St. Petersburg/Clearwater - Tampa
Clearwater Beach. This beach has it all... marinas, bathhouse, boat ramp, full-time lifeguards, playground, nightlife, restaurants, and accommodations ranging from high-end resorts to old fashioned mom-and-pop motels. Pier 60 is where anglers can cast lines 24/7.
Why Go>> Clearwater Beach offers something for everyone, and you can visit dolphins and other marine life at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Be sure not to miss the nightly free festival, Sunsets at Pier 60.
Indian Rocks Beach. A throwback to old Florida, Indian Rocks Beach features beautiful dune-lined expanse dotted with small motels, vacation cottages and rental condos. After a hard day of sunbathing, relax at some of the best local restaurants in the area or browse several small shops in this historic hamlet.
Why Go>> Nostalgia. It's the beach that your grandparents took your parents to for vacation.
Madeira Beach. This is a fun but laid back city offering cozy motels and condo rentals with nearby recreation options. The epicenter of Madeira Beach is John's Pass Fishing Village where visitors can find it all: shops, restaurants, boating, fishing, and even a ghost tour!
Why Go>> Want to go deep sea fishing? Take a pirate cruise? Take a dolphin cruise? Rent a scooter? Madeira Beach has a load of activities for the whole family. In the fall fresh-from-the-boat local seafood can be sampled at the John's Pass Seafood Festival.
Treasure Island Beach. On a two mile stretch of this large beach, visitors can fly kites, rent jet skis, or lay in a cabana chair to relax. Accommodations of all sizes and price ranges dot the beach and nearby bistros provide a great place to recharge.
Why Go>> Treasure Island's wide beach and family friendly accommodations have made it a vacation destination for multiple generations. In the fall this beach is host to world champion sand sculptors.
St. Pete Beach. Nestled on Long Key, St. Pete Beach offers accommodations ranging from world-renowned resort to mom-and-pop motels, to quaint bed and breakfasts. Upham Beach, located on the northern tip of St. Pete Beach, is one of the few spots along the Gulf of Mexico known for surfing.
Why Go>> Spend the day shopping on historic Corey Avenue or the 8th Avenue District, dine at a waterfront restaurant, or spend the day skim boarding. No visit would be complete without visiting the many historic buildings and resorts.
In neighboring Hillsborough County, family-friendly events and culinary adventures to great hotel deals and special museum exhibits are offered in Tampa Bay. Looking for history and culture activities? They got it. Are you a sports fanatic? No problem! Restaurants and nightlife on your agenda? It's everywhere you turn.
Tampa is the hub of Hillsborough County and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Southeast. The four-county metropolitan statistical area (MSA) of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties has a population of 2.7 million, making it the 19th largest MSA in the U.S.
When it's time to trade in high heels for flip flops and a suit and tie for weekend wear, there's no lack of activity to be had! Take a Serengeti journey at the area's most famous attraction, Busch Gardens, or take a drive into the rapidly growing communities of Carrollwood or Temple Terrace to experience a unique getaway. For a more historical city jaunt, Ybor City, which doubles as the nightlife capital of Florida's West coast, features a rich cigar-industry heritage and is one of only three National Historic Landmark Districts in the state.
To the north of St. Petersburg/Clearwater along U.S. Highway 19 is Pasco County's largest community of New Port Richey. Visitors to this small town community can canoe through the heart of town, along the Pithlachascotee River, or travel back in time as they visit shops housed in early 20th-century cottages and homes.
South of New Port Richey, the smell of feta cheese and black olives fills the
air in the Mediterranean-inspired community of Tarpon Springs.
A unique Greek heritage separates it from any place else in the United States. This special region is an outgrowth from one of the state's most fascinating, one-of-a-kind industries - sponge fishing.
Visitors to the sponge docks can eat authentic Greek food at more than 20 restaurants, shop, board cruise boats for day trips, casino cruises or fishing trips, or visit authentic Greek clubs where men spend the afternoon telling stories and playing cards.
The sponge docks in Tarpon Springs are listed as a National Historic District,
Travelers driving southbound will find themselves exploring the thriving community of Palm Harbor. In the 1880s, the area was plotted for a city to be named Sutherland, however the area changed its name to Palm Harbor in 1925. The Depression kept Palm Harbor from developing into a city and it was never incorporated. Today, visitors to Palm Harbor can enjoy the serenity found in John Chestnut Park on the shores of Lake Tarpon. The park features nature trials, canoe trails and a boat ramp. Ranked as one of the top 10 bass waters, Lake Tarpon is a popular fishing spot for visitors and residents alike.
Between Tampa and Clearwater, the community of Dunedin reflects the rich American and Scottish heritage of its founding fathers. This charming village-like town features natural wooded and subtropical settings, miles of picturesque waterfront and a relaxed lifestyle. It was named one of the five most walkable downtowns in America by Walking Magazine.
Located in Dunedin, the unspoiled refuges of Caladesi and Honeymoon Island parks are ideal areas for swimming, shelling, fishing, picnics and nature study. Caladesi Island is one of the last remaining undisturbed barrier islands on the Gulf Coast and has been awarded best beach status in many awards. The islands are also refuges for several rare and endangered birds.
Perhaps one of the most unique recreational features in Dunedin is the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, a 15-foot linear park running 38.2 miles through the St. Petersburg north to Tarpon Springs in an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The recreational trail is ideal for walking, jogging, biking, rollerblading or exploring nature.