Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations

click to enlarge Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations - nicole abbett
nicole abbett
Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations


Food, booze, shopping and more in St. Pete Beach, a gorgeous getaway community just minutes from downtown.

click to enlarge Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations - nicole abbett
nicole abbett
Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations
EATS & DRINKS

1200 Chophouse Meat eaters swoon over this sophisticated chophouse’s steaks, seafood and wine selection. 5007 Gulf Blvd., 367-1300, 1200chophouse.com.
A Slice Of New York This authentic pizzeria operates 'til 4 a.m. to satisfy your Italian cravings whether you order delivery, takeout or dine in. 595 Corey Ave., 201-9900, asliceofnewyork.net.
Agave Devour what seems like a bottomless spread of Mexican classics. The dining room features a good-sized tequila bar, too. 6400 Gulf Blvd., 367-3448, agavestpetebeach.com.
Barracuda Deli Cafe Casual tastes (burrito bowls, pressed sandwiches, nachos) get served up on plastic trays at this surfer-inspired Latin American establishment. 6640 Gulf Blvd., 826-0998, barracudadelicafe.com.
Basil Leaf Noodles and other Thai delights are cooked up, but several of the sushi offerings are either music-themed or named after bands. Enjoy your Pink Floyd with an order of Weezer. 6395 Gulf Blvd., 360-4000, basilthaisushibar.com.
Beach Lounge & Billiards Just blocks off the sand, this amiable bar offers cheap drafts and cocktails, cool AC and the kind of inland vibe city slickers might seek after a day on the dunes (or even a half-hour or so in the blazing sun). Hole-in-the-wall exterior aside, the staff is friendly and the price is right. 541 Corey Ave., 367-2331.
Beverly’s A beloved morning and afternoon haunt, Beverly’s specializes in hefty helpings of homestyle food such as biscuits and gravy, crepes, 10 types of omelets and build-your-own burgers. 7401 Gulf Blvd., 360-2253, beverlysonthebeach.com.
Blue Fugu Japanese Steakhouse On the Dolphin Village plaza’s second floor, Blue Fugu functions as a Japanese hibachi grill and sushi bar. Sashimi, steak teriyaki, more than 30 kinds of sake and more keep diners coming back. 4615 Gulf Blvd., 367-6762, bluefugu.com.
The Blue Parrot Nestled against the Corey Causeway drawbridge, The Blue Parrot is just enough off the beaten path to be a favored haunt of beach denizens while still attracting the odd tourist. There’s Dixieland jazz and big band swing by Tom Kats’ many-piece orchestra on Monday nights; trivia on Thursdays; and solo acoustic artists along with rock and blues bands on the patio stage on Fridays, Saturdays and occasional Wednesdays. Acts include The Impacs, a decades-old rock band that did a stint with Dick Clark’s Cavalcade of Stars in 1963. 85 Corey Circle, 368-9619, bluepstpb.com.
Bones Pizza Shack Offering pick-up and delivery, Bones doesn’t disappoint with a to-the-point pizzeria menu that includes specialty pies, wings and its signature Calzito, a calzone-burrito hybrid. 6708 Gulf Blvd., 367-8885.
Bongos The designated beach bar oasis of the Grand Plaza Hotel (you know, the round one), Bongos is run by the same folks who oversee Jimmy B’s and features mostly solo acts and the odd band, as well as a menu of sandy-toed dining options and plush patio furniture to lounge on while gazing at the gulf. 5250 Gulf Blvd., 360-1811, grandplazaflorida.com/dining/bongos.
Boulevard Burgers & Tap House Specializing in fatty patties made from a blend of brisket, Angus chuck and short ribs, Boulevard also has a solid craft beer selection on tap and an entertainment calendar that sees frequent performances by Irish music trio The Bawdy Boys. 5905 Gulf Blvd., 727-201-4906, blvdburgers.com.
Buona Pizza This informal Dolphin Village pizzeria provides pasta, pies and sandwiches, along with patio seating. 4705 Gulf Blvd., 360-7970, buonapizzamenu.com.
Cafe Luna A smorgasbord of Italian- and Thai-inflected cuisine in a “casually upscale” bistro setting. 6700 Gulf Blvd., 360-7500, cafelunabistro.com.
Café Soleil Also at Dolphin Village, this French bakery and deli features items like fresh bread and espresso, sandwiches and pastries. 4695 Gulf Blvd., 800-2970, cafesoleilbakery.com.
Carino's Northern Italian Cuisine Fine Italian dining in a comfortable setting. An ample wine list, full bar and piano lounge are among the other draws. 9524 Blind Pass Road, 360-8502, carinosrestaurant.com.
Castile The Hotel Zamora’s second-floor restaurant is a fine-dining paradise dispatching Latin-accented dishes such as (CL food critic Jon Palmer Claridge’s favorite) Maine Lobster Ajillo. Don’t miss the swanky AstroTurf-laden 360° Rooftop bar. 3701 Gulf Blvd., 456-8660, castilerestaurant.com.

