A Photographic Tour of Bayshore Boulevard

Do you know one landmark that’s referenced in almost every one of my books set in Florida? Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. That’s because it’s one of the true gems of the city. So I wanted to introduce Bayshore Boulevard to those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting it.

Bayshore

Arguably Bayshore Boulevard’s heartiest claim to fame is that it is home to the longest continuous sidewalk in the world, at 4.5 miles long (and a generous ten feet wide!) A beautiful balustrade lines the sidewalk along the water’s edge, and gorgeous homes adorn the opposite side.

Bayshore Home

Its other claims to fame and reasons for popularity are mentioned in my books. Here are just a few of them.

  • Bayshore Boulevard is a convenient way to access many neighborhoods that are offshoots from Tampa’s eastern edge:

Willa Carson drives down Bayshore Boulevard frequently to and from her home, Minaret, on Plant Key. As she explains, her home Plant Key is one of the areas located conveniently from Bayshore.

“Originally too shallow for navigation and devoid of landmass, Hillsborough Bay was dredged to allow passage of freighters into the Port of Tampa. Henry Plant persuaded the Army Corps of Engineers to build the landmass for Plant Key at the same time they created Harbour Island and Davis Islands.

Plant Key is marquis cut, about a mile wide by two miles long. Narrow ends face north toward Tampa and south toward the Gulf of Mexico. Key Bridge connects us to Bayshore Boulevard just north of Gandy.”

Due Justice

Bayshore Due Justice

If you look closely here, and squint, you can probably see Plant Key in the distance. 😉

  • It’s a thrilling boulevard to experience in a convertible.

In Wasted Justice, Willa goes for a ride down Bayshore in her Mercedes CLK 320 Convertible, “Greta.”

“I put Greta’s top down, and she and I spent a while driving the length of the Bayshore, thrice, enjoying the wind in my hair, the sunshine baking my skin, and taking in the fabulous view of my hometown.”

Wasted Justice

Bayshore Wasted Justice

  • Bayshore Boulevard hosts Tampa’s annual Gasparilla Pirate Invasion Parade.


Secret Justice opens with a mystery surrounding the Gasparilla festivities.

“The local news anchor had dressed like a crusty buccaneer and joined the parade. From time to time, he interviewed a few of the half-million or so spectators lining the sidewalks along Bayshore Boulevard.”

Secret Justice

  • Bayshore Boulevard is a hot spot for runners and all sorts of other athletes.

“Bodies of every shape, size, and description populated the sidewalk, clothed in outfits similarly interesting. Handkerchiefs around shaved heads, striped shirts with plaid shorts on males; females in full war paint, dressed as if they were making a glamorous workout video. The number of infants sleeping in jogging strollers being pushed by adults on roller blades was surpassed only by middle-aged men jogging with headphones.

In short, I saw a typical day on the Bayshore, and felt a little better knowing that the world was still operating normally, at least in some spheres.”

Twisted Justice

Bayshore Twisted Justice

  • Bayshore Boulevard leads to MacDill Air Force Base on the south end.

In Jack in the Green, after visiting the base, Carlos Gaspar takes a drive down Bayshore later in the day… along with Judge Willa Carson and Jess Kimball.

“Judge Carson’s Mercedes CLK convertible zipped along Bayshore Boulevard like a homing pigeon on its return flight. Jessica Kimball’s SUV followed. Gaspar brought up the rear in the rented sedan.”

Jack in the Green

Bayshore Jack in the Green

I especially appreciate Willa Carson’s description of Bayshore Boulevard as she looks at it from above, from a distance, in Wasted Justice.

“The view from forty-two stories atop the Bank of America building was spectacular. From here, one could see how Hillsborough Bay caressed the Bayshore—Tampa’s ribbon of road along the water—with a perfectly calm blue blanket that glimmered in the sunlight.”

Wasted Justice

After seeing the pictures and hearing the features, hopefully now you have a better idea of why Bayshore Boulevard features so prominently in my books.

Have you seen Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard in person? If not, based on what you’ve seen, would you put it on your list of “must see’s” or “must do’s” if you were planning a trip? [CLICK THE BIG RED BUTTON BELOW TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENT!]

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

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7 Responses to A Photographic Tour of Bayshore Boulevard

  1. judy May 5, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    Enjoyed you pictures and comments this morning.

  2. Pat Davis May 5, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    I have seen Bayshore Boulevard and agree it is a wonderful part of Tampa.

  3. Dianna Sowey-Thomas May 5, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    As a Tampa native born & raised I have spent many hours on Bayshore Blvd. I have family that lives just off Bayshore in Hyde Park and grew up attending Gasparilla my whole life. Of course back then Gasparilla was nothing like it is today. Once they moved the date from near Valintines day to coordinate it with Super Bowl everything changed, which was sad for us natives. It’s one of the reasons I love this series so much though, because it takes place in my hometown and I know where you are talking about. Of course I’ve watched it grow and remember what it used to be before it became the major city it is today. But the area you talk about is one of the oldest parts of Tampa and has not changed a great deal except the approach to McDill base. Thanks for letting me share and remember, you rock, Dianna Slowey-Thomas

  4. David May 5, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

    Funny as I was reading and viewing was thinking “hmmm a nice trip there may be a good idea”
    D

  5. Cynthia E. Blain May 5, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    This was such an interesting article. We have not been in that area for a number of years now and you made us want to go back sooner than later.

    Very much enjoyed the trip down “memory lane” as well.

    Thank you,
    Cynthia

  6. Deb Diem May 5, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    I love Bayshore Blvd. I use to live on W. Empedrado St. just a short distance from Bayshore. I loved it!

  7. jim cooper May 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

    interesting. will make justice series more realist. enjoy all your books.

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