St. Pete Beach is a gorgeous and laid-back beach community and laid-back beach community. St. Pete Beach has been a top-rated beach on several travel sites. It was voted TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Beach in the U.S. and No. 5 in the world in 2012, based on millions of reviews from travelers around the world. So, what exactly makes St. Pete Beach so special?
It is very convenient to get to from Tampa International Airport. The drive from the airport to the beach is about 45 minutes. Maybe a little longer in the winter months, with all the snowbirds visiting. There are a variety of transportation options from Rental Cars, Taxis, Uber or Lyft and Super Shuttle. Although you may want to rent a car if you are visiting places off the beach such as Ft. De Soto or downtown St. Petersburg, once you are at the beach everything is in walking distance of a short Uber ride away. There is a trolley bus that goes up and down the beach as well.
It is not like Clearwater Beach. Clearwater Beach is much more crowded, touristy and expensive. Clearwater Beach is becoming more of an upscale vacation location. With hotels like the Sand Peral, Hyatt, and Hilton. In addition to the higher prices, Clearwater Beach also gets very busy in the small crowded streets. If you wanted to visit Clearwater Beach for the day is only a half-hour drive up Gulf Boulevard from St. Pete Beach. You go through several picturesque beach towns on your way.
While the beach may not be as white as Clearwater it is a very nice beach and a great place to watch the sunset. There will be plenty of room for you and your family to set up for the day and not be right on top of someone else. There is also Ft. De Soto, a Pinellas County Park, beach only a 15-minute ride away. De Soto park will give you the vibe of Old Florida, with no condos or buildings. Ft De Soto was listed on the Coastal Livings list of Florida beaches that feel like the Caribbean.
There are several hotels on the St. Pete Beach, but none are major hotel brands (which is a good thing). No matter what your budget you can find lodging in St. Pete that works for you. There is everything from mom and pop motels to large resorts like the Trade Winds, Sarata or Plaza Hotel. There are several budget-friendly hotels on the beach like The Postcard Inn (PCI), The Beachcomber and Howard Johnson’s. There are also several boutique hotels like Hotel Zamora. It is best to look at the travel sites for reviews to find what hotel best fits you.
Beach bars, there are several great beach bars directly on the beach. A couple of favorites are Jimmy B’s, The Toasted Monkey and Sandbar Bills. Jimmy B’s and the Toasted Monkey both have live music almost all the time. Jimmy B’s is a little more touristy and Toasted Monkey is a little more local dive beach bar. Sandbar bills is best for lunch as quiet and laid back. All have great food:
Jimmy B’s – Cuban Sandwich
Toasted Monkey – Wings
Sandbar Bills – Burger
There are other great bars off the beach such as Willy’s Burgers and Booze, the Drunken Clam and more. In addition to the bars, there are too many nice restaurants to mention. Again, there is something in every price range.
So, if you just want to kick back relax and not worry about anything during your vacation St. Pete Beach is a great beach destination.