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FLORIDA FUNKY TO HISTORIC GREEK


VISIT US | '21&(6$5.COM | 

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their day in the sun.

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SUNSETS & SERENITY ON FLORIDA’S BEST BEACH UNIQUELY SANDPEARL. UNIQUELY YOU.

500 MANDALAY AVE., CLEARWATER BEACH, FL

855.559.5155 | Sandpearl.com


Voted on by thousands of visitors, locals and area insiders, the best of everything in St. Pete/ Clearwater.

26

beaches 14 With 35 miles of sugary sand goodness and unmatched beauty to choose from, you’re sure to find your picture-perfect beach.

best list

Surprisingly vibrant. And exclusively laid-back. Downtown St. Pete’s urban chic nightlife scene: live music and delicious dining.

night sports 58 life 88

St. Pete/Clearwater’s ideal weather is exciting for athletes and sports enthusiasts alike, whether you play it or watch it.

30

39

food Can’t decide on what to eat? Check out more than 70 restaurants listed here. Waterfront dining, kid-friendly and casual. Or consider the area’s Top 25 restaurants.

Welcome 10 By The Numbers 12 Getting Around 14 Tampa Bay 20 Shopping 36 Bars 50 Breweries 53 Music 66 LGBT 68

6

AME R I C A’ S B E ST B E AC H E S

Many of the area’s most beautiful sights are found in our art museums and galleries. Names like DalÍ and Chihuly stand alongside local artists and their murals, making St. Pete/Clearwater a haven for art lovers.

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water

Travel the warm, welcoming waterways of St. Pete/Clearwater. Parasail along the beaches, kayak our mangroves, paddleboard in the bay or dive shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Explore our collection of eclectic small towns that are each amazing in their own right. Shop, dine and experience each destination and take in all that our Gulf Coast communities have to offer.

72

80 Romance 82 Pets 87 Extreme Adventure 92 Local Business 94 Americana 98 Winter the Dolphin 103 Architecture 105 Beyond the Beach 108 Events


B R E AT H TA K I N G Gulf front views from E V E R Y W I N D O W.

C R Y S TA L C L E A R W AT E R S L U X U R I O U S B E A C H C H I C A C C O M M O D AT I O N S AW E - I N S P I R I N G S U N S E T S P R I M E B E A C H F R O N T L O C AT I O N

THE ALL-NEW

VISIT OPALSANDS.COM OR CALL 855.454.0494 FOR SPECIAL OFFERS


GULF TO BAY

Home of America's Best Beaches. Call us at 727.464.7200 or toll-free at 877.352.3224 VisitStPeteClearwater.com

OFFICES OF VISIT ST. PETERSBURG/CLEARWATER North American Office 8200 Bryan Dairy Road, Suite 200, Largo, FL 33777 USA 727.464.7200 or 877.352.3224 Central European Office Postfach 1806, D-61288 Bad Homburg, Germany +49 (0) 6172-38 80 94 80 or info@VisitSPC.de United Kingdom Office Link House, 140 The Broadway, Tolworth, Surrey KT67JE England 020 8339 6121 Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater is a member of the U.S. Travel Association and is accredited by Destination Marketing Association International.

This issue of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater destination magazine is published by Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times, 490 First Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 USA, 800.333.7505

CONNECT WITH US Facebook.com/ VisitStPeteClearwater Be inspired to travel with live broadcasts from America’s Best Beaches, brilliant sunsets and the area’s biggest events. Twitter.com/VSPC Follow @VSPC to stay in the loop on the area’s latest happenings and fun giveaways to sporting events, concerts and more. YouTube.com/ VisitStPeteClearwater Want to explore the destination in 360˚? Fly high above the Gulf of Mexico, ride horses on the beach and speed around a racetrack with new immersive video experiences.

MARKETING MANAGER Chris Galbraith ART DIRECTOR Nikki Life DESIGNERS Marcus Oania, Paul Wallen PHOTO EDITOR Steve Widoff PHOTOGRAPHY Julio Aguilar, Brian Blanco, Matt Blasi, Mike Carlson, Pedro Castellano, Wayne Cathel, Douglas R. Clifford, Jim Damaske, Jim Dorian, Jimmy Fashner, Dirk Franke, Carol Gallagher, Marcia Garcia, Steven Gregory, Monica Herndon, Dan Janneau, Jeremiah Y. Khokhar, Casey Brooke Lawson, Melissa Lyttle, Steven Kovich, Tim Kriebel, Robert J. La Follette, Mike Legg, Nikki Life, Amy Martz, Alex McKnight, Al Messerschmidt, David Monroe, Gordon Moore, Marcus Oania, Jacob Pierce, Amy Pezzicara, Luis Santana, Chris Urso, The Wade Brothers, Justin Ward, Wilson Webb, Steve Widoff, Zack Wittman, Sarah Wood, Chris Zuppa WRITERS Marcia Biggs, Diane Craig, Jay Cridlin, Stephanie Hayes, Virginia Pelley, Gina Vivinetto ILLUSTRATOR Ryan Huddle, Sean McKeown-Young IMAGING Brian J. Baracani, Jr., Ralph Morningstar ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Ellen E. Clarke, Don Lee, Kate Rigney, Wendy Widoff

Instagram.com/VSPC Explore St. Pete/Clearwater one glorious photo at a time. Best part? Our most popular filter is no filter. #LiveAmplified Pinterest.com/VSPC We’ve collected the best-ofthe-best from top hotels to best sunset spots to tasty restaurants. Go ahead and pin your favorites to your own boards!

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A ME R I C A’ S B E ST B E AC H E S

FLORIDA FUNKY TO HISTORIC GREEK

ON THE COVER From Anclote Key and Caladesi Island south to Fort De Soto Park (pictured), tropical barrier islands dot the entire St. Pete/ Clearwater coast.


#JustLetGo

two parts adventure

OnePart Flip Flops

266.1232

get MORE BANG FOR your beach Plunge into more fun, dip your toes into more pools, sip at more bars and dine at more restaurants than anywhere else. Or simply “Just let go� in a beachside hammock. At our two resorts, you get more than a beach vacation, you get an adventure!

Book direct and save at JustLetGo.com/FLBCH or 877.300.5527


Welcome to our world, a world where the sun rules, water soothes and the sands are smooth beneath your feet. Welcome to a place where shorts and sundresses, flip-flops and sandals are the uniform of the day and the sounds of the Gulf provide an audio backdrop to a slower pace. Welcome, visitor, to this sun-drenched paradise, a place where high culture and low tides offer stimulation for the mind and the soul; where colorful sunsets compete with the pastel stucco of waterfront living.

Welcome to the world of DalĂ? and Chihuly, of the American Stage and Freefall Theatre, and of Heritage Village where the past comes alive, to remind us of our collective history. Welcome to the place where freshly caught seafood and locally grown fruits and vegetables invite you to enjoy a meal with family and friends; where dolphins and sand castles call you to miles of gorgeous beaches, and where pro sports teams call up longtime loyalties.

Welcome to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, your destination for all the good things that life has to offer. Welcome, visitor. Welcome, new friend. Enjoy your stay. Tell your friends. Return. The sun, the sand and the water await.


Opal Sands anchors the southern end of world-famous Clearwater Beach. VI SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 1 1


1

361

AVERAGE NUMBER OF SUNNY DAYS PER YEAR

81°F

AVERAGE YEAR-ROUND TEMPERATURE

CLEARWATER BEACH’S RANKING ON TRIPADVISOR’S 2016 LIST OF BEST U.S. BEACHES

768

NUMBERS

4,800

A snapshot of St. Pete/Clearwater area

BY THE

106

47

MAXIMUM SPEED IN MPH OF AN INDY CAR RACING AT THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX IN ST. PETERSBURG

260,000

30

FESTIVAL ATTENDEES AT ST. PETE PRIDE

CRAFT BREWERIES (AND COUNTING!) IN ST. PETE CLEARWATER

12

AM E R I C A’ S B E ST B EACH ES

35 43

30

Miles of white-sand beaches GOLF COURSES IN ST. PETE CLEARWATER

MINIMUM SUN PROTECTION FACTOR (SPF) RECOMMENDED BY THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY

MILES OF PINELLAS TRAIL STRETCHING FROM DOWNTOWN ST. PETE TO TARPON SPRINGS

NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE SUNNY DAYS THAT GIVES ST. PETE ITS GUINNESS RECORD.

AUTOGRAPHED BASEBALLS IN THE WORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTION AT THE ST. PETE MUSEUM OF HISTORY

4

MILLION

POUNDS OF GROUPER CAUGHT OFF THE SHORES OF ST. PETE CLEARWATER


Weather They say all you need to bring is a swimsuit. But no matter what time of year you travel to the area, do pack sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses. Remember to always drink plenty of water. In late spring and summer, light, casual clothes work best. Fall and winter temperatures vary from mild to cool, so determine in advance of your visit whether shorts and sandals are still in season or if it’s time to pack a light jacket and pants. We hold a Guinness world record title for the longest run of sunshine (768 days from February 1967 to March 1969), but temperatures can range from the low 50s to the high 90s.

Planning your trip

Tampa International Airport (TPA) Just 30-45 minutes from beachfront accommodations, Tampa International Airport provides numerous airlines and flights to choose from, as well as convenient shuttles from the gates to the terminal. 4100 George J. Bean Parkway, Tampa 33607, tampaairport.com or 813-8708700 Rental cars There are several major rental car companies serving the area, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Winter (Dec-Feb) LOW 55F 13C

Spring (Mar-May) HIGH 80F 27C

LOW 65F 18C

Summer (June-Aug) HIGH 90F 32C

LOW 76F 24C

Fall (Sept-Nov) HIGH 83F 28C

LOW 70F 21C

Average Water Temps WINTER

63F • 17C

74F • 23C

SUMMER

FALL

85F • 29C

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SPRING

77F • 25C

A M E R I C A’ S B E ST B E AC H E S

The area is served by two international airports — St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and Tampa International Airport — and two general aviation airports, making flying in and out simple and convenient. With more than 30 airlines to accommodate your schedule, competitive rates and efficient facilities packed with amenities, our airports are worthy gatekeepers to paradise. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) Flying through here offers low fares and small crowds, and puts you minutes from the beaches. 14700 Terminal Blvd., Clearwater 33762, fly2pie.com or 727-453-7800

Average Air Temps HIGH 70F 21C

By Air

VisitStPeteClearwater.com Check out our website for hotel rates and availability, maps, events, videos and tons of ideas for things to do on your next trip to St. Petersburg/Clearwater. All the planning information you need is just a few clicks away. The “deals” link helps you find ways to save money, and our email newsletter helps you stay current on news and events. Our videos will give you a preview of the fun in store, and our search and book direct features make planning, comparing and booking easy. Find local info on the go at VisitStPeteClearwater.com, from hot deals to listings for restaurants, hotels, attractions, things to do and more. For more information planning your visit, go to VisitSPC.com/Planning

International Visitors Find helpful resources on the following specialized websites: Habla español? Para narraciones y sugerencias de viaje en español, incluyendo información sobre restaurantes, vida nocturna y recreacion al aire libre, vaya a VisitStPeteClearwater.com/es Allí también encontrará relatos sobre playas, paseos en kayaks y actividades culturales en el área. Fala Português?  Para sugestões em Português, incluindo informação sobre restaurantes, vida noturna e atividades ao ar livre, por favor navegar no VisitStPeteClearwater.com/br Encontrarar também informações sobre praias, passeio de kayaks e atividades culturais em nosso destino. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Deutsch sprechende Besucher haben ihre eigene Website mit ausgewählten attraktiven Aktivitäten. Information uber die Strände, Wanderungen und Naturlehrpfade, sowie Artikel über Kunst und Kultur der Gegend sind bei VisitStPeteClearwater.com/de

By Boat Come with your own boat or rent one to tour the miles and miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway. For boat rentals and ramps, go to VisitSPC.com/Boating

Public Transportation Clearwater Ferry clearwaterferry.com • Visit Clearwater Beach using this water taxi service. Free parking available and stops along North Beach and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Jolley Trolley clearwaterjolleytrolley.com • The Trolley operates daily on Clearwater Beach. The Coastal Route runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between Clearwater Beach and downtown Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. Passes can be purchased. Looper loopertrolley.com • The St. Petersburg Trolley Downtown Looper route connects visitors to all major destinations within the city, including the Chamber Visitor Center and the major museums for a small fee. Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority psta.net • The PSTA is the public transit provider in Pinellas County, serving the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area, including travel to Tampa. Suncoast Beach Trolley psta.net/beachtrolley • The Suncoast Beach Trolley allows visitors to explore the beach communities along Gulf Boulevard. Exact fare is required. Uber uber.com • Travel locally with the popular ride sharing service Uber. Download the app and connect with a reliable ride in minutes.


Fred Howard Park

TARPON AVE.

19 580

KEENE RD.

VD

CENTRAL AVE.

22

Y.

W

CS

• Busch Gardens • The Florida Aquarium • International Plaza • Lowry Park Zoo • The Museum of Science & Industry • Port of Tampa • Raymond James Stadium

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier & Park

SUNSHINE SKYWAY (TOLL)

FORT DE SOTO PARK

BRI

DGE

Weedon Island Preserve

Museum of Fine Arts/Straub Park St. Petersburg Museum of History Al Lang Stadium The Dali Museum Albert Whitted Municipal Airport

5TH AVE. S

9TH ST. 6TH ST.

CO

RE

Y

EGMONT KEY

)

MIAMI - 269 mi/433 km Approx. 4 hr., 10 mins.

TIERRA VERDE

Fort De Soto

TAMPA

Morean Arts Center/Chihuly Collection Carter-Woodson African-American History Museum

Tampa Bay

19

679

LL

FORT LAUDERDALE - 249 mi/401 km Approx. 3 hr., 45 mins.

B

Sunken Gardens/ Great Explorations

1ST AVE. S

Tropicana Field

15TH AVE. S

Lake Maggiore

SHELL KEY

Miami

MLK JR. ST. (9TH ST.)

1ST AVE. N

Dolphin Gulfport Racer Historical18TH AVE. S TANGERINE AVE. Museum StarLite 22ND AVE. S LAKEVIEW AVE. 19 Sapphire Corey Gulfport GULFPORT Ave. Casino Gulfport Art Village Boyd Hill LL) Nature Trail Dolphin 54TH AVE. S (TO 17 Y Landings A W AY B AS 62ND AVE. S ELL PIN

Gulf Beaches Historical Museum

DY

ND

40TH AVE.

Holocaust Museum 23B

5TH AVE. S

PASS-A-GRILLE BEACH Ft. Lauderdale

RD

KLA

E

Coliseum

9TH AVE. N 5TH AVE. N

S TO LA Y ( EL A N W PI AY B

FORT MYERS - 118 mi/190 km Approx. 1 hr., 50 mins.

Ft. Myers

WA

N FRA

G RID

62ND AVE. N

22ND AVE. N

D.

ORLANDO - 107 mi/172 km Approx. 90 mins.

Area of detail

Tampa International Airport

92

Tyrone Square

BLV

TAMPA - 24 mi/39 km Approx. 30 mins.

.

1ST ST.

BL

LF

DRIVING TIMES

D BLV

BEAC H DR. NE SHO RE D R. N E

38TH AVE. N

E

TREASURE ISLAND CSWY

ST. PETE BEACH

Tampa

589

39

Derby Lane Greyhound Track

BAY

N

KENNETH CITY

ALT

Sunset Beach

Orlando

E.

CAUSEWAY

D.

28

54TH AVE. N 66TH ST.

RO

DY

GU

St. Petersburg/ Clearwater

AV

GAN

4TH ST.

49TH ST.

PARK ST.

TY

TREASURE ISLAND

FLORIDA

LV

G Sawgrass The Shoppes Lake Park at Park Place

1

. Mall Boca Ciega SOUTH 19 Bay PASADENA

P n’s Joh

TB

4TH ST. 3RD ST

MISSOURI AVE.

BELCHER RD.

STARKEY RD.

War Veterans Memorial Park

19 AN

PARK BLVD.

SEMINOLE

John’s Pass Village • Hubbard’s Marina • Pirate Ship at John’s Pass

H

HO

693

PINELLAS PARK

PARK ST.

.

MADEIRA BEACH

EL

.

VD

EV

RD

BL

UG

31B

OS

ES

LF

RO

118TH AVE. N

N

GU

688

AI

REDINGTON BEACH

CAMPBELL

St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport

H

Pinellas Trail

SEMINOLE RD.

Boca Ciega Millennium Park

NORTH REDINGTON BEACH

RO

32

Lake Seminole Park

Lake Seminole

BO

Old Tampa Bay

34TH ST. N

MYRTLE AVE.

FORT HARRISON AVE.

Principal Highways

Clearwater Mall

BRYAN DAIRY RD.

M CS ST W UA Y. RT

REDINGTON SHORES

Other Roads

113TH RD. N

Suncoast PARK BLVD. Seabird Seminole Sanctuary Mall

COURTNEY

60

19

ULMERTON RD.

TO

Divided Highways

CLEARWATER LARGO RD.

RD.

INDIAN SHORES

Controlled Access Divided Highways

102ND AVE. N

Spectrum Field

49TH ST. N

. MANDALAY AVE

CKS N RO INDIA

OAK HURST RD.

BLVD.

Exit Number

GULF

00

Ruth Eckerd Hall

N

EAST BAY DR.

686

Indian Rocks Historical Walsingham Park Society

LS

580

DGE

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH

WALSINGHAM RD.

IL

SUNSET POINT RD.

Largo Mall

Ridgecrest Park

H

590

RI DE B

LARGO

Points of Interest Airport

Philippe Park

SAFETY HARBOR

UNION ST.

John Taylor Park

1.8

Tampa Bay Downs

Safety Harbor

Westfield Countryside

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium

YS I

State Highway

OLDSMAR

BA

Pinewood Cultural Center • Botanical Gardens 699 • Heritage Village • County Extension

U.S. Highway

.9

RACE TRACK RD.

DUNEDIN

19

Interstate

RD.

CURLEW RD.

Dunedin Fine Art Center

28TH ST. N

Y.

1

WEST BAY DR.

S

0

Canal Park Sports Complex

ALT

BELLEAIR CSWY.

E

3/4 inch = approx. 1.8 miles

The Capitol Clearwater HMA Theatre Air Park COAC ME Clearwater Marina GU MO NE LF DREW ST. • StarLite Majesty VI CS RI CLEVELAND ST. EW WY AL • Captain Memo’s BL COURT ST. . GULF TO BAY BLVD. SAND KEY VD. • Sea Screamer Coachman • Calypso Queen LAKEVIEW RD. • The Tropics Boat Tours Sand Key Park Park Winter’s BELLEAIR RD. Dolphin Tale Eagle Adventure BELLEAIR BEACH Lake 595 Park Belleair ALT

BELLEAIR SHORE

W

NEBRASKA AVE.

Clearwater Harbor 19

Pier 60 Park Beach Walk

KEY

Brooker Creek Environmental Education Center

John Chesnut Sr. Park

PALM HARBOR

Dunedin Historic Museum

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

N

Brooker Creek Preserve

611

Lake Tarpon

ALDERMAN RD.

OZONA N CS W

.

MCMULLEN-BOOTH RD.

Caladesi State Park

19

BELCHER RD.

EDI

CALADESI ISLAND

CLEARWATER BEACH

ALT

HIGHLAND AVE.

Gulf of Mexico

DU N

Honeymoon Island Park

RD

Leepa Rattner Museum of Art

19

CRYSTAL BEACH

NE

EAST LAKE

LAS A

PINEL

KLOSTERMAN RD.

Wall Springs Park

STO

Tarpon Springs Cultural Center A.L. Anderson Park

VE.

Sponge Docks St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral

Sunset Beach Park

HONEYMOON ISLAND

KEY

DODECANESE BLVD.

TARPON SPRINGS

Sunshine Skyway Channel TO SARASOTA

>> Visit our Beaches section

For a deeper look at our communities, go to VisitSPC.com/Communities


beach t n o r f ulf−

ted g Top ra

140 Bea chsid

Worldclass

e Suites

Sunsets

Reserve your front row seat on the Gulf of Mexico…today! The Alden Suites is fun for all ages and begins with basking in the sun, floating in the warm tranquil Gulf of Mexico and exploring our powdery white beaches. In the middle of St. Pete Beach, you’ll be surrounded by restaurants, shops, and sightseeing activities.

5900 Gulf Boulevard

St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

727-360-7081

www.AldenBeachResort.com


S T. P E T E – C L E A R WAT E R I N T E R N AT I O N A L A I R P O RT

PIE

fly2pie.com

Your Tampa Bay Beaches Airport! PIE is Tampa Bay’s most convenient gateway to St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa and America’s award-winning beaches, with air service throughout the United States and Canada. The airport offers affordable parking with short walking distances and an easy-to-navigate terminal. PIE is one of the fastest growing airports in the United States. It achieved an all-time passenger record in 2016, announcing seven new routes. Visitors can easily reach the St. Petersburg–Clearwater area from 56 cities…all with non-stop flights. Allegiant continues to be the largest airline at PIE and flies non-stop to more destinations than any other airline in the Tampa Bay area. We welcome you to enjoy all the wonderful attractions our destination has to offer and we take pride in making air travel easy as PIE!


Unlock the treasures of Florida’s West Coast through Tampa International Airport – Florida’s Premier Gateway. • Conveniently located between Tampa’s business core and America’s Best Beaches in St. Pete / Clearwater • 19 million passengers enjoy access to 85 nonstop domestic and international destinations • $1 Billion Master Plan remodel and update underway to ensure TPA remains America’s Favorite Airport

• Expanding our international destinations 100% since 2010*, providing connectivity to the Americas, Europe and Beyond. • Consistently ranked in the top 3 airports internationally and domestically by travelers and industry leaders *Projected


Visit us at TampaAirport.com or follow us @FlyTPA 0370MKT-1016


y a B a p

s i s i h T

m a T

A S T H E M O S T P O P U L A R tourism destination

on the American Gulf Coast, the St. Pete/Clearwater area is the Jewel of Tampa Bay, a region defined by a triptych of major cities: St. Petersburg to the south, Clearwater to the west and Tampa to the east. Though each has their own distinct vibe, collectively they form the bones of a region that is quickly becoming an international contender, with two international airports (and some 20 daily nonstops to NYC), a dynamic and diverse local economy, a subtropical coastal climate and an enviable Central Gulf Coast location just 90 miles from Orlando area theme parks. Millions of visitors arrive each year, a growing number of them adding to the area’s 3 million residents that place Tampa Bay among the top 20 metro areas in the U.S. Though technically an island, the St. Pete/Clearwater area is officially situated on what’s called the Pinellas Peninsula, bounded on one side by the Gulf of Mexico and the other by Tampa Bay. With more people per square mile than Miami, it’s the most densely populated area in the state. But don’t let that fool you: from Caladesi Island in the north to Fort De Soto Park in the south, visitors can find wide expanses of gleaming white sands and absolute solitude any time of year. The peninsula is home to some two dozen distinct communities, from the Greek sponge-fishing enclave of Tarpon Springs and Celtictinged Dunedin in the north to small-town Safety Harbor mid-peninsula, to Madeira, Indian Rocks and a string of Gulf-front beach towns along 35 miles of barrier islands, all the way down to artsy/ oddball Gulfport on Boca Ciega Bay.

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AM E R I C A’ S B E ST B EACH ES

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C L E A R WAT E R

The Beach

If St. Pete is the cultural center, then Clearwater is the perfect complement: a well-thought out resort town where gleaming new hotels and mom-and-pop motels stand side-by-side on some of the most spectacular beachfront in the entire state. From USA TODAY to Time Magazine to Conde Nast and TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Beach in the U.S. for 2016, Clearwater Beach is routinely placed on “Best Of” lists the world over – and with good reason: more than a decade ago, to complement the area’s natural beauty, forward-thinking city officials adopted a “beach-by-design” initiative that led to the construction of Beach Walk, a pedestrian-friendly promenade that runs the entire length of the beach, acting as a sort of linear Central Park and giving the entire resort area an intimate yet open feel. With frequent public transit and golf-cart cabs galore, visitors to the area really don’t need a car during their visit—a rarity for any Florida town. The city comes alive year round with activities of all kinds, from offshore power boat races, to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, to restaurant weeks, chalk art competitions, a massive “Sugar Sand” festival, Olympic-qualifying sailing regattas and more. Add to this mix the much-loved Clearwater Marine Aquarium, whose most famous resident starred in the oh-so-popular Warner Bros. Dolphin Tale films, and you have a Florida beach experience like no other.


