Beaches, nature and much more – 7 very good reasons why THIS Florida beach destination should be at the top of your holiday wish list!
Ad Feature by British Airways and St. Pete/Clearwater
A vibrant art and culture scene, secluded islands and 35 miles of pristine sand along a shimmering coast, St. Pete/Clearwater ticks every box – and more – when it comes to an incredible getaway.
Boasting the Guinness World Record for the longest consecutive days of sunshine (a massive 768), it’s the ideal destination to enjoy rooftop bars, unspoilt natural wildernesses, or to laze on an idyllic beach.
Travel to Florida with British Airways, and take the short 30-minute drive to St. Pete/Clearwater from Tampa Airport.
Here, MailOnline Travel reveals the seven reasons why this sparkling gem on Florida’s Gulf coast will make for your most remarkable holiday yet.
1. Beautiful beaches
Clearwater Beach is consistently listed among the top five beaches in America
With warm Gulf waters, St. Pete/Clearwater is the ideal beach destination, boasting more than one award-winner; both Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach are consistently listed among the top five beaches in America.
Whether you fancy exploring hidden gems, or want watersports and sublime restaurants nearby, there’s a stretch of sand for you.
Head to Caladesi Island and it’ll be like being on your own private beach
Madeira Beach is the perfect place to watch the sunset
Untouched Caladesi Island boasts major wow factors – including its heavenly white sands and super clear waters. Only accessible via boat or ferry, if you’ve ever dreamed of lazing on your own private island, this is it.
Nearby is beautiful state park Honeymoon Island, where you can kayak and tour mangrove trails.
Clearwater beach, with its sugar-white sands, is ideal for dropping into shops and restaurants after a few hours of soaking up the sun; Sand Key is romantic and secluded, while popular Madeira Beach is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
Why not visit them all?
2. Breathtaking open spaces
The boardwalk at Boca Ciega Millennium Park where you can also test out your kayaking skills
You don’t have to wander too far to find gorgeous parks and guided walks perfect for all kinds of outdoor adventures.
See the area from a different perspective – at the top of the 45ft-tall observation tower at the 3,190-acre, 2,000-year-old Weedon Island Preserve, in St. Petersburg.
As well as lush hiking trails, there’s a two-mile boardwalk that winds its way through the pretty Florida landscape, and the sunset here is divine.
Spot native plants and a cute butterfly garden at Florida Botanical Gardens – the largest in Florida. Then head to Boca Ciega Millennium Park to kayak and enjoy views of Boca Ciega Bay from an observation tower.
Just don’t forget to pack a picnic.
3. St. Pete Pier
From fine dining to art installations, you can take them all in at the St. Pete Pier
Spend a day taking in all the vibrant St. Pete Pier – a new $92m district – has to offer.
Spanning a vast 26 acres across the sparkling Tampa Bay waterfront, here you’ll find restaurants, a bustling marketplace, pretty gardens, art installations, a marina, restaurants – and lots more places to stroll or bike around.
Hungry? There’s fine dining restaurants, tiki bars, cosy cafes – or bring a picnic and head to one of the green spaces. Then relax or play volleyball on Spa Beach.
4. Second-to-none arts scene
The Dali Museum showcases the largest collection of the legendary artist outside of Spain
With seven art museums, marvellous murals, beautiful galleries, spectacular theatres and live concerts, the art scene of St. Pete/Clearwater is lively to say the least.
The Dali Museum showcases the largest collection of the legendary artist outside of Spain, while the dazzling Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement is the only one of its kind in the world.
Book a tour with a local artist and check out the 600 cool wall murals dotted around the city and for performing arts, the St. Petersburg Opera Company at the Palladium Theater is a must.
For outdoor sounds, head to a popular courtyard venue, or for live music check out the Floridian Social Club, a century-old former cinema, in downtown St. Pete.
5. A home away from home
The Don CeSar – known as the ‘Pink Palace’ – on St. Pete Beach
With stellar hotels, five-star resorts, luxury villas, and laid-back bungalows, St. Pete/Clearwater have an abundance of holiday accommodation options.
Fancy waking up to a dazzling beach view? Book a stay at an ocean-facing resort.
