St. Pete Beach is surrounded by the gorgeous white sand beaches and clear ocean waters. St. Pete Beach offers visitors a wonderful blend of fun and relaxation. A vacation here is ideal for those who love to play on the beach, eat great food, and shop. You’ll love the laid back feel of St. Pete Beach while experiencing some amazing adventures. This St. Pete Beach travel guide will offer many suggestions to help you plan your trip to Florida.
It's important for all St. Pete Beach travel guides to mention what there is to do on your St. Pete Beach vacation. So here's an outline of the most popular activities. Each St. Pete Beach vacation should start out at John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. This casual and charming place is an Old Florida fishing village on John’s Pass. There are fabulous shops, art galleries, restaurants, and saloons here. Many come to John’s Pass for the marina and the incredible water sports. You can fish, swim, and kayak, among other water activities.
Play in the Surf and the Sand
Of course, your vacation would be incomplete without hitting up a beach or two. Sand Key Park is a wide beach with a gentle surf. It’s off the beaten path, so the beach tends to be less crowded. Many like to come here for a morning walk or jog. Sand Key Park is home to the artificial reef program, an interdepartmental cooperation program to build a reef in the Gulf. Sand Key Park’s natural communities include a beach where sea turtles annually deposit eggs.
The Clearwater Public Beach, also known as Pier 60, has beach volleyball, water sports rentals, and is great for swimming. You can fish off the pier and let the kids play in the fun playground. Across the lot is the Clearwater Beach Marina where you can set out your boat, cruisers, and jet skis.
Fort De Soto Park is the perfect beach for soft sand, clear water, and shady pines. Fort De Soto is actually made up of five separate islands where you can bike, skate, or jog on the 7-mile paved trail or kayak through the mangroves. There’s a Dog Beach here for pets and kids enjoy exploring the jail cells of the old fort.
Sea Life Adventures
If you’ve brought the kids on your St. Pete Beach vacation, take some time to explore the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The aquarium is on the Clearwater Harbor. It’s very low-key and friendly. The facility is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals and sea turtles. Exhibits include otters, sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, mangroves, and sea grass. There’s also an abundance of educational activities and dolphin encounters.
Bird lovers enjoy going to Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary on St. Pete Beach vacations. At any given time, there are more than 500 sea and land birds living in the sanctuary. Get up close and personal with cormorants, white herons, and brown pelicans. Suncoast is also home to the nation’s largest wild-bird hospital, dedicated to the rescue and recuperation of sick and injured wild birds.
You’ll also want to check out the Sponge Capital of the World on your St. Pete Beach vacation. The Sponge Capital of the World, in Tarpon Sprints, is a short drive from St. Pete Beach. Greek immigrants from the Dodecanese Islands settled in the area in the late 19th century. Their main source of income was harvesting sponges. By 1930, Tarpon Springs was producing more sponges than any other place in the world. Sponges still arrive at the historic Sponge Docks. While visiting, you’ll find a fun carnival-like atmosphere where you can shop for sponges and other fun souvenirs. Have fun listening to the Greek music playing and eating authentic Aegean cuisines.
Fine Dining in St. Pete Beach
A big part of any St. Pete Beach travel guide is where you should eat while on vacation. St. Pete Beach is known for its delectable fine-dining and also fun, cheap eats. You can find both nearby! Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber is a nice restaurant, although more on the expensive side. This place has been popular with the locals since 1948. Inside, you’ll find unique dining rooms, large models of sailing crafts, and an art gallery. The menu consists of delicious fresh seafood, beef, veal, and lamb. You can also dine on the fried chicken, an original 1910 Heilman family recipe. No matter what you choose to eat here, you won’t leave disappointed.
For some cheaper eats, head on over to Guppy’s on the Beach. Locals love this small bar and grill because of its yummy food. Favorites include the salmon coated with potatoes, cooked tuna with a peppercorn sauce, and the apple-walnut pie. The atmosphere is casual, beach-friendly, with a fun bar in the middle of the restaurant. You can even eat outside on the patio is you wish. And the prices are just right, so go ahead and bring the entire family.
Unique Shopping Treasures
St. Pete Beach is full of fun and unique shops. If you love to shop, there’s plenty here for you. John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk has a large collection of beach souvenir shops. You must stop at the Bronze Lady here and see the collection of works by the late comedian/artists Red Skelton. If you’re looking for jewelry, try Evander Preston Contemporary Jewelry. This shop is located in a 75-year-old building in Pass-a-Grille’s business district. St. Pete Beach’s Corey Landings area is part of the town’s original business strip and is still home to shops specializing in corals and shells. You’ll find a wonderful selection of shell home decorations, art supplies, and jewelry here.
St. Pete Beach sports warm temperatures year round. Many people like to come here during the spring and summer, so you’ll find the heaviest crowds this time of the year. April–May and October–November are great times to hit up the beach if you want to miss the crowds. You’ll also skip the rainy season and have plenty of sunshine if you come during these months.
Most St. Pete Beach travel guides will tell you to bring cool, comfortable clothing on your vacation. The temperatures are typically about 80 degrees F. You’ll want sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and insect repellant any time of the year. In the summer, an umbrella is nice for the occasional rain shower.
In the late spring and summer, casual clothes work best. Fall and winter temperatures vary from mild to cool, so you’ll want to pack a light jacket along with those shorts and sandals.
You’ll find most services you need in St. Pete Beach or in the surrounding communities. You can find grocery stores, libraries, churches, and rental equipment for your outdoor adventures. Nearby you’ll find medical and dental services. Most cell phones work in the area and high-speed Internet is available.
St. Pete Beach is about 20 miles Southwest of Tampa. You’ll find plenty of sun and sand on St. Pete Beach vacations. St. Pete Beach sees approximately one million visitors every year, many in the winter time. St. Pete Beach was formed from the Town of Pass-a-Grille and was incorporated into Pinellas County in 1957 with the name of St. Petersburg Beach. Most everyone, including the locals, called the area “St. Pete Beach” and the name was officially changed in 1994 to distinguish the town from the City of St. Petersburg a few miles to the east.
St. Pete Beach is served by two international airports. You can fly into Tampa International Airport, rated as the seventh-best airport in the world. The Tampa airport offers convenient shuttles and is 30-45 minutes from St. Pete Beach. You can also fly in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. You’ll be just minutes away from a fabulous St. Pete Beach vacation if you fly here. The airport is smaller, so you’ll experience fewer crowds.
For St. Pete Beach vacations be sure to check out VacationRentals.com for the best prices and accommodations. You can rent beach houses, condos, and homes for your stay in St. Pete Beach. VacationRentals.com offers the best prices for the most convenient places to stay. Hotels in the St. Pete Beach area tend to be on the expensive side, especially during the peak season. By using VacationRentals.com you’ll save a lot of money that can be spent on other activities on your vacation. Check out the deals available at VacationRentals.com to stay in a great place that won’t blow your budget.
You’ll be able to have a wonderful vacation without breaking your budget. VacationRentals.com is especially convenient if you are bringing your family with you to St. Pete Beach.
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