Tag: Clearwater Florida

Clearwater, Florida

A- Overview:
“On a Clearwater Beach day, you can play forever” is the slogan of Clearwater, Florida. Clearwater is the area’s second-largest city covering much of the northern half of the Pinellas Peninsula including the barrier islands that make up Clearwater Beach. It is known for its miles of white sand beaches, accommodations, shopping, casual beach restaurants, and breathtaking sunsets. With mild temperatures year round, this city is paradise for anyone who enjoys the out of doors. The city has an average temperature of 73 degrees, and the water in the Gulf of Mexico is always warm (as high as 85 degrees in the summer). Any time of year is the perfect time to enjoy one of the many beautiful beaches along Florida’s Sun Coast.

The Clearwater Municipal Marina has the largest fishing fleet on the west coast of Florida with more than 50 commercial boats for leisure activities including sailing, diving, fishing, parasailing, sightseeing, casino gaming, dolphin watching and more. If you love sunshine, a warm breeze, a great beach, and palm trees, Clearwater Beach is the place to be: close to everything; yet not overcrowded. Clearwater lies on a beautiful peninsula on Florida’s west coast.

The “season”, beginning in mid-November and usually lasting through April, is the busiest time, as many visitors from colder climates arrive to enjoy the abundant sunshine, fine dining, and leisure activities. Spring and fall are popular with those who prefer a slower pace. A peaceful stroll on the beach is an option in any season. Summer is a great time for families, as there are many wonderful and exciting activities for children and parents. No matter what the time of year, visitors are welcomed and can expect balmy breezes, glorious sunshine, and a profusion of colorful tropical vegetation as a backdrop.

Offering just about every water and beach activity imaginable, Clearwater Beach has been named the top city beach in the Gulf region by the nation’s foremost beach expert, Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Clearwater Beach features public parking and a host of facilities at Pier 60 Park. Pier 60 Park features a family recreation complex on Clearwater’s expansive beach with covered playgrounds, fishing, concessions, and family entertainment. The nightly “Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival” celebrates each beautiful Gulf of Mexico sunset throughout the year. This “street festival” features artists, craftsmen, and musical performances on Clearwater’s famous fishing pier.

Nearby Pinellas County attractions are Heritage Village in Largo and Fort DeSoto at St. Petersburg Beach. On the grounds of Heritage Village is the Pinellas County Historical Museum. The Museum’s exhibits trace the history of Pinellas County from the Indian-Spanish period to contemporary times. The natural pine and palmetto landscape of Heritage Village includes a school, church, railroad depot, and store as well as a variety of historic homes. Among the homes are the McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin, the oldest existing structure in the County, and the magnificent Victorian-era House of Seven Gables.

Fort DeSoto is located just south of St. Petersburg at the entrance to Tampa Bay. Built during the Spanish-American War, the fort hosts Here, re-enactors present dramatic skits portraying the action of the war which caused Fort De Soto to be built in 1898. One of the historic figures appearing in the production is Teddy Roosevelt. Authentic camp equipment, including medical and dental instruments, and detailed meal preparation are also displayed. Tours of the fort and museum are followed by period music and dances, including the Virginia reel.

Within a short drive are some of the country’s most popular attractions. In nearby Tampa, visitors can experience the thrill of plunging down a variety of roller coasters at Busch Gardens or take a refreshing plunge down a slide at Adventure Island Water Park. Orlando is within a two hour drive for those wishing to visit world famous Disney World, Sea World or Universal Studios.

Clearwater is proud to host the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training. The Phillies are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional sports and have been in Clearwater since 1947.

Whatever brings you to this part of Florida, try to arrange to stay in Clearwater. The beaches, the museums, the shopping, the sports, and, of course, the weather are the best! Clearwater is just waiting to show its many diverse attributes, from virtually perfect weather to activities for all ages. Clearwater has the welcome mat out for you. Just bring the sunscreen!

B- City Information:
Population: 108,787

Elevation: 50 feet above sea level

Land Area: 25.3 miles

Location: Clearwater is conveniently located just a few miles west of Tampa and north of St. Petersburg. It is easily accessible from major Interstate roadways from both Midwestern Florida (I-75) as well as the East (I-95). In addition, Clearwater is easily accessible from major Interstates serving the Midwestern Florida (I-75) and Northeast (I-95) corridors, as well as Orlando (I-4).

