Madeira Beach, or “Mad Beach” as the locals call it, was once part of what was a long, narrow barrier island. Back before there were any Madeira Beach homes for sale, back before they even named hurricanes, the 1848 Tampa Bay Hurricane, also known as the Great Gale of 1848, made landfall near the fledgling community of Clearwater and altered the landscape of the entire area. This storm gouged a deep gash in the barrier island that lies off the coast, creating the island we now call Treasure Island, and making a new inlet to the intercostal waterway and Boca Ciega Bay. Local legend tells of a pirate or smuggler of sorts named John Levique that purportedly buried a chest of Spanish doubloons on this barrier island. He sailed to New Orleans to sell a lot of captured sea turtles, but returned after the hurricane of 1848 to find the new channel carved out where his gold was buried. This new channel was named John’s Pass, and today, there is a yearly Levique Pirate Day in June to commemorate this local legend.
People searching for Madeira Beach homes for sale will find mostly single-story single family homes, and numerous condominiums scattered along the beach. Many boast spectacular views, and many waterfront homes have boat slips and docks. You can walk or bike to the water from anywhere on the island, and you are only a short hop across the bridge to the mainland and St. Petersburg.
Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk on Madeira Beach is a quaint shopping district that’s home to more than 100 shops, galleries, and restaurants in this unique shopping and tourist district, which features an 1,100 foot boardwalk dotted with restaurants, boat rentals, kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing, dolphin watching cruises, and more. There are shops selling fishing tackle, jewelry, art, antiques, boutique clothing, and all the tee shirts and beach towels the tourists have to have. People looking for Madeira Beach homes for sale are always delighted that this little treasure is just part of being a local here, along with our fantastic weather and the beautiful, sugary sand beaches the Gulf Coast is famous for. Johns Pass is also a major shipping channel, allowing commercial and charter fishing vessels fast egress to the Gulf of Mexico and our famous Gulf seafood. Pleasure boaters and fishermen appreciate all the open waterways, giving them quick access to the Gulf from Boca Ciega Bay, or just being able to cast a line off their dock at home.
Madeira Beach holds several festivals and events throughout the year, making Madeira Beach homes for sale even more attractive. There is of course, our own John Levique Days festival, with a pirate invasion, a children’s costume contest and celebration, a Pirate’s Ball for the adults, a family treasure hunt, a parade, a pub crawl, and even more over this two-day, family-friendly event. There is also the Young Anglers Inshore Fishing Tournament, where kids up to 15 ply the trade that built this village, and benefits Madeira Beach Fundamental School, the Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium, and the John’s Pass Village Association. The Veterans Day Boat Parade is a local favorite, as well as the annual Grouper Festival. And every October, the four-day John’s Pass Seafood Festival comes to the Village, with live bands, cold drinks, and the bounty of the Gulf waters, from crab claws and grouper sandwiches to seafood paella and ceviche, made with seafood that was swimming in the Gulf that very morning!
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