Groove to the pulse of a place that’s “solar powered” and radiating a MILLION MEGAWATTS of possibility - St. Pete/Clearwater! This is where vacation rocks and you can get Gulf splashed and sun kissed.
With record breaking sunshine and thirty-five miles of sugar white sand award-winning beaches - what more can anyone want? How about nature and culture and tons of fun for the kids, including a dolphin that just got a new tail?
Rare is the vacation that blends artistic icons, festive events, vibrant nightlife and family-friendly attractions like the cosmopolitan St. Petersburg Clearwater area. No matter where you’re staying, you’re never far from beautiful beaches, exciting attractions and intriguing towns and communities.
St Petersburg and Clearwater are perhaps the best known – but there are fascinating and diverse communities to discover. For instance the quaint waterfront town of Dunedin is blossoming with eclectic art, one-of-a-kind boutiques, innovative dining and an active nightlife scene. Just minutes away from its welcoming, walkable and pet-friendly downtown, you’ll find some of the best beaches in the US. And Dunedin is where the Blue Jays baseball team carry out their spring training.
Or the historic riverfront town of Tarpon Springs – just 20 minutes north of Clearwater – has a way of transporting you thousands of miles away to a coastal village in Greece. Heavily influenced by Greek culture, the town is best known for its sponge docks, Greek fare and serene beaches.
The city of St. Petersburg has long been known for its scenic setting against the beautiful waters of Tampa Bay and renowned art museums. In recent years, St. Pete has also emerged as a hot spot for shopping, dining, nightlife and entertainment. With a lively downtown area, and a full spectrum of things to see and do, it's no surprise that The New York Times named it a "Top Place To Go" in 2014 and St. Pete Beach was voted TripAdvisor’s No. 1 U.S. beach in 2012.
Nature, beaches, sports and recreation - Clearwater has it all. Charming downtown streets, family-friendly attractions like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and sunsets, sunbathing and water sports on Clearwater Beach (voted the "Best Beach Town in Florida" by USA Today readers in 2013).
CItyPASS Tampa Bay gives you admission to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and Busch Gardens and The Florida Aquarium and then in addition the Clearwater Marine Aquarium - plus either the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa or the Chihuly Glass Collection in St Petersburg.
All for $199 for the over 10’s and $99 for kids 3-9. Buy online at www.citypass.com or at any CityPASS attraction for the same low price.
Save 39% on Busch Gardens plus 4 more top Tampa Bay / St Petersburg Clearwater attractions. Visit Busch Gardens in Tampa and one other attraction – and you have paid for your CityPASS!
It’s convenient as you get all your attraction tickets in one easy purchase. Plus you save time as you skip most ticket lines with your CityPASS. CityPASS is as flexible as your trip – it is perfect for a weekend but is valid for up to 9 days.
No wonder 12 million CityPASS booklets have been sold to travellers to the various destinations on offer and 97% of users would recommend CityPASS.
St. Petersburg and Clearwater beaches have earned accolades throughout the years. They offer sugar-soft sands, sparkling waters and activities to satisfy every type of beachgoer. Most recently, Fort De Soto Park and Anclote Key Preserve State Park won two coveted USA Today awards - Best Family Beach 2014 and Best Hidden-Gem Beach 2014, respectively.
In 2013, four of the area's beaches were named to the 2013 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards Top 25 U.S. Beaches. Led by Fort De Soto Park, which was named fourth best beach in the country and 20th among the coveted Best Beaches in the World, the list also includes Caladesi Island State Park (No. 12), Pass-a-Grille (No. 15) and Clearwater Beach (No. 18).
Clearwater Beach is lauded for its gorgeous white sand and sparkling waters, not to mention beachside fun for all ages - from kid-friendly water sports and cruises to dining and dancing hot spots. It is a great family beach due to its attentive lifeguards and shallow, warm and clear waters. Throw in a big playground and plenty of showers and restrooms, and it’s no wonder that Clearwater Beach is a family paradise.
The postcard-perfect St. Pete Beach, including charming Pass-a-Grille to the south, provides soul-soothing, sugar-white sands and welcoming blue waters, plus opportunities for as much adventure or relaxation as you desire.
Here, you’ll discover historic neighborhoods, eclectic shopping, fantastic sunset spots and great restaurants. Plus, you can settle into accommodations that suit you – from world-renowned resorts to mom-and-pop motels to quaint bed-and-breakfasts.
The Pinellas County Blueways paddling trails stretch the length of St. Pete/Clearwater, from Anclote Key Preserve State Park in the north to Fort De Soto Park in the south. The scenic waterways snake around Gulf Coast barrier islands along the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, continue inland to Lake Tarpon and wind into Tampa Bay.
Start at a local outfitter for canoe or kayak gear. Then prepare to paddle open waters and secluded bayous past parks and preserves that shelter mangroves, shorebirds and other wildlife.
A not to be missed attraction is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium - a non profit organization with a mission to preserve marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium attracted worldwide attention through the rescue and rehabilitation of Winter the dolphin. Winter had lost her tail in a crab trap but thanks to the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist and the ingenuity of a brilliant prosthetics doctor who provided her with a new tail - Winter has thrived.
Winter’s rescue was a defining moment for Clearwater Marine Aquarium, in many ways. Not only has she provided a conduit to attract global media attention towards the remarkable work done at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, she has also inspired many people – children and adults alike – who have suffered life-changing injury and illness and have had to struggle, like Winter, to adapt.