Time Zone: Clearwater is in the Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Clearwater, its 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles. It observes Daylight Savings Time from April until October

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
61.2
62.6
67.1
71.5
77.4
81.5
82.7
82.8
81.4
75.6
69.2
63.2

High temperature (°F)
70.7
72.1
76.5
80.9
86.5
89.6
90.6
90.7
89.4
84.3
78.2
72.6

Low temperature (°F)
51.7
53.1
57.7
62.0
68.3
73.4
74.7
74.8
73.4
66.8
60.0
53.8

Precipitation (in)
2.8
2.9
3.4
1.9
2.9
5.8
6.8
8.2
7.1
2.9
2.1
2.7

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precip.
7
7
7
5
6
12
16
16
13
7
5
6

Wind speed (mph)
8.6
9.1
9.4
9.2
8.6
7.9
7.1
6.9
7.6
8.3
8.2
8.3

Morning humidity (%)
87
86
87
86
85
86
87
90
91
89
88
88

Afternoon humidity (%)
60
57
55
52
53
60
64
65
63
58
58
60

Sunshine (%)
63
65
71
75
75
67
62
61
61
65
64
61

Days clear of clouds
10
9
11
11
11
6
3
3
5
11
12
10

Partly cloudy days
10
9
10
11
13
14
16
17
14
10
10
10

Cloudy days
12
10
10
8
8
10
12
11
11
9
9
11

Snowfall (in)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Local Seasons:

With mild temperatures year round, this city is a paradise for anyone enjoying the out of doors. The city enjoys an average yearly temperature of 73 degrees and the water in the Gulf of Mexico can average as high as 85 degrees in the summer, making any time of year the perfect time to enjoy one of the beautiful beaches. The tourist“season”, beginning in mid-Nov and usually lasting through April is the busiest as many visitors from colder climates come to enjoy the abundant sunshine, fine dining, and host of other activities. Spring and fall are popular with those who like it a little less busy and who enjoy a peaceful stroll on the beach. Summer is a great time for those with families as there are plenty of wonderful and exciting things for children of any age. No matter what the time of year, the welcomed visitor can expect warm, balmy breezes, glorious sun and tropical vegetation as part of their Florida visit.

How to Get There:

By Air:

Three airports just minutes from the beaches make your arrival quick and easy. Both Tampa International Airport and the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport are quite convenient.

Airport shuttles and rental cars are available at both airports.

Tampa International Airport is 19 miles from Clearwater Beach

St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport is 11 miles away.

Clearwater Executive Airpark is designed for small private and corporate aircraft.

Tampa International Airport

5503 West Spruce Street, Tampa

813-870-8700

Clearwater – St. Petersburg Airport

St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is located on State Route 686 – Roosevelt Blvd. 4 miles north of St. Petersburg.

14700 Terminal Boulevard, Suite 221, Clearwater

727-453-7800

By Car:

Driving here is a popular option as St. Petersburg/Clearwater is easily accessible from major Interstates along the Midwest (I-75) and Northeast (I-95) corridors, as well as Orlando (I-4).

By Train:

If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable alternative to driving, why not take the train? Amtrak offers service into nearby Tampa and other surrounding areas.

Call 1-800-USA-RAIL for additional information

By Bus:

Greyhound Bus

Clearwater

800-229-9424

Call for location and schedule

How to Get Around:

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (tel. 727-530-9911) operates motorized trolley service along Gulf Boulevard (Fla. 699) between the Hurricane restaurant in St. Pete Beach and the Sheraton Sand Key Resort (this entire trip, one way, takes about an hour), where it connects with the Jolly Trolley (727/445-1200), which continues on Gulf Boulevard through Clearwater Beach.

The PSTA trolley runs daily, every 20 minutes between 5am and 10pm, to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Taxis

Along the beach, the major cab company is BATS Taxi.

727-367-3702

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the third Monday in January

President’ Day, the third Monday in February

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, the first Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, December 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Moccasin Lake Nature Park

2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater
727-462-6024

Admission Charged

Hours: Monday: Closed, unless legal holiday; Tuesday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Holidays: Open: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day. Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day (and the day after), Christmas Day Moccasin Lake Nature Park is an Environmental and Energy Education Center providing visitors to beautiful Clearwater with a natural retreat from the concrete and asphalt setting of the urban environment and offering a change of scene from the famous white sandy beaches. This is a place where you can enjoy a small piece of Florida’s natural history. Come walk the nature trails where you might visually encounter egrets, ospreys, butterflies, turtles or the occasional alligator. Visit the gift shop and other live wildlife exhibits of non-venomous snakes, tortoises, freshwater fish, amphibians and many birds of prey such as the Bald Eagle.

