Perhaps the most beautiful four acres in the City of St. Petersburg, Sunken Gardens contains some of the oldest tropical plants in the city in the cityâ€™s oldest living museum. Take a tour or stroll on your own to see cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens and more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. If you have never seen a pink flamingo before, here is your chance as a number of these exotic birds call Sunken Gardens home.
1825 4th St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
Salvador Dali Museum
The Dali Museum includes a collection of over 2,100 artworks from the celebrated surrealist Salvador Dali (1904-1989) celebrating his entire career. The collection includes 96 oil paintings, many original drawings, bookworks, prints, sculpture, photos, manuscripts and an extensive archive of documents. The museum opened in 1982 with the donation of the collection of Reynolds and Eleanor Morse. The Morses purchased their first Dali painting, (Daddy Longlegs of the Evening, Hope!) in 1943 and eventually met Dali and became friends of many years.
Many more works have been acquired since by the museum. According to the museumâ€™s website, â€œThe distinguished new building, which opened on January 11, 2011, enables the Museum to better protect and display the collection, to welcome the public, and to educate and promote enjoyment. In a larger sense, it is a place of beauty dedicated, as is Daliâ€™s art, to understanding and transformation.â€
1 Dali Blvd
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Dale Chihuly Glass Museum
From Seattle to the Louvre, Venice to St. Petersburg and beyond, glass artist Dale Chihuly has thrilled visitors and museum goers with his amazing glass works and installations. While visiting the Tampa Bay area, you can see an astounding collection of the artistâ€™s work in downtown St. Petersburg â€“ a hub for the arts in west central Florida.
The Chihuly Collection is presented by the nearby Morean Arts Center where the Hot Shop for glass making resides. Just north of the Chihuly Collection (within walking distance) is the beautiful St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts.
720 Central Ave
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Vinoy Renaissance Hotel
501 5th Ave NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
A jewel in the crown of downtown St. Petersburg since 1925, the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel has hosted guests from all over the world and include Babe Ruth, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge and James Stewart. During World War II, the hotel was taken over by the U.S. Army and used as a training center. It fell into disrepair in the 1970â€™s and closed. Undergoing a $93 million renovation in the 1990â€™s, it reopened as a resort with a golf club, spa and other amenities. The Vinoy Renaissance (a Marriott hotel) is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. On April 18, 2012, the AIA’s Florida Chapter placed it on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years, 100 Places. In 2005, the Vinoy earned AAA Four-Diamond status.
501 5th Ave NE
St. Petersburg, Fla. 33701
Loewâ€™s Don Cesar Hotel
Located at the southern end of St. Pete Beach, the grand, Mediterranean revival Don CeSar Hotel opened in 1928. In recent times, the â€œPink Palaceâ€ and resort has been known to provide services for Justin Timberlake and Elton John with the same Gatsby-esque level of service as when it was a playground for the celebrities of the first half of the 20th century, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Clarence Darrow. The Don CeSar did service as a military hospital during World War II, its pink color painted over in grey.
Today, the Don offers 277 rooms and 36 suites, two heated pools, 38,000 square feet of function space and an 11,000 square foot full service spa. Of course, it is situated on the beautiful sugar sands of St. Pete Beach.
Just a mile or so south is Pass-a-Grille, a quaint old Florida town with shops, restaurants and the famous Merry Pier. The Don CeSar Hotel is a founding member of the National Trust of Historic Hotels of America.
Loews Don Cesar Hotel
3400 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, Florida 33706
Johnâ€™s Pass Village
Johnâ€™s Pass occupies the southern end of Madeira Beach, the natural waterway between Madeira Beach and Treasure Island. Johnâ€™s Pass Village is an exciting fishing village-themed assortment of over 100 shops and restaurants with beautiful views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Dolphin often pass through the waterway on their way in and out between the Gulf and the waterway.Familiar restaurant names include Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Hooters, but many of the smaller eateries are well worth finding. These include Waltâ€™z Fish Shak â€“ a small bungalow serving fresh caught fish, Boardwalk Grill and Kilwinâ€™s Ice Cream. Fair warning: if you eat outdoors on the boardwalk, the seagulls will try to steal your sandwich and ice cream.
The shops of Johnâ€™s Pass Village include a variety of surf-related clothing and accessories shops, galleries for art, jewelry and gifts; ice cream, Caribbean-themed clothing, and much more.