,

S T. P E T E R S B U R G

The Burg

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,

TA M PA

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Downtown St. Petersburg – St. Pete or “The ’Burg’” to locals – is the area’s cultural heart, with iconic museums (Dalí, Chihuly, Museum of Fine Arts, and more on the way), a mix of gleaming new condos and historic neighborhoods and a stretch of public parks lining the bay that many say give it a distinctly European flair—particularly in the Spring, when the city comes alive with Grand Prix racing in the streets. The city that holds the Guinness record for most consecutive sunny days (768) is also home to the highest concentration of nightlife and dining establishments in the entire region, ranging from velvet-roped rooftop cabana bars to stately verandas in historic hotels to trendy open air spots with see and be seen sidewalk seating. Its mix of residents and visitors gets more diverse each year – particularly with an upscale international crowd looking for a fresh new alternative to the crush of humanity that flocks to South Florida. It’s for these reasons and more – such as the burgeoning craft beer and brewery scene – that The New York Times recently placed the Sunshine City on it’s list of “52 Places to Go in the World.”

urg

The Biz

Across three bridges lies Tampa, the states third largest city, with a dynamic business climate and a rich pre-Colombian history that traces back to the Tocobaga, Calusa and other Native American tribes that once lived in the area. Other historic influences include Henry Plant’s railroad, which established new trade opportunities with its opening in 1884, followed closely by the development of the city as a cigar manufacturing powerhouse, vestiges of which can still be seen in historic Ybor City (and in Hav-A-Tampa cigars, although they ceased local production in 2009). Today, the city enjoys a growing international reputation for its port (the largest in Florida) and its cruise ship terminal—most popular for western Caribbean cruises on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line—as well as its professional sports teams: NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning (MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays play across the bay in St. Pete). A recent downtown renaissance has taken root, with the addition of condos and a renewed interest in the waterfront and nearby Channelside area, home to the Florida Aquarium. Busch Gardens, a 20-minute drive north of downtown, is a vacationer’s island unto itself, hosting theme park enthusiasts from all over the world, wowing with a mix of old-school theme-park fare and cutting-edge modern coasters.

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Some of the most breathtaking scenery and invigorating experiences in St. Petersburg/Clearwater are found on the water. Here are some of the top local “sea-worthy” excursions. The many protected bays and marinas of St. Petersburg/Clearwater, as well as its location butting up against the warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, make it one of the best places in the country to explore by water. Take in the beauty and tranquility of the open sea by booking a cruise, renting a watercraft or taking one of the area’s many ferries from Dunedin, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and St. Pete Beach to explore pristine islands and nature preserves, many only accessible via boat. If you rent a vessel to explore the gulf on your own, dock in Clearwater Marina and visit Island Way Grill, a bar and restaurant known for its seafood, next to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Mandalay Bay. Or farther south, survey the mangroves of Weedon Island Preserve while sipping cocktails at the Florida Keys-inspired bar The Getaway in St. Petersburg. Walk to museums, galleries and myriad restaurants and bars in St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront district when you dock at the Municipal Marina at Demens Landing, on the west side of Tampa Bay. One of the most fun bars at John’s Pass in Madeira Beach is the Hut Bar and Grill, an island-themed tiki bar with plenty of dock space for boats. If you’d rather relax during the journey and leave the piloting to someone else, John’s Pass is also a top spot to embark upon all types of boat trips, including kayak and parasail rentals and sightseeing tours. Check out the quaint shopping district’s beachwear, jewelry, local coffees and olive oils before your excursion, or stroll along the boardwalk once you return. From Pass-a-Grille, a National Historic District on the southern part of St. Pete Beach, browse artsy local shops or get some ice cream before a deep-sea fishing charter trip, kayak tour or a trip aboard one of the island ferries, that take you to area keys.

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TOP SPOTS BY SEA The Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs offer ferry trips to the four islands that make up Anclote Key Preserve State Park: Anclote Key, North Anclote Bar, South Anclote Bar and Three Rooker Island, 3 miles off the coast. Its 400 acres, part of the Florida Parks system since 1960, harbor more than 40 species of birds, a 19th century lighthouse to explore, great seashelling on the beach and snorkeling amid seagrass. Formerly a sand bar, Three Rooker Island has accumulated enough sand and vegetation in 10 years to become an island. Today, it attracts locals who drop anchor off its shores and party down on holidays and some weekends. But most of the time, it’s a quiet place to enjoy the white-sand beach, birdcalls and water gently lapping on shore. Down south a tad and off the coast of Dunedin is Honeymoon Island, an unspoiled 4-mile-long beach with nature trails and bird observation spots; check out ospreys, willets, American oystercatchers, killdeer and different species of plover, to name just a few. This island, once called Hog Island but renamed by a New York developer in 1939, is also a great spot for snorkeling and collecting seashells. It’s also where you can hop a ferry to Caladesi Island, a state park with a beach often voted the best in the U.S. that’s only accessible by boat. In addition to saltwater fishing, the park boasts 3 miles of hiking trails across the island and a kayak trail through mangroves for 3 peaceful miles. Also accessible only by boat is Shell Key, an undeveloped barrier island just south of Pass-a-Grille that’s part of a nearly 1,800-acre nature preserve. From the coast overlooking the water, visitors might see manatees, dolphins and sea turtles in addition to birds in the key’s 110-acre designated preservation area. In addition to amazing snorkeling and gorgeous seashelling, the preserve offers camping and hiking options and the opportunity to learn about elements of its ecosystems, including sea grass beds, mudflats and sandbars. More than 1,100 acres of five ecologically diverse interconnected islands comprise Fort De Soto, the largest park in Pinellas County. The park is home to more than 300 species of birds and wetlands, palm hammocks, mangroves and countless native plants. A popular boating (you can also drive to it) and camping destination, Fort De Soto has two fishing piers, nature trails, a dog park and historic military forts to explore. Climb to the top of Battery Laidley for breathtaking views, and take a self-guided tour starting at the brick road built in 1898, past the old living quarters and observation tower until you can spot Egmont Key across the channel. Southwest of Fort De Soto and only accessible by private boat or ferry, Egmont Key is 440 acres, a mile and a half long and less than a half-mile wide. Once called Castor Key, it was renamed during British occupancy in the 18th century for the Earl of Egmont, and during the Third Seminole War in the mid-19th century, Seminole prisoners were interned on the island. The key was designated a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974 and a state park in 1989. Today, visitors can observe wildlife such as tortoises, turtles and birds and enjoy swimming and snorkeling in its crystal waters. History has a hand in one of the island’s top attractions, in fact: Parts of the ruins of Fort Dade, a relic from the Spanish-American War, are submerged, due to beach erosion, which has attracted many fish such as tarpon, grouper and starfish. Visitors less interested in getting wet can check out the island’s working Civil War-era lighthouse, built in 1858. 24

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Anclote Key

Manatees at Fort De Soto Park

Fishing on Lake Seminole

GRASS FLATS AND MANGROVES Opportunities abound whether you’re interested in fishing or an eco-conscious kayak tour through local mangroves and grass flats. The sea grass beds and mangroves are critical to the ecosystem of the keys as well as being home to snook, trout and tarpon. Sea grasses, underwater plants that anchor in shallow water, provide important habitats and food for many fish and other animals; trout and redfish feed in the healthy sea grass beds of Anclote Key, Egmont Key and Weedon Island. Mangroves are best seen kayaking through the tunnel path through Caladesi Island.

SALT-FREE WATER SPORTS

St. Petersburg/Clearwater boasts some fantastic lakes as well. Lake Tarpon is more than 2,500 acres bursting with largemouth bass. Many bass fishing tournaments are held there due to its deep-water pockets and grassy shallow beds that harbor bluegill, blue tilapia and catfish. Locals and visitors also love boating, jet skiing and fishing in Lake Seminole, a wildlife sanctuary that’s home to hawks, eagles and alligators. The park has a 2-mile, multi-use trail that weaves through pine trees where you might catch glimpses of the sanctuary’s many fauna, including raccoons, tortoises and birds.

UNDERWATER ADVENTURE

Artificial reefs in the area – 42 sites between Tarpon Springs and St. Pete Beach – attract fish, as well, making for great skin-diving spots. The Gunsmoke, a shrimper used to smuggle marijuana, sunk 24 miles from John’s Pass; now it’s a fun deep-sea spot to explore. The Treasure Island Artificial Reef was created with concrete pilings, also in the 1970s, and St. Pete Beach and Madeira Beach have artificial reefs created with piping and pilings from the Corey Causeway beach. Kingfish and grouper are found among the tall structures of the barge and concrete piles of Rube Allyn Reef. >> For a video and map of dive sites, see VisitSPC.com/Dive >> Experience camping at Anclote Key with a 360˚ video at VisitSPC.com/Island


A NEW LOOK AT THE BEACH

THE GRAND VIEW FROM THE BEST BEACH IN AMERICA

Welcome to the new Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, featuring balconies in our lavishly appointed rooms and the best beach in the U.S. according to TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards in 2016. Enjoy immediate access to the warm Gulf waters, experience unforgettable views, and enjoy the nightly sunset celebration at Pier 60, just a short walk away. Make your reservation today at WyndhamGrandClearwater.com or call us at 727-281-9500, referencing rate code DISG2B with rates starting from $199 per night.

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Voted on by thousands of locals, visitors and area insiders, here is your list of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING IN ST. PETE/CLEARWATER

BEST BREWERIES 3 DAUGHTERS BREWING: Found in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, this family-friendly brewery offers live music and lots of board games to entertain everyone. 2. Dunedin Brewery 3. Mad Beach Brewing, Madeira Beach 4. Green Bench Brewing Company, St. Pete 5. Cycle Brewing, St. Pete

BEST BRUNCH

BEST BEACHES ST. PETE BEACH/ PASS-A-GRILLE: Old Florida fun can be found on these family-friendly beaches. 2. Clearwater Beach 3. Fort De Soto Park 4. Caladesi Island/Honeymoon Island State Park 5. Treasure Island

ISLAND WAY GRILL: Just a minute away from Clearwater Beach, this local favorite offers amazing views of the harbor and has been voted many times over as the No. 1 Sunday brunch destination. 2. 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House, St. Pete 3. Sea Porch, The Don CeSar Hotel 4. Clear Sky, Clearwater Beach 5. Marchand’s Bar & Grill, St. Pete

BEST DOG HANGOUTS FORT DE SOTO PARK: Walk your pooch along the beach with beautiful views of the Gulf, or play in one of two fenced in areas that include water stations. 2. Downtown St. Pete 3. Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin 4. Sand Key Park, Clearwater 5. Dogedin, also known as Dunedin

BEST DOWNTOWNS ST. PETERSBURG: World class museums, art, fine dining and endless entertainment are found in DTSP, or simply “The ‘Burg” to locals. Start on cafe-society Beach Drive, and explore on foot from there. 2. Dunedin 3. Gulfport 4. Safety Harbor BEST MUSEUMS 5. Clearwater THE DALÍ MUSEUM: The largest collection of Salvador Dalí’s work outside BEST DAY TRIPS AWAY of Spain can be found in St. FROM ST. PETE/CLEARPete at this stunning WATER waterfront museum where the building is nearly as BUSCH GARDENS: impressive as the art inside. Just 30 miles away, find this 2. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Pete 335-acre animal theme park 3. Chihuly Collection, St. Pete that features breath-taking 4. Florida Holocaust Museum, roller coasters and water rides. St. Pete 2. Orlando theme parks 5. Great Explorations Children’s 3. Weeki Wachee Springs, Spring Museum, St. Pete Hill 4. Crystal River 5. Sarasota

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BEST ROOFTOP BARS

BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUES

BEST CHARTER BOATS

CANOPY, THE BIRCHWOOD: Stunning views of downtown St. Pete and the waterfront make this Beach Drive bar popular with visitors and locals. 2. The Hurricane, Pass-a-Grille Beach 3. 360 Rooftop, Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach 4. Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest, Pier House 60, Clearwater Beach 5. Level 11, Grand Plaza Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach

RUTH ECKERD HALL: This 2,200-seat performing arts venue is located in Clearwater and hosts national and international artists and Broadway shows. 2. Vinoy Park, St. Pete 3. Jannus Live, St. Pete 4. Mahaffey Theater, St. Pete 5. Capitol Theatre, Clearwater

STARLITE CRUISES: Travel the scenic Intracoastal waterways on dinner or luncheon cruises as well as dolphin watching or eco-tours. 2. Dolphin Landings 3. Hubbard’s Marina 4. Captain Memo’s 5. Yacht StarShip

BEST COFFEE SHOPS KAHWA: This local coffee shop found in downtown St. Pete (and throughout Tampa Bay) offers a neighborhood café experience and a welcoming atmosphere. And some really great coffee! 2. Indian Shores Coffee Co. 3. Sweet Brewnette, Madeira Beach 4. Brew D Licious, St. Pete 5. Bandit Coffee Co., St. Pete

BEST HISTORY LESSONS

BEST HOTELS THE DON CESAR HOTEL: Known as “the pink palace,” this resort sits on St. Pete Beach. Opened at the height of the Gatsby Era in 1928, it now offers modern day luxury, accommodations and fine dining. 2. Vinoy Renaissance, St. Pete 3. TradeWinds Island Resorts, St. Pete Beach 4. Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach 5. Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach

FORT DE SOTO PARK: Find seacoast rifled mortars and Armstrong rapid-fire guns dating back to 1898 at this fort used to defend Tampa Bay from the Spanish. 2. Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks 3. Sunken Gardens, St. Pete 4. Egmont Key 5. The Don CeSar Hotel, St. Pete Beach

BEST MOVIES FILMED IN ST. PETE/CLEARWATER

BEST WEDDING VENUES THE DON CESAR HOTEL: From the romantic tropical courtyard to the Gulf beach-front setting, many choose the “Pink Lady” as their wedding destination. 2. Vinoy Renaissance, St. Pete 3. Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater 4. TradeWinds Island Resorts, St. Pete Beach 5. Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin 28

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DOLPHIN TALE 1 AND 2: These 2011 and 2014 films feature local celebrity, Winter the dolphin, with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium as the backdrop to this family-friendly hit movie. And don’t forget to visit Winter in person while you’re here. 2. Ocean’s Eleven 3. Cocoon 4. Magic Mike 5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

BEST FESTIVALS JOHN’S PASS SEAFOOD FESTIVAL: For more than 30 years, this family-friendly festival showcases local seafood along the boardwalk in Madeira Beach. 2. Ribfest, St. Pete 3. Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, Clearwater Beach 4. Clearwater Jazz Holiday 5. St. Pete Pride


BEST PEACEFUL ESCAPES

BEST SUNSET SPOTS

FORT DE SOTO PARK: With two fishing piers, a camping area, canoe trails and 7 miles of waterfront at the southern-most tip of St. Pete, this is the ultimate getaway. 2. Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin 3. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin 4. Weedon Island Preserve, St. Pete 5. Fred Howard Park, Tarpon Springs

ON THE WATER: Sail the emerald green waters of St. Pete/Clearwater while experiencing some of the prettiest sunsets you’ll ever see. 2. Pier 60, Clearwater Beach 3. Sunset Beach, Treasure Island 4. Palm Pavilion, Clearwater Beach 5. The Hurricane, Pass-a-Grille

BEST BEACH BARS FRENCHY’S ROCKAWAY GRILL: Have a drink on the patio situated directly on Clearwater Beach, or jam to live music inside. This local hot spot is popular with beachgoers or those just wanting to catch a magnificent view of the sunset. 2. Caddy’s on the Beach, Sunset Beach 3. Palm Pavilion, Clearwater Beach 4. Jimmy B’s Beach Bar, St. Pete Beach 5. Shephard’s Tiki Beach Bar, Clearwater Beach

BEST FOOD TRUCKS ST. PETE TACO LADY: Dine on an eclectic mix of fresh Mexican and American flavors served fast from the St. Pete restaurant on wheels. 2. Surf and Turf Truck 3. Maggie on the Move 4. I WANNA WOK 5. The Twisted Iron

BEST RESTAURANTS RED MESA: St. Pete’s destination for regional Mexican food and southwestern flavors described as a synergy of fresh ingredients and bright, bold flavors. 2. Snapper’s Sea Grill, St. Pete Beach 3. Café Ponte, Clearwater 4. The Black Pearl, Dunedin 5. Casa Tina, Dunedin

BEST GROUPER FRENCHY’S ROCKAWAY GRILL: Open-air beachfront dining, stunning sunset views, a fun and lively atmosphere, and yes, the best grouper sandwich await you at this Clearwater Beach fave. 2. Palm Pavilion, Clearwater Beach 3. Crabby Bill’s, Clearwater Beach 4. RumFish Grill, St. Pete Beach 5. Guppy’s on the Beach, Indian Rocks Beach

MOST EXCITING SPORTING EVENTS TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Experience one of the fastest and exciting pro sporting events while watching Tampa’s National Hockey League team in action at Amalie Arena. 2. Tampa Bay Rays, St. Pete 3. Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete 4. Spring Training, Clearwater and Dunedin 5. Tampa Bay Rowdies, St. Pete

BEST SHOPPING SPLURGES

BEST SPA SAFETY HARBOR RESORT & SPA: Situated along the shore of Tampa Bay in Safety Harbor, this unique spa has been “where healing waters flow” since 1925. 2. Vinoy Salon & Day Spa, Vinoy Renaissance, St. Pete 3. Sandpearl Spa, Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach 4. Spa Oceana, The Don CeSar Hotel, St. Pete Beach 5. Sandava Spa, Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach >> For more on the winners, go to VisitSPC.com/Best

INTERNATIONAL PLAZA AND BAY STREET: One of the most distinctive, upscale shopping and dining districts featuring 200 specialty stores and 16 restaurants; minutes away in Tampa. 2. John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk, Madeira Beach 3. Sundial, St. Pete 4. Grand Central District, St. Pete 5. Dunedin’s Main Street

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everywhere ou see it on the streets and feel it in the air. Art is everywhere in St. Pete/Clearwater and the energy is undeniable. The walkability of downtown St. Petersburg’s five arts districts makes it easy to encounter a diversity of art from the world-class DalÍ Museum to the working studios of respected and emerging local artists. Creativity abounds in unexpected places from the growing number of murals on street corners and alleyways to the walls of restaurants and coffee shops, within museums, warehouses and storefront galleries. And don’t be surprised to find amazing art in smaller towns like Dunedin, Gulfport and Tarpon Springs. The arts are everywhere waiting to be discovered! 30

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Dunedin Fine Art Center


Shine

St. Petersburg

Chihuly Collection

World-class museums combine with a vibrant local arts community to create an arts mecca in St. Petersburg that both delights and surprises. In recent years, a groundswell of established and emerging artists and arts organizations have brought a new vibrancy to the urban core. Throughout five districts — Warehouse Arts, Grand Central, EDGE, Central Arts and Waterfront — the arts are thriving in museums, galleries, warehouse studios, and street murals. Many museums downtown are within easy walking distance, or you can hop on and off the Downtown Looper trolley. Dubbed one of the Most Beautiful Museums in the World in 2016 by Conde Nast Traveler, the stunning DalÍ Museum is home to one of the most comprehensive Salvador DalÍ collections outside Spain. With its spectacular concrete and curved-glass “enigma” architecture, the museum combines noteworthy traveling shows with icon-inspired masterworks by the renowned Spanish surrealist. The

Museum of Fine Arts offers a fine permanent collection including masterpieces from Monet, Cézanne, Renoir and others, a sculpture garden, and a Steuben glass gallery. Traveling exhibits present a variety of international artists. Nearby, the St. Petersburg Museum of History is home to the largest private collection of autographed baseballs in the world, along with artifacts and memorabilia covering more than 100 years of Tampa Bay’s history as a Spring Training destination. Exhibits illuminating the history of the Sunshine City include a full-size replica of the Benoist Airboat used by aviation legend Tony Jannus on the world’s first commercial airline service from St. Petersburg in 1914. Spanning several miles along Central Avenue are the Central Arts District, the EDGE District and Grand Central District. Here you’ll find the Morean Arts Center and the new home of the Chihuly Collection. The Morean presents contemporary art exhibits by local and regional artists. Across the street, the brilliantly mesmerizing glass installations of renowned Seattle artist Dale Chihuly have moved from their former space on Beach Drive into an VI SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 31


St. Petersburg Museum of History 11,000-square-foot gallery, with an additional 4,000-square-foot courtyard. Considered one of the foremost glass artists in the United States, Chihuly selected St. Petersburg as the only locale for a museum dedicated to his work. To watch a live glass-blowing demonstration, visit the Glass Studio & Hot Shop behind the Morean; a combination ticket to the Chihuly Collection includes admission. Florida CraftArt features fine arts and crafts in clay, fiber, glass, wood, metal, paper and mixed media by some of the nation’s top artists, along with local emerging fine craft artists. On the second floor of the building are 18 studios known as ArtLofts which open to the public during the monthly 2nd Saturday ArtWalks. At the Florida Holocaust Museum, traveling and permanent exhibits honor the memory of those who suffered during the atrocities of World War II. Further up Central Avenue, the Florida Craftsman House, a restored 1918 Arts & Crafts bungalow features handmade clay, blown glass, jewelry, wood and furniture, and a charming porch perfect for enjoying a cappuccino from the coffee bar. The Warehouse Arts District is home to Duncan McClellan Gallery, the 3,000-square-foot warehouse studio of the highly-respected glass artist Duncan McClellan. His signature etched glass urns in jewel colors can be found in private and corporate collections around the world. A guest gallery showcases nationally and internationally recognized glass artists, while outside a working hot shop and whimsical sculpture garden await exploration. Other warehouses worth a visit include Soft Water Studios and the adjacent MGA Sculpture Studio, where large-scale commissioned sculptures in a variety of mediums are designed and fabricated. The Clay Center of St. Petersburg in the old train station is the place to find potters and their work.

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DalÍ Museum Clearwater ChalkArt Festival


Museum of Fine Arts

Off the beaten path

Duncan McClellan Gallery

The Tampa Bay Automobile Museum is a stunning, privately owned collection of vintage cars and vehicles from around the world tucked away in an industrial complex in Pinellas Park. Rare cars from France, Germany, England, Ireland, and the USA are housed in this 12,000-square-foot warehouse. In Dunedin, the Dunedin Fine Art Center presents exhibitions in four galleries featuring national, regional and local artists. The center is home to the David L. Mason Children’s Art Museum featuring interactive exhibits for little ones. The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art on the campus of St. Petersburg College in Tarpon Springs offers changing multimedia exhibits by national artists in addition to a 6,000-piece permanent collection that includes works by important 20th and 21st-century artists. In Safety Harbor, Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass present work by national and international artists.

Family Fun

Florida Holocaust Museum

Tiny tykes will enjoy Great Explorations Children’s Museum (next to Sunken Gardens) with its interactive exhibits that encourage kids to touch, move, create and learn. History buffs will want to take a walk through Old Florida at Heritage Village in Largo. This 21-acre living history museum features more than two dozen significant local structures from the 1852 McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin to a turn of the century schoolhouse, railroad depot, and general store.