Sunsets At Pier 60 Daily Festival
P.O. Box 3595, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
727-449-1036

Admission Free

Started in 1995 and patterned after the highly successful Sunsets at Mallory Square Festival in Key West, FL. this event is responsible for a marked increased in visitors to Clearwater Beach during the evening and off season periods. Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival is the only form of free family oriented entertainment available on Clearwater Beach. A nightly “street” festival on Clearwater’s famous fishing pier celebrating the setting of the sun and featuring artists, craftsman and performers with musical entertainment.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

249 Windward Passage

727-441-1790

Admission Charged

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-4pm; Sunday, 11am-

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a, working Aquarium dedicated to public education, marine research, animal assisted therapy and the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured or sick whales, dolphins, otters and sea turtles. As your “Window to the Sea” we provide visitors and residents with a better understanding and appreciation for the marine environment. As a working Aquarium it is our mission to educate and foster preservation and conservation of the marine animals and habitats.

Tanks A Lot

Clearwater, Florida
United States

800-335-3483, 727-531-9101

Activities scuba diving
Take an adventure trip aboard a 33-foot vessel for an exciting day of scuba diving.

Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
25 Causeway Blvd.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767-2064

727-446-2587

Join the fun aboard the family attraction, the Pirate’s Ransom. Frequent sightings of playful dolphins. Pirate fun and games.

Original Dolphin Encounter Cruise
25 Causeway Blvd., Slip #5
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767-2000

See these marine mammals in their natural habitat while relaxing aboard the double-deck 125-passenger Clearwater Express. This sightseeing tour provides a scenic view of Gulf beaches.

727-442-7433

Ruth Eckerd Hall

111 McMullen Booth Rd.
800 2nd Ave NE
Clearwater, FL 34619

727-791-7060
727-791-7400
This performance arts center was established in 1988 as a professional theater. Audiences are drawn from areas far beyond the local community by the imaginative adaptations of classic children’s literature, fine music, and original works.

Heritage Village

11909 125 Street North,

Largo, FL

727-582-2123

Admission Free

A 21-acre, open-air historical village and museum located in the heart of Pinellas County. The natural pine and palmetto landscape is home to some of Pinellas County’s most historic buildings.

The Village includes 28 structures, some dating back to the mid-to late- 19th century. The Village includes a school, church, railroad depot, and store as well as a variety of historic homes. The homes range from the McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin, the oldest existing structure in the County, to the magnificent Victorian-era House of Seven Gables. Also on the grounds of Heritage Village is the Pinellas County Historical Museum. The Museum’s exhibits trace the history of Pinellas County from the Indian-Spanish period to contemporary times. The Museum also has a 3,500-volume library and archives containing historic photographs, maps, special collections and other materials relating to the history of Pinellas County. Heritage Village is also the site of the Daniel McMullen Home for the Fiber Arts. Weaving, quilting, and other crafts are demonstrated at Heritage Village as part of its “hands-on” approach to history. A Country Jubilee is held annually in October; other events are scheduled throughout the year.

Area Attractions

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens
Tampa, FL 33674

888-800-5447

Admission Charged

Hours vary by day and season, call for details

Just a short 30 minute drive from Clearwater Beach, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay provides unrivaled “real” excitement for guests of every age.

Adventure Island Tampa Bay

4500 Bougainvillea Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612
813-987-5600

Admission Charged

Hours vary by day and season, call for details

Adjacent to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island’s 30 acres of water-drenched fun in the sun features the ultimate combination of high- speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere awaits an unrivaled blend of slides, corkscrews, water falls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions such as outdoor cafes, picnic and sunbathing areas, gift shops, arcades and a championship white-sand volleyball complex.

Caladesi Island State Park

# 1 Causeway Boulevard, Dunedin
727-469-5918

Admission Charged

Open year round, 8am-sunset

Note: Caledesi Island is only accessible by water.

By Boat – From channel marker #14, just west of the Dunedin Causeway Bridge, take an approximate 212-degree heading on your compass for approximately 1 mile. Follow the channel markers into the Caladesi Island State Park Marina.

Driving Directions to the Ferry: The driving directions for Caladesi Island State Park are the same as those for Honeymoon Island State Park. The ferry service to Caladesi leaves from Honeymoon Island State Park. hourly beginning at 10 AM.

