BEACH READS

Florida's beaches feature as many different stories to tell as there are grains of sand. Come here to read more about the people, places and events across the Sunshine State's communities. We'll also feature tips and tricks for you to get the most out of events, activities and more.

The colorful history of Indian Shores landmark Tiki Gardens

The Polynesian-inspired attraction featured Tahitian-style landscaping, statues of tiki gods, gift shops and a restaurant serving exotic food and drinks.
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Clearwater Beach backs federal program for driverless buses

The pilot program would test autonomous, 12-passenger vehicles on a 1-mile stretch of Mandalay Avenue.
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Madeira Beach agrees to hire parking enforcement officer to help beachgoers

People are having trouble operating the city's new meter machines.
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St. Pete Beach officials say transit agency misrepresented stakes in bus project

City leaders told the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority in 2016 they would not give any money for a bus rapid transit route, but the transportation group kept including St. Pete Beach contributions in documents submitted to the federal government.
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100 people rescued from rip currents along Florida's Atlantic coast

Rough surf along a stretch of beaches on Florida's Atlantic coast kept lifeguards busy as spring break crowds flocked to the beaches.
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Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach cultivates a link between Florida and Japan

The 200-acre park features events and programs in tribute to the Japanese settlers who used to live there.
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2019 may be a record spring break in Tampa Bay

Airports are bracing for even more revelers and vacationers as the region becomes more popular.
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TripAdvisor users once again rank Clearwater Beach best in the U.S. for 2019

This is the third time in four years the Pinellas beach has won the top spot. Several other Florida beaches made the best-of list.
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Madeira Beach leaders, residents praise Schooner Resort Hotel plan

The developer says the beachfront project would contain rooms and retail space, connected by a bridge over Gulf Boulevard.
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Life-sized statues of U.S. service members will be part of underwater memorial

'Circle of Heroes' will be placed on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico off Pinellas County. The project is seeking donations.
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City Council approves plan for larger beach hotel on Clearwater Point

Neighbors didn't like the plan, which would expand capacity by 27 rooms.
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TradeWinds rebrands Guy Harvey Outpost as RumFish Beach Resort

The restaurant's success earns it the spotlight after a licensing agreement expires.
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Clearwater Point residents object to planned hotel project

Decade Properties wants to build new lodging at the site of Chart House Suites on the far end of Clearwater Beach, but locals say it's too big for their neighborhood.
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Madeira Beach city marina has lost as much as $550,000 over three years, audit shows

Unauthorized discounts, under-billing and lax procedures have contributed to the losses in potential revenue.
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Shark attacks were down last year, both in Florida and worldwide

Climate change may be a factor, but the Sunshine State is still the global leader.
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Tampa's Florida Aquarium opens $4.1 million turtle rehab center in Apollo Beach

The facility near TECO's Manatee Viewing Center already has a reef restoration project, and has future plans to help stingrays and sharks.
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Florida state parks still reeling from Hurricane Michael damage

Officials are still working on what to do about that as they work to reopen all of St. Joseph Peninsula and three other state parks that remain closed.
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Clearwater Beach raises parking rates

The move was to bring prices more in line with other Florida beach towns, the city says.
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Sand sculpting classes offer tips for building better memories

A Panhandle company offers family-friendly instruction in creating better sandcastles.
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St. Pete Beach residents worry about noise from new Caddy’s restaurant on Intracoastal Waterway

The former Silas Dent’s Steakhouse is next door to several condo buildings and homes, raising fears that revelers may be too raucous.
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New federal law will overhaul recreational fishing rules

Millions of U.S. anglers and the groups that stake their livelihoods on them hope the changes will bring better management.
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Proposed Florida law would ban smoking cigarettes on the beach

A Sarasota County ban was overturned in court, so now state legislators are looking to ban it statewide. The dispute is about litter, not second-hand smoke.
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Red Tide is back on the Gulf Coast, but the government shutdown hampers tracking efforts

With some federal agencies currently shuttered, scientists are having a hard time tracking the toxic algae as well as they did over the summer.
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Tampa Bay Frogman Swim reaches 10th anniversary