Heritage Village

Clay Center of St. Petersburg V I SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 33


For a full mural tour, go to VisitSPC.com/Murals

Art Walks & Festivals

Art walks in St. Petersburg, Dunedin, and Gulfport allow visitors to explore galleries and studios and interact with local artists. Up to 40 studios and galleries open their doors during the popular St. Petersburg 2nd Saturday ArtWalk held from 5 to 9 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month. Download a map at stpeteartsalliance.org/artwalk or pick one up at most participating galleries, then walk or hop aboard a free ArtWalk trolley for a fun evening exploring five arts districts. Not around on second Saturday? Not a problem. “The Central Avenue trolley allows you to do your own art walk any day of the week,” says Wayne Atherholt, director of cultural affairs for St. Petersburg. Simply hop on and off as you please. The Gulfport Art Walk turns Beach Boulevard into an outdoor art festival the first Friday and third Saturday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. Explore artsy Dunedin’s galleries and studios during the 34

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Second Friday Wine and Art Walk. Restaurants and shops get into the act with wine, cheese and discounts if you wear a walk wristband; visit Pioneer Park downtown to get started. During spring and fall, look for fine arts festivals such as Mainsail, Art on the Bayou in Tarpon Springs, and Dunedin Art Harvest to blow you away with top-caliber national and regional artists and craftsmen. During the month of September, SPF17 (St. Petersburg Festival) presents a month-long schedule of cultural arts events from theater to music and dance.

Murals

Color is exploding on streets and alleyways across St. Pete/Clearwater in dozens of murals that bring a free-spirited joie d vivre to public spaces. Ground zero is the five downtown St. Petersburg arts districts where amazing murals of all sizes, shapes and colors can be discovered at every turn.

Named one of the Top 15 Best Street Art Cities in the World in 2015 by Huffington Post, St. Petersburg joins cities such as London, Paris and San Francisco as a standout on the international urban mural scene. The SHINE mural festival each fall brings both international and local artists to the ‘Burg for several weeks of extreme wall painting, culminating in a massive street celebration. Sign up for a guided walking mural tour at Florida CraftArt on Central Avenue; tours are held at 10 a.m. every Saturday. You can also download your own self-guided walking mural tour map at shineonstpete.org Smaller towns like Dunedin and Safety Harbor, where the arts flourish, tout their own growing mural scene. Be sure to look for the “Dog-edin” mural along the side of Skip’s Bar and Grill in Dunedin, a fitting tribute to the beloved pet pooches in this dog-loving town.

Coming soon ...

Two highly anticipated new museums are on the horizon in St. Petersburg. The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art is expected to open in fall of 2017 featuring the world-class personal art collection of Raymond James Financial CEO and executive chair Tom James and wife Mary. The new Museum of American Arts & Crafts Movement, a 110,00-squarefoot tribute to the early 20th century fine and decorative arts movement, is targeted to open in 2018. >> Read more about St. Petersburg/Clearwater cultural offerings at VisitSPC.com/Arts


A D I R O L F R U O Y ay! w a d F IND l r o w a t e g and y n i h t y r e v e o t e Clos

visitgulfportflorida.com


Boardwalk Necklace

This quaint fishing village in Madeira Beach – with more than 100 shops – is a giant tourist draw with a vintage Florida feel. Pick up a seashell or seaglass necklace at City Bazaar, where all jewelry is $10. 10dollarjewelry.com.

Ceramic Friend

Florida isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and St. Pete/ Clearwater artists reflect a diversity of vision and experience. Explore a new direction with spooky ceramics, mushroom friends, fairies, wall masks and death rattles. It’s all the signature work of St. Petersburg artist Calan Ree, who creates contemporary ceramic and mixed media figurative sculptures as well as a line of greeting cards. Find her work at  Florida CraftArt in St. Petersburg. calanree.com. $40-$350.

shop L

Trish Michaels Goddess Swimwear

Locally designed in St. Pete for the free-spirited, “fun in the sun mermaid soul,” Goddess Swimwear creates bikinis meant to cater to active, fitness-minded women with love of tropical destinations. This Diamond Monokini is a strappy suit but with a customizable fit ideal for any and all water activities. The boho chic look is sure to be noticed while playing along the white sandy beaches of St. Pete/Clearwater, or anywhere. goddess-swimwear.com. $139.

CAL

Sister Agnes Soap

Found amongst a variety of unique bath and beauty items and eclectic home decor accessories are Sister Agnes Soaps. These natural, handmade soaps come in many different custom shapes and sizes with more than 100 scents and are found only at Milagros in St. Petersburg. Not only are they good for the body, but they accent your home with their unique design and beautiful fragrance. $13 & up.

Fancy Olive Oil

Imagine spending the day at the beach, enjoying a few cocktails. What you want to cap off the night is a nice loaf of crusty bread, some olive oil and a bit of balsamic. In Treasure Island, find a new gourmet specialty shop and tasting room, Vine and Grind, which also carries chocolates, olives and spices. The oils are not your grocery store oils. They’re known in the biz as “Ultra Premium,” which has a lot of science behind it. All we know is, it tastes good. vineandgrind.com. $5 & up.

Florida Books

Take a mental break with one of Florida’s well-known authors, or bundle them as an expressly Florida gift. Try Randy Wayne White’s latest suspense novel, Seduced or Tim Dorsey’s madcap tale Clownfish Blues. And, of course, include anything by Carl Hiaasen and St. Pete’s own Jack Kerouac. We suggest stopping by Haslam’s Book Store, which has been a St. Petersburg mainstay since 1933 and harkens back to a simpler, quieter time. haslams.com. $12 & up.


Surreal Leggings

One of St. Petersburg’s claims to fame is the Salvador DalÍ Museum, situated on the city’s glorious waterfront. A trip through the museum is a must-do while you’re here, but you shouldn’t leave without visiting the gift shop. A popular pick is the leggings designed after DalÍ ’s Apparatus and Hand. Seek out the history behind the painting on a guided audio tour through the museum, then regale your friends with your knowledge when they complement your cool tank. theDalÍ .org. $45.95.

Calusa Press Print

Visit this St. Pete print studio and gift shop to find a rotating selection of local and international items. From art to jewelry, prints to paper goods, Calusa Press Co. showcases unique items that highlight the area as well as gift ideas that would look great in your home. calusapress.com. $45.

A Kayak

Literstein

You can always tell the locals at the Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s oldest microbrewery. They come in and belly up to the bar lugging a heavy glass literstein for a discounted refill. You have to go in October, during the bar’s Oktobeerfest festivities, get in line and buy one before they sell out. The steins come with the first fill of beer, which is no joke (designate a driver). They get you discounted fills for the rest of the year. dunedinbrewery.com. $40.

Kayaking is often the best way to hit the calm West Coast waterways of Tampa Bay, including the scenic paddling trails of Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg. Regular visitors might consider investing in a kayak to own, available in one-seater, two-seater and convertible models. Check out Osprey Bay Outdoors in Clearwater for a good selection of kayaks, as well as stand-up paddleboards and outdoors accessories. ospreybay. com. $500 & up.

Florida Oranges

It’s a no-brainer, right? Send your family some Florida citrus from Sun Groves in Safety Harbor, which offers various gift baskets November through May, and other fruity gifts year round. Don’t forget to try the ice cream while you’re there. One popular favorite is the orange vanilla swirl. sungroves.com. $25 & up.

Tarpon Springs Sponges

You can’t leave this city famous for its historic sponge diving industry without picking up the No. 1 item in question. Hit the Spongeorama Sponge Factory and learn about the history of Tarpon Springs. After taking in a short film, sort through the bins for your very own sponge, either for decorative or bathtime use. spongeorama.com. $11.99 & up.

Tracy Negoshian Dress

Tracy Negoshian hails from this area. She has three flagship stores in Florida, including one at Sundial shopping center in St. Petersburg, and has become known for her affordable dresses, wraps, tunics and more preppy, sunny fashions that could hang with the likes of Tory Burch or Lilly Pulitzer. Start with your favorite print and go from there, from paisley to houndstooth to leopard. Nothing feels more Florida-chic. tracynegoshian. com. $129 & up.

Tote

If there’s one thing St. Petersburg artists have figured out, it’s that St. Petersburg residents love to rep their city. This hipster haven has become a hotbed for local pride T-shirts and accessories. Artist Chad Mize is at the forefront of the craze, with his “Paris, London, Tokyo, St. Petersburg” T-shirts taking the city by storm. Mix it up this year with Mize’s pelican tote. chizzyt.com. $20. VI SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 37


Caretta on the Gulf at the Sandpearl Resort

• WATERFRONT RumFish Grill, St. Pete Beach

This restaurant, located at the Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Island Resort, allows for more than eating. Guests 8 and older can actually snorkel in a 33,500-gallon fish tank built by Wayde King and Brett Raymer of Animal Planet’s Tanked, and swim with grouper, snook, redfish, spotted trout and lookdowns. The RumFish shop also contains a vast selection of Guy Harvey merchandise. The menu: If you stay at your table while others swim, nosh on tuna poke, pecan crusted trout or seafood paella.

Olde Bay Cafe & Dunedin Fish Market, Dunedin Dining out is about the feeling you get when you walk in to a restaurant, about the view, about the lighting, about the chance to experience something that feels so quintessentially Florida. These St. Pete/Clearwater restaurants will work overtime to take your mind off life for a while. Oh, the food’s not bad either.

RumFish Grill

Sit along the bar on Dunedin’s marina overlooking the intracoastal waterway and take in vivid sunsets. Boaters dock near the restaurant, and herons and egrets perch along the fence of the surrounding park. This is a casual place with fresh catches served in laid-back baskets. The menu: Fish tacos are the specialty, from cobia to cod, topped with a sliver of avocado and vibrant cabbage slaw. Don’t forget a craft beer – Dunedin is famous for its breweries.

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25 It was the year foods arrived in cute mason jars. It was the year local diners became comfortable uttering the word “charcuterie.” It was the year of innovative new concepts and lots of eager customers. St. Pete/Clearwater welcomed a raft of appealing new chains and saw celebrity chefs begin to stake out territory, as well as its first legit ramen house. Here are Tampa Bay Times food critic Laura Reiley’s best of the best…

0 than $1 es less e r t s n 0 e 2 t os he $ $ M st entrees in t $30s o he t M $ in $ rees ost ent M $ $ $

Z Grille | American Casual

$$ 104 Second St. S, St. Petersburg (727) 822-9600 Downtown St. Pete is fertile ground for ambitious independent restaurants. Owner Zack Gross and head line cook John Sybert are still sending out deviled eggs and a ridiculous but delicious more-is-more houseground foie gras steak burger, but there’s a lightness and brightness to the dishes. Must eat: Gross, a James Beard semifinalist in 2009, built his reputation on an over-the-top mentality, but there’s a fresh restraint with spicy shrimp wraps, duck confit pot stickers and tikka masala sea scallops with a foil of curried cauliflower puree and chile-tinged cucumber salad.

• WATERFRONT CONT.

Frenchy's

Frenchy’s, Clearwater Beach

Frenchy’s is almost synonymous with Clearwater Beach. There are several different locations, ranging from quaint and tiny to big and beachy. But Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill is consistently the most popular, right on the quartz sands of Clearwater Beach. The menu: Grouper sandwiches are a favorite, as well as garlic crab fries, shrimp and rich, savory She Crab soup.

Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar, Clearwater Beach A favorite since 1926, this open-air restaurant with a slate of live music is as enjoyable in the rain as in the sun. The menu: Try fried gator bites, grouper sandwich with remoulade or wasabi scallops. And don’t miss the donachos, nachos fashioned from doughnuts.

Fresco's

Fish Tales Seafood & Steak House, St. Petersburg

A true waterfront joint means diners can pull up by boat. Dock your vessel and belly up to the rustic tables at this charming, Old Florida tiki-style favorite. Boat docking is free. The menu: It’s all about creative seafood uses here, including skillets, salads and a “spicy seafood volcano” that tastes and looks exactly like it sounds.

Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro, St. Petersburg

This dockside restaurant has been around for 20 years, with stunning, up-close views of St. Petersburg’s sailboats that are especially inviting at twilight. Dogs are welcome. The menu: Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner entrees run the gamut from surf to turf. Plus, they have a full martini menu.

Paradise Grille

Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill, Tarpon Springs Z Grille

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This family-owned favorite is all about a love of fishing, and the restaurant’s pictures of family, friends and local fishermen reflect that. You’ll learn something, too: A “rusty belly” is another name for a large male grouper. The menu: Grouper, of course. In nuggets, skewers, sandwiches and salads. There’s even a souvlaki grouper, a nod to Tarpon Springs’ Greek tradition.

ABOUT OUR TOP 25: Laura Reiley, of the Tampa Bay Times, is a former food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun. She is the author of four books in the Moon Handbook series: Florida Gulf Coast; Walt Disney World and Orlando; Tampa and St. Petersburg; and Paradise Coast. She has cooked professionally and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. Reiley dines anonymously and unannounced. The Times pays all expenses.


Sea-Guini

Top 25 Brick and Mortar | American Casual

$$ 539 Central Ave., St. Petersburg (727) 822-6540 Hope Montgomery and Jason Ruhe’s quirky personal vision yielded the kind of intimate independent restaurant for which St. Petersburg is becoming known. With fewer than 50 seats inside, including 10 at the bar, and another 17 outside, it’s all reclaimed wood and Pinterest-style tableaux of packing pallets and flower pots. It’s hard to characterize the food for these restaurateurs: Ruhe riffs with Spanish ingredients and Italian fundamentals with the occasional Indonesian fillip, all of it with a focus on local sources whenever possible. Must eat: The beloved dish is the house beef carpaccio carrying a housemade ravioli on its back that, once punctured, seeps out leek-and-goat-cheese mousse and velvety egg yolk. They have solid offerings for charcuterie boards, the best of which is fuchsia-colored beet-cured salmon with assertive notes of juniper and dill.

Cafe Ponte | American Upscale

Sea-Guini, Clearwater Beach Touted as distinctive dining along Clearwater’s most famous (and award-winning) beach, Sea-Guini features fresh local seafood and Italian hand-made pastas. The décor and contemporary design of the dining room compliments the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and beach. And then there’s the food… The menu: Antipastos and hearth over pizza to start. Grilled swordfish, housemade linguine and local bay grouper to round out the dinner menu.

I.C. Sharks, St. Petersburg

It’s part seafood market, part tiki bar and eatery. You can pick up a grouper or snapper filet and take it back to your rental house, or you can stay and watch the birds and boaters pass by. You might even catch sight of a manatee. The menu: Get a group together and share some smoked salmon, steamed crawfish and shrimp, shucked oysters and more.

Paradise Grille, Pass-a-Grille

It doesn’t get more laid back than this. Featuring picnic tables, puppies and a small gift shop, the Paradise Grille is up close and personal with the beach. At sunset, a guest gets to ring a ceremonial bell 15 times. The menu: Burgers, wraps, omelets for breakfast and, of course, beer.

• HIGH END The Black Pearl, Dunedin

This tiny spot in the heart of downtown Dunedin feels like a blast from the past, with dark corners, quiet music and a single red rose on the tables. The restaurant has plans to remodel in the coming year, but intimacy will always rule in this special destination for anniversaries and romantic interludes. The menu: Sophisticated French and New American offerings include white truffle lobster risotto, escargot and Chilean sea bass with creamy polenta. Don’t miss the chocolate lava cake.

>> For a comprehensive list of local dining options, go to VisitSPC.com/Dining

$$$ 13505 Icot Blvd., Suite 214, Clearwater (727) 538-5768 Suave service; big-city glamorous setting; not too loud; new American menu that tiptoes from Mediterranean to Southeast Asia without scaring anyone. There’s a four-course prix fixe ($36 for soup, salad, choice of entree and dessert). Or there’s the six-course seasonal tasting menu for $90 and an extra $35 for wine pairings. Must eat: Regulars swear by steaks, such as the espresso-rubbed rib eye at dinner or the shaved rib eye sandwich at lunch or the Yukon Gold/bacon/truffle oil pizza, offered now only at lunch.

Stillwaters Tavern | American Casual

$$ 224 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg (727) 350-1019 In a primo spot just across from the Museum of Fine Arts, the handsome 260-seat indoor/ outdoor restaurant is a tourist and locals magnet. There are more meat-centric dishes and the wine list is somewhat simple. Must eat: The biggest seller is the lager cheese. The short rib burger with red-wine mustard is a keeper, as is the trout spread. And for happy hour, one of the best deals of the century is the housemade beer nuts. VI SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 41


Top 25

Hawkers Asian Street Fare

Salt Rock Grill | American Upscale

$$$ 19325 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach (727) 593-7625 This gorgeously designed collaboration between Frank Chivas and the late Chef Tom Pritchard is renowned for its straight-ahead grill cookery, fresh seafood, raw bar and deep wine list. The restaurant also has a fantastic patio bar that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway, and an outrageous early menu special that keeps them lined up at the front door. Must eat: It’s hard to go wrong when contemplating your options. The fresh day-boat caught seafood should be near the top of your list or consider a steak cooked at a blistering 1,200 degrees.

Parkshore Grill | American Upscale

$$ 300 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg (727) 896-3463 Outside tables offer a view of the bustling downtown and namesake park. Inside, a curving bar is flanked by a glass-encased wine closet that doubles as a design feature and includes some fine, moderately priced California cabernets and pinot noirs. Plates emerge from the open kitchen as finely crafted American cuisine with a twist. Must eat: Consider beef Wellington or pan-seared scallops, only this version sweet and tender, circling a mound of sautéed baby spinach with rich smokiness of Southern greens. Souzou

Caretta on the Gulf, Clearwater Beach

Inside the majestic Sandpearl Resort, a jewel of Clearwater Beach, Caretta on the Gulf is named after loggerhead sea turtles. Guests can eat inside or outside for a high-end beach dining experience. The menu: From the sushi to the raw bar, simple elegance is key. Breakfast is no slouch, either. Think brioche French toast with candied orange cream.

Cafe Ponte, Clearwater

You wouldn’t know you were about to dine somewhere heavenly based on the unassuming strip mall, but once inside, seated and ordering, you’re transported to a comforting, elegant American fusion experience among a well-heeled crowd of regulars. The menu: New offerings are constantly popping up on this menu, but expect anything from short ribs to scallops to sea bass to foie gras.

Birch & Vine, St. Petersburg

Join St. Petersburg’s glam set as they flock to the Birchwood Hotel on sexy Beach Drive and head up the elevator to the stunning rooftop bar, the Canopy. You’ll be remiss if you don’t visit the hotel’s Birch & Vine, with modern decor and touches that reflect the building’s rich history. The menu: Think high-end creative. Beef carpaccio with gorgonzola ice cream, a mojo braised pork belly Cuban sandwich and chicken fried calamari.

E & E Stakeout Grill, Belleair Bluffs Souzou | Asian Fusion $$ 435 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg (727) 823-4050 This is a sophisticated Asian fusion restaurant pretty enough for date night and with prices that accommodate families. Souzou has hit its stride. Heavy on the sushi and with noodles and hot dishes that amble between China, Japan and Thailand, the vision is moving slightly away from small plates and sharables and toward more substantial entrees. Must eat: Bouncy pork and beef meatballs called tsukune get a sweet hoisin glaze and a crunchy, contrasting Asian slaw for a great shared app, but at lunchtime the tempurafried snapper tacos with cabbage and Sriracha aioli will bring a little drama to your life. The sake list has gained steam, with more than a dozen in different styles by the bottle, and five by the glass or offered as sake flights.

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Belleair Bluffs’ signature restaurant, E & E Stakeout Grill offers a quiet dining experience and a menu ranging from small plates, sandwiches and fajitas for lunch to seafood and steaks for dinner. Early dinner specials and extended happy hours also are available. The menu: The dinner menu is highlighted by New Zealand lamb, short ribs and aged prime rib. For dessert, choose between homemade Tiramisu or warm double chocolate lava cake.

• ENTERTAINING Hawkers Asian Street Fare, St. Petersburg

Found in the heart of St. Pete’s EDGE District, Hawkers offers Asian-inspired street recipes in a hip environment. With a menu that encourages sharing, find small plates, noodle and rice bowls as well as skewers and wings from the grill. The menu: Customize your own dish with the Hawkers Baos, or try the Curry Duck Noodle bowl. Find soups and salads on the menu, too.

E & E Stakeout Grill

BellaBrava


Top 25

Noble Crust | Brunch

Rumba Island Bar & Grill, Oldsmar and Clearwater

Taste the flavors of the islands at either of two locations throughout St. Pete/Clearwater. With a colorful, lively atmosphere, enjoy a taste of the Caribbean at their tiki bar and outdoor deck. The menu: From jerk wings to island sandwiches and fresh fish, there’s much to consider, including dishes prepared on the fire pit. There’s also an early menu.

BellaBrava, St. Petersburg

Considered one of the “it” spots along St. Pete’s famous Beach Drive, BellaBrava offers several different dining experiences. If the dining room isn’t your thing, choose between pulling up a seat at the bar and enjoy any number of craft cocktails or dine outside with a water view of the Vinoy Basin with Tampa Bay in the distance. The menu: Pastas, seafood and steaks make for a difficult choice with so many delicious options. Or wood-fired flatbreads if you’re in the mood for something smaller.

Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille, St. Petersburg and Clearwater

This popular chain with a major presence in St. Pete/Clearwater combines juicy drag performances with juicy burgers. A destination for bachelorette parties and casual diners alike, you won’t forget a drag queen serenading you with show tunes. Your check comes in a red stiletto heel. The menu: Cheeky Hamburger Mary's burger names include the Barbra-Q Bacon Burger and the Queen Mary. Cocktail specialty? The Zipper Ripper.

Kelly’s for Just About… Anything!, Dunedin

The cool kids know this is the spot for brunch. Kelly’s, open since 1989, is the go-to spot to soak up those liquids from the night before or grab a festive night-out dinner. From the whimsical salt and pepper shakers to the big-haired blonde lady on the menu, it’s a good time. The menu: Kelly’s always has specialty eggs benedict, quiches and fresh muffins made with creative combinations of ingredients. Insider tip: Upgrade your mimosa to a man-mosa, in a pint glass.

Lenny’s Restaurant, Clearwater

This diner has served breakfast and lunch to loyal fans since 1958. Come to Lenny’s on a weekend morning, when a balloon artist roams among the tables making creations for kids, big and little. And check out the ceiling tiles for jokes: “I think we should all pay our taxes with a smile. I tried, but they wanted cash.” The menu: The specials change daily, but watch for steak and eggs and elaborate benedicts, including one with crab cakes. Bagels are baked in house, and don’t miss the basket of Danishes that comes free with every entree. >> For a comprehensive list of local dining options, go to VisitSPC.com/Dining

$ 8300 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg (727) 329-6041 The Italian-Southern fusion pizza-pasta-etc. feels just right. In virtually all weather, the best seats are on the 800-square-foot patio with its retractable roof and remote-control windows, but the funky-industrial dining room is also sun-dappled and pleasant during the day. The brunch menu is the right mix of sweet and savory, breakfast and lunch fare, at a good price point and supported by a friendly staff and good drinks. Must eat: You’ll want the lemon ricotta pancakes with fresh blueberries and lemon curd, no syrup required. The fried chicken and waffles is up there with the area’s best, with a bewitching bourbon pecan butter and a little cup of watermelon salad.

Annata Wine Bar | Cheese and Charcuterie

$-$$ 300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg (727) 851-9582 This glamorous Beach Drive anchor started strong and has kept building, with live music many nights, a range of happy hour specials and frequent wine flight offers of three short pours. It’s the rare place where you can wear your little black dress and feel utterly comfortable eating with your hands. Must eat: Assuming you’re dining with another, pick five ($18) means you can choose three cheeses and a couple meats (definitely the fennel salami from San Francisco), and then you can augment with small plates. The smoke-infused beef tartare comes under a glass dome swirling like Dumbledore’s pensieve.

