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St. Pete or Sarasota?

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Milton MA
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St. Pete or Sarasota?

My husband has been working in Port Canaveral. I'm flying down to spend a week with him in mid-November. We want to spend most of the time in either St. Pete or Sarasota, and make days trips to explore from there. We'd like to return from our day trips to interesting restaurants and pleasant surroundings. Any suggestions as to which

would be the best choice for us?

Saint Louis...
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1. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

Sarasota is a really nice town with an ok beach (compared to St pete Beach)

The town has Armands Square (you can google it), a big marina, lots of upscale shopping and is considered pretty artsy/craft. Lots of restaurants.

St Pete Beach- is old style florida beach front hotels. There are alot of building code restrictions so the old charm hotels still exist without the high rise condos that dominate beaches like Clearwater Beach. The beach is long and walkable for miles.

The town of St Petersburg (inland) seemed mostly ghetto areas. With the exception of the area where the Dhali museum is.

If you want to just chill at the beach, I'd go to St Pete Beach. If you want more

activities to do in town- go to Sarasota. But don't stay in the town of St Petersburg.

Bradenton, Florida
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2. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

Sarasota does not have beaches, it is inland. The beach areas are Siesta Key, Lido Key, and Longboat. Siesta was the number one beach last year in the US.

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

And the St. Armands mentioned above is St. Armands Circle which is on Lido Key - several restaurants, (and boutique shops), popular for dinner and drinks. You could do day trips from Lido Key - it's a short hop over the bridge to get back to the Sarasota mainland. Sarasota has an interesting downtown (it's signposted as being historic) with many sidewalk restaurants. And very near by is the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Marina Jacks if you care to do a day trip out in the Gulf.

If Lido Key is of interest just say and I'll suggest places to stay.

Edited: 15 September 2012, 21:51
Terre Haute, IN
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4. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

I have to disagree with most of the post from greenthum.

"The town of St Petersburg (inland) seemed mostly ghetto areas. With the exception of the area where the Dhali museum is."

This is a different St. Petersburg than what I have experienced.

St. Petersburg is not a resort destination, it's a city with your normal business and local homes. The downtown area has some tourist value. Check out the restaurants and hotels on this forum to see if the downtown area is of interest to you.

St. Pete Beach is a genuine tourist destination. The beach was voted the #1 US Beach this past year by TripAdvisor. There are several resort choices. One of the nicest is the Don Cesar, but there are others. Good restaurant options are available within about a 30 minute (or shorter) drive. There is a St. Pete Beach forum on TripAdvisor for you to check out their hotel and restaurant options.

From the limited info in your original post it appears that St. Pete Beach might be a good option for you. I don't think that you're looking for the downtown St. Petersburg experience.

SPB, FL
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5. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

Oh my goodness, the folks who live in the million-dollar homes in the Snell Isle and Jungle Prada neighborhoods of St Petersburg (just to name a couple) would be shocked to find out they live in ghettos! And I don't think that anyone who stayed at the Renaissance Vinoy (or any of the downtown hotels in St Pete) would feel like they were in a ghetto, either!

Gotta agree with Hautean on this! St Petersburg was recently voted the Best Small City for the Arts in the US, for the second year in a row. Lovely downtown with lots of dining options. Many museums, galleries, boutiques, etc.

St Pete Beach is about 20 minutes away, with many beachfront hotels at various price points, with a variety of amenities, depending on what you are looking for.

Sarasota is a great city, too, and if you choose to go there, I'm sure you will enjoy it, but I don't want you to make your choice based on bad info. :-)

Edited: 16 September 2012, 02:35
Milton MA
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6. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

Thanks for the replies. I'm beginning to get a clearer picture. I enjoy a few hours on the beach, love walking in the morning or evening and truly enjoy a water view. But my husband is not a beach person at all. We love cites! I'm

thinking we might split the time. A few nights at St. Pete beach, for the classic Florida beach experience, and visit the city during the day. Then we could stay in Sarasota and take day trips to the keys. I'll check out the forums

Milton MA
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7. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

Thanks, Maya58. That's more in line with what I thought St. Petersburg was like! Very helpful.

UK
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8. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

Of the two Towns (not beach areas) I prefer Sarasota, but St pete DT is nice too. There are some dodgy areas further away from the bay near the Tropicana field stadium, but all cities tend to have these types of areas.

Of the two beach areas. I prefer the beaches off Sarasota and Bradenton as well- but St Pete beach is pretty nice too. My fav beach island is Anna Maria, and Siesta Key runs a close second.

TBH, you'd be happy spending time in either place, depending if you were talking City or Beach areas.

Saint Louis...
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9. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

I agree that there are nice areas of St petersburg. But I stand by my comments that there are many areas that are ghetto in that town. As a tourist who likes to get out and see the entire area- not just the exclusive neighborhoods and downtown tourist area- we saw the bad parts as well as the good.

And in comparison to Sarasota- Sarasota has a much nicer experience for a tourist than St Petersburg.

Bradenton, Florida
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10. Re: St. Pete or Sarasota?

There are areas of Sarasota I would not venture into. Mainly the area north of town, between 41 and Tuttle. Anything around MLK.