Fronting the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Madeira Beach is a coastal city on Florida’s west coast. Legend states that the pirate John LeVique was the first European to settle in the area. Madeira Beach boasts a four-kilometre stretch of sand and centres around the shops, eateries and attractions of John’s Pass Village.
Things to do in Madeira Beach
You can get up close to reptiles both big and small at the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center, which is located near the waterfront in John’s Pass. Learn which president housed an alligator at the White House and see native tortoises and lizards, many of which were rescued by the SPCA. A highlight of any visit is the opportunity to kiss an alligator!
Madeira Beach’s most popular architectural attraction is the Church by the Sea, which has been nicknamed the “Chicken Church” due to its appearance. Constructed in the 1940s, it features a Spanish-style tower with circular windows that resembles a chicken’s head. Inside you’ll find beautiful stained glass windows and religious iconography reflecting the church’s coastal setting.
To explore Madeira Beach from the water, jump aboard the Royal Conquest, a recreated pirate ship that offers lively sailings manned by a costumed crew. In addition to pirate tales, water gun battles and treasure hunting, you have a good chance of spotting dolphins along the way. Pirate hats, eye patches and swords are available onboard if you want to join in the fun!
Getting around Madeira Beach
Madeira Beach is around 25 minutes’ drive from both St. Petersburg and Clearwater. St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport is also 25 minutes away and has flights to destinations across North America. Rental cars are the best way to explore Madeira Beach and the towns and cities around Tampa Bay.