Caladesi Island is outstanding. It offers 3 miles of hiking trails and a 108 slip marina. Picnic pavilions, bathhouses, and a park concession all make the visit more comfortable. Fishing, shelling, and nature studies are available. Caladesi Island State Park is ranked the sixth finest beach in the United States. For those who like to walk, Caladesi Island is accessible by foot from Clearwater Beach; a three plus mile walk; (there is neither automobile access nor available parking). This unspoiled island offers natural vegetation, abundant bird life and interpretative programs for Florida nature study. Here one can see the threatened gopher tortoise. Fiddler crabs scurry along the beach. The hardwood hammock leads to the original homestead built at the turn of the century.

The Dunedin Fine Art Center

1143 Michigan Boulevard, Dunedin

727-298-3322

Admission Charged

The Dunedin Fine Art Center serves upper Pinellas County for over thirty years and offers a wide variety of studio art classes, educational workshops, gallery exhibitions, lectures, outreach programs and community events for adults, children and the physically challenged. Everyone is invited to participate as a visitor, member, student, patron or volunteer. Includes a unique children’s museum in addition to works of many local and Florida artists.

Florida Botanical Gardens

12175 125 Street North, Largo

727-582-2200

Admission Charged

Open daily; Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm

182 acres of nature, art and a unique blend of Florida native plants and beautiful exotic tropicals, displayed in both natural and formal gardens. The natural wonder of this also provides a natural habitat for Florida’s fabulous lifestyle

Florida International Museum

100 Second Street North, St. Petersburg
727-822-3693 or 800-777-9882

Admission Charged

A Smithsonian Institute affiliate with the largest private collection of Kennedy family artifacts.

Gulf Coast Art Museum

12211 Walsingham Rd,

Largo, FL

727- 518-6833

Admission Charged

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm; Sunday, noon-4pm; Monday closed

Features contemporary Florida art with a special focus on contemporary craft media objects from the twelve southeastern states.

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

800-995-MOSI

MOSI is located in north Tampa at 4801 E. Fowler Ave., across from the USF Sun Dome, and just one mile from Busch Gardens.

Admission Charged

Open year round: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am-7pm

Approximately a 30 minute drive from Clearwater, the Museum of Science and Industry is a great attraction for any age. MOSI is the largest science center in the southeast, featuring more than 450 interactive exhibits in all areas of science, and is the home of Florida’s first IMAX Dome Theatre.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The new “cable-stay” bridge is a beautiful structure which was built at a cost of 245 million dollars. It has a main span of 1200 feet and a vertical clearance of 193 feet. It is equipped with a bridge protection system involving 36 large concrete bumpers called dolphins that are built to withstand an impact from any errant ships in the vicinity of the bridges piers. Unlike most “cable-stay” bridges the new bridge uses a single plane of cables and the deck, made of prestressed concrete segments serves as structure as well as being the roadway surface. At night, strategically placed lights add an additional touch of beauty. The bridge spans Tampa Bay and is the is the means of entry into St. Petersburg from the south on I-275.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Area Attractions for the Family

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens
Tampa, FL 33674

888-800-5447

Admission Charged

Hours vary by day and season, call for details

Just a short 30 minute drive from Clearwater Beach, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay provides unrivaled “real” excitement for guests of every age.

Adventure Island Tampa Bay

4500 Bougainvillea Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612
813-987-5600

Admission Charged

Hours vary by day and season, call for details

Adjacent to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island’s 30 acres of water-drenched fun in the sun features the ultimate combination of high- speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere awaits an unrivaled blend of slides, corkscrews, water falls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions such as outdoor cafes, picnic and sunbathing areas, gift shops, arcades and a championship white-sand volleyball complex.

Heritage Village

11909 125 Street North, Largo

727-582-2123

Admission Free

A 21-acre, open-air historical village and museum located in the heart of Pinellas County. The natural pine and palmetto landscape is home to some of Pinellas County’s most historic buildings.

The Village includes 28 structures, some dating back to the mid-to late- 19th century. The Village includes a school, church, railroad depot, and store as well as a variety of historic homes. The homes range from the McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin, the oldest existing structure in the County, to the magnificent Victorian-era House of Seven Gables. Also on the grounds of Heritage Village is the Pinellas County Historical Museum. The Museum’s exhibits trace the history of Pinellas County from the Indian-Spanish period to contemporary times.