The Mill | Cheese and Charcuterie

$$ 200 Central Ave., No. 100, St. Petersburg (727) 317-3930 One of the more exciting openings of 2015, the place is steampunk-cool, festooned with gears and tooled leather and vintage waterwheels, its menu concerning itself with gamier meats and humbler cuts (boar ribs, braised lamb belly, venison saddle). Must eat: The housemade charcuterie board and accessories continue to stretch and expand like the universe itself. There are now octopus bacon and plush tongue rillettes to go along with the duck bacon and toro pastrami, surrounded by grainy mustards and baby pickled zucchini on a rustic board planed smooth. V I SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 43


Top 25

The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge, St. Petersburg

Parts of Paris | French

$$ 146 Fourth Ave. N, Safety Harbor (727) 797-7979 Safety Harbor restaurants have an ace in the hole. Most of them are set in lovely, repurposed 1930s bungalows, many with come-hither front porches and tree-canopied front yards. Parts of Paris is the luckiest duck, as its setting is a central draw. Then add a lineup of classic French fare, from boeuf bourguignon to textbook beef tartare. Must eat: On a pretty day, brunch cannot be beat, with dishes that go sweet (crêpe Suzette) or savory (moules-frites).

Talk about dinner with a view. At the Hangar, at St. Petersburg’s Albert Whitted Airport, guests eat while watching planes take off and land at the small, city-owned airport. It’s the perfect spot for a casual first date. The menu: Cheese fondue, chicken and waffles and bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Don’t leave without a giant dessert waffle, topped with ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish, St. Petersburg

Learn the process of smoking fish at this St. Petersburg institution, started by its namesake more than 50 years ago. The story goes, the restaurant started with an old smoker by the side of the road, luring in customers with the smell. The menu: Famous for German potato salad, fish spread, Manhattan clam chowder and, of course, smoked fish platters.

• BURGERS Tarpon Tavern, Tarpon Springs

You might stumble upon the Tarpon Tavern if you go too far on your bike trip on the Pinellas Trail. You’re going to need a tall beer and a basket of belly joy, stat. This cozy low-light tavern situated in a 1920s-era building is the perfect place to cool off and refuel. The menu: The half-pound burger is a good deal at any time, but stop in on a Monday evening to get it for just $4.99. Fish and chips are buy-one, get-one on Tuesdays. And the Tavern Twister fries are not to be missed.

BRGR Kitchen + Bar, Treasure Island

Located in the Treasure Island Beach Resort with a view of the Gulf on Treasure Island, BRGR Kitchen + Bar offers a dining experience full of contemporary style and retro details. Stunning views of the beach and surf compliment a great selection of updated comfort food, and, of course, burgers. The menu: Signature creations like the Hot & Spicy burger or the Fish Monger, a pan seared Florida grouper sandwich should make your must eat list.

Engine No. 9, St. Petersburg Café Largo

Café Largo | French $$$ 12551 Indian Rocks Road, Largo (727) 596-6282 Dominique Christini has begun his 30th year in business, one of a small handful of restaurants to traffic in classical French cuisine. Christini presides over his seasonally changing prix-fixe menu for $35, much of it now supported by regionally sourced rabbit, pork and game. For the exotic stuff: Put wild boar or venison chops on the menu and make it a special, explicated tableside. Must eat: Cassoulet (slow-cooked white beans, duck, sausage and other goodies) and warming braises like elk stew with cepes.

Engine No. 9 | Hamburgers and hot dogs

$ 56 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg (727) 623-0938 Serving legendary burgers, Engine No. 9 starts with solid patties and then gets completely bughouse with the toppings. Consider the menu: the Chubby Duck, the Van Helsing, the Alice in Pain. Gargantuan burgers with foie gras, burgers with peanut butter, burgers that will make your nose run, and burgers that defy all logic (fried cheese curds with jalapeno bacon? and brisket?). Plus, delicious tater tots, an epic beer list, and every table with its own TV. Must eat: There are tater totters and sweet potato fryers. For burgers, the shrimp-patty burger topped with crispy slaw, a squirt of Sriracha and some Cajun-spiced remoulade. 44

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Grab a table quickly in this shotgun-style restaurant, especially when the happy hour crowd starts trickling out of the nearby bars. Sports are on screen and hockey, especially, gets the serious burger crowd going. The menu: Burgers here are fabulous fare, from the Chubby Duck, with pancetta, caramelized onions, brie and foie gras to the 504, with peanut butter and bacon. The hot dogs are no joke, either, and tater tots pair well.

Stop in at just about any beach eatery in St. Pete/Clearwater and you’re likely to see one particular favorite on the menu: grouper. This mild, light and slightly sweet fish is served seared, battered, fried, in nuggets, in tacos – pretty much any way you can imagine, as the flavor lends itself to myriad preparations. What’s the catch? Grouper varieties include black, red, scamp, yellowfin, yellowmouth, rock hind, coney, warsaw and snowy, but the most common kind fished in Florida are gag and red grouper. Size up: A stocky fish, grouper grow to more than 3 feet in length. Some reports have cited grouper so big that they have swallowed sharks whole. The state record for a gag grouper is 80 pounds. The world record for a goliath grouper is a whopping 680 pounds. Switcheroo: Grouper are born female but can become male. Spawning season: Most spawn between January and May, but some spawn year round. Home sweet home: Grouper favor rocky areas, reefs and drop-off walls. The young ones are found in sea grass beds and mangrove forests. Fun fish fact: Popular Clearwater Beach restaurant Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill sells about 52,000 grouper sandwiches each year, and that’s just on the weekends! Celebrate grouper: Each summer, St. Pete/Clearwater honors the fresh taste of this locally-caught fish with its own week: Grouper Week. For more information on all things grouper, including delicious recipes from local restaurants, log on to GrouperWeek.com Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Visit Florida


Top 25

El Cap, St. Petersburg

Open since 1964, this no-muss, no-fuss burger joint fills to the brim with hungry patrons happy to order burgers a la carte and beer by the pitcher. Wood paneling on the walls, yellow and red condiment bottles on the tables, and servers who get right down to business dictate the vibe. The menu: The burgers are all beef with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. But you have to eat one to really understand.

Pete & Shorty’s, Clearwater and Pinellas Park

Calling all Iowa expats: This is your home away from home. Pete & Shorty’s is an Iowa bistro down to the posters and news clippings on the walls and the clientele around the bar. You don’t have to be from the Midwest to appreciate a homey experience. The menu: The 100 percent chuck burgers are a go-to. Add regional favorites that include a loose meat sandwich and a Friday fish fry.

Sandbar Grill, Dunedin

You know something is a local secret when it looks like a shipping crate set up in a parking lot – but is still brimming with eager guests. Sandy folks coming from Honeymoon Island State Park stop here for a laid-back meal, reclining with a beer in white plastic chairs. The menu: Steaks, chicken wings and more are reliable post beach favorites, but the burger with its crispy edges in a red plastic basket is the way to go.

Sweet Peas Cafe

• KID FRIENDLY

Kings Street Food Counter | Hamburgers and hot dogs $ 937 Central Ave., St. Petersburg (727) 914-2111 This hipster-retro diner has a targeted menu: thick shakes, local craft beers on tap, grilled cheeses, hot dogs, poutine, salads and, oh, cronuts (daredevil tomfoolery: cronut breakfast sandwich with scrambled egg, cheese and bacon). Other assets: plucky seafoam green color scheme, dog-friendly patio. Must eat: Said corn dog comes blistering hot and enrobed in a sweet, crunchy wafflish batter with a ramekin of zingy grain mustard, all tucked in a brown cardboard to-go container with plastic silverware and your choice of side. Dogs are respectable all-beef Viennas; themed toppings are coherent.

Biff Burger

Sweet Peas Cafe, Dunedin

This place is designed for parents in need of a gentle place for sweet ones to play. With plenty of outdoor seating, a sandbox, a playhouse, children’s toys and events like family yoga and storytime, it’s a one-stop shop to feed your little ones and have a calm time. The menu: Organics and gluten-free offerings abound here. Nibble pancakes, sandwiches, cereals, flatbreads, dips and creations from a coffee bar.

Biff Burger, St. Petersburg

A local hangout for motorcycle enthusiasts, Biff Burger has long done charity work on behalf of kids in need, helping provide toys for the holidays. That love for kids spills into the atmosphere of the burger joint, where the staff is always ready with crayons and a friendly smile. The menu: A variety of burgers, from small and simple to giant knife-and-fork projects. You’ll also enjoy hot dogs, barbecue and hand-dipped ice cream. >> For a comprehensive list of local dining options, go to VisitSPC.com/Dining

Il Ritorno

Il Ritorno | Italian

$$-$$$ 449 Central Ave., Suite 101, St. Petersburg (727) 897-5900 There’s a vivacious prettiness to this food that feels very feminine. Salads are always visually stunning. It’s a small restaurant that already has a fairly regular following, dinner only, with sourcing that can range from West Coast mushrooms and caviar to right-in-our-back-yard greens and citrus. Must eat: The big seller is a composed dish of swaths of American red snapper crudo accented by kumquat rounds, radish, sweet-hot calabrese chile jam and red-veined delicate leaves of lemony blood sorrel. Consider the little pasta hats stuffed with stinky/velvety taleggio and paired with black trumpet mushrooms and a frizzle of fried leeks. VI SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 45


Top 25 Pia’s Trattoria | Italian

$$ 3054 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport (727) 327-2190 This cozy Italian original has continued to expand its scope while honing the details. The dining room is commensurately lovely, with a full bar and thoughtful small wine list. The menu has expanded to include the ambitious specials and drop-dead desserts. Must eat: Most people swear by the generous bowl of spicy arugula dressed in just a bit of good balsamic and topped with thick shavings of Parmesan.

Osaka Sushi and Thai Restaurant | Japanese

$ 13800 Park Blvd. N, Seminole (727) 397-3885 One of the boomingest restaurants to recently open is this chic emporium of crowd-pleasing specialty rolls. Its dining room is built around a three-sided exhibition sushi bar. The strength here is more-is-more combination rolls, many with suitably embarrassing names, plated attractively and marrying different fishes, garnishes and sauces. The freshness of the fish and quality of ingredients lift it above our area’s other strong contenders. And a familiar lineup of Thai curries and non-sushi Japanese staples such as teriyaki and tempura makes Osaka appealing even for the sushiphobic. Must eat: The avocado, tuna, tempura eel, scallion and pops of tobiko is the recipe for a Sexy Man, but toothsomeness is in the eye of the beholder.

The national food truck frenzy has sped into St. Pete/Clearwater in a major way. Tampa Bay has its own support organization, the Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally, to help new food trucks get rolling, connect people with food trucks wherever they roam and throw food truck events that routinely draw thousands of hungry guests. Check tampabayfoodtruckrally.com daily to find out where the hottest trucks are parked. Whether you’re at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, the Palm Harbor Halloween Carnival or the Pierce Street Market – or just grabbing a craft beer at a local brewery, get ready to bounce from truck to truck sampling everything from tacos to cupcakes and from pho to barbecue. Let’s get in gear. Here are three food trucks to check out around town. CJ Traveling Pizzeria Grab an 8-inch individual pizza in Thai, Greek, barbecue and savory balsamic strawberry flavors. Start things off with a yummy caprese salad.

Mmmm Delicious Cupcakes This Tarpon Springs bakery calls their truck Sophia Sprinkles. Look for her around town carting cupcake flavors like apple pie, banana split, key lime, pineapple inside-out, pumpkin and strawberry milkshake, depending on the day.

PHO Truck Look for this Vietnamese truck serving up banh mi sandwiches, pho, vermicelli bowls, spring rolls, fried egg rolls, chicken wings and Thai iced tea. They’ve held court at Rapp Brewing Co., a craft brewery in Seminole.

Old Northeast Tavern, St. Petersburg This tavern feels cozy, friendly and frozen in a different time. Parents can get a couple minutes alone while the kids run off to play in the tavern’s game room. The menu: Sandwiches are fresh and creative, like a turkey and strawberry combination with brie cheese. Thin pizzas are topped with beauties like Cajun chicken and garlic shrimp. Casa Tina

Casa Tina | Mexican

$-$$ 365 Main St., Dunedin (727) 734-9226 If you seek super-cheap but transcendent taco stand fare, this is not your place — this is more upscale, with loads of vegetarian and vegan options and a reluctance to lean too heavily on the deep fryer. With aerialists performing some nights and a deep list of margaritas, Casa Tina is suitable for date night or a bit of carousing. Must eat: First chips and salsa are free, then they charge. Plan accordingly. Fajitas, always accompanied by that head-turning sizzle in the dining room, get high marks, but try the chile rellenos, the chiles en nogado or the sweet-smoldery mole poblano veggie enchiladas. 46

A M E R I C A’ S B E ST B EACH ES

The Boardwalk Grill, Madeira Beach

Groups and kids are welcome at this John’s Pass beachfront grill, which has free WiFi for the kiddos to fire up smartphones if they’re not captivated enough by the sun. The menu: Fish tacos, sub sandwiches, fries, onion rings, grouper, cheesesteaks and seafood rolls served in kid-friendly baskets.

Eddie’s Bar & Grill, Dunedin

There’s a reason Little League teams flock to Eddie’s. Kids can run free in the large game room, with full-sized skee ball, basketball, cornhole, darts, pool, foosball and video games. Tired coaches barely have to look up from their pitchers. The menu: Wings, burgers, smoked fish spread, pierogis, burgers and nachos galore. And if you’re up for the work: crab legs.

Eddie's Bar & Grill


William Dean Chocolates in Belleair Bluffs specializes in hand-made artisan chocolates.

Top 25

• SWEET TREATS Cassis Bakery, St. Petersburg

Cassis Bakery Along elegant Beach Drive, Cassis Bakery is attached to its mother restaurant, Cassis American Brasserie. But you can postpone the meal and head into the quaint cafe with a glimmering glass case of classic French and modern American pastries. The menu: Fruit tarts, pies, giant cake slices and dainty macaroons, plus a full selection of gelato. A cappuccino is a must.

Strachan’s Ice Cream & Desserts, Palm Harbor and Dunedin

You might have a cow when you walk into Strachan’s, but that’s only because their mascot is a cow. They challenge you to see how many you can count inside the parlor. (Hint: It’s a lot.) It might distract you from the sweet smells wafting through the old-fashioned shop. The menu: All the ice creams are made inhouse: butter pecan, mint chocolate chip and many more. Strachan’s has also won awards for its carrot cake, always a top seller.

Frida’s Cafe, Largo

The giant, 6,000-square-foot European-style bakery is a treat on the bustling stretch of Ulmerton Road in Largo. Step inside and watch the bakers hustle behind the counter making the elaborate creations you get to point to and eat. The menu: Tortes, cheesecake, carrot cake, brownies, doughnuts, pies, sweetly flavored bread loaves, cinnamon buns, apple fritters and more than 10 kinds of fresh bagels.

Sweet Divas Chocolates, St. Petersburg

A former dental hygienist and a CFO turned their lives into a sweet affair by opening this St. Pete sweets shop. Go on the weekend for a mimosa and muffin special that speaks for itself. Do a little shopping while you’re here. They carry great gifts. The menu: Assorted fine chocolates, including Couverture chocolate, which has a high fat content and is usually made for bakers and chefs. Also, ice cream, muffins, coffee and tea, and European sipping chocolate.

Hellas Restaurant and Bakery, Tarpon Springs

A trip to Tarpon Springs’ famed Sponge Docks would not be complete without picking up an authentic Greek dessert. Hellas Bakery has been a community mainstay since 1970, in a simple, unassuming storefront that lets the pastries do the talking. The menu: One word: baklava. Okay, and a few others. Hellas is famous for cheesecakes, savarea, a rum-soaked sponge cake, and different varieties of “pasta,” or layer cake. >> For a comprehensive list of local dining options, go to VisitSPC.com/Dining

Bodega | Mexican $ 1120 Central Ave., St. Petersburg (727) 623-0942 This charming, tiny spot makes Central Avenue’s EDGE District a bit edgier. The Cuban bodega is a hip, fun and affordable dining destination that offers quaint indoor accommodations as well as outdoor seating both in front and out back behind the building. Dishes are packed in ecofriendly brown cardboard boxes with the Cubans wrapped in wax paper. Must eat: Of course, the Cuban sandwich. Its crunchy La Segunda bread, gooey Swiss and a generous flurry of shredded pork make it irresistible.

Red Mesa | Mexican

$$ 4912 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg (727) 527-8728 Hailing from Oaxaca, Mexico, chef Chris Fernandez’s most ambitious work can be seen at the flagship restaurant, where the cuisine is regional Mexican with an emphasis on sophisticated plate presentations at dinner and speedier, more streamlined offerings for businessfolk at lunchtime. Must eat: The house sangria is some of the best in the area. Once fortified, opt for the guacamole sampler so you can chip-shovel the one studded with crabmeat, a corn and chorizo version, or the chipotle-inflected guac. There’s a braised duck with sour orange sauce and a range of enchiladas (if you get the trio, you’re looking at the duck, chicken and a crab/shrimp beauty with poblano cream).

Sea Salt | Seafood

$$$ Sundial, 183 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg (727) 873-7964 And on one end of the seafood spectrum, the end with extra zeros on the bill and a staggering glass-fronted wall of wine presided over by a suave sommelier, there is Sea Salt, one of three fancy restaurants anchoring Sundial’s second floor. The main attraction here can’t be missed: At the entrance, there’s an L-shaped display of whole fresh fish on ice, decorated attractively with seaweed and lemons like an underwater tableau. Must eat: Some of the unfussed-with raw bar items are notable. There are between six and nine oyster types daily, ranging from British Columbia to Massachusetts and the good old gulf, arrayed nicely with little paper identifying tags and taste descriptions. Beyond the seafood, check out the three styles of sea salt that come with bread and butter.

Snapper’s Sea Grill | Seafood

$$ 5895 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach (727) 367-3550 What sets Snapper’s apart from other local seafood spots is fresh-off-the-boat fish and a tremendous wine list served by a savvy staff that does it justice. The major focus these days is on the plate, with a commitment to sourcing proteins, land and sea, as locally as is possible. Must eat: The fundamentals are grouper and snapper. There’s red snapper in a red curry Thai broth and a creamy crabmeat, scallop and shrimp stuffing and a jaunty cap of puff pastry choice. V I SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 47


Top 25

FarmTable Kitchen

FarmTable Kitchen | Steak

$$ Sundial, Locale Market, 179 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg (727) 523-6300 With all the kitchen talent on property, diners want a full-service, sit-down, reservations-accepted place in which to enjoy it. It draws from all over the store: Fresh juices and purees from the phalanx of juicers in the market; crusty rolls from the bakery; extruded and filled pastas from the Cadillac of pasta machines and wetand dry-aged steaks from the beef case where they lounge, flanked by 196 Himalayan salt plates to absorb moisture. Must eat: Try the Flintstone-sized Niman Ranch 56-day dry-aged tomahawk rib eyes or the lesser $35/pound steak in butcher paper. They are magical on the grill or pan-seared, but they are rainbow-unicorn magical when cooked by experts over the flywheel grills at FarmTable Kitchen.

Pizzeria Gregario | Pizza

$ 400 Second St. N, Safety Harbor (727) 386-4107 You order at the counter, they hand you a stuffed animal, then your order slip goes whizzing overhead across the room like a low-budget high-wire act into the hands of a pizza radical. In front of the chalkboard menu is a heavily crossed-out and smudgy board listing the farmers he works with, while music you haven’t heard in a while, the inky darkness and batik tapestries overhead take you back to your ill-spent youth. Must eat: The menu changes with the season. A recent special pizza was topped with cherry tomatoes, house moz, plush roasted eggplant, squiggles of basil and a garlic wallop. Salads are always vibrantly fresh and interesting, and desserts are a must.

Cappy's Pizza

• PIZZA Cappy’s Pizza, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is fortunate to have an outpost of this popular Tampa pizza joint, situated in a charming old house that creaks with nostalgia. The beer comes in mason jars, which ups the hipster factor. The menu: Pies come New York style and Chicago style, with toppings that include anchovies, feta, bacon, broccoli, pepperoncini, pineapple, artichoke hearts and more. Split a large Greek salad among the table.

Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria

With recipes and craftsmanship straight from Italy, Bavaro’s Neapolitan pizza, homemade pastas and classic desserts can be found along Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete. The menu: Begin with antipasto or wood-fired bruschetta before moving on to homemade ravioli or an endless selection of pizzas.

Ozona Pizza, Ozona

Grab a slice in the tiny village north of Dunedin. Ozona Pizza welcomes guests with wooden pilings and fishing rope for a real small-town, coastal feel. The menu: Valentine’s Day alert: Ozona Pizza offers a heart-shaped pie plus other specialties, like an apple pie pizza and a bacon cheeseburger pizza.

Gennaro’s, St. Pete Beach

Cozy, family dining with tablecloths and dimmed lighting has been on the menu at Gennaro’s for going on three decades. It’s a comfy spot for when you want your pizza night to feel a little special. The menu: A full menu of seafood, veal and chicken dishes complement the pizza selection, which includes Sicilian pies and every topping you could dream up. >> For a comprehensive list of local dining options, go to VisitSPC.com/Dining

Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza | Pizza

$ 1101 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater (727) 443-4900 At the original location just south of downtown Clearwater, Cristino’s is the coal-oven champ, with a handful of basic styles: margherita, marinara, bianca, quattro formaggi, etc. With a great online ordering system, it’s easy to get clicking the little boxes. Restrain yourself. Cristino’s pies are best with just a handful of toppings. Must eat: Consistent, chewy/ crunchy pies with a fat, nut-brown cornicione, but also try the panzerotti, something between an empanada and a calzone. 48

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Cristino's Coal Oven Pizza


C L E A R W A T E R

B E A C H ,

F L O R I D A

In Celebration of Our 91st Year

Growing up there was only one thing better than spending the day at the beach...going to the Palm Pavilion. Much has changed in the last 90 years, but much has not. The Palm remains a special place. Our guests fondly remember...grandpa’s birthday party...wedding anniversaries...senior skip day...our first kiss at sunset...my first job icing up beer...a blind date that didn’t turn out too bad, just ask my wife...our vacation when the kids were little and now they come with our grandkids...those Friday business (wink) lunches...a girl’s getaway weekend...diehard Phillies fans and on and on. A visit isn’t complete though without sharing a meal or drinks with family and friends - seafood, sizzling steaks, chicken and seafood wraps, shrimp and crab chowder, smoked ribs or our famous beach burger, to name a few. Enjoy beer, wine, cocktails or a tropical drink. There’s live entertainment every day, as long as we can find the extension cord. Happy hour: Monday - Friday 4-7 p.m. For generations to come, we look forward to being a part of your special memories.

There’s no place like this place anywhere near this place so this must be THE PLACE SM

10 Bay Esplanade • North Clearwater Beach • (727) 446-2642 • www.palmpavilion.com


Hoist a pint, tipple a tiki, swirl a glass of chardonnay: the St. Petersburg /Clearwater area is flush with some of the best bars in Florida. From the serenity of the beaches to the bustle of the city, here are some of the best spots to grab a drink.

For a complete list, go to VisitSPC.com/Bars

Station House

Meet some characters

Ferg’s Sports Bar

Kelly’s/Chic-a-Boom Room

The Brown Boxer: Located just a block off Clearwater Beach on Mandalay Avenue, the Brown Boxer is a happy hour hotspot popular with visitors and locals alike, with a full menu, open-air seating facing the street and plenty of tropical drinks. Ferg’s Sports Bar: Located across the street from Tropicana Field in downtown St. Petersburg, Ferg’s is the area’s top Tampa Bay Rays bar, but it’s also crowded with local notables on non game days and even in the The Canopy offseason thanks to a design that’s charmingly ramshackle and airy. The Flamingo Sports Bar: This one’s home to some local literary lore – it’s one of the few bars where Beat icon Jack Kerouac was known to drink during his twilight years in St. Petersburg. They even sell a Kerouac special: a shot and a draft for $2.50. Kelly’s/Chic-a-Boom Room/Blur: This compound in downtown Dunedin is where many a local goes for a fun night out, with weekly karaoke, line dancing and drag queen bingo, plus a wide array of sweet and flavorful martinis. Mahuffer’s Bar: For pure colorful character, it’s hard to beat Mahuffer’s in Indian Shores. This decades-old landmark is coated with boat parts, appliances, dollar bills, scrawled signatures and bric-a-brac of all shapes and sizes. It’s the rare watering hole you have to see to believe.