click to enlarge Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations - nicole abbett
nicole abbett
Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations

Chill
Newly relocated to the site of the former Madeleina Cottage, Chill has morphed from coffee shop into full-service restaurant with the help of fresh digs and a new chef, the peripatetic Domenica Macchia. 357 Corey Ave, 360-2445, chillstpetebeach.com.
Compass Grille The Sirata Resort has transformed a former Durango into this sleek, sophisticated space with a menu emphasizing seafood, steak and Chef Robert Colton’s popular root beer ribs. Looking for a more casual spot? Hit up the resort’s nearby Harry’s Beach Bar or Rum Runners. 5300 Gulf Blvd., 363-5129, sirata.com/compass-grille.
Crab Daddy's Great drinks and a view accompany all-you-can-eat crab legs, an outdoor patio and live sounds. Go get your crab on. 678 75th Ave., 800-5081.
Crabby Bill’s Seafood Gulf oysters and soft-shell blue crabs rule at this down-home restaurant. Specialty cocktails and craft beer are available to wash it all down. 5100 Gulf Blvd., 360-8858, stpetecrabbybills.com.
D’Lites Emporium It’s hard to miss this creamery’s bright pink exterior. Once you enter, 60-plus premium light ice cream flavors, frappes and other sweets are offered. 5955 Gulf Winds Dr., 592-1934, tampabaydlites.com.
Drunken Clam Frequented for its wings and beer, the all-wood-inside beach bar highlights porch seating, live tunes and multiple TVs for watching the game. 46 46th Ave., 360-1800, drunkenclambar.com.
Fetishes Dining & Wine Bar An extensive wine collection that pairs well with upscale starters, entrees and desserts. 6305 Gulf Blvd., 363-3700, fetishesrestaurant.com.
The Frog Pond A go-to breakfast staple serving up hearty portions, and known for its omelets, eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles. 7390 Gulf Blvd., 363-7205.
Gayle's Restaurant An unassuming diner that kicks it old-school through no-frills decor and American breakfast foods. Cash only. 455 75th Ave., 360-0256.
Gigi’s Italian Restaurant This charming Italian restaurant executes dishes with tradition and flair, including its Veal Saltimbocca and Shrimp St. Tropez signatures. 4399 Gulf Blvd., 363-3344. gigisstpete.com.
Giuseppe’s Pizzeria Age-old pizza shop serving crowd-pleasers from breadsticks to muffuletta. 6690 Gulf Blvd., 360-7700.
GreenBacks This bar-Mexican grill-concert venue took over St. Petersburg Nights’ former building not too long ago. Indulge in affordable build-your-own tacos, rice bowls, nachos, quesadillas and more. 6800 Sunset Way, 289-7001.
Jimmy B’s Beach Bar Flock to the Beachcomber’s Jimmy B’s to groove on live tunes with a drink in hand, or catch a game at the hotel’s indoor Players Sports Bar. 6200 Gulf Blvd., 341-9563. beachcomberflorida.com.
Jackie’s On Corey Bistro & Catering Healthy marries with elegant at this popular indoor-outdoor dining spot. Score goat cheese terrine, crab cake burgers and free mimosas during Sunday brunch. 338 Corey Ave., 320-6358.
La Casa Del Pane Come for the fresh-baked loaves of Italian bread, stay for the breakfast sandwiches and espresso. The menu offers omelets and other morning staples, as well as pizzas and pastries, all of which involve freshly made goodness. 7110 Gulf Blvd., 367-8322, lacasadelpane.us.
Larry's The smell of waffle cones is the first thing that hits your nose at this old-fashioned ice cream parlor. There’s a slew of flavors, as well as shakes, malts, gelato, burgers and pizza. 6595 Gulf Blvd., 360-4259, larrysicecream.com.
MacNasty’s A sports hangout with a stellar dive-bar vibe and friendly staff pouring your drinks. 6295 Gulf Blvd., 360-8300.
Mad Fish This eclectic retro-inspired diner puts new spins on old-fashioned favorites. 5200 Gulf Blvd., 360-9200, madfishonline.com.
Maritana Grille New American dishes are delightfully executed at this high-end destination at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel. The comfort food-focused Sea Porch, Sunsets Tequila Bar and Uncle Andy's Ice Cream Parlor are quality options as well. 3400 Gulf Blvd., 360-1882, loewshotels.com/don-cesar.
MJ’s Watering Hole Across the street from TradeWinds at the Bayside Shops is where you’ll find this gem, which is also home to Coconuts Comedy Club. 5501 Gulf Blvd., 803-6978.
New China Standard Chinese takeout fare, such as bourbon chicken, wonton soup and fried rice, at Dolphin Village. 4785 Gulf Blvd., 363-8181.
