The Waypoints Yacht Charters sales team had a wonderful chance to charter a motor yacht and experience some of the sights of our sample itinerary in the waters around the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg area. We chose to take out our MY6 “Happy Place” as it would allow us to move around faster and see more in a 3-day itinerary to many of the spots we recommend our charter guests visit.
Three Days of Adventure
On the day of our departure, we arrived at the docks for our checkout briefing. The dock staff and Captain reviewed our planned itinerary, and then our crew loaded up the boat with our luggage and provisions, and we were off.
Calm Seas and Sights to See
The seas were calm, so we navigated under the Skyway Bridge and then close to shore to view the beautiful beaches of Fort Desoto and Egmont Key. You can anchor and dinghy over to Fort Desoto to explore the area. It’s a great place to have a picnic and walk around to stretch your legs. Egmont Key is known for its lighthouse and the tortoises there. A boat wreck on the island’s west side offers awesome photo opportunities. Our next stop at Longboat Pass took about an hour which was much quicker aboard a powerboat.
Stopping for a Bite
Once we were in Sarasota Bay, we chose to travel north up the bay to a wonderful restaurant called The Seafood Shack. The Dock Master is fantastic and will assist with docking if you call ahead with about an hour’s notice. We ended up anchoring because we were just a bit too wide for the slip that was available. Then, it was a short dinghy ride. The restaurant has many delicious menu items, including seafood, sandwiches, great appetizers, and everything in between.
Afterward, we motored over to Jewfish Key and found that Shore’s Restaurant had dockage large enough for catamarans. We found a great section of the sandbar where many people anchor, then dinghy over to hang out and party during the day. After our excursion, we made our way back to Bradenton Pier on Anna Maria Island and set anchor for the night.
Then, we walked for a bit, exploring the shops and the area, ending up at the Roof Top Daiquiri Bar. If you are looking for nightlife, this area is hopping with entertainment. Many bars along Bradenton Pier Street have live bands and music.
“A Hell of A Day At Sea, Sir” – Overboard, 1987 film
It’s a switch day, so some of our team headed back to the office, and others joined us today for the rest of the trip. The group took a quick walk around the area, found a coffee shop, and stocked up on breakfast food while enjoying a cup of coffee to get us kick-started for another amazing day on the water.
We took a quick tour of Anna Maria Island by water and made our way up to the Manatee River for lunch at Pier 22. The venue was perfect, and the food was excellent! This location is great for a mid-charter destination as you can pump out and fill up on water for a nominal fee.
We returned to Anna Maria Island to allow the new crew members to experience Bradenton Pier. We walked up the main street and crossed over to the beach to watch another amazing Florida sunset. We ordered a delicious charcuterie board and drinks at the Bamboo Island Bar. Live music was playing again, so we went to investigate after a bit of souvenir shopping along the street.
Our Last Day
In order to get a full day of navigation in and still be back at the Vinoy by 5:00 pm, we picked up anchor early and made the 9:15 am bridge opening. Breakfast was cooked and served while underway, and all passengers were happy! We made our way back up the coast toward Tierra Verde and decided to head up to John’s Pass. We found that the best spot to visit is John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk, with culinary must-tries such as Bubba Gump, Crabbys on the Pass, and Caddy’s.
Since we were traveling aboard a motor yacht, we were able to make it to Apollo Beach quickly for a late lunch at Finn’s Restaurant. We found their marina full, so we dropped anchor and dinghied to shore. Great food and laughs had by all. We even bought souvenir t-shirts! Our fun long weekend was coming quickly to an end, so we headed back to the boat to arrive at the Vinoy Marina by 5:00 pm.
Now It’s Your Turn
Three days went by in a flash! We just touched the surface of the many places you can go with a motor yacht or a sailboat. We are here to answer any questions and help you plan your own amazing itinerary for your next charter with Waypoints Florida. Whether you book on a motor yacht, sailing catamaran, or sailing monohull, we can’t wait to see you off on your next trip!