Level 11

Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest

360° Rooftop

Stagger Inn

Above it all

Pour it on

Downtown St. Petersburg is the place to get an expertly made craft cocktail. Mandarin Hide: The bespoke-looking Mandarin Hide was among the first and remains among the best, with live jazz on Wednesdays, $5 Moscow Mules on Thursdays and exquisitely crafted drinks all week long. Cask and Ale: Around the corner from Mandarin Hide sits Cask & Ale, which offers classic and cask-aged cocktails and one of the best selections of top-shelf bourbon and whiskey in Tampa Bay. Station House: The underground Station House is known for excellent cuisine and pristine cocktails, but be sure to seek out the bar’s hidden speakeasy, God’s Waiting Room, which features whatever creative cocktails the mixologists on call have on their mind at the moment.

Jimmy’s Crow’s Nest: High above Clearwater Beach sits this repository atop the Pier House 60 Marina Hotel. It’s the most jaw-dropping view of one of America’s best beaches, and a great place to grab a rum drink to boot. 360° Rooftop at the Kimpton Hotel Zamora: Here’s one of the few places you can take in views of both the Gulf of Mexico and downtown St. Petersburg at the same time. This rooftop location features original variations on classics like the Greyhound and Garden Party, and is a popular destination for weddings and special events. Level 11 Rooftop Lounge: Also along St. Pete Beach, find this artisan bistro bar featuring stunning views of the gulf. It’s located in the Grand Plaza Hotel, also home to Spinners, a rotating restaurant on the top floor of this resort. The Canopy at the Birchwood Hotel: At sunset, be sure to hit the Canopy atop the Birchwood Hotel for stunning views of Tampa Bay and downtown, not to mention lounges, fire pits and drinks ranging from gimlets to margaritas. The Hurricane: Many a beach bum has navigated their way to St. Pete Beach’s Hurricane at happy hour – the better to take in the bar and grill’s rum-happy concoctions with an unparalleled view of the Gulf of Mexico.

Beachy keen

Harry’s Beach Bar: A locals’ favorite for many years – this cozy spot is ideal for relaxing around a pool or a fire pit with a Rum Runner. Caddy’s: One of the few places you can take your drinks out on the beach, this tucked-away compound offers cabanas, lounge chairs, even yoga on the sand. But the best view comes from its rooftop bar, where Caddy’s tucked-away location will help you feel miles away from the hustle and bustle. Shephard’s Beach Bar: A-list DJs and pop acts pop into this waterfront hotspot for performances by the water. But even when there’s no headliner on tap, this is still one of Tampa Bay’s premier warm-weather party destinations, with a long boardwalk offering plenty of room for mingling. The Undertow: A languid and laid-back purveyor of top-notch tropical drinks, this is the place to play beachside volleyball while sipping a Bahama Mama or tall, glistening longneck.

Mahuffer’s Bar

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Big Storm Brewing Co. Wavemaker, Amber Ale

In its new, 16,000-square-foot facility in Clearwater, Big Storm is centrally located, perfect for happy hour in the spacious and modern tasting room. Award-winning brews are named after the common summer storms along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

deBine Brewing Co. deBine Brown Ale

A micro brewery in the heart of Palm Harbor, you’ll find locally-inspired craft beers in a laid back and welcoming tasting room. The industrial-style tasting room features a generous bar and communal tables for gathering with friends.

7Venth Sun Brewery Time Bomb, Session IPA

This tiny, dog-friendly brewery in Dunedin has a small tasting room, storefront and outdoor patio. It has a stellar reputation for small-batch IPA’s, oak-aged sour beer and spirit barrel-aged beers. Bartenders offer on-the-spot beer guidance and tours.

St. Pete Brewing Co. Milo’s IPA

Here, the cozy tasting room shares space with the brew house. Located in the heart of downtown St. Pete’s Central Arts District, St. Pete Brewing brewed its first beer in March 2014 and is now serving up specials almost every night of the week. Pair your brew with a pint-o-bacon!

Woodwright Brewing Co. German Alt, Altbiter

Part craft brewery, part wood shop - this hip hangout in downtown Dunedin is filled with unique touches that you won’t find anywhere else. Cool, casual and uber friendly; select a pint or build-your-own flight, then grab a seat at the bar, upstairs in the loft or outside on the patio.

Mad Beach Brewing Co. Life’s a Beach, Orange Blossom Honey Wheat

Located in the heart of the Gulf Beaches, you’ll find it nestled amongst the shops and restaurants in John’s Pass Village on Madeira Beach. Tasting room is a modern, open space featuring a giant screen for sports fans and a full menu of delicious pub food. 54

AM E R I C A’ S B E ST B EAC H E S

Our craft beer scene, the largest of any found in Florida, rivals some of the country’s most well-established. Get your fill of sunshine and craft beer here. Seriously. For nearly every mile of our white-sand beaches (35 to be exact), you’ll find a local craft brewery serving up suds – many award-winning – that you can’t find anywhere else. Our craft beer scene rivals some of the country’s most well-established craft beer towns, with more than 30 independent craft breweries and a growing number of tasting rooms. St. Pete/Clearwater’s craft beer trail has turned the Gulf Coast into the Gulp Coast and it has something for everyone; Pinellas Ale Work’s (29) pet friendly brew hangout to Crooked Thumb’s (16) gigantic warehouse-turned-tasting room, where you can play lawn games or kick back and relax. Experience smaller operations and newcomers like Cueni (9), Palm Harbor Brewery (4), Grindhaus Brew Lab (17) and Arkane Aleworks (19) along the way. Tap into the trail starting at the top in Tarpon Springs with a visit to Saint Somewhere’s (1) charming, cozy tasting room. Check out owner, Franz Rothschadl, and his special brews like awardwinning lambics and high-gravity beers, at Lagerhaus (6). Nearby, grab a beer (and great food) at Tampa Bay Brewing Co.’s new location (7) while on your way to the “Beer-muda Triangle” of Dunedin. Once there, visit newcomers Soggy Bottom Brewery (11) and Caledonia Brewing Co. (14). Crawl your way to US19 and stop at world-famous Sea Dog Brewing (15). Tucked away in a strip mall is Brewer’s Tasting Room (23), BTR to locals, featuring beers of their own as well as other local and domestic crafts. Then make your way to the craft beer mecca of the Gulf, downtown St. Pete. Hit up Flying Boat Brewing Co. (25), play pinball and other games at Cage Brewing Co. (27), and park a seat on Cycle Brewing’s (32) benches along Central Ave.

Be sure to drink responsibly. Designate a driver or use promo code GULPCOAST for up to $15 off your first Uber ride. Snag a free passport to collect stamps for beer-inspired swag, and more information at GulpCoast.com.


GULP COAST BEER BREWS HERE Rapp Brewing Co. Hefeweizen

A small warehouse operation in Seminole breathes new life into forgotten styles like Gose and Lichtenheiner. It has a 40-tap tasting room and features a wide array of finely-crafted German-centric brews. Take a tour or relax in the casual, pet-friendly tasting room.

Barley Mow Brewing Co. Maven, Chocolate Milk Stout

This small tavern in Largo with 14 taps features a rotating lineup of housemade IPA’s, porters and stouts, along with American craft beers, mostly from Florida breweries. Hang out in the 1,200-square-foot beer garden, aka “The Nest” or ask for a free tour.

Pair O’Dice Brewing Clearwater Honey Cream

Pair O’ Dice, a 20-tap tasting room, has an expansive view of a 15-barrel brewhouse. The husband and wife owners are young mechanical engineers with Anheuser Busch experience, who returned home to Florida to join the Tampa Bay craft beer boom. Their focus is flavorful session beers.

Dunedin House of Beer Peanut Butter Blonde

Originally a tap house featuring a myriad of craft beers, Dunedin House of Beer now also brews its own suds in-house. A dark and cool clubhouse kind of vibe — bring your growler to be filled with your choice of 40 beers on tap from local to regional brews.

Stilt House Brewery Hell Yeah, Honey Jalapeno Cornbread

Located right off the Pinellas Trail (bicycle access available) in Palm Harbor, Stilt House Brewery focuses on full-flavored delicious ales. Stilt House has 26 brews on tap, and game nights and cornhole tournaments are all a part of Stilt House’s fun and laid-back atmosphere.

Green Bench Brewing Co. Sunshine City IPA

GBB gets its name from St. Pete’s lesser-known label—City of Green Benches. A 1,500-square-foot, 12-tap tasting room features an expansive view of the 15-barrel brewhouse and opens onto an outdoor beer garden.

Urban Comfort Restaurant and Brewery Royal Bohemian, Pilsner

Urban Comfort is all about the charm of southern comfort food and hand-crafted beers with local roots. It’s the only brewpub in town with the quintessential St. Petersburg sport—shuffleboard! The food is pretty legit, too.

Dunedin Brewery American Classic, IPA

Dunedin Brewery is Florida’s oldest microbrewery and offers delicious food and live music. Beers are hand crafted in small batches, 15 barrels at a time. Fermenters and mash tuns loom over the airy bar/dining area.

Silverking Brewing Co. Silverking Strike Blonde

Once the original Tarpon Springs Fire Station in 1909, it’s now home to craft beer created by fishermen and outdoorsmen. Located only one mile from the world-famous Sponge Docks, brush up on local history and listen to what the walls have to say in two tasting rooms.

Mastry’s Brewing Co. Jenna’s Morning Coffee, Chocolate Porter

A beach vacation in a pint glass! The first craft brewery of St. Pete Beach, lounge indoors or outdoors, play a game with friends, or chat with the brewers. It’s a great spot to chill after the beach.

3 Daughters Brewing Rod Bender, Red Ale

You’ll find bold, delicious beers at this brewery headquartered on the edge of the Warehouse Arts District and the Grand Central District in St. Pete. A spacious, modern tasting room opens up to a large warehouse area featuring a myriad of games.

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Staying in downtown St. Petersburg? You’ve got plenty of nightlife options. Here are five ways to make a date of your day (and night) in the ’Burg.


The more the merrier

Looking for something to do with a group of your friends? Try a late afternoon hike on the Pedal Pub, a trolley-like bar on wheels powered by cycling patrons that’ll let you sip craft beer while touring some of St. Pete’s top craft breweries. Or skip the middleman and head straight to 3 Daughters Brewing, one of Tampa Bay’s most popular craft beer destinations thanks to a sleek taproom loaded with favorites like Beach Blonde Ale and special brews you can’t get anywhere else. 3 Daughters also has an array of games in the back, from ping pong to tabletop shuffleboard to chess, and it’s likely the most kid-friendly spot to grab a pint. In the heart of downtown St. Pete, find Hofbrauhaus, an outpost of the famed Munich biergarten, that serves authentic German cuisine and beer to the soundtrack of a raucous live polka band in a faux courtyard setting reminiscent of a German town square. And nothing beats a Friday night at St. Pete Shuffle, the open-to-all night at the historic St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club. With music, drinks and games aplenty, it’s a tradition you won’t find anywhere else.

Tryst St. Pete Shuffle

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Get hip to this

Fuel up at Kings Street Food Counter, a retro-style diner with hot dogs, poutine and thick milkshakes on the menu; or Buya Ramen, a hot new noodle place that opened a few doors down. Catch a concert by an up-and-coming band at the State Theatre or Local 662, located across the street from one another on Central Avenue. Or, if it’s the second Saturday of the month, check out the city’s ArtWalk, when gallery owners all over town keep their doors open late to discuss their work over snacks and drinks. One Saturday a month, you can check out one of the themed parties at ARTpool Gallery, a vintage clothing and art boutique whose events have included tributes to David Bowie, a Mad Hatters Masquerade Ball and an annual “Trashion Fashion” show of recycled and upcycled clothing. And every hipster’s night in St. Pete ends at the Bends in the EDGE District, sipping cocktails like the legendarily powerful Cucumber Creeper while grooving to DJs and bands.

Beach Drive

St. Petersburg Carriages

The Bends

Date night

You could spend an entire date picnicking in Vinoy Park, dangling your feet over the edge as dolphins swim directly underneath. Or you could get out there and do something fun together. Drinks on the veranda at the stylishly modern Birch & Vine restaurant inside the Birchwood Hotel or across Beach Drive at the The Vinoy Renaissance is a great way to start the evening. Take a relaxed carriage ride along the water with the horse-drawn St. Petersburg Carriages, departing frequently from bustling Beach Drive. The Side Door Cabaret at the historic Palladium Theater is also a good call on weekends; there’s frequently live jazz, blues, soul and eclectic chamber pop or cabaret. And at some point in the evening, try to make your way to Swah-Rey, a divine dessert bar with a wide array of cakes (the Kahwa Coffee Cake, made with locally roasted coffee, is a standout), signature “pie-in-a-glass” creations, macaroons and more. Sweet way to end the evening, isn’t it? 60

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Central Avenue, St. Petersburg


Free Movies in Straub Park

Kings Street Food Counter

Free movies in Straub Park

Sundial

Casita Taqueria

Girls just wanna have fun

If you’re planning a ladies’ night out, start on Beach Drive with cocktails at Tryst Gastro Lounge, a South Beach-style indooroutdoor lounge; or what many consider Tampa Bay’s finest wine, cheese and charcuterie: the inviting Annata. Connect and share stories over an array of Spanish tapas at Ceviche, from seafood to vegetarian options, and if you’re lucky they’ll be playing live jazz or flamenco music for a soundtrack. Or dine outside with a picturesque view of the Vinoy Yacht Basin at Cassis American Brasserie, Parkshore Grill or 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House. Close things out with a nightcap at Push Ultra Lounge, the dance club on the roof of Red Mesa Cantina, where top-notch DJs combine with a unique view from atop a historic building.

>> Find the area’s go-to nightlife spots at VisitSPC.com/Nightlife

Push Ultra Lounge

Relaxed action

Those who aren’t in the mood for a pulse-pumping party might want to spend the day perusing shops along Central Avenue, such as the professionally picked vintage goods store Paper Street Market or the chic and quirky boutiques in what is familiarly known as the 600 Block. For dinner, swing by the chic retail center Sundial for exquisite steak at Ruth’s Chris, seafood (especially oysters) at Sea Salt, or locally sourced make-and-take cuisine from Locale Market, a foodies’ paradise co-created by celebrity chef Michael Mina. During summer and fall, find free pop-up movies in the park, including family-friendly fare at Straub Park off Beach Drive and edgier (but still beloved) cult films at the Dalí Museum. All you need is a picnic blanket and you’re set. Or take in a concert by the Florida Orchestra or any number of top pop and rock acts at the Mahaffey Theater. When the show lets out, you can enjoy a stroll along the water back to your hotel. VI SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 61


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Island Paradise Cottages of Madeira Beach❉ Florida Charm

13215 2nd St. E., Madeira Beach 727-395-9751

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Plaza Beach Hotel Beachfront Resort❉

Bay Palms Waterfront Resort - Hotel & Marina❉

4506 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach 800-257-8998

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Parker Manor Resort❉

423 East Shore Dr. Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 727-446-6835

115 Brightwater Dr. Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 727-446-6562

Retro Boutique

FrenchysOasisMotel.com

Beach Haven

Authentic Florida

4980 Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 727-367-8642

BeachHavenVillas.com

Friendly • Relaxing

ParkerManor.com

Coconut Inn❉

Authentic Florida

131 11th Avenue St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 727-367-1305

PagBeachInns.com

Page Terrace Beachfront Hotel❉ Beachfront Sunsets

10500 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island 727-367-1997

PageTerrace.com

Havana Inn❉

Palm Pavilion Inn❉ Sandcastles • Sunsets

18 Bay Esplanade Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 727-446-6777

Relaxing Waterfront

621 Bay Esplanade Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 727-441-4421

PalmPavilionInn.com

www.ClearwaterBeachResorts.com

The Birchwood

Miramar Beach Resort

340 Beach Drive NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-896-1080

4200 Gulf Blvd St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 727-367-2311

Coastal Charm

Intimate • Sophisticated

PagBeachInns.com

TheBirchwood.com

1007 Gulfway St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 727-367-1305

Ebb Tide Resort❉

Families

MiramarBeachResort.com

Each has its own distinctive flavor. Among us, you’ll find properties with docks for fishing and boating enthusiasts, pet-friendly accommodations and perfect romantic getaways or wedding destinations. We’ll be happy to suggest places to see, dining experiences, unique shops and activities known only to the locals. Along the way, we’ll get to know you by name and you’ll become part of our family. Properties marked with an asterisk* are TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winners. Independently owned and operated | Inspected annually by Superior Small Lodging™ | White Glove standards for quality and service


Beach

AwardWinning Boutique

Resorts

Exclusive, affordable, family owned and Trip Advisor Top Rated resorts: Why would you stay anywhere else? Experience personalized service with attention to detail. Choose from four boutique resorts located on Florida’s award-winning beaches: St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island. Discover completely renovated rooms and suites with full kitchens catering to couples, business travelers and families.

From deluxe hotel rooms to large family suites, Plaza Beach Resorts have what you are looking for.

PAGE TERRACE HOTEL

PLAZA BEACH HOTEL BEACHFRONT RESORT

4506 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach On the Gulf of Mexico, powder white sand, warm Gulf water, large pool, rooms with kitchens, balconies.

1-800-257-8998 • PlazaBeachResorts.com

10500 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island On the Gulf of Mexico, centrally located, large pool, spacious patio, rooms with kitchens.

1-800-532-6569 • PageTerrace.com

BAYVIEW PLAZA WATERFRONT RESORT

BAY PALMS WATERFRONT RESORT

1-800-257-8998 • PlazaBeachResorts.com

1-800-257-8998 • PlazaBeachResorts.com

4321 Gulf Blvd. , St. Pete Beach On Boca Ciega Bay, fishing pier only 200 ft. from the beach, boats, watch dolphins and manatees.

4237 Gulf Blvd. , St. Pete Beach On Boca Ciega Bay, heated pool, great fishing, 1 or 2 bedroom apts., family reunions, pet friendly available.

Here is why you should stay with us:

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• Boutique exclusive resorts • Location, location, location • Amazing amenities • Exceptional services • Commitment to your experience • Affordable Prices • Not your typical cookie cutter resort

All of our properties are family owned and operated. The owners are on property daily to ensure you have a perfect vacation.


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Hear Wow Jannus Live

No matter your favorite style of music, you’ll find it in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area. From rock icons to local legends to today’s hottest pop acts, here are some top live music destinations. Safety Harbor’s Third Friday

FUN AND FREE

Side Door Cabaret

Daddy Kool

A handful of cities spark to life with free Friday street parties each month. St. Petersburg’s First Friday, with tunes, drinks and dancing on Central Avenue between Second and Third streets and Safety Harbor’s Third Friday brings vendors and performers from around the area. Clearwater’s Blast Friday, held on the last Friday of the month through May, features national headliners like David Cook, Edgar Winter and Dave Mason. And on select Saturdays, Tarpon Springs brings Greek culture to life with traditional music, dancing and food at the Sponge Docks.


Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

NEXT BIG THINGS

St. Petersburg offers up-close-and-personal looks at some of the biggest names in music before they graduate to arenas. The Local 662 is an intimate bar with local art and a roster of past performers who’ve gone on to greater things. Same with the State Theatre across the street. The former historic movie house has been a popular stop for acts like Tori Amos and Twenty One Pilots on their way to superstardom. And then there’s Jannus Live, St. Pete’s unique courtyard concert venue, where the only thing more impressive than the live oak standing sentinel in the center of the crowd is its roster of stellar acts that have graced the stage: Katy Perry, Pearl Jam, Ed Sheeran, Eminem and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others.

LOOK FOR LEGENDS

Bob Dylan. Paul Simon. James Taylor. They’re among the many pop and rock icons who’ve played Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, one of the East Coast’s premier performing arts halls. Ruth Eckerd Hall also books concerts at downtown Clearwater’s historic Capitol Theatre, which has hosted acts like Diana Krall, B.B. King and hometown hero Chick Corea in a more intimate setting only blocks from the water. In St. Petersburg, the ornate, bayfront Mahaffey Theater has stood for half a century and drawn legends like Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson and Loretta Lynn. Both Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Mahaffey host concerts by the renowned Florida Orchestra. The Palladium in St. Petersburg offers a diverse variety of rock, jazz, opera, classical and blues in its Side Door Cabaret theater.

GET OUT THERE

Festival culture is a big part of Tampa Bay’s live music scene. The Clearwater Jazz Holiday brings a diverse array of jazz, funk, soul and Americana to Coachman Park every October. Coachman Park is also home to February’s Clearwater Sea-Blues Fest, bringing blues and retro soul to a sunset setting; May’s Fun ’n’ Sun, a celebration of up-and-coming country stars; and October’s Hispanic Heritage Concert, which in 2016 brought Latin A-listers J Balvin and Gilberto Santa Rosa. Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg hosts several major concerts each year. There’s January’s Sunshine Music Festival; April’s Tampa Bay Blues Fest, bringing the world’s finest blues talents to the edge of the bay; July’s Vans Warped Tour, cranking up the volume with dozens of punk and metal bands; October’s Beats by the Bay, featuring an array of funk, soul, R&B and hip-hop stars; and November’s Ribfest, with classic rock,

State Theatre country, tasty ‘cue and tens of thousands of fans. And in just a few years, the Safety Harbor Songfest has become a favorite local tradition, drawing talents like Safety Harbor resident Robin Zander of Cheap Trick.

LOCAL FLAVOR

Get a taste of some of Tampa Bay’s top talents at bars and venues all over the area. Catch top-notch blues jams and singer-songwriters at Ka’Tiki in Treasure Island and the Hideaway Café in St. Petersburg. The small, quaint Ruby’s Elixir, Mandarin Hide on Central Ave and downstairs at Ceviche are all popular spots to catch jazz, soul and Latin music on a weekly and sometimes nightly basis in downtown St. Petersburg. In addition to being one of Tampa Bay’s first craft beer hubs, Dunedin Brewery is a popular hangout for jam, rock, funk and punk bands. There’s live music of all types almost every night at popular St. Pete craft beer hub the Ale and the Witch, and musicians come from all over for renowned open mic and ukulele events at the Whistle Stop Grill and Bar in Safety Harbor. If you feel like kicking things up a notch, downtown St. Petersburg keeps things rocking with the Ringside Café and intimate punk and indie rock mainstays Fubar, the Emerald and the Bends. And if you want to take some tunes home with you, record stores like Daddy Kool or Bananas Music in St. Petersburg always have a nice selection of Tampa Bay music in stock. >> For even more on local music, go to VisitSPC.com/Music

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In St. Pete/Clearwater, it’s all a matter of pride. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community here is large, energetic and ready to celebrate, including the state’s largest Pride parade. And the business community is incredibly supportive and inclusive. t. Petersburg is home to St. Pete Pride, the largest gay pride parade in Florida, drawing more than 200,000 revelers every June. The celebration includes the only gay pride night parade in Florida, concerts and a festival that spans many city blocks. The parade is based in the historic Kenwood neighborhood and runs through the gay-friendly Grand Central District. More than 4,500 marchers walk through the streets or ride on floats blaring dance music. Anyone can come watch, but the parade also offers seats for purchase in the “glamstands.” The next day’s festival includes a lineup of more than 350 vendors, from artists to sports teams to community groups to food and drink vendors. While you’re in the Grand Central District, check out the antique shops, Haslam’s Book Store, the art galleries, and the coffee shops and bars. The district is also home to the LGBT Welcome Center, a

community space for residents and visitors where you can grab a cup of local Kahwa coffee, get connected with others and learn about local programs and services. The Central Avenue Trolley makes stops throughout the district. Enigma Bar & Lounge, a gay-friendly bar in the nearby EDGE district, is often busy during the afternoon, with guests sipping reasonably priced cocktails and beers on the sidewalk. Things really get going at night, especially for the weekend drag shows. For more drag performances, stop by Punky’s Bar & Grill, in the Grand Central District. They have craft beer, wine by the bottle, hearty dinners (meatloaf, anyone?) and a whole lot of themed fun every day of the week, from bingo to karaoke to open mic nights. Try the Queens Head for cheeky British fun. Saucy British tabloid pages line the wall of the bathrooms, and diners can cozy up


Blur

outside on canopy bed-style seating. Try the sake-tinis and the crispy chick peas. Gay-friendly hotels abound in the area. The preeminent location is the Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg, which has the hottest swimming pool in town. The hotel is part lodging, part entertainment complex, with a nightclub, DJs, a light show and even a cabaret theater and burlesque. Guests from around the country make the Flamingo a yearly destination. While in St. Petersburg, also check out the Beach Drive Inn, the Dickens House Bed and Breakfast, and GayStPete House, a 10-minute drive from downtown. In St. Pete Beach, try the Bay Palms Waterfront Resort; in Dunedin, the Meranova Guest Inn. Speaking of Dunedin, the LGBT community is thriving in this small coastal city. Casual bars abound, but the only true nightclub in town is gay-friendly Blur, home to some of Florida’s best-known drag performers. That, plus Blur’s regular drag queen bingo, make for a winning week of entertainment. If you’re in Clearwater, stay low key at the Pro Shop Pub, known as the oldest gay bar in Tampa Bay, a 40-year-old institution that was a safe space in a less tolerant time. Today it attracts a pretty mixed gay and straight crowd of all ages. The Pro Shop Pub is a fuss-free stop, stocked with a jukebox, a pool table and friendly folks. If you’re looking to hit a beach, make it boho Sunset Beach on the southern end of Treasure Island, known for welcoming the LGBT community with open arms. It’s a party beach that comes alive every weekend with big parties and tiny swimsuits. It’s also one of a few beaches in the area where drinking is legal on the sand. Check out Caddy’s on the Beach for a party-time home base. >>Discover more LGBT hot spots at VisitSPC.com/LGBT St. Pete Pride: Florida's Largest Pride Celebration


CONDO SIZE SUITES & RESORT AMENITIES UNDER ONE ROOF! VISIT WINTER THE DOLPHIN, STAR OF DOLPHIN TALE MOVIES SEE RESCUED DOLPHINS, SEA TURTLES, OTTERS AND MORE. WORKING ANIMAL HOSPITAL

The perfect family beachfront resort! Offering 154 two and three bedroom suites with living/dining rooms, full size kitchen with washer and dryer, private balcony facing the beach, free business and fitness center, free reserved parking, free Wi-fi and newspaper, heated pool and whirlpools, walk to John’s Pass Village, shopping and dining!