Nina’s Cafe Locals and tourists mingle at this tropically embellished gathering place. There’s breakfast and lunch grub such as Benedicts and grouper sandwiches. 9524 Blind Pass Road, 367-1397, ninasonthebeach.com.
Nori Thai Treat yourself to this cozy cafe’s sushi, Japanese and Thai offerings for lunch or dinner. 7612 Blind Pass Road, 367-6535, norithai.com.
The Oyster Shucker Nautical decor, a daily happy hour, views of the Gulf of Mexico and a collection of American and from-the-sea cuisine. 650 Corey Ave., 363-4464, theoystershucker.com.
PCI Bar & Grill/PCI Beach Bar & Snack Shack The area’s ostensible (and affordable) hipster haven is also one of its newer beachside hotels, though the site of its open-air PCI Beach Bar & Snack Shack is among the oldest around, formerly home to Swigwam and currently serving beer and spirits with the scenic view in addition to short-order menu selections from the hotel’s Floribbean-inspired PCI Bar & Grill. Sometimes there’s live music, too, with performers set up under a tent adjacent to the bar. 6300 Gulf Blvd., 369-4950, postcardinn.com.
PJ’s Oyster Bar Sporting a diner feel, PJ’s has starters, entrees for seafood enthusiasts and land lovers, and combo plates. 595 Corey Ave., 367-3309, pjsoysterbar.net.
Rick’s Reef The beachy decor and food (crab-stuffed grouper, fish tacos, uh, smothered meatloaf) give this laid-back find, surrounded by native greenery, a true Florida feel. 6712 Gulf Blvd., 826-0752, ricksreefstpetebeach.com.
RipTides With an interior decorated à la Key West, RipTides pours cheaper drinks than other beach joints, and it’s always buzzing on the weekends. Just don't get into it with salty veteran bartender Denise — her wit is as quick and dangerous as her shot-making skills. 7618 Blind Pass Road, 827-2834.
RumFish Grill The moray eel, nurse shark, grouper and other regional sea creatures swimming in the 33,500-gallon fish tank here are the main attraction, as they are quite mesmerizing. You'll want to reserve a table next to it. The fare is heavily seafood-driven, though the menu is more diverse than you'd think. Same goes for the cocktail list. 6000 Gulf Blvd., 329-1428, rumfishgrill.com.
Salty Rim Grill Specialty drinks, live entertainment and dishes with flavors that span from Cancun to Key West. 9524 Blind Pass Road, 851-9955, thesaltyrim.com.
Salty's Tiki Bar Even if you’re not staying at TradeWinds, Salty’s pleases through tropical frozen drinks and light fare. Three additional bars are located on site, as well as six restaurants, including the cracker cottage-inspired Flying Bridge and more upscale Palm Court Italian Grill and Bermudas Steak & Seafood. 5700 Gulf Blvd., 363-2342, tradewindsresort.com.
Sandbar Bill’s Bar & Grille This tiki bar, part of the Bon-Aire Resort, calls its Rum Runner and cheeseburger “the best on the beach.” (We can vouch for both.) You’ll find something on the straightforward menu either way, and enjoy the casual, hey-we-just-stumbled-into-someone’s-beach-party ambience. 4350 Gulf Blvd., 360-5596.
Sandra’s German Restaurant A blink-and-you-miss-it Bavarian noshery with items like sauerbraten, pan-fried schnitzel, ‘kraut and spaetzle. 7115 Gulf Blvd., 363-4414, sandras-german-restaurant.com.
Savory On The Beach Casual breakfast and lunch bites from the griddle and the oven churn out of Savory, a newer bistro and bakery in the ‘hood. Take-home pastries and breads are available as well. 4393 Gulf Blvd., 317-4971.
Sea Hags Bar & Grill At the Blind Pass Marina, a wide array of foodstuffs and cold drinks are showcased at this waterfront hangout with an open-air tiki bar. Come by land or sea. 9555 Blind Pass Road, 360-2800, seahagsbarandgrill.com.
Sea Turtle Restaurant Modern comfort food — some American, some European — from a new under-the-sea-themed eatery. See Jon Palmer Claridge’s review. 4599 Gulf Blvd., 367-1727, seaturtlerestaurant.com.
Shark Tales In the old Sloppy Pelican space, the seafood-heavy Shark Tales provides daily food and drink specials, live music and killer sunset views. 677 75th Ave., 360-7100.
Shells Land no-frills seafood (signature shrimp scampi, conch fritters, king crab legs) in a casual atmosphere alongside other easygoing tastes. 7081 Gulf Blvd., 826-0729, shellsseafood.com.
Silas’ Steakhouse A family-friendly, nautical-styled steakhouse in the Bayside Shops complex showcasing a raw bar, pastas, beef, seafood and more. 5501 Gulf Blvd., 360-6961, silasdentsteakhouse.com.