When visiting the Village, stop at the Johnâ€™s Pass Ticket Booth! The Johnâ€™s Pass Ticket Booth is located at 12831 Village Boulevard, Madeira Beach, FL33708, next to Knock on Wood. Call 727-320-5610 for directions and reservations or email at email@example.com. The Johnâ€™s Pass Ticket Booth offers the best pricing for day boat trips to Egmont Key for dolphin watch, shelling and snorkeling; wave-runners, parasailing, eco-tours, motorized kayaks and deep-sea fishing. Our boats board and depart for Egmont Key from the Gulfport Marina, south of Johnâ€™s Pass. They make a big wake that dolphins love to jump and play in. You will see far more dolphins up close on our tours than anyone elseâ€™s tour.
12901 Gulf Blvd
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Pier 60 is a 1,080-foot fishing pier and recreational park, complete with a huge playground for children. The pier is a popular fishing spot for locals and offers a bait and tackle store with rentals of fishing gear for visitors. It is well lit after dark adding an attraction to fish to the pier. Fish commonly caught at Pier 60 include Spanish mackerel, spotted and silver trout, snook, redfish, tarpon, sheepshead, snapper, flounder and jack.
Sunsets at Pier 60, a nightly celebration featuring artists and craftsmen, street performers and live music starting two hours before sunset and ending two hours after sunset, is a fun and memorable experience for locals and visitors alike. Enjoy live music and entertainment, as well as a beautiful Gulf sunset. Pier 60 is near the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Resort and Spa, across Gulf Boulevard from the picturesque Clearwater Municipal Marina.
7 Causeway Blvd.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a non-profit organization that houses and rehabilitates dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, sting rays, fish, coral reefs, mangroves and more. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium was made famous by Winter, the bottlenose dolphin with the prosthetic tail from the movie Dolphin Tale, and Hope, a young rescued dolphin that has become Winterâ€™s best friend. The amazing marine rescue center offers an up-close introduction to a large number of animals, many of which will be returned to the Gulf of Mexico when their rehabilitation is complete.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage
Clearwater, FL 33767
Dunedinâ€™s downtown area is nationally recognized as one of the most successful small town revitalizations in the country, offering visitors many diverse restaurants, night life with live music, art and antique galleries, clothing stores, gift shops (Florida kitsch available) and the Dunedin Historical Society Museum housed in the old train station. Where the tracks of the Orange Belt Railroad once ran now is the Pinellas Trail, a 38.5 mile recreational path stretching from Tarpon Springs in the north to St. Petersburg in the south, passing through the towns of Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Largo, Seminole, South Pasadena, and Gulfport. It is used by thousands of people daily for walking, jogging, cycling, and inline skating.
The distance that the main trail currently covers 38.2 miles (61.5 km). Rent a bicycle in downtown Dunedin and enjoy the fine Florida weather.
Dunedin Fine Art Center
Just a couple of miles north of downtown Dunedin, the Dunedin Fine Art Center is a must see in the area. Founded in 1974, the center stands today as the largest art center in Florida. 44,000 square feet of studio art education and exhibition facilities, including the hands-on David L. Mason Childrenâ€™s Art Museum, a gift shop and cafÃ©, make for a wonderful visit for a couple of hours or a lifetime of learning to make art. Some one-time classes are available. Classes are offered in painting, sculpture, printmaking, jewelry making, ceramics, photography and more. Six exhibitions galleries continually offer enriching experiences in encountering art.
1143 Michigan Blvd.
Dunedin, Fla. 34698
Once named Hog Island, Honeymoon Island came about its name 1939 when a New York developer built 50 palm thatched bungalows to rent to newlywed couples. Today, the island is part of the City of Dunedin and part of the Florida Parks System. The islandâ€™s mangrove swamps, tidal flats and beautiful beaches make it the most visited park in Florida. Visitors find miles of beaches and clear water, plentiful parking, concessions, bath houses and showers. Osprey and eagle nests, tortoises, seabirds and other animals can be seen. Swimming, snorkeling, shelling, fishing, sunbathing and walking the miles of nature trails make it a fabulous day out.
Neighboring Caladesi Island was separated from Honeymoon Island many years ago by a hurricane. Today, the ferry service from Honeymoon Island takes you there and drops you in its beautiful marina inside the island. Caladesiâ€™s beach is truly among the most beautiful anywhere and the island is even less developed than Honeymoon Islandâ€™s, with no parking lots or cars or paved roads. Nature trails abound.
