Category Archives: Gulf Coast Nightlife

Florida road trip

Top Clearwater Beach Day Trip Destinations

Clearwater Beach Day Trip Adventures #2

Map Tapron Safety Dunedin Tampa StPetersburgFun Florida Gulf Coast Cities

Looking for a great place to go on a day trip from Clearwater Beach? The region has some great tourist spots that you might want to know about. Try sampling some of the tourist hotspots in the neighboring towns of the area. Here is a brief summary of what you can find in the towns and cities of Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, Tampa, and St Petersburg.

 

Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs, FloridaTarpon Springs is known best for its history and Greek culture. The sponge industry began in the early 1900’s with many Greek divers recruited for the industry. The Greek community still thrives in Tarpon Springs and so does the sponge diving industry. You will see this for yourself when you walk past the sponge-laden boats moored alonge the riverside docks. You will also have multiple opportunities to eat Greek food at the area restaurants. Gift shops abound in Tarpon Springs. The souvenirs have a nautical theme, with an interesting addition of specialty soap and culinary shops. The Tarpon Springs Aquarium is entertaining for adults and a lot of fun for kids. If you like history, you will love Tarpons Springs. The historic district makes a nice scenic drive. History buffs should not miss the antique shops on East Tarpon Avenue, the Tarpons Springs Cultural Center, or the restored Safford House.

 

Safety Harbor

Safety Harbor, FloridaSafety Harbor is a quiet town on the east side of the county that is known for its art. Main Street in Safety Harbor is a pleasant walk with a mixture of diners, restaurants, art shops, and pubs. The walk to the Safety Harbor City Marina and pier is a pleasant diversion, while the dock area are often used for community events. The small but interesting Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center is very nearby. The local library is bracketed by the Art Park to the north and Baranoff Park to the south. The well-known Safety Harbor Resort and Spa sits over natural springs, which have been in use as a spa since the early 1900’s. The scenic drive along the coast of Safety Harbor is one of the best in the area, with beautiful Phillipe Park near the north end of the scenic drive. The other thing to note about Safety Harbor is that they seem to have an endless line up of festivals and street fairs.

 

Dunedin

Dunedin, FloridaThe Main Street strip of Dunedin is well-known for its large events and smaller street fairs. It hosts a Mardi Gras parade and a large St Patrick’s day evening event, as well as other seasonal events. Keeping an eye on Dunedin events is a good idea for anyone looking for diversions in the Clearwater Beach area. Main Street has a good number of pubs, restaurants, and gift shops. Main Street ends at a pier, marina, and city park, all within easy walking distance. Fresh seafood is available for sale at the docks. The popular Pinellas Trail bicycle and walking path runs directly through the center of town, and is built along the old railroad tracks. The old train station is a central historic building to the downtown area. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball winter training games are also held in Dunedin and are very close to Main Street.

 

Tampa

Tampa, FloridaTampa sits on the other side of Tampa Bay from the City of Clearwater, and is very likely where you will land when you fly into the area. While downtown Tampa is oriented more toward business than tourism, there are still plenty of great sites to see, especially along the many miles of waterfront. The popular Channel District is a great place to try out the dining or the bar scene. In the same general area you will find the Tampa Museum of Art and the Florida Aquarium. Another great museum you should visit is the Henry B Plant Museum, located at the grand hotel the railroad tycoon built to attract visitors to the area once the railroad was built. Old Water Street and Channelside Walk Way are great places to dine or spend the evening out. Close to the waterside attractions is the Tampa Bay Times Forum sports stadium. Tampa is also the home of the yearly Gasparilla Pirate Invasion, one of the largest events in the entire Tampa Bay area, in which a pirate invasion of Tampa is reenacted. The city of Tampa is large, so be prepared to drive between the many attractions.

 

St Petersburg

St Petersburg, FloridaWhile St Petersburg is also a large city, the downtown attractions are all surprisingly close together. In a relatively small area along the waterfront you will find the famous Dali Museum, the St Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, and the St Petersburg Museum of History. The Bay Shore Drive area is a hotspot for nightlife and is a good choice for an interesting dining experience. The University of Southern Florida is found amid the downtown attractions, with its own Barnes and Noble bookstore. The developed shorefront parks go on for a surprising distance, including Vinoy park, North Straub Park, and South Straub Park, among others. The sports stadium is located on the western side of downtown. Two main attractions of downtown St Petersburg are the very large pier on 2nd Ave, and the popular Saturday Morning Market, an outdoor flea and farmers’ market.

 

Road Trip!

While on your Clearwater Beach vacation, don’t miss the opportunity to head out for a day of fun. Find out for yourself what makes the Central Gulf Coast of Florida one of the best places on Earth!

 

Other blog posts you might like;

Florida Springs

Safety Harbor Museum

Dunedin Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival

 

 

Clearwater Beach Pier 60 acrobats

Ultimate Tourist Attraction at Pier 60 Clearwater Beach

Pier 60 Is at the Heart of Clearwater Beach

Pier 60 Clearwater BeachIt is impossible to walk the white sand shores of Clearwater Beach without noticing Pier 60. The pier derives its name from Highway 60, which is the route that leads from the city of Tampa all the way across the city of Clearwater and onto Clearwater Beach. The pier is in a direct line with the highway, an easy landmark to find. Pier 60 is the central hub of beach activities and is visible from all of the beachfront hotels, condos and cottages of Clearwater Beach.