Skidder’s Restaurant In a bright, casual setting, the family-owned Skidder’s prepares a something-for-everyone lineup with Italian and Greek influences. 5799 Gulf Blvd., 360-1029, skiddersrestaurant.com.
Smiley’s Snack Shack You feel at home when chowing down at Smiley’s, where made-to-order American fare is featured. There’s breakfast, beer and wine, too. 3700 Gulf Blvd., 803-6885, smileyssnackshack.com.
Snapper’s Sea Grill In the heart of the neighborhood, Snapper’s offers classic gulf seafood plates and more. 5895 Gulf Blvd., 367-3550, snappersseagrill.com.
Spinners Can you think of a place that offers stellar 360-degree views and spins? This spot, which crowns the Grand Plaza Hotel, does those things — well, the outer edge of the room spins, anyway. While the music selection could use some revision (last time we were there it was smooth jazz), the martini list is excellent. 5250 Gulf Blvd., 360-1811, grandplazaflorida.com/dining/spinners.
St. Pete Beach Produce & Deli A terrific little deli — serving soups and salads, veggie pitas, combo platters and tons more — with a produce market to boot. There aren’t many tables, so come here when your inner foodie desires takeout. 6355 Gulf Blvd., 564-0101, spbproduceanddeli.com.
Swigwam Beach Bar Formerly situated right on the sand, this popular, real-deal beach bar thrives in its Corey Avenue digs. It has walls plastered with dollar bills and barstools plastered with chatty locals. It's a full bar with plenty of craft beer options as well. 336 Corey Ave., 363-7944, swigwam.webs.com.
Toasted Monkey Beach Bar & Sports Grill It doesn’t offer the clearest Gulf vistas, but wields its own sort of charm via a casual beachside bar featuring live music on the outdoor deck daily, mostly cover acts with the odd exception (like roots-reggae outfit Impulse). Volleyball courts are situated in the sands around the deck, the sports bar indoors boasts more than 20 TVs playing whatever game you wanna watch, and dining options include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Howard Johnson Resort Hotel, 6110 Gulf Blvd., 360-5800, thetoastedmonkey.com.
Tuttorosso Pizzeria Napoletana Stromboli and calzones, hand-tossed pizzas, fresh salads, Southern-baked Italian pasta and house-made desserts are crafted in a warm atmosphere. 7863 Blind Pass Road, 800-9864.
Twistee Treat The building's shape — a giant soft-serve ice cream cone — hypes the chief sweet inside Twistee Treat. Order at the walk-up window from 66 flavors of homemade soft-serve, yogurt and hand-dipped ice cream, there’s also fast fare (burgers, dogs, funnel cakes and soft pretzels). 6900 Gulf Blvd., 367-7690, stpetebeachicecream.com.
Undertow Beach Bar DJ Mike Calta likes doing remotes from the bar with a mix of open-air patio seating, TVs for sports viewing, live music and a big fat view of the Gulf of Mexico. The vibe has changed over the years — it’s gone from a little tiki hut with a thatched roof hawking $1 Red Stripes to a boisterous beach-party crowd scene. Reggae Sundays used to be Undertow’s point of pride; now it's the bikini girls on their Facebook timeline. 3850 Gulf Blvd., 368-9000, undertowbeachbar.com.
Verducci’s Brick-oven pizzas, chicken marsala and tagliatelle bolognese are among the authentic Italian eats at Verducci’s. 7736 Blind Pass Road, 363-7900, verduccistpetebeach.com.
Vito & Michael's A mecca for late-night beach revelers, this Italian spot stays open until 4 a.m., an hour after the bars close. The menu is full of options, from wings to eggplant parmesan, but most people opt for the pizza. The pizza bread is an excellent source of post-night-out carbs. 7704 Blind Pass Road, 360-3658.
Willy’s Burgers & Booze A mainstay for locals as well as out-of-towners lucky to stumble on this out-of-the-way spot. Burgers (namely "the big gooey") are the thing here, which they serve up with tater tots if you want 'em. Drinks are decently priced as well. 645 Corey Ave., 329-8667.
Woody's Waterfront A former bait house established for fishermen in 1945 at the southern end of the Blind Pass inlet, it’s one of the best places on the Gulf beaches to eat right by the water, with a view from the deck of passing boaters, jet skiiers and the occasional dolphin. It’s also got a great beachy menu, including a delicious (and huge) fish sandwich that CL’s food critic deemed one of the 25 tastiest dishes of the year. Live music, too. 7308 Sunset Way, 360-9165, woodyswaterfront.com.