#1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, FL 34698
Tarpon Springs was originally settled after the American Civil War by white and black farmers and fishermen who named it for the sightings of leaping Tarpon. The bayous and springs of the area attracted wealthy people from the north to build vacation homes and sponge diving began in the 1890â€™s as a new income source. Greek immigrants began coming to Tarpon Springs to join the growing sponging industry, which still exists on a smaller scale today.
The historic downtown area is undergoing renovation and surround neighborhoods provide a glimpse at Floridaâ€™s early days as a refuge for wealthy northerners. The sponge docks and Historic District should be seen and vintage sponge boats are on display at the docks.
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Tampa, provides world-class entertainment. From lavish Broadway shows to classical music and rock concerts The Straz Center is the largest facility of its kind in the Southeastern United States.
1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, FL 33602
Busch Gardens is a must-do for families visiting the Tampa Bay area. The Africa-themed animal park features live animals and amazing rides and roller coasters, with names such as Cobraâ€™s Curse, Cheetah Hunt and Kumba. Busch Gardensâ€™ world-class shows provide entertainment for all ages and its state-of-the-art animal habitats are home to more than 12,000 animals making the park one of the largest zoos in North America.
10165 N McKinley Dr.
Tampa, FL 33612
The Florida Aquarium, one of the best aquariums in the country, is in downtown Tampa. The various aquarium tanks feature a great variety of fish and fauna native to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. The Florida Aquarium conducts coral reef research, sea turtle rescue, river otter rescue and environmental conservation. It is a wonderful family destination with plenty of fun activities like Swim with the Fishes, Penguins: Backstage Pass and a Wild Dolphin Ecotour. Don’t miss The Splash Pad, an outdoor water fun zone for kids!
A food court and gift shop are available.
The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) is a not-for-profit, science museum dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives by making sciencereal (and a lot of fun) for people of all ages. People can experience a scientific playground of more than 450 hands-on activities in the largest science center in the southeastern United States. 400 hands-on exhibits explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) in fun ways â€“ a very different kind of classroom for kids from elementary school through high school and any age. It is also the location of Florida’s only IMAX Dome Theatre, the Florida Hospital DOME Theatre.
Museum of Science and Industry
4801 E. Fowler Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33617
Glaser Childrenâ€™s Museum
If you are looking for a day to get out of the sun with the kids, the 53,000 square foot Glaser Childrenâ€™s Museum is a great destination. It is designed to inspire children and families by creating learning opportunities around innovative play and discovery through permanent and traveling exhibits, comprehensive programs and special events.
110 W Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, FL 33602
Everyone knows about Disney, Universal Studios, Epcot and the many parks and attractions available near Orlando. Did you know how easy it is to drive there from the Tampa Bay area? By car or by shuttle bus, you are only a little over an hour away.
It all started in the 1950â€™s and Walt Disneyâ€™s search for the site of a new park in the southeast U.S. He saw the little town of Orlando from his airplane and realized itâ€™s central significance with the looming creation of I-4 connecting the east and west coasts of Florida. The acquisition of land was carried on with stealth, with land sellers unaware of what was about to happen. Orlando is today a booming city with an enormous tourism industry.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Following the tragic accident in 1980 in which the freighter Summit Venture rammed the southbound span of the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge killing 35 people, the beautiful, new Sunshine Skyway was completed in the mid 1980â€™s, spanning the mouth of Tampa Bay and connecting St. Petersburg to the Bradenton / Sarasota area. The old bridge approaches reaching far into the bay were rebuilt to become the Skyway Fishing Pier, operated by the Florida Parks Department. It is considered the longest fishing pier in the world in one of the most active fishing grounds in the world.
Ringling Museum of Art, Circus Museum, Ca dâ€™Zan
The famous circus mogul John Ringling and his wife Mable built a beautiful home on the bay in Sarasota in the 1920â€™s to be near the home of the circus and its personnel. The home, named Ca dâ€™Zan, remains today one of the most beautiful mansions anywhere and is faithfully modelled after residences on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. The wealthy couple collected art, especially European art of the Renaissance and Baroque periods and opened the 21 gallery John and Ringling Museum of Art on their 20-acre property in 1931, just after Mableâ€™s death. The museum is modeled after the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Today, the collection, spanning from ancient Greece to the modern era, is considered one of the premier art collections in the nation.
Also on the grounds is the fabulous Circus Museum, the historic Asolo Theatre and the Bayfront Gardens which include Mable Ringlingâ€™s original and beautiful rose garden.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
5401 Bay Shore Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34243