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What makes St Pete Beach so great???

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Bunker Hill, West...
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What makes St Pete Beach so great???

I see that St Pete Beach is the #1 beach in the US. Why? I've never been there before, but now I'm strongly considering visiting this summer. What are some of the "don't miss" places in the area? What are the best resorts? Where should we eat?

St. Pete Beach...
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1. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

What has been your favorite beach so far? That might give some of us an idea of what you look for in a beach vacation. Our island is many things to many people. Do you like a quiet natural beach or a noisy beer-keg beach?

Toronto
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for Nassau
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2. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

I think vacation locations are a personal preference. Everyone has their own expectations and levels of comfortability. On strictly a personal note, having been to a good number of places on both the atlantic and gulf coasts, I settled in the SPB area because I found it very "middle of the road-ish". Not too high end, not too lowbrow. Quiet enough, but plenty to do if you want to. Good value for the dollar, and for me, a good level of safety and comfortability. I spend almost half the winter here. Again, just a personal preference. Take heed of the advice from the previous poster. If it's not what you are looking for, then you will be disappointed.

Best resorts.....well, if I WERE to stay at a beach resort (have my own condo), then it would have to be the Don Cesar.

Edited: 27 April 2012, 19:20
SPB, FL
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3. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

There is the soft white sand, the beautiful sunsets, the water everywhere (Gulf and intracoastal), but these can be found throughout the Gulf coast of Florida. I think part of what makes SPB unique is the wide variety of accommodations available, and the feel of the various neighborhoods. There are mega-resorts (Tradewinds Island Grand is the largest resort property, by number of rooms, on the Gulf coast), small Mom & Pops, rental condos, full-service hotels, luxury hotel (Loew's Don CeSar), cozy inns.

The Beach itself is over four miles long, so it never feels terribly crowded. The northernmost 1 and 1/2 miles consists of a strip of hotels and commercial businesses (restaurants, bars, beach supply stores, strip malls). Very much a tourist haven! Perfect for some, not desirable for others.

Moving south from that strip, you will come to a section where the beach is backed by single family homes , although the whole beach is public and usable by anyone. You will then reach the Don CeSar, which is quite secluded from everything else.

After that, you reach Pass-a-Grille, a 2 mile strip of beach that will take you back to Old Florida. No large hotels or resorts, just a couple inns and a very small motel across the road from the beach. There are few cute boutiques, artsy shops and galleries, a couple piers and some very good casual restaurants.

Corey Ave is considered to be our downtown. It is a very walkable few blocks of unique shops, a historic movie theater, and homestyle restaurants. (Keep in mind that SPB is actually a very small town.)

There are many excellent restaurants. What type of food are you looking for? We have wonderful seafood spots, barbeque, lots of ethnic options.

Another nice thing about SPB is our proximity to St Petersburg and its museums (It was recently named Best Small City for the Arts in the US), snazzy restaurants, cultural offerings and the TB Rays!

We are also right beside Fort DeSoto Park. This has an award-winning beach (North Beach), biking, kayaking, birdwatching, more.

A couple other accolades earned recently! St Pete Beach is the official Sunset Capital of Florida. And our own Jimmy B's Beach Bar was named Best Beach Bar in Florida!

I hope this helps you to decide if St Pete Beach is for you. Do have a wonderful summer vacation, wherever you land :-)

Edited: 27 April 2012, 19:56
United Kingdom
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for Treasure Island, Orlando
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4. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

maya, that post should be a sticky on the left of the column for imformative and concise info about st pete beach....

Moncton, Canada
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5. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

I'm a gal who usually travels solo, and I feel very comfortable and safe in the SPB area. It's more quiet than Clearwater, so if that's what you are looking for, it's the perfect place. If you are looking for the party scene, then not so much a good choice. Oh, there's great entertainement and great ambiance to be found, don't think it's boring, but people who go to SPB usually go for the beach and a more relaxing vacation.

Bunker Hill, West...
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6. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

Thanks a lot...great info.

We have spent the last 4 vacations at all-inclusive resorts along Mexico's Mayan Riviera. We decided that we wanted to stay a little closer to home this year and since we've never been to the gulf cost thought about giving it a try. We've been to Jacksonville Beach, Daytona Beach, and Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic side. We really liked Cocoa Beach the best. It wasn't crowded. There were things to do, but it wasn't too urban. We don't need 5* resorts, but the rooms must be clean and the beach/pools need to be nice.

Union, Oregon
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7. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

We too have spent the last 6 years vacations at all-inclusive resorts along Mexico's Mayan Riviera. We also decided that we wanted to stay a little closer to home this year, for obvious reasons!!!! We are spending a week in Daytona Beach Shores in a condo and then a week in Treasure Island in another condo. Many great beaches and places to stay from Clearwater down to St. Pete Beach. Have fun deciding!!!!

SPB, FL
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8. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

ERat, if you liked Cocoa Beach, I'm sure you'll be happy with SPB. :-))

AI's are whole different sort of vacation, IMHO. Around here, there are so many good places to eat,and interesting things to see and do, that it would be a shame to limit yourself to a particular property. But you can't beat an AI for sheer relaxation!

Joppa
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9. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

We have also gone to the Rivera Maya for many years, but have become reluctant to travel there due to the escalating violence. During the coverage of the oil spill, many news stories showed some of the beaches and resorts on the gulf and we decided to give it a try.

What drew us to Mexico was the primarily the beach - and the all inclusive pricing is a good value. The resort we went to in Mexico was known for their beach and I can honestly say that I think the beach at St. Pete Beach is the equal - if not better. The only thing we miss is the coral reef that was on site at that resort and the turtles. Otherwise, the beach is huge and has beautiful sand, the water and floor of the gulf (underfoot) is just beautiful. The hotels themselves aren't as glitzy, but they are nicely kept and moderately priced with a lot of charm.

We like being able to explore the area and there are a lot of little communities to check out - and if you're more adventurous, many places to see within an hour or two. There is a huge variety of food and restaurants - and we love how they're all unique (in a world of chain food dining) and are amazed at the quality of the food and the reasonable prices. I don't think we've had a bad meal there in two visits.

The sunsets are beautiful and not to be missed - and we structure our day around them.

We love the peace, safety and friendliness of the area - yet there is a lot that you can seek out to do if you choose. As others have said, we all have a different definition of what makes a good beach vacation destination. I grew up and live in the Maryland area and the closest beach resort is Ocean City, Maryland, which is much more crowded and has more of a carnival/honky-tonk vibe to it. We absolutely love SPB and just wish we lived within a driving distance, but are grateful it's just a 2.5 hour plane ride.

Edited: 20 May 2012, 22:48
Chicago, ILL
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10. Re: What makes St Pete Beach so great???

Weheading out to St.Pete beachin a few weeks. We decided on st. pete beach due to clear waters and white sands. Never been there but feel that we made the right choice based on the all the great reviews.