Moccasin Lake Nature Park

2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater
727-462-6024

Admission Charged

Hours: Monday: Closed, unless legal holiday; Tuesday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Holidays: Open: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day. Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day (and the day after), Christmas Day Moccasin Lake Nature Park is an Environmental and Energy Education Center providing visitors to beautiful Clearwater with a natural retreat from the concrete and asphalt setting of the urban environment and offers a change of vistas from the famous white sandy beaches. This is a place where you can enjoy a small piece of Florida’s natural history. Come walk the nature trails where you might visually encounter egrets, ospreys, butterflies, turtles or the occasional alligator. Visit the gift shop and other live wildlife exhibits where you can see non-venomous snakes, tortoises, freshwater fish, amphibians and many birds of prey such as the Bald Eagle.

Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

800-995-MOSI

MOSI is located in north Tampa at 4801 E. Fowler Ave., across from the USF Sun Dome, and just one mile from Busch Gardens.

Admission Charged

Open year round: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am-7pm

Approximately a 30 minute drive from Clearwater, the Museum of Science and Industry is a great attraction for any age. MOSI is the largest science center in the southeast, featuring more than 450 interactive exhibits in all areas of science, and is the home of Florida’s first IMAX® Dome Theatre.

Sunsets At Pier 60 Daily Festival
P.O. Box 3595, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
727-449-1036

Admission Free

Started in 1995 and patterned after the highly successful Sunsets at Mallory Square Festival in Key West, FL. this event is responsible for a marked increased in visitors to Clearwater Beach during the evening and off season periods. Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival is the only form of free family oriented entertainment available on Clearwater Beach. A nightly “street” festival on Clearwater’s famous fishing pier celebrating the setting of the sun and featuring artists, craftsman and performers with musical entertainment.

Caladesi Island State Park

# 1 Causeway Boulevard, Dunedin
727-469-5918

Admission Charged

Open year round, 8am-sunset

Note: Caledesi Island is only accessible by boat or ferry

Picnic pavilions, bathhouses, and a park concession all make the visit more comfortable. Fishing, shelling, and nature studies are all ways to further enjoy a visit. Caladesi Island State Park is ranked the sixth finest beach in the United States. For those who like to walk, Caladesi Island is accessible by foot from Clearwater Beach (a three plus mile walk; no automobile access nor available parking) The unspoiled island offers natural vegetation, abundant bird life and interpretative programs for Florida nature study.

Captain Memo’s Original Pirate Cruise

25 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach

727-446-2587

Admission Charged

Call for exact dates and sailing schedule

Sail like a pirate about The Pirate’s Ransom. She was custom designed and built just for pirate sailing and is equipped with all of the latest life saving equipment, including life jackets, life rafts, and ship-to-shore radio. Clean men’s and women’s restrooms are on board. It is also equipped with a professional sound system with a large variety of C.D. and cassette music for your listening pleasure. She can accommodate 125 hearty souls and sails daily.

Great Explorations – The Hands-On Museum

1925 Fourth Street North, St. Petersburg

727-821-8992

Admission Charged

Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday

A “hands on” museum where visitors touch, move and interact with exhibits that educate and entertain. Exhibition areas include Phenomenal Arts. Explore Galore, Exchange, Think Tank, Touch Tunnel and Body Shop. A gift shop is also included.
Exhibits include a climbing wall and a raceway where visitors build a tabletop racecar from motor to axle and race on a slot car-type track. “There’s also a great sailboat exhibit where visitors learn about direction and air pressure and a lie detector. Great Explorations is a museum for children of all ages with the goal of making learning fun.

Planetarium

St. Petersburg Junior College, Science Building, 6605 Fifth Ave. North, St. Petersburg

727-341-4320

Admission Charged

Showings are held September through May and special presentations are regularly scheduled.

Call for exact dates and hours of operation

The planetarium is a sky theater under a 7.3 meter domed ceiling

E- Events & Entertainment:
Sports

Major league baseball is played year round in Clearwater. Clearwater is proud to host the Philadelphia Phillies spring training. The Phillies are the oldest, continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional sports and have been in Clearwater since 1947. In addition to the major league team, Clearwater is home to the Class-A Clearwater Phillies of the Florida State League. The Toronto Blue Jays spend their spring in Dunedin and the New York Yankees play in Tampa; in fact, six additional spring training teams are located within one hour of Pinellas County. The Major League Baseball Tampa Bay Devil Rays call St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field home the rest of the year.