click to enlarge Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations - nicole abbett
nicole abbett
Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations

SHOPS & SERVICES

Art Expo A funky little Corey Avenue gallery that displays fine paintings, sculpture, pottery and glass along with unique handcrafted jewelry, like bracelets constructed from recycled license plates, sterling silver jellyfish earrings and an octopus necklace hewn from natural stone with silver-tipped tentacles. Some local artisans are repped here, too. Art Expo also offers custom picture framing. 355 Corey Ave., 360-2953, artexpogallery.com.
Crystals, Bangles & Beads A crystal and bead supply store where you can not only pick up beading supplies and get repairs, but design and craft your own original piece under the tutelage of a local jewelry maker, work solo at the store’s open beading table, or peruse the dazzling creations on display by the store’s instructor artisans. 425 Corey Ave., 363-4332. crystalsbanglesandbeads.com.
Gone to the Dogs Boutique Who says no dogs allowed on the beach? This spot offers pet toys and other gear, treats (of course!) and grooming services. 310 Corey Ave., 363-3200, gonetothedogsboutique.com.
Island Time Design Ever wonder where all of those oversized Adirondack chairs you see throughout town come from? Well, this is the place where designer Markus Lehtovirta, inspired by his Finnish furniture-building roots, creates those eye-catching pieces. If you must have one of your own, he'll custom build them. 431 75th Ave., 415-0153, islandtimedesign.com.
Kapfer Glass Studio The showroom of beach-based dichroic glass artist Annette Kapfer also features the original glass creations of more than 100 local, regional and national artists. 409 Corey Ave., 656-9190, kapferglassstudio.com.
Lenny's Surf Shop This super-friendly mom-and-pop shop has been around for years. It offers skateboards, surf wax, flipflops and beach clothing brands like Roxy and O'Neill. You can also rent or buy beach cruisers and stand-up paddle boards. 7517 Blind Pass Rd., 367-5001, lennyssurfshop.com.
Owen Sweet Design A jewelry design gallery offering everything from sea life-inspired pendants to custom diamond rings. 344 Corey Ave., 392-6936. ohsosweet.com.
Suzette's Antiques & Oddities Vintage dolls, beautifully preserved furniture and all manner of knickknacks and decorations fill a space that's characterized more by "pretty, textured older things" than, you know, broken typewriters and Coke glasses from the '50s and whatnot. 339 Corey Ave., 278-7315.
RJ Cigar Company The only spot on St. Pete Beach where you'll find hand-rolled cigars and experts to steer you toward the right stogie. 6680 Gulf Blvd. 498-6443. rjcigarcompany.com.
Totally Wicked Vapers' Lounge The name explains it all. If you're into vaping, it's probably worth a visit. 6295 Gulf Blvd., 623-9020.
Vincent William Gallery An artist-owned and -operated gallery active for two decades, and specializing in custom stained glass by its namesake proprietor in addition to repping more than 40 local artists that produce original paintings, ceramics, blown glass, photography, raku, sculpture and more. 320 Corey Ave., 363-1334. vincentwilliamgallery.com.