The event has raised $3.5 million for the Navy SEAL Foundation, and has expanded to Boston and San Francisco.
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Humpback whales sighted off Daytona Beach, Flagler Beach areas (w/video)

Volusia and Flagler counties report rare whale sightings far off shore, after a record-low number of sightings last year.
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Pinellas County asks court to help deal with Redington Long Pier

The landmark was damaged by a storm's strong winds; Officials say it must either be repaired or torn down entirely.
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Florida boaters killed a record number of manatees in 2018

The total number of deaths falls just shy of the record set five years ago.
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Get free stuff from Florida Beach Insider at the Outback Bowl's Clearwater Beach Day

Come by our booth to get your photo taken and to score some pretty cool handouts before the Mississippi State Bulldogs play the Iowa Hawkeyes in Tampa.
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Mexico Beach lights Christmas tree amid wreckage of Hurricane Michael

The residents of the devastated town on Florida's Panhandle want to show they are standing strong as a community.
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Stone crab season is bad in most of Florida, but it's OK in Tampa Bay

Red Tide was a major factor in a bad harvest across South Florida, leading to sky-high prices this year.
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Red Tide is gone in Pinellas County, and the beaches are wide open

The visitors are still staying away on the Suncoast, much to the delight to the tourists who did arrive (but not the businesses).
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Hillsborough County cites Beer Can Island for code violations

The property has no zoning designation, so code enforcement sent a violation notice to the Tampa Bay island's owners over changes.
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Mexico Beach couple get married on remains of home destroyed by Hurricane Michael

A firefighter and a police officer from the tiny Panhandle town decide to tie the knot where they fell in love.
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Enter. Win. Swim: Sign up to enter our Swim With the Manatees giveaway

We’ve partnered with Plantation on Crystal River to offer up to four guests a two-night stay, a dinner at West 82 Bar & Grill and a snorkeling trip to swim with Crystal River’s wintering manatees.
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Good places to see manatees in the wild when it’s cold in Florida

From observation decks to snorkeling tips, here is where you can spot the wintering marine mammals as temperatures start to drop.
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Paintings help preserve quaint cottages in Indian Rocks Beach

A trio of artists create canvases of the houses along Gulf Boulevard, reminding people why they want to live in the small homes instead of high-rise condos.
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Four easy steps to creating the perfect beach sunset selfie

Taking a little time to set up your photo the right way (and learning the secrets of your shoe) will work wonders.
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Key West's annual Fantasy Fest scares up thousands of revelers

The 10-day event features parades, costume contests and more.
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Hurricane Michael dredges up 19th-century Panhandle shipwreck

The hull, originally washed up by an 1899 hurricane, shows up on Dog Island in Franklin County.
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Red Tide reaches the Space Coast

The toxic algae bloom now stretches from Miami-Dade to Brevard counties.
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Apalachicola oyster farmers dealt another blow

Already beset with problems, the industry must now recover from Hurricane Michael's destructive power.
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Search and rescue sweeps over in the Panhandle

Authorities said their teams have completed sweeps, but didn't give any finalized numbers of dead or injured from Hurricane Michael.
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Panhandle towns may not have electricity for weeks

Leaders in some counties are warning it could take up to a month to fully restore power to what is still standing and far longer for homes that were leveled and need to be rebuilt.
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Residents return a week after Hurricane Michael

People return to razed homes and looting, while utilities and cell service slowly return.
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Mexico Beach flavor may be forever changed

The 'mom and pop' feel of the tiny beach town could be gone when the town rebuilds after Hurricane Michael.
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High ground acts as a bridge to the rest of the world

Isolated by Hurricane Michael, stranded residents head to impromptu town squares to talk to friends and relatives or ask for help.
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Mexico Beach residents band together after Hurricane Michael

Neighbors help each other survive after the Category 4 storm destroys their town.
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Homeowners return to Cape San Blas to survey destruction

Hurricane Michael razed dunes and ruined houses when it made landfall nearby.
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It may be the end of the road for some on Alligator Point

Beachfront residents face a treacherous path to recovery after Hurricane Michael.
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Mexico Beach reeling from Hurricane Michael

The beach town of 1,200 was devastated by the Category 4 storm. House were destroyed and roads impassable in the aftermath.
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