Boardwalk, Shopping, Fun: Johns Pass Madeira Beach
John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk in Madeira Beach, Florida, is a vibrant waterfront destination buzzing with activity. Steeped in history and offering a diverse mix of shopping, dining, and water-based adventures, it’s no wonder this spot attracts visitors and locals alike. Here’s a deeper dive into what makes John’s Pass Village special:
History of Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk
Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach, Florida, has a fascinating history that dates back to the late 19th century. Here’s an overview of its historical development:
- Early Settlement: The area around Johns Pass has a long history of human habitation, dating back to the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region for thousands of years. The Tocobaga and Seminole tribes were among the native groups that lived in the area before European colonization.
- John Levique and Johns Pass: The passageway known as Johns Pass is named after John Levique, a local fisherman and pirate who, according to legend, discovered the natural inlet in the late 19th century. The pass provided a navigable channel between the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay, making it a vital waterway for fishermen, sailors, and traders.
Early Fishing and Maritime Industry: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the area around Johns Pass was primarily a fishing and maritime community. Commercial fishing operations thrived, with fishermen catching a variety of seafood, including mullet, grouper, and snapper. The pass also served as a port for shipping and trade, with boats transporting goods to and from the area.
- Development of Madeira Beach: Madeira Beach, the town adjacent to Johns Pass, began to develop as a tourist destination in the early 20th century. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions were built along the waterfront to accommodate visitors drawn to the area’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
- Creation of Johns Pass Village: In the 1970s, the development of Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk began as a project to revitalize the waterfront area and create a tourist destination. The village was designed to evoke the charm of a historic fishing village, with shops, restaurants, and attractions lining the boardwalk along the pass.
- Growth and Expansion: Over the years, Johns Pass Village has grown and expanded to become one of the premier tourist destinations on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The addition of new shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues has enhanced the village’s appeal, attracting visitors from across the country and around the world.
Today, Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk stands as a vibrant waterfront destination that celebrates the area’s rich history and natural beauty while providing visitors with a unique shopping, dining, and entertainment experience on the shores of Madeira Beach, Florida.
Attractions in Johns Pass Village Boardwalk
- Over 100 unique shops: Discover local finds, specialty stores, and souvenir shops catering to various interests.
- Diverse dining options: Indulge in fresh seafood, casual beach fare, international cuisine, and waterfront dining experiences.
- Thrilling water activities: Embark on dolphin-watching tours, parasailing adventures, jet ski rentals, and boat cruises, or simply relax on the beach.
- Family-friendly fun: Explore arcades, mini-golf courses, and historical exhibits, creating lasting memories.
- Unique experiences: Charter a fishing boat, witness live music at Mad Pub, or visit the Florida Winery for a free sample of their citrus and berry wines.
Stores in John’s Pass Florida
Wild Time Caribbean Trading Company: Souvenirs and gifts with a Florida flair.
John’s Pass Trading Company: latest coastal fashions.
Cuban Paradise Cigar & Cafe: Authentic Cuban cigars and cafe fare.
Paw Paws: Unique pet boutique.
House of Sweets: A candy store selling a variety of sweet treats, including homemade fudge, saltwater taffy, and gourmet chocolates.
Mad Pup John’s Pass – Delightful pub with the funniest signs.
The Florida Winery – Great little winery with a quirky fun shop.
Zeno’s Boardwalk Sweet Shop – Candy and much more.
The Bronze Lady – One of my wife’s favorite shops and one of my wallet’s least favorite!
These are just a few of the Shops at Johns Pass. We can say from our experience that most of the shops are fun, friendly and full of unique merchandise. You can make a fun day out of these John’s Pass shops.
General Information About John’s Pass Village Madeira Beach Florida.
- Open daily: Conveniently accessible throughout the week.
- Family-friendly environment: Welcoming atmosphere for all ages.
- Accessibility: The boardwalk is wheelchair and stroller-friendly.
- Parking: Paid parking options are available nearby all along the Village.
- Nearby attractions: Explore St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa for additional adventures.