BEHIND THE SCENES TOURS INTERACTIVE BOAT TOURS

• On-site, 24-hour front desk • On-site restaurant and tiki bar • No resort fees • No cleaning fees

RESCUE. REHAB. RELEASE Plan your visit and buy tickets at SeeWinter.com 249 WINDWARD PASSAGE, CLEARWATER FL 33767 727-441-1790

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12000 Gulf Blvd. Treasure Island, FL 33706 866.597.1600, 727.360.1600 SunsetVistas.com

Book Now With Code VSPCVG for up to 20% off • Call for Details


125 TROPICAL GUEST ROOMS OPEN ONTO PRIVATE BALCONIES, EACH ONE PROVIDING A VIEW OF PARADISE.

Our beautiful beachfront resort is centrally located between Clearwater and St. Pete Beach, directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Experience our tropical sun, gentle breezes, powder white sand and sparkling blue-green waters where you can snorkel, fish, windsurf, jet ski and more! Dine in casual elegance in Mangos Restaurant or outside on the Verandah for a true Florida experience. Enjoy cool drinks and island music at our beachside Tiki Bar each evening.

Reserve your spot

on the sand now!

For reservations, visit: www.DoubleTreeBeachResort.com or www.TampaBayNorthRedingtonBeach.DoubleTree.com 17120 Gulf Boulevard • North Redington Beach, FL 33708

discover the dalí museum Visit an unparalleled collection of works by renowned artist Salvador Dalí, from iconic melting clocks to imaginative visual illusions and avant-garde symbols. Explore the awe-inspiring building and distinctive gardens on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. Open 7 days a week. Tickets include free audio guides, public docent tours, children’s activities & more.

“Rated St. Petersburg’s #1 Attraction.” – Trip Advisor

TheDali.org 727.823.3767 One Dalí Blvd. St. Petersburg FL 33701

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he Gulf of Mexico has always held a special place in the hearts of travelers. With its often colorful history and abundant marine life, this marvelous body of blue that so splendidly serves as a backdrop for poetic sunsets plays host to a variety of beaches, most of which were founded and developed only because of what the gulf offers. Communities are different from cities, smaller and usually created from a common purpose. Gulfport sprang up around mullet fishing. With Tarpon Springs, it was sponge diving. Some grew from a desire to provide southbound travelers with accommodations, meals with a view and a variety of opportunities to enjoy the Gulf Coast – communities that offered a perfect escape from cold, dreary winters, where visitors and locals alike enjoy sandy beaches, glorious sun, and great food. Florida’s hotels, motels, diners and ice cream stands have been drawing visitors to the Gulf Coast for decades. All along the coast, from Pass-a-Grille north to Tarpon Springs, the Florida of legend and lore, of guidebooks and history books, comes alive. It’s a stretch of land where you can enjoy red snapper caught that morning or bathe with a sponge pulled from the sea. It’s where arriving for happy hour by boat is perfectly acceptable, and where vacation rentals have docking privileges. It’s where life is easier, friendlier and everything Florida. Throughout years of change, the 13 communities that dot the 30-plus-mile stretch of land along the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County have maintained their history, their tourist appeal and, most significantly, their charm. 72

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Gulfport

Though not directly on the Gulf of Mexico, this small community, with a vibe all its own, sits on Boca Ciega Bay and connects to the gulf through a series of waterways. Once the home of a thriving mullet industry, Gulfport now hosts popular festivals and an eclectic collection of art galleries, restaurants and boutiques, among them August Vernon Gallery, Pia’s Trattoria, Fish Bar and Grille, Bo-Tiki and Domain. Enjoy a morning beach walk or a game of volleyball along Shore Boulevard. Spend an afternoon strolling through the craft shops and art galleries along Beach Boulevard. Take a twilight walk along Williams Pier or through the Sculpture Garden in Clymer Park before deciding on dinner at one of several award-winning restaurants. From its Tuesday fresh market to twice-monthly art walks to nightly dances at the historic Gulfport Casino, Gulfport will pique your curiosity and satisfy your desire for the unusual. Must dos A visit to the Beach Bazaar, a drink with a view on the rooftop bar at Manatees on the Bay, and GeckoFest, the city’s annual late- summer homage to its unofficial mascot. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/Gulfport


St. Pete Beach

Pass-a-Grille

Many locals think Pass-a-Grille’s beach is one of the best in the county. Rarely too crowded, it offers a beautiful and restful surfside experience. Some say the name came from the Cuban fishermen who would smoke their catch at the water’s edge before returning home. Today, it is home to a quaint collection of bungalows, boutique motels and B&Bs that line the palm-lined roadway with the intracoastal on one side and the gulf on the other. A leisurely pace is easy when every business is either across from the beach or within a few blocks. Ride a bicycle along Pass-a-Grille Way bordering the intracoastal and enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Seahorse. Board the Shell Key Shuttle at Merry Pier, or explore the shops and galleries on Historic Eighth Avenue. Although technically a part of St. Pete Beach, the community of Pass-a-Grille works hard to maintain its own identity. From the legendary Hurricane Restaurant, home to sunset watchers for decades, to the Wharf, with its convenient boat slips and unparalleled beach walks, Pass-a-Grille continues to offer the contemplative beach enthusiast a quiet alternative. Must-dos Ringing the bell at sunset, taking home a souvenir glass from the Hurricane, and a day exploring Shell Key Isle. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/PassAGrille

For the ultimate beach experience, it doesn’t get much better than St. Pete Beach. From the historic and stately Don CeSar Hotel – the “Pink Lady” – to the iconic TradeWinds Island Resorts on the beach to water activities that include parasailing, jet skiing and dolphin watching, St. Pete Beach maintains a tradition of true Florida hospitality. It’s been home to the famous and the infamous, used as a backdrop for several Hollywood films and the reason for a destination wedding. Art galleries and specialty shops serve up one-of-a-kinds, and well-established tiki bars offer endless opportunities to enjoy a cocktail with feet in the sand and eyes on the horizon. Just beyond the beach is Corey Avenue, a little slice of artsy heaven. Spend a full day or just an afternoon exploring the galleries, shops and restaurants that offer a taste of the good life with a touch of the kitschy. Custom jewelry designer Owen Sweet’s gallery is on Corey Avenue, and Beverly’s La Croisette has been pleasing the morning palates of locals and visitors alike since 1989. Don’t miss A meal at Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro, with its 360-degree views, a Sunday stroll through the Corey Avenue Market, or an evening of music at Woody’s Waterfront. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/StPeteBeach

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Treasure Island

When you see the Thunderbird, you’ve landed at Treasure Island! Though you’re less likely to find buried treasure, you will find a wealth of things to do that make this community, well, a real beach treasure. Start with the nearly 4 miles of wide, white sandy beaches and their offerings of swimming, shelling, sunbathing and snorkeling. Take a walk down the Beach Trail, a paved walkway that connects all the hotels, tiki bars and other establishments that face the gulf. Then catch the sunset from what’s commonly referred to as the “world’s longest waterfront bar,” Gators Café & Saloon, that also happens to be accessible by boat. Shell shops and souvenir stands mingle effortlessly with upscale eateries and classy boutiques. Jet ski rentals afford views from the Gulf, and golf, fishing and an active beach nightlife all contribute to a treasure trove of activities on Treasure Island. Don’t miss The Treasure Island Community Center (open to visitors), the Floridian for Cuban sandwiches, or the all-you-can-eat specials every day of the week at RBar, a favorite with locals and visitors alike. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/TreasureIsland

Madeira Beach

A unique blend of Florida fishing village, residential community and tourist destination contributes to an original vibe that is Madeira Beach. Mad Beach, as it’s affectionately referred to, is that curious mixture of history, progress and stability which, when paired with the perfect weather of Florida’s Gulf Coast, makes for a delightful community. With six public parks, boat-accessible restaurants, charter boats and dolphin watch cruises, Madeira Beach has something for just about everyone. The fact that it, with some restrictions, allows alcohol on the beach contributes to the area’s popularity. Book a parasail flight for a bird’s-eye view of the Gulf of Mexico, play a round of miniature golf or enjoy freshly caught seafood at the Friendly Fisherman to get a feel for what makes this gulf side community so very special. Don’t miss Ice cream at the Amish Creamery, a boardwalk stroll through John’s Pass or a visit to the Fishermen Lost at Sea Memorial. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/MadeiraBeach


Indian Rocks Beach & Indian Shores

Ask a local what they like best about this pair of beach communities and the answers will likely be the same: the serenity. With their beach bungalows, mom-and-pop motels and bed and breakfasts, the feel is more residential. Bordered by the intracoastal and the Gulf of Mexico, Indian Rocks offers plenty of opportunities to explore the waterways with kayak, boat and paddleboard rentals. Start your day with a pastry and coffee at Café de Paris, then schedule a guided tour of the area’s history with master tour guide Darryl Hopkins. Order up Hawaiian home cooking at Aloha to Go and head to the beach from any of the 27 beach access points. Don’t miss The Splash Harbour Water Park, historical photographs at the Indian Rocks Historical Museum, or a plateful of snow crabs from the original Crabby Bill’s. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/IRB

The Redingtons

Not as splashy as its southern neighbors, the residential vibe and slower pace of the Redingtons offer the perfect home base for any visit. While most of the high-rise resorts and hotels are clustered in Redington Beach and North Redington Beach, along Redington Shores, condominiums are the primary beachfront property. Stroll the white-sand beaches, fish the Gulf of Mexico from the 1,200-foot-long Redington Long Pier, or take the kids to one of two playgrounds in this child-friendly community. Boating, tennis and shelling opportunities are plentiful, and a trip to the area’s locally owned shops will undoubtedly yield a treasure or two. Don’t miss The sunrise over Boca Ciega Bay and sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, volleyball at Constitution Park, or a starlit walk along the Long Pier. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/TheRedingtons

Belleair, Belleair Bluffs and Belleair Shores

In an area that comprises less than 5 square miles, three communities provide a place for nesting seabirds, artisan chocolates and classy boutiques. The sands of Belleair Beach provide a quiet habitat for nesting sea turtles and seabirds, while Belleair Bluffs is home to William Dean’s artisan chocolates, where handcrafted chocolates become works of art with an artist’s eye and life hums a gentle tune. Take your time searching the shelves at Collum Antiques for relics of the Civil War, or meander down Antique Alley for the unusual and collectible. Whether you enjoy a crepe at Chez Colette’s French Bistro or other fine dinner fare at E&E Stakeout Grill or the Marlin Darlin, the Belleairs are worthy of a leisurely stay. Don’t miss The only access to the gulf at Morgan Beach, a visit to the Petal & Vine Garden Shop and Market, or breakfast at Maggie Mae’s on the bluffs. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/Belleair

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Oldsmar

Dunedin

Known for its automobile roots and a passionate protection of nature, Oldsmar might seem at first glance a contradiction. Yet this small community on the northern shore of Tampa Bay strikes a balance between progress and wilderness. With shoreline parks that include the Mobbly Bayou Preserve and the Oldsmar BMX Supercross Track, Oldsmar offers a unique departure from the beaches, but not from the bodies of water that define Tampa Bay. Located at the north end of upper Tampa Bay, the 396-acre Mobbly Bayou Preserve is where you can launch a canoe, take a zip line canopy tour, climb a lookout tower or visit the Environmental Education Center. Oldsmar is also home to Tampa Bay Downs horse racing, the Oldsmar Flea Market and no less than nine parks, including R.E. Olds Park, named after the city’s founder. Don’t miss Saturday night professional water skiing practices, dinner at the Craft Street Kitchen and Drinks, or a visit to the Oldsmar Historical Society Museum to learn more about how the city got its name. Hint: car buffs and ’80s music fans would be pleased. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/Oldsmar

A small town with a long history, Dunedin has reinvented itself as a tastefully charming destination. Its renewed interest in public art, Scottish and citrus festivals that celebrate its history and heritage, and its status as an extremely walk/bike-friendly community contribute to Dunedin’s growing popularity. Look for public sculptures and random oranges painted on buildings as you explore the inviting boutiques and specialty shops downtown. Walk the waterfront, find a bench in one of the city’s public green spaces, or drive across the causeway to Honeymoon Island and you’ll appreciate what makes Dunedin so special. Don’t miss Shell hunting on Caladesi Island, with one of the “most beautiful beaches in the world” and approachable only by a ferry ride; a pint at the Dunedin Brewery; lunch at Sea Sea Riders a few blocks from the marina; or dinner at the Black Pearl. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/Dunedin

Safety Harbor

Stunning old-growth parks, Indian burial mounds, Spanish explorers and mob bosses all contribute to Safety Harbor’s rich history. Whether it’s a rejuvenating day at the historic Safety Harbor Spa, a family picnic at lush Philippe Park, fishing from Safety Harbor Pier, or exploring the early history at the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center, this beautiful north county community continues to delight visitors year after year. Top-notch restaurants round out the offerings of this quiet and restorative community. Try restaurants like Paradise and Athens for breakfast; Southern Fresh, Marker 39, Brady’s Backyard BBQ, Organic Garden and Botan Sushi for a variety of lunch and dinner menus; Designer Cakes & Desserts and Cold Stone Creamery for sweet endings; and freshly roasted coffee at Café Vino Tinto. Restorative, indeed! Don’t miss The shops on Main Street, the view from the Indian Mound at Philippe Park or the Bowling Ball House at Whimzeyland. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/SafetyHarbor 76 A ME R I C A’ S B E ST B E ACH ES


Palm Harbor

Golf. Golf sets Palm Harbor apart from virtually any other community in central Pinellas County. Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is home to the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship and the resort’s famed Copperhead course. You don’t have to play golf, however, to enjoy the many attributes of Innisbrook. The spa offers day packages that can include body wraps, facials and massage. Once refreshed, take a walk on Florida Avenue and notice how Palm Harbor has preserved many of its early structures, and explore the shops and galleries. Don’t miss A brew at de Bine Brewing Co., a microbrewery in the heart of Palm Harbor, book a flight with Duckwing Triking for a birds-eye view of the landscape from a cockpit-powered hang glider, or enjoy a chance to snag your trophy fish with a morning charter with Absolute Flats and Tarpon Fishing. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/PalmHarbor

Tarpon Springs

It’s probably no accident that the city with the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any in the U.S. is also known for its sponge diving. Deriving its name from the fish that was once popular in its waters (though it was actually mullet, not tarpon), Tarpon Springs has been home to Greeks diving for sponges since the early 1900s. Greek influence is everywhere in Tarpon Springs. From its bakeries to its souvenir shops, the community’s history is prominent. Walk the docks where sponges hauled from the bayou’s waters are sorted, dried and sold around the world. To fully appreciate the history of the area, however, means walking away from the docks and exploring the number of Greek-owned businesses, gift shops and novelty shops. Look for the large mural detailing the history of the Greek influence, stop at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum, and marvel at the collections on display at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Don’t miss An authentic Greek meal at Hellas Restaurant and Bakery, a sponge diving tour and Fred Howard Park, where you can rent a canoe or a paddleboat and explore tamer waters. >>Find more at VisitSPC.com/TarponSprings

In Memoriam: Lifelong Tarpon Springs fixture George Billiris, 1927-2016


Whether you buy anything or not, St. Pete/Clearwater’s outdoor markets are a hotbed for people-watching on beautiful Florida weekend mornings. Marketgoers bring their dogs in strollers, test hula hoops, nosh on burritos and buy produce, arts and crafts. Just walking through a market is an experience unto itself. Here are some local favorites to check out. Corey Avenue Sunday Market, St. Pete Beach Sundays from October through May. Produce, plants, food to eat on the go and food in cans and jars to take home, crafts, fair trade products. Dunedin Downtown Market, Dunedin Fridays and Saturdays from November through May, Saturdays in June. Produce, pet items, mosaics, jewelry, breads, jams, natural foods, aquaponics. Saturday Morning Market, St. Petersburg Saturdays from October through May. Changes location from Al Lang Field to Williams Park Saturdays from June through August. Produce, arts, crafts, international cuisines, baked goods, cheese, jams, pastries, salsa, live music. Gulfport Fresh Market, Gulfport Tuesdays year round. Produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, breads, pastries, flowers, bath and body products, jewelry, live music. Pierce Street Market, Clearwater Every other Saturday, October to April. Clothing, jewelry, vintage items, plants, wood, art, candy, pet supplies, artisan food.

REGIONAL CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE Central Pinellas Chamber Of Commerce (727) 584.2321, Centralchamber.biz Clearwater Beach Chamber Of Commerce (727) 447.7600, Beachchamber.com Clearwater Regional Chamber Of Commerce (727) 461.0011, Clearwaterflorida.org Dunedin Chamber Of Commerce (727) 733.3197, Dunedin-Fl.com Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber Of Commerce (727) 784.4287, Palmharborcc.org Gulfport Area Chamber Of Commerce (727) 344.3711, Gulfportareachamberofcommerce.org Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber Of Commerce (727) 544.4777, Pinellasparkgatewaychamber.com Safety Harbor Chamber Of Commerce (727) 726.2890, Safetyharborchamber.com Seminole Chamber Of Commerce (727) 392.3245, Seminolechamber.net St. Petersburg Area Chamber Of Commerce (727) 821.4069, Stpete.com Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber Of Commerce (727) 360.6957, Tampabaybeaches.com Tarpon Springs Chamber Of Commerce (727) 937.6109, Tarponspringschamber.com Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce (727) 360.4121, Islandneighborschamber.org Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Of Commerce (813) 855.4233, Utbchamber.com 78

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Heart of the Arts! S T A Y

I N

T H E

Recapturing Old Florida

Free Breakfast & WiFi Heated Pool

Easy walking distance to Dali Museum, galleries, theaters and more!

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Invigorate

Florida’s perfect weather much of the year means that active, outdoorsy couples have myriad options in St. Pete/Clearwater. One of the most fun and memorable is renting kayaks from Sail Honeymoon in Dunedin and kayaking to Caladesi Island, only accessible by boat, and exploring its award-winning, pristine beach. Hike the 3 miles of the island, kayak through its mangroves and bay and bring lunch to eat at the picnic tables. Sweetwater Kayaks in St. Pete offers kayaking tours through the mangrove tunnels of Weedon Island Preserve, where you will likely see egrets and white ibis and scores of other animals. Sweetwater also rents stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) and offers paddleboard yoga instruction on Sundays. If you’ve always dreamed of riding a horse along a beautiful beach, saddle up: Book a session with Cypress Breeze Farm and go horseback riding at North Skyway Park, a beach minutes from St. Pete. Cypress horses are well trained, and their handlers can accommodate riders of all skill levels. Popular with local bikers and rollerbladers is the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, which stretches along an abandoned railroad track for 39 miles from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. Once you’re in Tarpon Springs, check out Fred Howard Park, a beautiful, lesser-known beach that’s great for kayaking and snorkeling and also boasts fantastic views of Anclote Key. Or see the famous Sponge Docks in downtown Tarpon Springs and pick up some delectable koulourakia (traditional Greek Easter cookies) at Hellas Bakery.

Luxuriate

Recharge with a massage a deux at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club Spa in St. Pete or enjoy a body wrap, manicure or the spa’s steam room. Another great option for unwinding side by side is the Romantic Escape for Two at Paradise Massage and Day Spa in Treasure Island. The couple’s package includes 50-minute Swedish massages, salt scrubs, a relaxing restorative hydrobath and champagne, fruit and chocolate. To add a local history element to your opulent experience, head to The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach or Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, which has rejuvenated guests since 1925 with natural mineral spring baths derived from Espiritu Santo Springs, discovered by Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto in the 16th century. In addition to mineral baths and a full massage menu (including couple’s massages), Safety Harbor Resort and Spa offers facials, waxing and services for hair, nails and makeup application.

It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful and romantic backdrop once you step outside and into the near-constant sunshine, smell the salt air and watch palm trees swaying in the breeze. Although a fantastic vacation can be had just floating in the warm gulf and lying on the sugar-white sand every day, there’s much more for couples to experience in St. Pete/Clearwater, including watersports, hiking, shopping, nightlife and world-class restaurants and spas. 80

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Celebrate

For exhilaration of a different sort, sit back and take in breathtaking views on a helicopter ride with Tampa Bay Aviation, which leaves from airparks in both St. Pete and Clearwater. Your pilot will fly you over Pinellas beaches, the famous Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands, depending on the length of flight you choose. Let them know you want their “romantic add on” option and roses, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries will await you in the cockpit. Book a sunset tour for an awe-inspiring end to your day.

Sip

Find a new favorite bottle by signing up for wine tasting at Murielle Winery in Clearwater. Winemaker Michael Biglin creates his wines using eco-friendly methods and will also make custom labels for his bottles, perfect for weddings or other special events. For more of a “walking wine” experience, stop by the Florida Winery at John’s Pass in Madeira Beach. Sample some selections in their tasting room and tote your favorites in to-go containers, including refreshing “wine slush” coolers to stroll on the beach with. Trendy Try Wine in downtown St. Pete has 88 wines and artisan popcorn – try truffled honey sea salt and lavender vanilla bean flavors, and don’t skip tasting the chocolates, too, which come in innovative flavors such as pineapple chipotle and lemon vodka.

Cruise

No vacation in St. Pete/Clearwater would be complete without a spin through the beautiful Gulf of Mexico via boat. The Tropics Boat Tours of Clearwater offers several double-decker catamaran tours, including daytime dolphin-sighting excursions and sunset cruises with complimentary champagne to toast the marvelous sunset. Relax aboard while your captain tells you about local history and landmarks. The Tropics also offers private charters for weddings and other celebrations. To make an evening out of your time on the water, StarLite’s evening dining yacht on Clearwater Beach will likely be the most fun you’ve ever had multitasking. Dance to live music, and enjoy tropical drinks and classic entrees such as seafood creole and pork osso bucco, a slow-roasted shank served with a Dijon cream sauce, along with captivating views as the sun goes down over the water.