click to enlarge Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations - nicole abbett
nicole abbett
Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations

PARKS & RECREATION

Egan Park A large public park on the northern end of the beach, near the Blind Pass Bridge. Features a baseball field and tennis courts. 9101 Blind Pass Rd., 363-9245, spbrec.com.
Horan Park Waterfront park adjacent to the city’s recreation complex. Features a large, grassy area and playground equipment. The city puts on many special events, including an occasional concert series, here. 7701 Boca Ciega Dr., 363-9245, spbrec.com.
McKenney Park A small waterfront park on the island’s northwestern nook. Features playground equipment as well as a boat launch. 9300 Blind Pass Rd., 363-9245, spbrec.com.
Polynesian Putter St. Pete Beach's charming, decidedly low-tech mini-golf course boasts a 1960s tiki aesthetic — a precious, historic remnant of Florida's bygone roadside attractions. Nearly 50 years old with 18 holes, a jungle theme and tropical hazards, the diminutive park is well-lit in the evenings. Its large, (sadly) slightly vandalized Easter Island-style moai and a coiled snake provide nifty photographic backdrops. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (with some exceptions off season). 4999 Gulf Blvd., 360-9678.
St. Pete Municipal Beach Access A large parking lot across from Dolphin Village offers metered spaces and public restrooms/showers. Centrally located, but can get crowded. Gulf Boulevard between 46th and 48th avenues.
Upham Beach Park The city’s northernmost beach access features showers, restrooms and a snack shack selling food and beer. Extensive metered parking. See Kate Bradshaw’s story about Upham Beach stabilization efforts, p. 27. 70th Ave. & Beach Plaza.

ATTRACTIONS

Beach Escape Game Want to get locked in a room with your friends and only a few clues to finesse your way out? In line with the escape room trend that’s pretty big right now, this place offers such an experience. 7340 Gulf Blvd., beachescapegame.com.
Coconuts Comedy Club The stand-up comedy mainstay offers consistently good entertainment and hosts evening shows Wednesday through Saturday, 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 9 p.m.; two-drink minimum, no smoking. Steve Netta headlines Sept. 3-5 and Carmen Ciricillo, Sept. 9-12. Full bar, sandwiches, and appetizers served. Across from the TradeWinds Island Grand. 5501 Gulf Blvd., 360-5653, coconutscomedyclubs.com.
Dolphin Landings Situated at the northeastern corner of Dolphin Village, this is the local spot for catching sunset sails (on actual sailboats), dophin watching tours, fishing trips and daytrips to Egmont and Shell Keys. 4737 Gulf Blvd., 360-7411, dolphinlandings.com.
Finish Line Scooters Park at the shop and avoid all that beach traffic by renting this lightweight mode of transportation. 6600 Gulf Blvd., 391-0000, finishlinescooters.com.
St. Pete Beach Community Center A multi-faceted facility for both formal and recreational occasions, the center has a fantastic waterfront view, a pool play area with a mushroom-shaped waterfall, colorful dumping cones and two tubular slides. For those who choose to relax poolside, tables, chairs and two big umbrellas are also provided. Classes, recreation, bands, dances and more. 7701 Boca Ciega Dr., 363-9245, spbrec.com.

click to enlarge Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations - nicole abbett
nicole abbett
Neighborhood Issue: St. Pete Beach destinations