 

Pier 60 Gift Shop and Fishing Pier

Pier 60 fishermen Clearwater BeachThe Pier 60 gift shop and fishing area might not be the pier’s best known features, but they are still very popular. Midway along the pier you will find a building and a gate. To pass the gate to the fishing section of the pier you need to pay a dollar. While this might not seem like much money, in fact, so many fishermen use pier each year that it makes a surprising amount of revenue. It also leaves the fishing end of Pier 60 mostly to the fishermen. The building at mid-pier is a tackle and gift shop. You can buy fishing bait or vacation souvenirs, such as T-shirts or seashells. The division in Pier 60 makes it a great multi use location at Clearwater Beach.

 

Pier 60 Nightly Sunset Festival

Pier 60 sunset festivalThe nightly festival at Pier 60 is one of the main tourist attractions at Clearwater Beach. From two hours before sunset to two hours after sunset the pier hosts a nightly festival. Artisans and craftsmen of all types set up tables and booths at the pier to sell their wares or their talents. You will find seashells, paintings of seascapes, jewelry, and a large variety of other assorted crafts for sale. You will also find face painting, hair braiding, hand drawn portraits, and other unique trades. The craftsmen at the sunset festival make Pier 60 a perfect tourist destination for anyone vacationing at Clearwater Beach.

 

Friday and Saturday Night at Pier 60

Clearwater Beach Pier 60 acrobatsThe weekend at the Pier 60 nightly festival is a prime entertainment event at Clearwater Beach. On the weekend nights, street performers join the festivities. You will find jugglers, fire breathers, sword jugglers, magicians, acrobats, or break-dancers putting on their shows at the pier. The entertainment always varies, which means you never know which show you will catch. If you are on vacation at Clearwater Beach, the weekend sunset festival at Pier 60 is not an event you want to miss.

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Pier 60 Clearwater Beach

Holiday Lights at Florida Botanical Gardens

Christmas Lights on the Florida Gulf Coast

Christmas Charity Event on the Gulf Coast

Festival of Trees Clearwater FloridaThe Festival of Trees in Clearwater, Florida is a charity event with a great twist. The first impression is a good one. Walking in the front of the show room, you are met by a field of decorated Christmas trees. The second impression is even better. Not only is this a Christmas tree show, but rather an artists’ show room, with Christmas trees used as a medium for their talents. Each tree has a theme, making every display unique. The trees are judged by their size, creating several rankings by which the artists can participate. Among the unique displays were a honey bear tree, a Smurf tree, a pirate tree, and a tree displaying street signs from the Clearwater area. Festival of Trees Clearwater FloridaThe event is hosted by Uparc, who states their purpose on the banner of their web site as, “A Spirit of Hope for the Developmentally Challenged.” The concept for the Festival of Trees is simple. A participating artists is given a tree to decorate, which he or she then designs using any materials desired. While the emphasis is a traditional Christmas, the variations in the designs seem as though they might be endless. The beautifully decorated trees are then sold. Some of the price tags we ranged from $100 to $600 dollars, while the Feature Tree sold for $2,400 , all donated to charity.

 

Holiday Lights in the Gardens at Florida Botanical Gardens

Florida Botanical Gardens Holiday LightsThe Florida Botanical Gardens put up their holiday lights again this year, creating one of the best light shows in the area. Considering how well the Gulf Coast region does holiday lights, that’s saying something. The show is called Holiday Lights in the Gardens, filling the already attractive Florida Botanical Gardens with colorful lights. The botanical gardens have winding pathways leading though separate, themed areas. Florida Botanical Gardens Holiday LightsWhen the sunset arrives, the lights come up, turning the Florida gardens into a completely different type of display. Live musicians and street performers entertain the crowds, giving the event an even greater appeal. Toy trains run around the central Christmas tree which is placed in the well-known Wedding Garden. Opening night was November 29th, with the eager crowds filling up the overflow parking lots. The show runs until January 1st, so head on out to Largo, Florida to see this eye-pleasing holiday light show.

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Clearwater Beach Chalk Walk Festival 2013

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Frenchys Salt Water Cafe Stone Crab Fest

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival 2013

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater BeachStone Crab Festivals on Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach just celebrated Stone Crab Weekend with the help of some great hosting by area restaurants Friday, October 25th through Sunday the 27th. The stone crabs were devoured by large happy crowds, along with some other great seafood and regular treats from the restaurants.

Enjoying the Stone Crab Weekend at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival tentA few members of our staff visited the Stone Crab Festival at Frenchy’s Original Café, Cooter’s Restaurant and Bar, and Frenchy’s Saltwater Café. Each location had live music, tents to shelter visitors from the midday sun, and lots of food and drinks to go around. During the sunlight hours, the area had plenty of visitors and lots of activity. When the sun went down, the enclosed areas for the festival swelled wall to wall with happy beach-goers.

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Weekend Success

Clearwater Beach sunsetEven outside the event areas, the streets were filled with people. Pelican Plaza, Crabby Bill’s Seafood Co., and some other locations also had live musicians, filling the air at Clearwater Beach with sound. The crowds at Pier 60 were large, and just down the street was the second annual Chalk Walk Art Fest, which drew a large number of onlookers. In addition to the lively crowds and plenty of entertainment, the weather was perfect, with fantastic sunsets. If you are considering visiting the beach during autumn, take a look at next year’s October line up of events. It is a very good time to vacation at Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival at Frenchys

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater Beach

 

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater Beach