Stellar wining and dining options are more plentiful every year in St. Pete/ Clearwater. One of the most stylish spots to enjoy a craft cocktail while you watch the sun go down is at Birchwood’s Canopy rooftop bar in downtown St. Pete. Try a Florida Mule made with St. Augustine Florida Cane vodka and ginger beer, or the Coco Loco, a rich, tiki-style drink made with rum and coconut cream and topped with toasted coconut flakes. The Canopy also serves upscale small plates such as flatbreads, crab cakes and sandwiches and is a popular local brunch spot on weekends, as well. Locals go nuts for Craft Street Kitchen in Oldsmar. The hip, rustic gastropub offers craft beers, hand-crafted cocktails and innovative dishes with a Southern flair, such as Sriracha-agavenectar beer wings and shrimp and cheddar grits with a roasted poblano chile buerre blanc. To soak up the coastal vibe in a beachy-casual setting, enjoy happy hour at venerable fave Frenchy’s Original Café, which sits right on Clearwater Beach. You can’t go wrong with their bloody marys, signature grouper sandwich and garlic crab fries that the Food Network’s Alton Brown said were so addictive he called them “food crack.” Another spot on the beach known for its sunset views is Bongos Beach Bar & Grille at the Grand Plaza Hotel on St. Pete Beach, a fun place to unwind beachside and enjoy live music, seafood and tropical cocktails. The Flamingo Resort and Entertainment Center, Florida’s largest LGBT resort, is right here in St. Petersburg, offering six themed bars to suit your mood, including the Hurricane, a lively outdoor oasis, the Cabana Bar, which offers weekly shows poolside, and the Code Bar, where hot, scantily clad guys dance on the bar. The Flamingo also hosts weddings and special events. If you’re feeling more pub than party, head to the Queen’s Head in the Grand Central District of St. Pete for a mellow vibe, mixed crowd, good beer and elevated pub fare such as cauliflower croquettes, seared scallops and brussels sprouts, and sticky toffee pudding. For a special fine-dining experience, you can’t do better than Bon Appetit in Dunedin, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary with an award for best waterfront restaurant in the Tampa Bay area. Reserve a romantic waterside prix fixe table for two, which starts you off with flutes of Moet Imperial and chocolate-covered strawberries. You’ll then choose selections for each course, which include ahi tuna with wasabi drizzle, filet mignon with baked lobster tail and a trio of chocolate parfait for dessert. The restaurant also hosts smaller wedding receptions in its beautiful Sunset Room, which offers 180-degree views of St. Joseph Sound. >> Find more ideas for couples at VisitSPC.com/Romance


Paws up! >> For more information on pet-friendly lodging and travel, go to VisitSPC.com/Pets

If you’re the kind of traveler who gazes wistfully at pictures of your pets while you’re on vacation, consider bringing them with you to St. Pete/ Clearwater. The area boasts many dog-friendly digs, recreation options and great restaurants and bars that welcome four-legged friends with open paws.

Stay You needn’t sacrifice luxury if you bring your dog on vacation. The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, a pink palace of Mediterranean revival, welcomes dogs with a gift bag and nightly treats delivered to your room. Sparky can share your room at TradeWinds Island Resorts, a sweeping St. Pete Beach favorite. Palm Harbor’s Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort, also welcomes pets as does the Lorelei Resort Motel in Treasure Island. Dogs can stay in cottages at Sea Breeze Manor Inn, a quaint B&B across from the beach on Boca Ciega Bay in Gulfport. Play Check out beautiful views of Salmon Bay and Lake Tarpon on a trip to the dog park in A.L. Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs. Or head to Boca Ciega Millennial Park, which boasts 1.5 acres and separate areas for small and large dogs. Clearwater’s Enterprise Dog Park features eight water fountains, agility equipment, walking trails and a rinse station. Visit the leash-only, picturesque dog beach on the southern tip of Honeymoon Island, where dogs are welcome on the nature trails. Dogs are allowed on a designated part of the beautiful beach at Fort De Soto in Tierra Verde, the largest park in the area’s park system. Fort De Soto’s Paw Playground also has two fenced-in parks for small and big dogs. Munch Brunch under oak trees on the charming, dog-friendly patio at Wildflower Café, just south of downtown Clearwater. Along Clearwater Beach is Basimo Beach Café, a homey breakfast spot popular with locals and welcoming to dogs. Dogs are welcome on the waterfront deck at popular brunch spot Island Way Grill in Clearwater. Craft beers are the stars at Sea Dog Clearwater, an inviting pub that welcomes dogs on its patio. A great local spot for seafood is the Thirsty Marlin in Palm Harbor, where your dog is welcome to enjoy the cozy patio. Dunedin is known for dog friendliness. Enjoy dinner at The Living Room on the patio with your four-legged pal and live music each night. Pet Safety Matters The sun and heat can be brutal in Florida, especially if your dog isn’t used to it. Dangers can lurk at the park, in the water or on a hiking or kayaking trip, so make sure you’re prepared to protect your pet. Check IDs: If you’re traveling with your dog, consider getting her chipped in case the unthinkable happens and she gets lost. Bring their vaccination paperwork along, too.

Screen them: Light-skinned dogs need sunscreen. Don’t just share people sunscreen – zinc oxide is extremely toxic to dogs, make sure the sunscreen is zinc- and PABA-free. Look for waterproof, fragrance-free formulas. And be sure to reapply after they get out of the water.


   

W O R L D FA M O U S

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Paradise, reputation and reliability since 1981.

Experience the flavor of Greece and the excitement of an authentic working waterfront on the Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs, Florida. Visit the Sponge Docks for authentic Greek restaurants, bakeries, sponge diving, sightseeing tour boats and unique shops. In the Historic Downtown District you will find restaurants, art, antiques, eclectic boutiques and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, home of the largest Epiphany celebration in the Western Hemisphere -

National Register of Historic Places

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St. Pete/Clearwater Beaches Vacation Rental Alliance

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LIBERTE MANAGEMENT 118 107th Ave. Treasure Island, FL 33706 800-542-3648 • 727-360-2006 www.libertemanagement.com Mention VSPC 2017

HARBOURSIDE AT MARKER 33 3 Palms Beachfront Vacation Rentals 309A Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785 877-837-2567 • 727-596-0109 www.3palmspmg.com

condominiummanagementcompanies has cometogether for the first time to ensure high-quality accommodations and consistent standards of excellence among its member properties. Ultimately, the Alliance aims to promote visitor confidence in both the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area and its “condo-cation” possibilities.

BEST BEACH RENTALS 15231 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, FL 33708 800-523-2882 727-398-1200 www.floridabestbeachrentals.com

RESORT RENTALS 8010 Blind Pass Rd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 800-293-3979 • 727-363-3336 www.resortrentals.us

JC RESORTS BEACHFRONT VACATION RENTALS 17200 Gulf Blvd., N. Redington Beach, FL 33708 800-535-7776 •800-421-6663 www.jcresorts.us


LIBERTE MANAGEMENT 118 107th Ave. Treasure Island, FL 33706 800-542-3648 • 727-360-2006 www.libertemanagement.com

FLORIDA LIFESTYLE VACATION RENTALS

19713 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, FL 33785 800-487-8953 • 727-593-2000 www.ourcondo.com

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FLORIDA’S BEST ACCOMMODATIONS

VACATION RENTALS 18610 Gulf Blvd. Indian Shores, FL 33785 1-877-444-4833 • 727-517-9404 www.FloridaBest.com

CAMELOT BEACH SUITES Award winning art deco, pet friendly newly remodeled boutique hotel Clearwater Beach • 727-467-4310 www.camelotbeachsuites.com

HYATT REGENCY CLEARWATER BEACH RESORT & SPA 301 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 727-373-1234 • 727-441-3672 Clearwaterbeach.regency.hyatt.com

NEXTHOME BEACH TIME REALTY 6498 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 727-363-3300 • 855-822-2466 nhbeachtimevacationrentals.com

BAREFOOT BEACH RESORT 19417 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, FL 33785 800-996-5303 • 727-593-5303 www.barefootbeachresort.com


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Sky Surf

Combining the thrills of flying and hang gliding, this once-in-a-lifetime Skysurfing trip in an open-air plane, called a trike or delta wing, makes you feel one with the sky. Feel the fresh air and enjoy sweeping, unobstructed views of Clearwater Beach and the flora and fauna of Honeymoon and Caladesi islands. Tours take off from Clearwater Airpark.

If you get a bit antsy after a couple hours of beach lounging, we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of hair-raising options for adrenaline junkies to stoke their sense of adventure in St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Here are some ways to pack thrills into every day of your unforgettable vacation.

Speedboat

Sit back and enjoy the wind in your hair as you cruise across the gulf at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour on the Sea Screamer, a comfortable 72-foot-long speedboat. Sea Screamer’s energetic guides will help you spot dolphins (in fact, they guarantee you’ll see some!), local landmarks and celebrity mansions during your trip. If you’d rather be your own captain, visit Speed Boat Adventures in St. Pete Beach. There you’ll take the wheel of your very own speed boat and explore the waters of Tampa Bay. The 15 mile tour will take you throughout the waterways of Florida’s beautiful Gulf coast with stunning views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Fort De Soto Park. Plus you’ll have the chance to cross paths with bottlenose dolphins, manatees, sea turtles and other sea life.

Zipline

Flyboard

If you dare, strap Zapata Racing’s wakeboard-like device onto your feet for a lesson in flyboarding, a brand-new thrill to hit the Clearwater Beach area. You’ll soar above the gulf attached to a giant tube controlled by a High Times Parasail and Watersports guide. Experienced flyboarders not only shoot into the air, they dive under the water’s surface at top speeds, too. Check out this new adventure behind the Hilton Resort Hotel.

For eco-conscious thrills, check out the Eco Zip Line Canopy Tour at Empower Adventures, which recently opened in Oldsmar. You’ll glide 25 to 60 feet above the ground over the Mobbly Bayou Nature Preserve, nearly 400 acres of waterways and upland and coastal plants such as sand live oak and cabbage palm. Choose Empower’s Extreme Aerial Obstacles tour to try your hand at pole jumping and log swings and traverse a 200-foot suspension bridge. The two-hour excursions let you glimpse wildlife as you zip for miles over treetops.

Splash and Race

For family-friendly fun, head to Indian Rocks Beach and try Splash Harbour Water Park’s 42-foot-tall slide. Let the kids go nuts in the splash areas and float in an inner tube through waterfalls and mists to keep cool on the 600-foot Great White Lazy River. Need a break from the sun? Head indoors for go-kart racing at Tampa Bay Grand Prix in Clearwater, where the Italian race cars reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

JetLev

Put TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach on your radar if you want to experience the ultimate thrill. After a short lesson, your jet pack guide shoots you up to 30 feet into the air, controlling the throttle from a jet ski behind you. You’ll reach speeds of 30 miles per hour wearing custom jet packs, yet feel weightless as you twist and turn in the air and skip over the water.

>> Take a water jetpack ride at VisitSPC.com/Adventure


St. Petersburg/Clearwater is a paradise for fans of all kinds of sports. From the great outdoors to the biggest stages in professional sports, you’ll find it all along our gulf beaches.

Go with the pros

In downtown St. Petersburg, you’ll find Tropicana Field, home not only to the Tampa Bay Rays, but also to a cownose ray touch tank and the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame, a walk through baseball history and memorabilia named for the iconic slugger. Each December the Trop hosts the St. Petersburg Bowl, featuring college football participants from the AAC, ACC, Conference USA and other conferences. Along St. Petersburg’s waterfront sits Al Lang Stadium, a historic spring training complex that now serves as the home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, which in 2017 joins the United Soccer League. The team has built a devoted following thanks to fan-friendly events like fireworks and postgame concerts by artists such as Flo Rida and Rachel Platten, and intense rooting from hardcore fans known as Ralph’s Mob. Across the bay in Tampa sit Raymond James Stadium, home to four Super Bowls, the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida Bulls; and Amalie Arena, which houses the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and arena football’s Tampa Bay Storm.


Innisbrook Golf Resort and Spa

Firestone Grand Prix

Skimboarding at Redington Shores

Dunedin Highland Games


COURSES TO PLAY St. Pete/Clearwater is a popular year-round golf destination thanks to its outstanding climate and natural beauty. Here are 10 highlights.

Spectrum Field

Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, Palm Harbor: Innisbrook’s challenging Copperhead Course hosts the PGA’s Valspar Championship every March.

Spring into action

What’s spring in Florida without a little spring training? Clearwater’s Spectrum Field is a laid-back, family-friendly stadium that serves as the spring home of the Philadelphia Phillies, as well as their high-A affiliate Clearwater Threshers. The Toronto Blue Jays hold spring training at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, located near quaint and walkable downtown Dunedin. During the summer months, it’s home to their high-A affiliate Dunedin Blue Jays. Tampa’s George M. Steinbrenner Field is the spring home of the New York Yankees and their high-A affiliate, the Tampa Yankees. And it’s only a short drive to spring training sites in Lakeland (Detroit Tigers), Bradenton (Pittsburgh Pirates), Sarasota (Baltimore Orioles) and Kissimmee (Atlanta Braves).

Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club, St. Petersburg: A sanctuary for native birds and vegetation, it’s a jewel component of this historic waterfront resort. Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, Belleair: Famed course architect Donald Ross designed these 1925 links, which reward golfers looking to use every club in their bag. Dunedin Golf Club, Dunedin: The former home of the PGA of America, this popular course has hosted greats like Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Babe Zaharias. Bardmoor Golf & Tennis Club, Seminole: Tricky greens and copious water hazards are hallmarks of this deceptively challenging course. Seminole Lake Country Club, Seminole: Highly rated with a friendly staff, it offers smooth playability at a value.

Clearwater Super Boat

Crescent Oaks Golf Club, Tarpon Springs: This wooded, semi private course is surrounded by trees that give it a unique feel.

Big tickets

Every March, engines rev up for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, in which the world’s top Verizon IndyCar drivers fuel up for a frenetic race through the streets along the bayfront. The entire weekend is filled with heats and races, plus fan-friendly autograph sessions and celebrity appearances. Also in March is the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Golf Resort and Spa. Recent champions have included PGA major winners like Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel. Held on Innisbrook’s picturesque Copperhead Course – “the best course we play on tour,” Paul Azinger has said – has gotten even bigger in recent years with post-round concerts right on the course by country stars like Rascal Flatts and the Band Perry. Pick out a prime viewing spot on Clearwater Beach for the Clearwater Super Boat National Championship, in which high-performance power boats zoom through the surf at speeds up to 180 miles per hour. Tens of thousands of fans pack the beaches for races, concerts, fireworks and a seafood festival. Weekend warriors from around the world flock to the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, one of the largest and earliest events in the North American triathlon season, held in and around the waters of downtown St. Petersburg. St. Anthony’s weekend also features a Sprint triathlon with a 750-meter swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run; and a much shorter Meek & Mighty Triathlon open to kids as young as 7. Dunedin embraces the roots of its early Scottish settlers during the annual Dunedin Highland Games, in which kilt-clad competitors toss traditional items like stones and cabers (which are kind of like big logs). But it’s the atmosphere around the games that draws thousands of fans every year: Traditional Scottish and Celtic music, food, arts, storytelling and pipe band parades. Grab your tartan for a weekend you won’t forget. 90

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Cove Cay Golf Club, Clearwater: This tidy par-70/71 course is a shotmaker’s dream, with water coming into play on nearly every hole. Lansbrook Golf Club, Palm Harbor: One of the area’s most popular and affordable courses, its wetlands setting might mean spotting the occasional gator on the course.

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Mangrove Bay Golf Course, St. Petersburg: A championship-caliber course with good practice facilities, it’s a favorite destination for local duffers. For a full listing, check out VisitSPC.com/Golf


St. Anthony’s Triatholon downtown St. Pete

Get out there

Indoors and out, you’ll find plenty of fun ways to compete with friends and family, or just exercise by yourself. For more than 90 years, greyhounds have hit the track at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, which also features a poker room and off track betting. It’s a cool slice of Old Florida that popped up as a filming location in the movie Ocean’s Eleven. Disc golfers flock to two of the finest 18-hole courses in Florida: Largo’s Taylor Park and Clearwater’s Cliff Stephens Park. The former sits next to a lake (watch out for alligators!) and is nestled amid gorgeous trees and palmettos; the latter connects to another 18-hole course at Northeast Coachman Park via a 1.5-mile walk along the Ream Wilson Trail. Further south is the Tocobaga Disc Golf Course in St. Petersburg’s Maximo Park, a wooded trail situated near a marina, shaded playground and small beach. Take the kids and practice your putting with a little mini golf at the Polynesian Putter in St. Pete Beach, Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf in Madeira Beach or Congo River Golf in Clearwater. The latter two even have live alligators on site. For a completely different type of golf experience, head to Largo Golf Course to play FootGolf, a hybrid of golf and soccer in which teeoffs are more like kickoffs. The par-71, 2,500-yard course was the area’s first American FootGolf League-sanctioned course, but not the last – Dunedin Stirling Links also has one, and there’s even a course in development at stately Innisbrook in Palm Harbor. Bikers and hikers can spend a day on the Pinellas Trail, a paved, 39-mile multi-use path stretching from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs, with offshoots that stretch into corners of the county that you might not otherwise visit. All along the trail are bike shops, bars and restaurants catering to cyclists, in case you run out of supplies or just need to stop for a break. Also located along the Pinellas Trail is Vertical Ventures, a 20,000-square-foot indoor rock climbing facility in St. Petersburg that also offers yoga and workout facilities. And Largo’s AirHeads Trampoline Arena is a family entertainment center offering 20,000 square feet of trampoline surfaces, as well as fitness and team-building events. If big jumps and big air excites you, visit Oldsmar BMX, one of only four Supercross Tracks in the United States and home to the Gator Nationals.

On the waterfront

Surfing is rare on Florida’s gulf coast, but it does happen, particularly on windy days. Surfing supply stores like Lenny’s Surf Shop in St. Pete Beach, Suncoast Surf Shop in Treasure Island and the Island Surf Shop and Nekton Surf Shop in Indian Rocks Beach can outfit you and fill you in on the daily surf report. Even if the waves aren’t high, you can still hit the waves by kiteboarding up and down the Pinellas beaches, particularly down south near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. And stand-up paddleboarding abounds in urban areas like downtown St. Petersburg and naturalistic settings like Fort De Soto Park and Weedon Island Preserve.

FootGolf

Certified divers can head into the gulf to explore Tampa Bay beneath the water. Explore Egmont Key State Park, just off Fort De Soto, which features the ruins of Fort Dade, built around the time of the Spanish-American War. Offshore artificial reefs like Veteran’s Reef, St. Pete Beach Reef and the Pinellas #2 Reef feature sunken ships, tanks and barges to explore. Countless numbers of people come to St. Petersburg and Clearwater specifically for the fishing. Madeira Beach is a hotbed of fishing competitions, including the Old Salt King of the Beach Tournament, which comes with a $50,000 grand prize. The St. Petersburg Underwater Club has been around for more than half a century, creating a community of underwater divers, explorers and spearfishers who participate in the “world’s largest spearfishing tournament,” the annual St. Pete Open. Take a charter boat into the Gulf of Mexico for grouper, tarpon and sharks. Or you might just want to grab a rod and reel and hit the Skyway Fishing Pier in St. Petersburg, Redington Long Pier in Redington Shores or Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach to cast a line for trout, snook, red drum, Spanish mackerel and more. >> For a list of fishing sites and charter companies, see VisitSPC.com/Fishing


Raymond James

ST. PETE/CLEARWATER >>>

USF St. Petersburg

Eckerd College

Perfect climate

FOR

BUSINESS

From HSN to Wikipedia, PolitiFact and more, business and creativity thrive on the Gulf Coast. St. Pete/Clearwater is the perfect place for fun and relaxation, but we work as hard as we play here. With more than 900,000 year-round residents – and an additional 13 million visitors each year – the area is a thriving urban market for businesses both big and small. More than 40,000 businesses call St. Pete/ Clearwater home, and they know firsthand that growing a company in paradise has its advantages. Florida’s favorable tax structure, the area’s low cost of living, and various networks of small business support create a perfect climate for entrepreneurs. From homegrown to global, local entrepreneurs sometimes strike gold. In 1962, a St. Petersburg broker named Raymond James formed an investment firm that later became Raymond James . Today, the corporate powerhouse has more than 6,500 financial advisors serving 2.7 million clients worldwide. Two decades later, two local businessmen launched a quirky lo-fi local cable channel that allowed customers to buy products while watching television. They called it the Home Shopping Club. It later became retail giant HSN . Both companies continue to base their global headquarters in St. Petersburg. In 1983, a group of six businessmen turned an irreverent concept into a multi million-dollar chain of restaurants when they opened the very first Hooters in Clearwater. Ever research a topic using the online encyclopedia Wikipedia ? The site launched from downtown St. Pete in 2001. Fact-checking website Lockheed Martin

PolitiFact got its start in the city six years later. Our proximity to two international airports and the largest shipping port in Florida keep us well-connected to the rest of the world, so it’s no surprise many global corporations call St. Pete/Clearwater home. You’ll find the Fortune 500 technology firms Jabil Circuit and Tech Data headquartered here. With industry giants Valpak and Catalina Marketing also located here, the area is rapidly becoming Florida’s hub for big data. St. Pete/Clearwater is home to more than 100,000 veterans and 40,000 defense sector-related jobs. This ready workforce ensures that General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Honeywell International and GE Aviation have the staff to power the next generation of innovations for homeland security. Naturally, our beaches, museums and other fun activities attract young creatives. With a 6% growth rate in the millennial population since 2010 – and getting tagged the top city for millennial job seekers in Florida by nerdwallet.com – St. Pete/Clearwater’s business future looks sunny indeed. Find out more at Pinellas County Economic Development (pced. org). Success, of course, begins with education, and the St. Pete/Clearwater area is home to a handful of premier higher-ed institutions. The University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the USF College of Marine Science , located on the same picturesque waterfront campus near downtown St. Pete, are part of St. Pete’s Innovation District. The 58-acre campus offers more than 50 bachelor’s degrees, including a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, as well as several graduate programs. U.S. News & World

Stetson University College of Law

Report ranked USFSP’s online MBA program among the nation’s top 10 percent in its 2015 survey of Best Online MBA Programs. Of 167 universities, USFSP is ranked No. 15 in the nation and No. 2 in Florida. The Poynter Institute for Media Studies , a global leader in journalism, is located directly across the street from USFSP. The institute, launched in 1975, teaches journalists, educators and students everything there is to know about journalism in the 21st century – from writing and editing to industry ethics and digital storytelling. Eckerd College , a private liberal arts school located on a 188-acre campus on Boca Ciega Bay, is one of only 40 colleges listed in the Colleges That Change Lives guide. The school was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for the outstanding quality of its undergraduate education in 2003. Known for its marine and environmental science programs as well as its creative writing, international relations, and foreign affairs and management programs, Eckerd offers 38 majors to its 1800 students. With just about 1,000 students, Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport is one of the most respected law schools in the United States, as well as Florida’s oldest. U.S. News and World Report ranked Stetson No. 1 in trial advocacy law and No.2 in legal writing education. The sprawling St. Petersburg College , founded in 1927, is a state school offering more than 100 degrees and certificate programs to its 57,000 students. SPC’s career-focused curriculum ranks it among Florida’s top higher-ed schools for alumni possessing valuable real-world job skills.

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t s a Pis present

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area exploded in the roaring 1920s, and the momentum kept up through the postWWII boom. Decades on, dozens of the area’s classic landmarks and attractions still shine in all their vintage glory.