Take a Side Trip to Tarpon Springs:

One of Florida’s most fascinating small towns and only 13 miles north of Clearwater: Tarpon Springs calls itself “the Sponge Capital of the World.” Greek immigrants from the Dodecanese Islands settled here in the late 19th century to harvest sponges, which grew in abundance offshore. By the 1930s, Tarpon Springs was producing more sponges than any other place in the world. A blight ruined the business in the 1940s, but the descendants of those early immigrants stayed on. Today they compose about a third of the population, making Tarpon Springs a center of transplanted Greek culture.

Sponges still arrive at the historic Sponge Docks, on Dodecanese Boulevard. With a lively, carnival-like atmosphere, the docks are a great place to spend an afternoon or early evening, poking your head into shops selling sponges and other souvenirs while Greek music comes from the dozen or so family restaurants purveying authentic Aegean cuisine. You can also venture offshore from here, because booths on the docks set up sightseeing and fishing cruises. Make your reservations as soon as you get here; then go sightseeing ashore or grab a meal at one of the many Greek restaurants and bakeries facing the dock while waiting for the next boat.

For more information, call 727-938-5378

Antiques

Gas Plant Antique Arcade

1246 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Florida’s largest antique mall, with 150 dealers in four huge floors of fine antiques from all periods

Annual Events

January

Martin Luther King Jr. National Parade

727-327-0085

Downtown St. Petersburg

The Annual Drum Major for Justice Parade begins at 1:15 p.m. The celebration also includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Festival of Bands competition, which features several renowned marching bands as they perform in a special salute to Dr. King.

Call for exact location and date

Pinellas Folk Festival

727-582-2123

Heritage Village

The Pinellas County Historical Society presents its annual festival held at Heritage Village. This free event features traditional folk music, storytelling and pioneer crafts and performances by skilled artisans. Sheep to shawl activities, vintage 1890s baseball, a traditional rug hooking and embroidery show and a food court are all included in the day’s activities.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call for exact date

March

Annual Heritage Village Antique Car Show

727-582-2127

Heritage Village

Come and check out this wonderful display of restored antique automobiles and hybrid cars. There will also be music and hands-on activities.

This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call for exact date

April

Tampa Bay Marathon Swim

727-531-7999

Holiday Inn Sunspree, St. Petersburg

The annual Tampa Bay Marathon Swim challenges long-distance swimmers to go 24 miles from the Holiday Inn Sunspree St. Petersburg across Tampa Bay to Ben Davis Beach in Tampa. All participants must be 19 or older and registered with United States Masters Swimming. Three- and six-person relays are also available for the race. Prizes include T-shirts and awards for completing the race and for the top finishers in various age groups.

Call for exact date, fees, and directions

May

Civil War Days and Annual Heritage Village Skirmish

727-582-2123

Heritage Village

Heritage Village hosts this living history event as Union and Confederate troops battle. The event includes artillery demonstrations, infantry drills and the big battle. Period crafts and other items will be for sale at the event.

Admission and parking are free

The annual Heritage Village Skirmish is scheduled for 2 p.m. Artillery demonstrations and infantry drills will be held on the hour. Other activities include the Officers Call, a court martial, and the Grand March. Bring comfortable seating or ground cover for the battle.

Call for exact dates

July

Arts Center Members Exhibition

727-822-7872

The Arts Center

The Arts Center showcases the extraordinary talent of more than 250 member artists in “Components,” the Members’ Exhibition. This annual show reflects the importance of every Arts Center member to the overall organization.

Call for exact dates, hours, and directions

Studioworks

727-519-6833

Gulf Coast Museum of Art

The annual juried Studioworks exhibition presents the work of the Museum’s instructors and students. The exhibition is designed to demonstrate the strength of the Museum’s teaching program. All media, including painting, mixed media, photography and ceramics, will be included in the exhibition.

Call for exact dates, hours, and directions

September

Dunedin Wines the Blues

727-733-5886

This popular annual event takes place along the Main Street downtown area of Dunedin with plenty of live blues music, food, wine and entertainment.

The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Call for exact date

Annual Renaissance Night

727-799-2200

Downtown Safety Harbor

This event is always held on the 3rd Friday of September. Downtown Safety Harbor will be visited by gypsies, wizards, musicians, fairies, pirates and animals

From 6 to 10 p.m. Participating shops will be open late.

Call for exact date and directions

Annual Pier Sand Sculpture Contest

727-821-6443

The Pier

TEAM Sandtastic hosts this Annual Pier Sand Sculpture Contest. Sand Clinics will also be held.

