Vanlife: Architecture, History, Pottery, Beach Walk & Hiking

Permanent Vanlife is still about one year away, so I decided to get a feel for it, by planning multiple one-week trips in the van, throughout the US Southeast. This time I visit South Florida.

A much more detailed account of the trip can be found at

South Florida

Church by the Sea

On this first day I make a quick stop at the Church by the Sea in St.Petersburg. The ordinary church tower looks like a funky chicken from a certain angle.

Jungle Prada Site

Location of a gold-digging conquistador’s landing in the Americas. This is also where you can find the remaining shell mounds of the Tocobaga tribe, after which the site is named (Jungle Prada Site).

Morean Center for Clay

This is supposed to be the largest pottery in the Southeast. It is housed in a historic seaboard freight train depot, that was built in 1926.

A section of the Berlin Wall, located outside the center, has gained renewed importance, as less than 500 miles away from its original site, a similar war for power and separation is fought.

St. Petersburg Post Office

This post office has been a functional landmark in continuous operation since 1916. Its Mediterranean Revival-style architecture, with glazed, concrete brick are a beauty to behold.

Apollo Beach Nature Preserve

A small dog-friendly beach park with a lookout tower and a short nature trail. The hiking trail leads to an inlet where private boats are beached on a sandbar and where small, narrow beaches line the clear blue water of Tampa Bay.

Little manatee River State Park

A 6.5-mile hiking trail is located in the north wilderness area in the park. This stacked loop trail is accessible from U.S. 301 North from the trailhead entrance on the north side of the Little Manatee River. Access to the trail requires a fee.

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