In 2011 the story of Winter’s courage was captured in the film Dolphin Tale I, produced by Warner Brothers and Alcon Entertainment. Winter played herself in Dolphin Tale, together with Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick, Jr., Kris Kristofferson, Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Nathan Gamble.
Hope is a baby dolphin who was rescued 5 years and 1 day after Winter. She was found near the site where Winter was found and at a similar age – just a couple of months old. After her rehabilitation, she was paired with Winter and they have become the best of friends.
In the first ever sequel to a true story, Dolphin Tale 2 is the story of Hope and will be released September 19, 2014. Many of the original stars all reprise their roles from the first film, while Lee Karlinsky, Julia Jordan, Bethany Hamilton and several others join the cast.
The sequel revolves around more true stories from the aquarium, including both Winter and the baby dolphin, Hope. Also included is the story of the rehabilitated dolphin Mandy, a dolphin that was successfully released back into the wild by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Following the success of this heart-warming movie the Aquarium has opened a new facility that gives you an immersive, behind-the-scenes experience. Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure provides hands-on experiences for children, a comprehensive overview of Winter’s prosthetic development, an up-close look at rebuilt sets with actual movie props, an interactive Hurricane Experience exhibit and a large retail shop full of unique gifts for all ages.
The Aquarium has a full schedule of daily educational presentations bringing visitors insights into the life of Sea Turtles, Stingrays, Dolphins, Otters and more. There are lots of other hands on opportunities - you can have your photo taken with Winter, feed a stingray, assist with dolphin and otter care and more. You can even book a tour where an expert guide will lead your small group through the marine animal hospital. Watch sea turtles recovering from injuries and illness, walk through the "stranding hall" where all marine animals are admitted and assessed, learn about the diets of the resident animals and visit the surgical suite – you may even see an animal undergoing a procedure.
The global ocean summit and international film festival known as BLUE will take place in St. Petersburg, from November 3-9, 2014. BLUE will showcase over 150 films and combines a film festival, conservation summit, industry conference and educational outreach. The festival will have some star power (eg producer James Cameron) and focus on conservation and our beautiful waters.
This global gathering will appeal to visitors and locals alike, and be open to both the general public and industry professionals. Attendees will find an exceptional week-long gathering of renowned scientists, researchers, entertainers, filmmakers and photographers plus workshops, fun social activities including book signings and art gallery displays.
When you're ready for a break from the beach, head to the Dali Museum to explore art by the famous Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Located in an architecturally stunning new building on the scenic downtown St. Pete waterfront, this iconic museum is the perfect jumping-off point to explore the rest of the city.
Visitors to the museum, who often know Dali solely as a surrealist, are surprised at the variety of his art. His early works include landscapes, portraits and still lifes, while his later works capture fascinating double images and immense religious paintings.
The museum is the most comprehensive Dali collection in the world, displaying more than 2,100 items in all including oils, watercolors, sketches, sculptures and more. Of the 18 so-called Masterworks produced by Dali, eight are located in the St. Pete museum.
A blockbuster exhibition “PICASSO / DALI, DALI / PICASSO” is headed to the Dali Museum November 8, 2014 – February 16, 2015. It will feature rarely loaned works from more than 25 international art museums and private collections pairing works of these leading artists of our era. Dozens of works - with a focus on paintings, but also featuring drawings, prints and sculpture - will be on display exclusively at The Dali Museum in St. Pete before moving to the Museu Picasso in Barcelona.
Dali and Picasso had a long history together as they first met in the spring of 1926 and worked on a project in 1929. They later grew apart with differing political views but their art converged in an engagement with the great art of the past as they dealt with the history of art’s grandest aspirations and their own yearning for artistic sovereignty in this era.
The CHIHULY COLLECTION is a stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique glass artwork in a magnificent 10,000 square foot setting designed by award-winning architect Albert Alfonso. Chihuly is the foremost glass artist in the United States. You can’t miss the entrance to the Chihuly Collection – a 20-foot vertical swath of cerise-colored “rocks” marks it. The medium is glass, but the textural elements and oversize construction give this everyday material a new identity.
Another celebrated St. Pete museum, the Museum of Fine Arts is best known for its collection of French Impressionist paintings, but also displays European, American, pre-Columbian and Asian art. Special exhibits feature works on loan from other metropolitan museums as well.
For a more interactive experience, explore the Dunedin Fine Arts Center & Children's Art Museum, which hosts exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations that bring the visual arts to life. It is also home to the David L. Mason Children's Art Museum, featuring interactive exhibits that are sure to spark kids’ creativity and appreciation for the arts.
Tarpon Springs’ Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art opened in 2002 on the campus of St. Petersburg College. The museum's 6,000-piece collection includes works by important 20th-century artists. It displays art from Abraham Rattner's estate, donated by Allen and Isabelle Leepa, including lithographs, tapestries, sculptures, paintings and stained glass.
St. Pete/Clearwater is the epicenter of Florida's booming craft beer renaissance, home to the state's oldest and some of its newest and most highly regarded craft breweries. Fourteen independently owned breweries and brew pubs, along with a branch of a Maine brewery, thrive here. And more keep popping up every couple of months. The St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail runs from Tarpon Springs to Treasure Island.
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