Call for exact date, hours, and directions

October

Annual Taste of Palm Harbor

727-934-7001

The Palm Harbor Junior Women’s Club will present its annual Taste of Palm Harbor from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Florida Avenue just east of Alt. U.S. 19. There are more than 25 area restaurants to sample from and an array of Arts and Crafts for people to stroll through.

Call for exact location and date

Florida Birding and Nature Festival
866-352-2473

The Annual Festival & Nature Expo features the best of Florida birding with 25 field trips throughout the region, internationally known bird and wildlife experts and an exciting Nature Expo. The Festival offers a conservation mission with proceeds going to the management of Shell Key Preserve of Florida’s most important areas for shorebirds.

Call for exact location, dates, and hours

Annual H&R Train Show

727-526-4682
This long standing annual show features a free model train demonstration with a train layout competition for all gauges of model railroading.

Friday and Saturday, hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Call for exact dates

The Annual Make a Difference Fishing Tournament

727-462-6954

This tournament for children with disabilities is always held the first Saturday in October. Fishing will be done on Clearwater’s Pier 60.

Call for exact date and time

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

727-461-5200

For over 25 years, the annual Jazz Holiday brings together all veins of jazz music together in 4 days of free entertainment at Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater. From bebop to blues, from big band to the compositions of Frank Zappa, there is something for everyone.

Call for exact location, dates, and times

Annual Florida Orchestra in the Park

800-662-7286

Free concert and fireworks in Vinoy Park on Beach Drive.

Show begins at 7pm., call for exact date

Annual Country Jubilee Festival

727-582-2123

Heritage Village

The Pinellas County Historical Society presents this jubilee with more than 125 craftspeople displaying and selling their homemade goods. The event features pioneer and Victorian craft demonstrations, live entertainment, a petting zoo, historic house tours and food.

The jubilee runs 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Call for exact dates and location

Annual Autumn Harvest

727-893-7326

Boyd Hill Nature Park

This autumn harvest will be held at the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement at Boyd Hill Nature Park. There will be an old time farmers market and plenty of events and activities for adults and children.

Call for exact date, hours, and directions

Frenchy’s Stone Crab Claw Festival

727-446-1522

All Frenchy’s locations on Clearwater Beach

Frenchy’s annual Stone Crab Weekend is a popular area event. The event will also feature two tents complete with live music.

Call for exact dates, hours, and directions

Annual Fall Grouper Fest & Art Show

727-394-0756

John’s Pass Village

Grouper Fest honors the area as the Grouper Capital of the World. This festival will feature food, children’s activities, entertainment, a display about the heritage of the fishing industry in Madeira Beach and an art show. This event was formerly known as the John’s Pass Village Seafood Festival.

Call for exact dates, hours, and directions

Top o’ the Bay Oktoberfest

813-855-4233

R.E. Olds Park

This weekend festival features German music, food, beer and wine, along with full midway, carnival, art/crafters, American food and business vendors. Come enjoy the interactive games and activities such as log sawing, keg hurling, stein holding and the annual Waitress Races

Call for exact dates, hours, and directions

Annual Suncoast Triathlon

813-874-7223

Fort DeSoto Park

The Suncoast Triathlon is the perfect race for both novices and experienced triathletes alike. The triathlon consists of a swim .33 miles, bike 11 miles and run 3.1 miles.

The race begins at 7:30 a.m.

Call for exact date, time of event, and directions

Early November

Annual Loadmaster Trailers Suncoast Kingfish Classic Tournament

727-363-0071
The event is sanctioned by the Southern Kingfish Association and benefits the Tarpon Springs Rotary Club.

Call for exact location, dates, and hours

Annual Art Arbor & Family Fun Days

727-893-7326

Boyd Hill Nature Park

This nature festival offers art, live music, crafts, kid’s crafts, storytelling and food. Held at the Boyd Hill Nature Park, it also has reptile and bird of prey programs, guided park tours, scavenger hunts and petting zoo.

Hours both days 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For

Call for exact date

St. Petersburg Boat Show

954-764-7642

The Bayfront Center, St. Petersburg

The Annual St. Petersburg Boat Show is making waves for boaters and anglers of all ages. With more than 700 boats, on land and in-water, the St. Petersburg’s Boat Show is the largest in-water boat show on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Accessorize you new boat with the latest electronics and gadgetry.

Call for exact location, dates, and hours

Celebrations Holiday Show

727-822-7872

The Arts Center

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the season at the Arts Center annual Holiday Show. Specially created works by many artists, glass ornaments and photographs will be on display. Limited edition hand-printed holiday cards custom-made for the Arts Center will debut during the holiday show.

