Hotel at a Glance: Westwinds Waterfront Resort
Westwinds Waterfront Resort is just 120 steps from Treasure Island Beach, a long swath of white sand that abuts the Gulf of Mexico. As a guest, you can go swimming right in the gulf or in a heated outdoor pool that overlooks the water. The resort also has three private docks for sunning, boating, and fishing. You’re likely to spot dolphins or manatees pass by in the water below.
- Where you’ll stay: a fully furnished one- or two-bedroom condo with separate living, sleeping, and dining areas, plus flat-screen cable TVs and free WiFi
- Stock up on supplies at the supermarket (a 5-minute walk away), then cook out on one of the the outdoor barbecue grills.
- Cook a meal in your condo’s full kitchen, which is equipped with granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, a dishwasher, and cooking utensils.
- Conveniently free: laundry facilities and parking for one vehicle per party
Treasure Island, Florida: Three Miles of White-Sand Beachfront
Treasure Island got its name after a group of enterprising hotel owners buried—and later “discovered”—a couple of fake treasure chests along the beach. In spite of their farce, the name stuck. So all right, you won’t find any buried treasure here, but surely you can console yourself with 3 miles of white sand along the Gulf of Mexico. Head to the middle of the island for extra-wide beaches lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. There’s also a walking pier that runs parallel to the shoreline between 104th and 119th Avenues.
A great way to explore Treasure Island and nearby beach communities is by taking the Suncoast Beach Trolley. It runs along the Gulf coast from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater, stopping at many popular beaches along the way. Just across the bridge, St. Petersburg’s charming waterfront downtown is also worth a visit. You’ll find art-deco buildings, broad streets lined with palm trees, and the Dali Museum, which displays many of the paintings, sculptures, and melted timepieces of surrealist master Salvador Dalí.