The Don CeSar – known as the ‘Pink Palace’ – on St. Pete Beach is perched dramatically on top of wind-swept dunes, affording guests wonderful views of the shimmering Gulf of Mexico.
The award-winning Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach has nearly 300 vast rooms, and an 8th-floor pool deck where you can see the sensational sunset with a pre-dinner drink.
The award-winning Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach
The Vinoy in downtown St. Pete offers historic luxury mixed with stunning modern decor. It’s also super close to Vinoy Park – two miles of gorgeous waterfront green spaces, which is perfect for reading a book and watching the sun go down.
The Holiday Inn Harbourside is family-friendly, while the Sirata St. Pete is great for couples or groups of friends thanks to its beachfront location, choice of restaurants, swimming pools and watersports.
Or try the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Resort which affords stunning waterfront views.
6. A foodie haven
Tuck into a famous grouper sandwich at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach
You won’t find many chain restaurants in St. Pete/Clearwater; here, it’s all about independent eateries.
Whether you’re a fan of homemade street food, brilliant brunches, a la carte dining, or a venue with waterfront views, you’re in the right place.
Expect to dine on super-fresh seafood and locally sourced produce, while sipping on homemade cocktails and craft beer.
Dine at vibrant Trophy Fish in downtown St. Pete for everything from grilled shrimp to tacos
Dine at vibrant Trophy Fish in downtown St. Pete for everything from grilled shrimp to tacos; or tuck into a famous grouper sandwich at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach – all washed down with a local wine or beer.
Bodega on Central Avenue serves delicious Latin street food; while Casa Tina in Dunedin serves up fresh authentic Mexican dishes.
Stroll along Beach Drive in downtown St. Pete and navigate the sidewalk cafes for an al fresco table to try an array of cuisines, from French and Italian, to Greek and vegan delights.
7. Non-stop nightlife
Downtown St. Pete is definitely where you’ll find a night (or a day) out to remember
Sip cocktails in trendy bars, enjoy a craft beer trail, belt out karaoke tunes, then dance the night away.
When it comes to nightlife, St. Pete/Clearwater’s scene has something for everyone.
Can’t get enough of the gorgeous beaches? Then head to a waterfront venue, where you can listen to music by live DJs.
Or for a more laid-back vibe, find a sports pub to watch a game, play a few rounds of pool, or head to a dive bar.
Get together for a memorable night out at Green Bench Brewing in downtown St. Pete
Downtown St. Pete is definitely where you’ll find a night (or a day) out to remember.
Listen to live jazz, play old-school arcade games, or enjoy an outdoor concert – alongside plenty of independent shops, craft breweries and brilliant restaurants – you definitely won’t want to leave early!
There’s also a unique craft beer trail running from Tarpon Springs to Treasure Island showcasing more than 40 local breweries’ fresh artisanal beer. An amazing way to end an incredible holiday.
To find out more about St. Pete/Clearwater, go to visitstpeteclearwater.com
You can travel in confidence with British Airways
And thanks to British Airways ‘book with confidence’ policy, you can book your holiday with peace of mind, knowing you can change your date or destination if you need to.
All British Airways Holidays are ATOL protected and you’ll have access to a 24-hour holiday helpline too.
What’s more, you’ll only need to pay a low deposit and you’ll have a 23kg baggage allowance per person too!
So what are you waiting for?
Click HERE to discover your dream holiday to Florida with British Airways.
T&Cs apply*. See ba.com/florida for details
*Subject to availability. Price stated is per person based on 2 adults sharing, inclusive of all airport taxes, fees and charges, and includes return economy (World Traveller) flights from London Gatwick to Tampa Airport and a minimum of seven nights 3* accommodation in St. Pete/Clearwater for travel on selected dates between 10 January 2022 – 10 February 2022 inclusive only. Book by 5 December 2021. Amendment and cancellation fees are set-out at the time of booking. Full terms and conditions at ba.com/florida. British Airways Holidays reserve the right to amend or withdraw this offer at any time. Package Holidays from British Airways Holidays Ltd are ATOL protected (No. 5985). British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply. All information is correct at time of publishing, errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).
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