Call for exact dates, hours and directions

Christmas Under the Oaks

727-562-4813

Coachman Park

Usually held in early November, this annual holiday crafts fair sponsored by the Clearwater Junior League Women’s Club, will be held in historic Coachman Park in Clearwater

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call for exact dates, hours and directions

Annual Harbor Wine Festival

727-724-1555

John Wilson Park

The City of Safety Harbor will host this event, which includes wine tasting, food from area restaurants, live entertainment on two stages, arts and crafts vendors and a real grape stomp. Admission is free.

Festival hours are 5 – 11 p.m.

Call for exact dates and directions

Fall Boat Show

800-940-7642

Bayfront Center Yacht Basin

This event is usually held in November. The annual in-water boat show features more than 600 boats, electronics, marine engines and accessories, fishing products, clinics, seminars and entertainment.

Call for exact dates, hours and directions

Times Festival of Reading

727-445-4142

Eckerd College

Usually held in November. The St. Petersburg Times hosts this annual event that features book talks, national and regional authors, book appraisals, music and poet performances and children’s story land. The event is free.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call for exact date, hours and directions

Late November

Annual Tarpon Springs Arts & Crafts Show

727-937-6109

Held Thanksgiving weekend 10am-5pm

This annual event features 150 artists and craft persons from around the country who display in downtown Tarpon Springs. Live music and a food festival are also included.

Festival of Trees

727-446-2858
The Harborview Center is host to this Annual Festival of Trees.

Call for exact location, dates, and hours

Arts Center Annual Members Show
727-822-7872

The Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg features this exhibit of works by Arts Center members. It features art in various media and themes.

Call for exact location, dates, and hours

December

Annual Fun ‘N Sun Illuminated Night Parade

727-562-4804

The highlight of the Fun ‘n Sun Festival, this spectacular parade begins at 7:30 p.m. in downtown Clearwater along Cleveland Street. The parade is an original event of the 1st Fun N Sun Festival which began over 50 years ago and remains one of Clearwater’s most popular events for people of all ages.

Call for exact date

Dunedin’s Happy Holidays Celebration

727-298-3280

Edgewater Park, Dunedin

The annual Happy Holidays Celebration at Edgewater Park includes a boat parade and a tree-lighting ceremony. There will also be live entertainment, an arts and crafts show and children’s activities

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the boat parade and tree lighting at 7:15 p.m.

Call for exact date

Holiday Stroll

727-587-6740

Largo Central Park

Usually held in December, you can join the entire community of Largo in the lighting of Largo Central Park for the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting & Stroll. Take the opportunity to stroll through the park and enjoy entertainment while viewing more than 200,000 lights.

Open to all ages from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evening.

Cal for exact date and directions

St. Petersburg Lighted Boat Parade

727-821-6443

Downtown St. Petersburg

One of the largest lighted boat parades in the area, St. Petersburg’s annual event starts at sundown and goes from the Harborage Marina north past the Pier to the Vinoy Basin. The Pier and surrounding parks offer great spots for parade watching and feature a host of activities associated with the event.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with holiday music and entertainment, and the parade begins at 7:30 p.m.

Call for exact date and directions

Gulfport Lighted Boat Parade

727-321-7295

Downtown Gulfport

The city of Gulfport, just west of St. Petersburg, starts its lighted boat parade from the Boca Ciega Yacht Club. The route goes from the yacht club marina, past the city pier and municipal beach, and through several areas along Boca Ciega Bay.

The annual parade starts at 6 p.m. and ends at approximately 8 p.m.

Call for exact date and directions

St. Petersburg Santa Parade

727-892-5874

Bayshore Drive

Santa will ride down the streets of downtown St. Petersburg and bring in the holiday season.

The traditional Santa Parade will march down Bayshore Drive at 10 a.m. and end at North Straub Park, where the annual Snowfest romp for youngsters will be stationed.

Call for exact date and directions

Holiday Taste and Tour

727-821-6443

Downtown St. Petersburg

The St. Petersburg Area Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns (SPAABBI) will hold its annual Holiday Taste and Tour from 3 to 8 p.m. Stroll through twelve enchanting holiday-decorated homes in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Gulfport, Pinellas Park, and North Redington Beach. Each house will decorate a tree based on one of the twelve days of Christmas. The self-guided taste and tour (maps provided with ticket) will also include book signings by local writers and exhibits by local artists.

Call for exact date and directions