St. Petersburg / Clearwater Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in St. Petersburg / ClearwaterWhere to Stay
The majority of your best hotel options in St. Petersburg/Clearwater are located along the beautiful sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. From Clearwater Beach in the north to St. Pete Beach in the south, the region’s barrier islands host a vast array of accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. There are also several notable options located in downtown St. Petersburg, close to great dining, shopping and cultural attractions. If convenience is what you’re after, there is also a cluster of well-known hotel chains close to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport.
Hot Tips: If you're on a budget, hotel costs are significantly higher during the high season, January through May. Visit in June, September or October if you want to get a bargain.
What to Eat
St. Petersburg/Clearwater has an abundance of wonderful dining experiences. The area specializes in casual beachfront dining where you can dive into fresh local seafood while enjoying dramatic sunsets. Great options can be found anywhere along the barrier islands, but some of the best are located in Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach. In downtown St. Petersburg, you’ll find many delicious and eclectic dining options. Restaurants here tend to be trendier and more expensive than their beach counterparts. There are also many good dining options to explore located close to the airport.
Caution: Not all seafood sold is local. Check with your server before ordering.
Be Sure to Sample: Fresh oysters and shrimp, grouper sandwich, smoked fish spread...all things seafood.
Things to See
There is a never-ending list of things to see and do on your visit to St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Of course there’s the beach - miles upon miles of fluffy, white sand beaches and the watersports that go with it. You can jet ski, parasail, paddleboard, boat, fish, swim or just collect shells. For art and history lovers, there are many world-class cultural attractions to explore in downtown St. Petersburg; and for those interested in exploring the natural side of St. Petersburg/Clearwater, there are botanical gardens, nature preserves and aquariums for you to enjoy.
Caution: Always make sure to have a supply of water and suntan lotion on hand at all times. Heat stroke can hit you fast under the hot Florida sun.
Hot Tips: The Suncoast Beach Trolley is a cheap and handy shuttle that runs between area beaches with a connector service to downtown St. Petersburg.
Places to Party
There is plenty to do after dark in St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Nightlife of the trendy and hip variety can be found clustered in downtown St. Petersburg where you’ll encounter everything from chic lounges to thumping techno clubs to live concert venues. If you’re at the beach, chances are you just have to walk a little ways down the sand to find the closest beach bar. Options will vary from small tiki huts to full-out night clubs featuring live music. Most popular options are located in St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach. Brewpubs are also very popular and can be found throughout the area.
Take It or Leave It: Leave casual at the beach if you're heading to downtown St. Petersburg. Many bars and nightclubs expect you to dress to impress.
Where to Shop
The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area is full of unique shopping opportunities. If you’re looking for antiques, local art, and eclectic gifts, downtown St. Petersburg is a great place to start. More laid-back shopping is found up and down the barrier islands where you’ll find casual clothing boutiques and souvenir shops. The most popular beach shopping is located at John’s Pass. If you’re looking for unique items at bargain prices, you can check out one of several area flea markets. Still looking for more? You are only a short drive from a huge outlet mall located in nearby Ellenton.
Best Local Souvenir: A cheesy beach t-shirt, a treasure made by local artisans and a great tan!
Ready for Your Dream Vacation?
St. Petersburg / Clearwater Is Known for...
Two of St. Petersburg / Clearwater's most unique features and characteristics.Tarpon Springs
Known for Greek restaurants and culture, this lovely town is the sponge capital of the world. Visit the Spongeeorama or Konger Tarpon Springs Aquarium and be sure to eat a ton of souvlaki, spankopita and gyros while enjoying this unique village.Safety Harbor
Like Dunedin and Gulfport, this small town jewel's Main Street is exceptional and unique. You can take a day of serenity at the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa, enjoy a Thursday farmers market, 3rd Friday music series and dine/drink at Whistle Stop Bar & Grill, Besa Grill, Nantucket Bucket, Green Springs Bistro and so many more.