Busy planning away your next vacation? Canadians tend to go south to escape the cold, especially during the winter. If you’re on the same boat, looking for a great tropical experience, sippin’ cocktails beachside and basking in the sun, then you need to check out St. Pete-Clearwater, Florida for all it has to offer.
It’s time to change your perception of Florida, whatever it may be. When you think of the Sunshine State, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando may come to mind. But St. Petersburg-Clearwater stands out amongst them. You don’t need to go to the highly populated tourist attractions to joy some fun in the sun and experience Florida. You can have a fantastic vacation by Clearwater Beach at a fraction of the cost. But how, you may ask?
At the moment, low-cost Canadian airline Swoop has flights out of Hamilton (soon Toronto, too) to St. Pete-Clearwater on select dates. You can easily do a four-day trip to sunshine!
Once you have your flights figured out, it’s time to pick out where you’ll be staying. If you’re looking for a more tropical getaway, the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach resort offers some of the best ocean views and beachside attractions. Looking for more of a city experience? Tru by Hilton St. Petersburg provides guests with a fun and energetic stay, helping them stay connected to all city experiences available.
Convinced? Then it’s time to book that trip to St. Pete-Clearwater!
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Without further ado, here are some fun and exciting things to do during your trip to St. Pete-Clearwater.
Stay beachside at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach
Stay beachside at Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort for stunning sunsets and fun in the sun. It offers a little taste of paradise with almost snow-white sand and literally clear waters. It’s just steps away from all the excitement at Pier 60 and surrounded by all the essential spots so you won’t need to travel far if you need some last-minute things. Take a walk down the beachwalk at any point of the day and you’ll see exactly why it’s the perfect spot for your next getaway.
Where: 301 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL
Have Lunch at The Living Room
Fun fact: the city of Dunedin is the home to the Toronto Blue Jays for spring training and for the Dunedin Blue Jays year round. And it’s just a short drive away from Clearwater. It is also the “Home of Honeymoon Island,” the #1 state park in Florida. Nicknamed “Dogedin”, Dunedin has become so dog-friendly that many of its restaurants, breweries, and pubs allows you to have your pet join your dining adventures. That being said, if you find yourself exploring the town, head over to The Living Room on Main for a delicious lunch. Just look at that chicken salad sandwich, with some added grapes and peanuts for that hint of crunchy sweetness. Pair that with a side of truffle fries and you’re golden.
Where: 487 Main St, Dunedin, FL
Take a stroll down Pier 60
Literally, at any point of the day, you’ll find something fun and thrilling to do at Pier 60. You may find markets, events and mini festivals being held during the weekends to keep you entertained. Take a stroll down the St. Pete Pier, and make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen. It’s enjoyable from sunrise to sunset.
Where: Pier 60 – Clearwater, FL
Enjoy dinner & drinks at SHOR American Seafood Grill
Whether you’re already staying at the Hyatt or are on the hunt for delicious seafood grub, check out SHOR American Seafood Grill. They serve a little bit of everything from the ultimate seafood platter to burgers, risotto, seafood coconut curry, and more. Make sure to order a cocktail, too. Our favourite is the Espresso Martini, of course!
Where: 301 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL
Chow down on a Cuban eats at Bodega
Looking for the city life? Take about a 40-minute drive outside Clearwater Beach and discover St. Petersburg. The small yet mighty city has a few hidden gems and delicious eateries you need to check out. Bodega is one of them. Check out their Cuban-inspired dishes including the “Pollo Plato” which includes a marinated chicken breast, a side of rice, beans, and plantains. The portion is large and worth every penny. Their menu also includes the famous Cuban sandwich, other plates, salads, and sweets, too. Try one of their fresh juices – we had the Hibiscus refresher, which we totally recommend.
Where: 1180 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
Create works of art at Zen Glass Studio
Ever wanted to try the art of glass-blowing? Well, you definitely can at Zen Glass Studio. Whether it’s a small keepsake, jewellery or even a wine glass, the creations are almost endless. You’ll have the chance of creating whatever your heart desires, with some help of course. It’s intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be moulding glass like a pro.
Where: 600 27th St S, St. Petersburg, FL
Listen to live music & have drinks at Trophy Fish
End your night right at Trophy Fish. This is a seafood lovers’ paradise. From small bites to a fresh catch of the day, this outdoor restaurant supports local fisheries and fishermen that provide some of the best and fresh fish around. Since their focus is on providing the freshest fish available, the menu changes daily and there may be days with fewer fish than others. So if you’re looking for a big meal, get there early. But if you’re just there for the vibes and great drinks, that’s just as fun too!
Where: 2060 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
Go on a mural tour in downtown St. Pete
Fun fact: St. Pete is known for its murals – and lots of them! Artists from all over the world have left their mark on this city through stunning works of art. And local artists are keeping the momentum going with mural tours via Florida Craft Art. If there’s one thing you must do while in the city, it’s going on this tour – walking or biking. Visitors will have the chance to get the scoop behind the making of over 30 murals found in the four-block tour. From graffiti to large-scale pieces, the city is bright, colourful, and thrilling.
Where: Florida Craft Art – 501 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL
Lunch at Stillwater’s Tavern & Explore The Dali museum
St. Pete has a bustling restaurant scene that you simply don’t want to miss out on. After a mural tour, take a stroll down towards the water and you’ll come across a couple of restos worth checking out but if you want our recommendation, you need to have lunch, dinner, or drinks at Stillwater’s Tavern. Just a walk away from the the St. Pete Pier, this spot serves hearty American eats that’ll leave you feeling full AND satisfied. We ordered a Cuban sandwich because of course, when in Florida – and it was massive.
After feeding your hunger, take a walk down to The Dali Museum and see Salvador Dali’s work, up close. Exploring the exterior grounds alone was quite a sight, especially as the sun starts to set. Make sure to take some time and see Dali’s masterpieces – it’s out of this world.
Where: 224 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL & 1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL
Watch the sunset at Pier Teaki & dinner at Teak
Just absolute bliss. At the end of the St. Pete Pier, you’ll find this tiki-inspired rooftop patio. Sip on a pina colada and get whisked away to the Caribbean with its delicious flavours. Make sure to get there before the sun sets so you can get a view like this. We recommend getting one of the many colourful tiki cups so you can take it home as a souvenir.
Whether it’s before drinks or after, enjoy some delicious eats at Teak. Lucky for you, this resto is located on the fourth floor so you won’t have to travel far to experience both pleasures. Teak offers an enticing menu with large eats and mouthwatering shareables like its Cinema Popcorn Coconut Shrimp and Cast Iron Baked Mac & Cheese. They’re a must-try.
Where: 800 2nd Ave NE 4th & 5th Floor, St. Petersburg, FL
If you’re planning to escape the cold or just need a few days away, consider St. Pete-Clearwater for your next destination.
The author was hosted by St. Petersburg / Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
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