Hotel at a Glance: Barefoot Beach Hotel
Set along the Gulf of Mexico, the Barefoot Beach Hotel is a quaint seaside hideaway on Madeira Beach—a barrier island southwest of Tampa. After a long day of lazing in the sun or swimming in the outdoor heated pool, head to one of the resort's 43 suites, most of which overlook the water.
- In-room amenities: Flat-screen TVs, private patios, and kitchenettes with dishware, microwaves, and mini fridges
- Rentable gear: Scooters and beach chairs
- Within walking distance: The bustling boardwalk of historic John's Pass Village
Madeira Beach, Florida: Family-Friendly Beaches Along the Gulf of Mexico
Legend has it that a pirate named John LeVique was the first European to set foot on the barrier island now known as Madeira Beach—a family-friendly spot southwest of Tampa. The town pays homage to that first swashbuckler with John's Pass, a historic fishing village and boardwalk lined with waterfront restaurants and shops. Each October, thousands of visitors descend on John's Pass for the Seafood Festival, which features live music, fireworks, and fresh seafood from local vendors. This year the fest takes place October 25–27.
Madeira Beach's location along the Gulf of Mexico means you can swim in warm, calm waters for much of the year. Just a few miles to the south, you'll find the sandy shores of St. Pete Beach, dubbed one of the Top 10 Beach Towns for Families by Parents magazine in 2013.