On the beaches Generations of visitors to Madeira Beach have made a scoop of ice cream from the Candy Kitchen a highlight of the day. The pint-sized shop opened in 1950, and six decades later it still delights customers of all ages with homemade ice cream, fudge and vintage sweets. The enormous neon sign at the Thunderbird Beach Resort has lit up the Treasure Island skyline since 1957. The historic beachfront landmark has modernized rooms these days, but the hotel still features some of its fabulous midcentury amenities. How about a throwback game of miniature golf? St. Pete Beach visitors have enjoyed the kitschy charm of Polynesian Putter since 1967. The 18-hole miniature golf course is one of the oldest in Florida.

Gulfport Situated right on Boca Ciega Bay in Gulfport’s artsy waterfront district, the Gulfport Casino Ballroom is an art deco treasure that’s charmed locals since 1934. The ballroom, funded during the Great Depression by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, is actually the third structure in that location – its two predecessors were damaged by tropical storm tides. Like the Coliseum in St. Pete, it’s been a popular venue for dances and other events. But don’t let its name fool you – no actual gambling happens here.

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A not-so-serious timeline of

local history 3

1820s The nation’s first grapefruit arrives in Safety Harbor when Frenchman Odet Philippe brings grapefruit seeds from the Bahamas. Philippe soon plants Florida’s first post colonial commercial grove.

3

1914 The world’s first commercial flight takes off from St. Petersburg and lands 23 minutes later in Tampa. The plane is a single-engine Benoist two-seater. The pilot? Early aviator Tony Jannus, whose sole passenger paid $400 for his seat.

3

1920s Chicago crime boss and part-time St. Pete resident Al Capone is the first (and only!) mobster to have his own dining table in the King Charles Room at The Don CeSar Hotel on St. Pete Beach.

St. Petersburg Sunken Gardens has been synonymous with St. Pete for decades. Back in 1903, a horticulture enthusiast named George Turner Sr. began converting a six-acre tract of land near downtown into a tropical paradise. Sunken Gardens opened commercially in 1935, and quickly became one of Florida’s top destinations. Today, its exotic plants, pink flamingos and butterfly aviary still delight. Relive the roaring ’20s at St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, one of the city’s most important historic sites. The courts themselves were built in 1923. As shuffleboard went out of vogue in the late 20th century, the club fell into disrepair. But a group of preservationists nurtured it back to life. Enjoy more Jazz Age flashbacks as you gaze upon the Coliseum Ballroom, one of the South’s

3

largest ballrooms. In 1924, the $250,000 ballroom – then dubbed the Palace of Pleasure – opened to a throng of thousands eager to do the foxtrot and the Lindy hop inside the grand Moorish-style building. The Coliseum is still a go-to spot for dances. Derby Lane Greyhound Track is the oldest greyhound track in the country, and it’s still owned by the same family that opened it in 1925. The seasonal attraction really took off in 1932, when Florida legalized parimutuel gambling. El Cap Restaurant hasn’t changed much since Augie Donatelli – then a well-known Major League Baseball umpire – purchased it in 1963. After more than 50 years, it’s still a favorite no-fuss spot for locals who love burgers and ballgames. Biff-Burger is a ’50s landmark that’s the very last in a roadside fast-food chain that once dotted the southeast United States. Americana-loving regulars flock to its special theme nights showcasing vintage cars and motorcycles.

1920s Webb’s City, the “World’s Most Unusual Drug Store,” originates the idea of a “10 Items or Less” grocery store express line. The eclectic supermarket showcases dancing chickens and a mermaid show, and stays in business until 1979.

3

1926 The Palm Pavilion, the very first bar on Clearwater Beach, opens for business.

3

1929 Jazz legend Buster Cooper, best known for playing trombone in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, is born in St. Petersburg.

3

1940s Frozen orange juice concentrate originates in Dunedin.

3

1965 In May, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards writes the first licks of the band’s hit song (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction in a Clearwater hotel room. Two months later, it shoots to the top of the Billboard chart. 1969 Beat Generation author and 3

3 Clearwater & Tarpon Springs

Angie’s Restaurant has been a downtown Clearwater staple since Angie Chaconas opened it in 1965. Chaconas, who grew up hungry in Greece during World War II, created a business model of feeding loyal customers big portions of home-cooked grub. The restaurant’s bright red stools and wraparound lunch counter make it a fun stop for Americana lovers. Greek immigrants skilled in sponge diving began settling in Tarpon Springs in the early 1900s and transformed the city into the Sponge Capital of the World. Built in 1968, the quirky Sponge-O-Rama Vintage Museum, located on the city’s fabled sponge docks, educates visitors about this chapter of local history. The museum’s vintage dioramas, timeworn displays and fading mannequins add to its kitschy allure.

St. Pete resident Jack Kerouac dies. His ghost becomes the first to haunt Haslam’s Book Store in St. Pete where he was known for rearranging bookshelves so that his own works were prominently displayed.

3

1983 The very first Hooters restaurant opens in Clearwater.

3

1995 Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s first craft brewery, opens in Dunedin.

3

2014 In June, St. Pete Pride, Florida’s largest LGBT pride celebration, beats the summer heat by becoming the state’s first nighttime LGBT parade. >> For vintage vacationing, go to VisitSPC.com/Americana V I SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 95


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A three-inch-long juvenile loggerhead sea turtle hatchling swims in a holding tank at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium ICU.

un-loving dolphins frolicking in the waves is a common sight in the waters of St. Pete/Clearwater. But sometimes accidents happen or the playful mammals become sick and stranded on the beach. For these dolphins, as well as for many sea turtles and other sea life in need of medical attention, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is where they’re brought to heal. More than just a showcase for marine animals, the aquarium’s mission is the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured marine life, says aquarium CEO and director David Yates. Equally important, he said, is educating the public about these animals, their environment and how to help them survive. “Our goal is to rehabilitate and release all the animals brought to us,” says Yates. “Only the ones who can’t survive on their own will stay here after rehabilitation.” One of the aquarium’s star residents is Winter, the young dolphin who survived a tail amputation against all odds and became the star of two feature films based on her story – Dolphin Tale (2011) and Dolphin Tale 2 (2014). Winter had been found stranded and entangled in a crab trap line that cut off circulation to her tail flukes. She was transported to the aquarium for treatment, but her tail could not be saved. Scientists and medical experts developed Winter’s prosthetic tail, the first of its kind. “Thousands of visitors from around the world come to the aquarium each year,” says Yates. “Many come because they have been inspired by the story of Winter.” A touching new exhibit, Winter’s Gallery of Hope, shows just how powerful Winter’s story has become. Located at the aquarium’s sister facility, Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure in downtown Clearwater, the exhibit is filled with original letters, photographs and paintings from people around the world who have been inspired by Winter’s journey. More than 150 items are on display – a fraction of the tens of thousands of mailings the aquarium has received since the release of Dolphin Tale, says Yates. Many photos show children and adults with missing limbs interacting with Winter, all sharing memories and gratitude for encounters that changed lives. Visitors to the aquarium can see Winter and the other resident dolphins – Hope and Nicholas – along with sea turtles, pelicans and otters. All animals who reside at the aquarium are not releasable back to the wild, says Yates, due to injuries or disabilities – like Max, the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle who arrived in 1988 after sustaining a severe head injury that left him mostly blind. Max and other resident sea turtles have recently been introduced to palatial new digs – Mavis’s Rescue Hideaway is a 175,000-gallon tank that mimics a coral reef. Opened last May, it is the largest indoor habitat for injured sea turtles in the world. 98

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Loggerhead release on Clearwater Beach Winter the dolphin in action


Sunlight camera, Did you know a major motion picture movie star resides at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium? Winter played herself in Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2 (look for Hope in the sequel), alongside Hollywood stars Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr. and Kris Kristofferson. Winter’s story of rehabilitation and recovery is the basis for the movies, which were filmed at and around the aquarium. You can see movie clips, props and re-built sets, including the lab where scientists worked to create Winter’s prosthetic tail, at Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure.

Follow

the Dolphin

Winter is not the only famous dolphin in Clearwater! Keep your eyes peeled for colorfully painted 6-foot dolphins along the acclaimed Dolphin Trail. From the beaches to downtown Clearwater and all the way to the Dalí Museum and beyond, discover nearly 120 playfully decorated fiberglass dolphins designed by local artists. Make it a scavenger hunt for the whole family and see how many you can find! Find a complete Dolphin Trail map at VisitSPC.com/DolphinTrail

Hollywood loves St. Pete/Clearwater and the rest of the Tampa Bay area as locations for shooting films. Look for local sites in these movies: >> Dolphin Tale (2011) Winter the dolphin loses her tail but gains a friendship with a local boy who helps her through her ordeal. >> Dolphin Tale 2 (2014) Time is running out to find a companion for Winter before the team at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium loses her to another aquarium. Finally, Hope arrives! >> The Infiltrator (2016) In this true story, a U.S. Customs official uncovers a money-laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and goes up against the biggest drug cartel in history. >> Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) In Tim Burton’s otherworldly adventure, a seemingly “normal” boy learns he has special powers to protect the mysterious young residents of a special home. >> Spring Breakers (2013) Four college girls hold up a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation. >> Magic Mike (2012) Matthew McConaughey plays a stripper who teaches a younger performer (Channing Tatum) how to make the most of his talents. >> Grace is Gone (2007) John Cusack plays a father who takes his young daughters on a Florida road trip in preparation for announcing the death of their mother in Iraq. >> Ocean’s Eleven (2001) All-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts about a gang of 11 sophisticated thieves who aim to rob three Las Vegas casinos at the same time. >> Cocoon (1985) A group of trespassing seniors discovers a return to youthful vigor when they swim in a pool containing alien cocoons. >> Summer Rental (1985) An overworked air traffic controller takes his family on vacation to the beach, where wacky adventures ensue.

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The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Gold Passport® and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2016 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

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131

YEARS OF COLORFUL CULTURE

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IC R O T S HI VERIES

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Venture beyond the beaches and souvenir shops of Florida’s west central coast and you’ll find dozens of neighborhoods rich with history. With housing styles as varied as sea life in the Gulf of Mexico, interested homebuyers might do well to brush up on the language of Florida architecture. Styles like Cracker, Mediterranean revival, prairie and craftsman offer distinctive ways of enjoying the Florida lifestyle. From waterfront communities to urban high-rise condominiums to historic single-family homes, buyers in search of a second or permanent home will find a delightful assortment of choices.

Cracker Style

Designed to accommodate tropical living, homes built by native Floridians offered two key elements: ventilation and shade signified by wrap around porches and ample crawl space. Additionally, sloping metal roofs, raised floors and central stairways or hallways (often called shotgun hallways) offered practical solutions for Florida summers. The late 19th century design is enjoying a comeback, with many contemporary builders offering new homes reminiscent of Old Florida. These structures survive the humidity and heat of the Florida climate by being constructed of southern yellow pine, among other species.

Mediterranean Revival Prairie Style One of the more prolific architectural styles in Florida and Tampa Bay is characterized by stucco walls, red-tiled roofs and wrought-iron balconies with window grilles and rectangular floor plans, the design embraces elements of Italian, Islamic-Spanish and Spanish-American architecture. Throughout the bay area, the design can be found in residential homes as well as hotels, apartment buildings and resorts. Locally, The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach and Stetson University in Gulfport reflect the influence. The Coliseum and the Flori-de-Leon apartment building, both in downtown St. Pete also are examples of the style.

Popular in the early to mid-1900s and inspired by famed designer Frank Lloyd Wright, the style evokes the horizontal elements of a midwest prairie. Cantilevered eaves and terraces that flow into open spaces encourage and maintain a consistency with the land. The still-popular style also features horizontal bands of windows, a low roof pitch, built-ins and geometric details. Influences of Frank Lloyd Wright’s elegantly simple design can be found throughout Tampa Bay, including St. Petersburg’s Roser Park and Old Northeast neighborhoods, and in Tampa’s Hyde Park.

Craftsman Bungalow

Blending simplicity with craftsmanship, the craftsman style was one of the most sought-after home designs from 1907 to 1925. Blending aspects of the prairie home (porches for shade, low roofs and cross ventilation), the design also includes exposed beams and rafters, numerous windows and a centerpiece fireplace. The design was so popular that homes could be mail-ordered through Sears Roebuck and Co. Neighborhoods like Kenwood, Euclid St. Paul and Roser Park in Pinellas County are filled with craftsman bungalows, a design that remains as popular as ever.

>> Of course, single-family homes are only one option for a second home or year-round abode. Empty-nester baby boomers who may find condo life appealing will find a growing list of options as high-rises are, well, on the rise. Luxury condominiums, townhouses and apartment homes line miles of intracoastal and gulf front properties. Whether on the water or in the center of city life, permanent home or vacation getaway, Tampa Bay’s offerings are rich with history and possibilities.

In the market $100,000+

Interested in relocating or buying a second home? Here’s a sampling of what the market has to offer, organized by price range:

Clearwater 3 bed/2 bath single-family, ranch style block/ stucco, shingle roof, 2,476 total sq. ft. attached two-car garage, Sunset Heights community, property backs to a pond. Built in 1962. $114,900

$200,000+

Seminole 3 bed/2 bath single-family home, contemporary style, stucco with shingle roof. In-ground private pool, attached garage, pond view. Built in 1977. $204,900

$500,000+

Indian Rocks Beach 2 bed/2 bath single-family home, canal frontage with easy access to the intracoastal. Block/stucco, 1,934 total sq. ft. Built in 1955. $514,900

$1 million+

St. Pete Beach 4 bed/4 bath single-family home, double lot, open waterfront on the intracoastal, house has water views throughout, 50-ft. dock, two-car attached garage. Block construction, 4,337 sq. ft. Built in 1948. $1,085,900 V I SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 103


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d n o y e B

Ready for a break from the sand & sea? Explore these fun-filled destinations to experience authentic Florida.

THE H C A E B

Cirque du Soleil

ORLANDO/KISSIMMEE/COCOA approx. 2 hr. Take a day off from the beach for a one-tank trip to nearby Orlando’s famous theme parks. At Walt Disney World, pick among the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom. Universal’s Islands of Adventure is where you’ll find the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter. SeaWorld combines the mysteries of the ocean with thrill rides and lively performances. Discovery Cove is an all-day play day where you can snorkel a reef and swim with dolphins. Slip, slide and float the day away at water parks like Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and Aquatica. At Disney Springs, world-renowned Cirque du Soleil presents the mesmerizing theatrical experience La Nouba. The comical Blue Man Group stretches the imagination at Universal CityWalk. Ca’ d’Zan

SARASOTA/ELLENTON

approx. 1 hr.

Sarasota is home to the world-class Ringling Museum of Art with its magnificent collection of Old Masters paintings. Visit the Circus Museum and Ca’ d’Zan, the 56-room mansion of circus magnate John Ringling. Mote Marine Aquarium is overflowing with a variety of fish and mammals, including manatees, two touch tanks and a 135,000-gallon shark habitat. Shoppers will want to touch down at the chic boutiques of St. Armand’s Circle or shop for bargains at Ellenton Premium Outlets, with its 130-plus outlet shops.

NATURE COAST approx. 1 hr. Discover Old Florida at Weeki Wachee Springs and Homosassa Springs state parks. The mermaid shows at Weeki Wachee have delighted visitors since 1947. Admission includes a riverboat ride and access to Buccaneer Bay water park with its sandy beach, flume rides and water slides. Stroll the boardwalk trails to see native Florida wildlife including manatees, bobcats, whooping cranes, alligators, crocodiles, Key deer and Florida panthers.

Weeki Wachee Springs

Head north along the Gulf Coast to find laid-back Cedar Key, where Old Florida is alive and well in this tiny island community. Stroll the eclectic art galleries, taste fresh steamed oysters at the marina restaurants, take a paddle or drop a fishing line. Everyone walks in Cedar Key, although you can rent a bicycle or golf cart.

Florida Forever is a 4,700-acre conservation area in St. Cloud that offers zip lining, horseback riding and even cattle herding (try the eight-hour Cowboy for a Day experience). Take a backcountry Wild Coach Adventure through a Florida working ranch and venture deep into the surrounding forests, wetlands and prairies. You haven’t experienced real Florida until you’ve taken a ride on an airboat. Lone Cabbage Fish Camp in Cocoa will take you on a spin through the grassy marsh of the scenic St. Johns River at speeds up to 45 mph. Be sure to stop in at the restaurant to taste Florida specialties like gator tail, frog legs, turtle and catfish.

LOCAL less than 1 hr. Get theme-park thrills in half the drive time at Tampa’s Busch Gardens. Here you’ll find wild roller coasters, musical performances and safari tours featuring Florida Aquarium exotic animals. At Lowry Park Zoo, voted the nation’s No. 1 Family-Friendly Zoo by Parents magazine, animals are the main attraction. Visit the Edge of Africa, feed a giraffe, pet a stingray, walk with wallabees and check out the penguins. Explore how things work at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), with its planetarium and IMAX dome, or the Glazer Children’s Museum. The Florida Aquarium takes visitors on a journey through Florida’s diverse water habitats. Hop aboard the bright red and yellow Jolley Trolley to explore Tarpon Springs. Catch it on Clearwater Beach, then sit back and enjoy an easy, breezy ride to the famous Sponge Docks. Sunken Gardens, one of St. Pete’s original tourist attractions, still exudes its exotic tropical charm as a small, tranquil oasis. Meander the pathways through four acres of lush flowers and palms, amid fountains, waterfalls, exotic birds and flamingoes. >> For a complete listing of all the activities in the St. Pete/Clearwater area, go to VisitSPC.com/Activities V I SI TSTP ETECLEARWATER.COM 1 05


THE HEART OF ST. PETE DISCOVER THE PLACE THE LOCALS GO. Fall in love with an elegant waterfront resort, just steps from museums and St. Petersburg style. World class dining. Fred’s Cellar, an underground speakeasy straight out of the 20’s. Championship golf and tennis. Rejuvenating day spa. Two pools. 74-slip marina. And every modern amenity - all yours, at The Vinoy® Renaissance Resort & Golf Club.

Reservations: 888.303.4430 or VisitVinoy.com 501 5th Ave NE, St Petersburg, FL 33701 t: 727.894.1000 © 2016 Renaissance Holdings, Inc.

Come spend your day at the MFA! Explore our galleries, enjoy our events, dine in our café and shop in our store. Visit mfastpete.org.

SHOPPING | DINING | ART

255 Beach Drive NE

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727.896.2667

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mfastpete.org

850 Bayway Boulevard Clearwater Beach, Florida 33767 (727) 449-8007 www.ChartHouseSuites.com Chart House Suites & Marina is located on Clearwater Beach and features the closest Marina to Clearwater Pass.

       

26 Spacious studios and suites Balconies and great views Refrigerator Microwave & Coffee maker Internet Access Free Parking Heated pool Walking distance to Clearwater beach, restaurants, and nightlife.

Programs are sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the State of Florida, the City of St. Petersburg Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Margaret Acheson Stuart Society. 382184-1

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TAKE A SPIN ON THE NEW

Spring info fun with a trip to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. Look beyond the expected and you’ll find surprising thrills for the whole family.

A WHOLE OTHER WORLD AWAITS.

buschgardenstampa.com © 2017 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.


events From IndyCar racing to Indie music festivals, your guide to year-round action in St. Pete/ Clearwater

Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival Clearwater Localtopia St. Petersburg Gasparilla Classic Gymnastics Championships St. Petersburg Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training Clearwater

Tarpon Springs Epiphany Tarpon Springs St. Pete Beach Classic St. Petersburg Treasure Island Kite Festival Treasure Island Clearwater Distance Classic Clearwater Sunshine Music Festival St. Petersburg East-West Shrine Game St. Petersburg

Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training Dunedin Philadelphia Union Spring Training Clearwater BMX Gator Nationals Oldsmar

Firestone Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training Clearwater Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training Dunedin PGA Golf Valspar Championship Palm Harbor Florida Beach Halfathon and 5K Tierra Verde Bloom N Chalkfest Safety Harbor

mar

feb

Dunedin Highland Games Dunedin Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival Clearwater Beach Tampa Bay Blues Festival St. Petersburg Mainsail Art Festival St. Petersburg Festival Of Speed St. Petersburg Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day St. Petersburg Florida Antiquarian Book Fair St. Petersburg

apr

Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week Clearwater Beach American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship Clearwater

may

jan

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Minor League Baseball Clearwater Threshers and Dunedin Blue Jays Baddest BBQ On the Bone Madeira Beach

jul

Clearwater Beach Uncorked Clearwater Beach

St. Petersburg Bowl St. Petersburg

Tampa Bay Restaurant Week All Areas

jun

dec Holiday Lights In The Gardens Largo

St. Pete Pride St. Petersburg

nov

oct

Outback Bowl St. Pete Wine & Beach Day Clearwater Beach Food Festival St. Petersburg First Night Ribfest St. Petersburg St. Petersburg

Harbor Sounds Safety Harbor

Dunedin Wines The Blues Dunedin

Clearwater Jazz Holiday Clearwater

Suncoast Jazz Classic Clearwater Beach

Oldsmar Oktoberfest Oldsmar

King of the Beach Tournament & Festival Madeira Beach

Clearwater Chalk Festival Clearwater Beach John’s Pass Seafood Festival Madeira Beach

aug sep

Tampa Bay Lobster Festival Clearwater

Geckofest Gulfport Clearwater Super Boat Races Clearwater Beach

>> Find the most up-to-date list of events at VisitSPC.com/ Events

July 4 Fireworks, on the water multiple communities Tampa Bay Rays Baseball St. Petersburg Tampa Bay Rowdies St. Petersburg Warped Tour St. Petersburg


401 Second Street | Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785 www.hiharbourside.com 800-726-0865

HARBOURSIDE

*SUITES & VILLAS WITH FULL KITCHENS *SUITES SLEEP UP TO 6 *SWIMMING POOL WITH JACUZZI *SHORT WALK TO THE BEACH *MARINA WITH BOAT RENTALS

*SOUTHERNMOST LINKS MINIATURE GOLF *GECKO’S GAME ROOM *FISHING CHARTERS AVAILABLE *FULL SERVICE RESTAURANT JIMMY GUANA’S *DISCOUNT TICKETS TO SPLASH HARBOUR

Splash Harbour Water Park packages available at www.hiharbourside.com/packages

Waterslides ~ Lazy River ~ Splash Pad ~ Zero Entry Pool ~ Snack Shack ~ Cruzan Rum Shack Key West Mining ~ Private Cabana ~ Extra-Large Sundeck ~ & So Much More 399 Second Street | Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

www.SplashHarbourWaterPark.com

727-754-6492


Vacation Condo Rentals

You don’t live in one room at home. Why would you on vacation?

Gulf Strand Resort St. Pete Beach

Coconut Villas of Dunedin

A TROPICAL OASIS OF PLEASURE . Madeira Bay Resort Madeira Beach

Sea Breeze Resort Madeira Beach

These resorts & many more see: www.trsinc.com travelresortservices /trsinc

Perfectly positioned on the area’s best beach and next to famed Pier 60, Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa is one of the area’s few resorts offering private beachfront walk-out access. Experience a recently transformed resort destination offering two beachfront pools with stunning Gulf of Mexico views, rejuvenating treatments at the Hibiscus Spa, a full-service Starbucks and newly renovated guestrooms featuring private balconies.

@trsincfl /travelresortservices

13030 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, FL 33708 (727) 393-2534 (800) 237-6586 110

AM E R I C A’ S B E ST B EACH ES

To make a reservation, please call 800 753 3954 or visit hiltonclearwaterbeach.com. 400 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 ©2016 Hilton Worldwide


P HOTO BY M A RC U S OA NI A , V I S I T ST. P E T E / C L EA RWAT E R

Sand, Sea Oats and Cosmos: all captured in a single 30-second exposure painted with light.

The sun sets on your visit, but the love affair has just begun. The sugar-white sand, the welcoming waters, the friendly locals, the flavorful food, the lively culture – they will always beckon. So as you close the book on your visit here, remember: this is not “Goodbye.” It’s only “See you again soon.”



Gulf to Bay - 2017