housing, and mild industrial areas, the paved path is very well marked and wide. Overpass bridges take you over main roadways like Pasadena and Central Avenue. I made it to Tyrone Square Mall today and back to the start area. Next time I will start at the mall and head north again. One thing that is nice, is you cant bike more than 10 minutes without having a store of some sort to stop if you need water, or even a cafe or coffee shop, and the people watching was pretty good today with all kinds on bikes, blades and jogging, but not crowded.
After the bike ride, I went over to Gulfport, a great little village on Boca Ceiga Bay, also off 22nd Avenue South. There are great cafes, art galleries and small shops, and along the waterfront are a few bars and cafe's with a long pier into the Bay. A great little town with a lot of character and charm.

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