Here are some specific details about the different aspects of John’s Pass Madeira Beach Florida.
Restaurants in John’s Pass Florida
There are a wide range of restaurants in John’s Pass, from a famous wing joint to classic pizza that has been at the Pass for decades.
- Bamboo Beach Bar: Fish tacos and frozen cocktails with live music.
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Company: Seafood haven with a movie-themed setting.
- Hooters: Sports bar with classic wings and burgers.
- DeLosa’s Pizza: Classic pizza at the Pass.
- Mad Beach Craft Brewing Co.: Local craft beers and pub fare.
- Caddy’s John’s Pass – (formerly Sculley’s and The Hut) basic pub fare on two levels.
- Pirates Pub and Grill – waterfront views on the top level of the Boardwalk.
- The Boardwalk Grill – waterfront fresh seafood.
Visit one of these John’s Pass restaurants for great waterfront views, excellent seafood, and enhanced experience while visiting John’s Pass. Most do not take reservations but it is not a bad wait along the Boardwalk.
Things To Do in John’s Pass Florida
There are water sports opportunities all along the Boardwalk at John’s Pass. Here are a few you can reserve now:
- John’s Pass Waverunners – rent by the hour or all day.
- 3-hour Shelling Cruise – leave from John’s Pass and head to Shell Island.
- Sunset Cruise in John’s Pass
- Dolphin Quest – sightseeing and Eco-tour
- Pirate Adventure – Fun with the whole family on a pirate ship.
- Tiki Boat Tour – John’s Pass on a Tiki boat. Very popular.
- Half-Day Fishing – Fish from John’s Pass into the Gulf.
- Dos Hobres – Private Fishing charter from Johns Pass.
These and a half dozen other offerings on John’s Pass give you a wide range of water sports activities from the Boardwalk at John’s Pass.
John’s Pass Florida Hotels
You have a wide range of choices for hotels at John’s Pass. Here are the closest hotels to John’s Pass within walking distance.
Madeira Norte Condo’s – across the street from John’s Pass
The Bungalows – near south side of the bridge.
Seabreeze – just steps away across the street from John’s Pass.
John’s Pass Hotel – across the street at the base of the bridge.
Resorts & Large Hotels Nearby John’s Pass
Tahitian Beach Resort – just a mile away.
Thunderbird Beach Resort – a mile away.
Cambria Hotel – just a couple miles away with one of our favorite roof top bars.
Events at John’s Pass in Florida:
- John’s Pass Seafood Festival: Celebration of fresh seafood and local businesses in October.
- Final Fridays – Music at Johns Pass
Where is John’s Pass Madeira Beach Florida
The best way to describe the location of John’s Pass in Florida is that it is a break between two barrier islands on Florida’s west coast. It is 15 miles south of Clearwater Beach and 4 miles north of St. Pete Beach, both also barrier Islands. John’s Pass is 30 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida.
Directions to Johns Pass Florida
From Tampa Florida to John’s Pass take I-275 south to exit 23B (5th Ave. N). Go west across the Treasure Island Causeway to Gulf Blvd. (about 8 miles). Go north on Gulf Blvd. about 1.5 miles to John’s Pass.
From the South to John’s Pass you can take the route above from I-275 or just go across the Skyway Bridge to the first exit, Pinellas Bayway – go west to Gulf Blvd. Take Gulf Blvd. 10 miles north to John’s Pass.
In general, Gulf Blvd. runs from Clearwater Beach to St. Pete Beach. If you can find Gulf Blvd., the only coastal throughway, you can find John’s Pass, Madeira Beach Florida.
Tips For a Memorable Trip to John’s Pass Florida:
- Arrive early during peak season to secure parking. It can get very busy from the end of January through May.
- Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the boardwalk.
- Bring sunscreen and a hat for sun protection. Stay hydrated during warm days.
- Consider purchasing a multi-attraction pass for discounted access to popular activities.
John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk offers something for everyone. Its combination of history, charm, and diverse activities makes it a must-visit spot for your next Florida getaway.