Your tour to Egmont Key aboard Miss John’s Pass begins as we pull away from the dock at Gators into John’s Pass and its fabulous John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. As we wave at the crowds of visitors enjoying the food, shopping and sun on the boardwalk, a school of dolphins swims into the pass. Dolphins are territorial and among the adult and young dolphins is Notch, a dolphin well known by the locals for the notch in his dorsal fin from an injury. Our captain takes us past docked boats under the John’s Pass bridge and into the Gulf of Mexico where we turn south along the beautiful beaches of Treasure Island.
Treasure Island boasts 4 miles of beautiful beaches, and the famous Treasure Island Municipal Beach is located at the heart of most of the hotels and shopping centers. Every year in November, sand sculptors from around the world come here to compete for the grand prize in the Sand Sculpting Contest. Suddenly, a big ray, surprised by the approach of Miss John’s Pass, leaps from the water as if it is flying, its golden brown color flashing in the sun over the green gulf waters. It hits the water with a boom, thrilling everyone on board.
Treasure Island offers a great variety of lodging options including small motels, cottages, condominiums and larger resort hotels. We pass the well known Bilmar Beach Resort, Crystal Palms Beach Resort and Island Inn Beach Resort where you might be staying for your vacation. At the southern tip of Treasure Island are the quaint Sunset Beach, Blind Pass and the northern tip of St. Pete Beach.
The dolphin action really picks up here as Boca Ciega Bay behind the island and the beaches of St. Pete Beach are favorite feeding and cavorting waters for our dolphin friends. It doesn’t take long before Miss John’s Pass is surrounded by dolphins, some very close to the boat, as they surf in our wake and leap from the water. Dolphins are very curious about us and love to put on a show! Our captain slows and circles as more join in. You can get some wonderful photos, videos and memories when they are this close.
St. Pete Beach features 7 miles of white sand beaches, beautiful neighborhoods and a reputation as one of the best vacation destinations in the country. It’s a good bet that some of our guests on our Miss John’s Pass dolphin tour to Egmont Key are staying in one of the hotels and resorts on St. Pete Beach. We cruise by the Dolphin Beach Resort and Conference Center, Howard Johnson Beach Resort, Alden Suites Beachfront Resort, TradeWinds Island Resort and Florida’s “Legendary Pink Palace”, the Loews Don CeSar Hotel.
Originally opened in 1928, the Don Cesar Hotel was a playground for the celebrities of the time, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Clarence Darrow. In recent times, the resort has been known to provide services for Justin Timberlake and Elton John with the same Gatsby-esque level of service. The Don CeSar served as a military hospital for injured airmen during World War II and reopened in 1973. The Don CeSar Hotel is a founding member of the National Trust of Historic Hotels of America.
Our dolphin friends swim with us to the tip of St. Pete Beach where charming Pass-a-Grille’s old world charm offers up arts, shopping and dining. We are now in open water headed to our destination, Egmont Key.