St. Pete/Clearwater Tours: Dolphins, Ghosts & Pirates

Story highlights:
  • Nature cruises and dolphin-watching cruises
  • Ghost tours and pirate cruises
  • Sightseeing on Segways
Links within article correspond to map points.
Clearwater Beach dolphin encounter, Clearwater dolphin cruise
Numerous local businesses offer dolphin-watching cruises.

Rather than returning home from vacation with only tan lines, why not bring home stories of adventure on the high seas and ghostly encounters?

A Clearwater Beach dolphin encounter, battles aboard a pirate ship, behind-the-scenes peeks at historic haunts ... these VIP tours are some of the best ways to explore the St. Pete/Clearwater area.

Naturally Fun

With water surrounding St. Pete/Clearwater, natural adventures are everywhere.

The Sun Line Cruises Sea Fari Adventure Cruise offers a 75-minute guided tour with a naturalist. The cruise heads up the Anclote River to a protected bird nesting area, and guests will learn about the history of sponging and fishing in the Tarpon Springs area.

If you'd rather just watch nature, try one of the many dolphin cruises:

Hubbard's Marina has an hour-and-a-half dolphin watch nature cruise. You'll travel the calm waters of Boca Ciega Bay where many dolphins play, and see beautiful tropical birds like egrets and herons, and even manatees along the way.

Travel south down the coast for a Clearwater Beach dolphin encounter on board the Sea Screamer, a dolphin cruise, thrill ride and area tour all in one.

With the ferry service from Dolphin Landings, guests board a luxury sailboat for a two-hour tour of the bay's southern waters where more dolphins frolic. Don't miss a stop at nearby St. Pete Beach, voted TripAdvisor's No. 1 Beach in the U.S. and No. 5 in the world for 2012.

Haunted Happenings and Pirate Tales

Long before the land boom of the 1920s, area beaches and islands were hideouts for pirates and sailors.

At twilight one such pirate guide leads guests through the historic fishing village at John's Pass in Madeira Beach with Tampa Bay Ghost Tours, telling tales of lost mariners like John Levique, after whom the pass is named. Over the hour-long tour, you'll also discover the spirit of the boardwalk founder, Wilson Hubbard, and the legends about other local characters.

Two popular pirate ship tours will bring your haunting experiences to life. The Pirate Ship at John's Pass has three daily tours on its three-mast replica pirate ship. In Clearwater Beach, which was named USA Today's 2013 "Best Beach Town in Florida," Captain Memo's Original Pirate Cruise sets sail twice during the day with cannons blasting. Both ships offer children's parties and "adult friendly" evening cruises at varying times throughout the year.

Segway Adventures

For a tour that's easy on the feet, try out a Segway. Offered both in Clearwater and in St. Petersburg this is great way to get around town. Zip around historic downtown St. Petersburg and check out the beautiful waterfront with Bayside(Segway)Tours, Inc.. In Clearwater, contact Segway Adventure and get a panoramic view of Clearwater Bay and the beaches. Both companies offer guided tours. After a 10-minute video about the electric two-wheel gliders, a helmet fitting and a brief lesson, your group will be ready to glide along with your guide.

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