STAY & PLAY

Alden Suites A beachfront hotel option that's full of amenities, including two swimming pools, an outdoor bar, tennis courts and more. It's pretty much in the middle of all the action and priced somewhere between the mom-and-pop motels further south and the nearby resorts. 5900 Gulf Blvd., 360-7081. aldenbeachresort.com.
Beachcomber Resort The legendary beach bar that sits behind this beachfront hotel, Jimmy B's, is reason enough for some to stay here. (See Leilani Polk's story p. 49.) Hotel amenities include a pool and an indoor restaurant/bar called Players Club that's popular with the sports set. 6200 Gulf Blvd., 367-1902. beachcomberflorida.com.
Bon-Aire Maybe it's the mid century-modern sign, but what's striking about this long-popular hotel is that it looks plucked from the St. Pete Beach of yesteryear, one that wasn't lined with massive resorts. There's a pool and a burger joint/beach bar called Sandbar Bill's that’s a hit with locals as well. 4350 Gulf Blvd., 360-5596. bonaireresort.com.
Dolphin Beach Resort A low-key, less-expensive alternative to some of the bigger resorts. There's a large pool with a tiki bar skirting the beachfront. Facing Gulf Boulevard is a restaurant/bar that features frequent karaoke nights. Near Publix and tons of restaurants. 4900 Gulf Blvd., 360-7011.
Grand Plaza Hotel A tall, cylindrical building at the shoreline, this hotel offers excellent views. The beach bar at the hotel's base is Bongo's, a popular spot for catching sunset. This hotel is also home to Spinners, the revolving rooftop bar. Obviously, if you stay here, it'd be in your best interest to request (and pay a little more for) a room facing the gulf. 5250 Gulf Blvd., 360-1811, grandplazaflorida.com.
Guy Harvey Outpost A marine life-themed, family-friendly younger sibling to the TradeWinds, this resort sports extensive artwork by the property's namesake. Like its sister property, amenities abound, including two swimming pools, multiple dining and bar options, and outdoor firepits for roasting up some s'mores. The centerpiece here is the restaurant, RumFish, which is known for the massive fish tank in its dining room. 6000 Gulf Blvd., 360-5551, guyharveyoutpost.com.
The Hotel Zamora This swanky boutique hotel, which has been open for a year now, is the perfect place to hide out for a few days. See Meaghan Habuda’s report on a stay here. 3701 Gulf Blvd., 855-926-6721, thehotelzamora.com. 
Loews Don CeSar The iconic, pink, castle-like hotel opened as a luxury resort in 1928. These days, it continues to serve in that capacity, offering excellent dining options (including the award-winning Maritana Grille), extensive retail and a spa. See David Warner’s story on p. 25 for info on touring this historic property. 3400 Gulf Blvd., 360-1881. loewshotels.com/don-cesar/.
Post Card Inn Some years back, stylish, vintage-inspired renovations brought this once-nondescript two-story beach hotel back to life, transforming it into a hip resort targeting a younger, livelier set. Features a pool, a beach bar that gets hopping on weekends and a vintage videogame room. 6300 Gulf Blvd., 367-2711, postcardinn.com.
Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center This distinctively yellow beachfront hotel has been owned by the Nicholas family for 53 years. It’s a friendly, rambling place with three swimming pools and one attraction we don’t believe you’ll find anywhere else on the Gulf beaches: an iguana sanctuary. The hotel is in the process of redecoration, but remodeling is complete on its main restaurant, Compass Grille (see Eats & Drinks), and it looks quite spiffy. 5300 Gulf Blvd., 897-5200, sirata.com.
TradeWinds Island Grand Resort One of the largest resorts on the Gulf Coast. Most rooms are suites and all have kitchenettes. Everything you need is here, including swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, tons of event space, beach gear rental and special activities for the kids. There's karaoke nearly every night at Sharktooth Tavern, an on-site bar. Another place you'll want to get a gulf-facing room if you can. (And bring your dog — there are 48 pet-friendly suites directly adjacent to walkways along a lagoon leading to a mini dog park, and there’s a Paw Court Bistro room service menu.) 5500 Gulf Blvd., 367-6461, tradewindsresort.com.

EVENTS

Corey Avenue Sunday Market Newly revamped, the weekly farmers’ market between Boca Ciega Drive and Gulf Boulevard returns Oct. 5 to showcase 50-80 vendors. Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Corey Avenue (also 74th Avenue) between Gulf Boulevard and Boca Ciega Drive, 403-0626. tampabaymarkets.com/corey-avenue-sunday-market.
Reptail Rally Sirata Beach Resort’s 4th annual go-kart race to support the Gulf Coast Iguana Sanctuary. Team registration begins Sept. 1. Nov. 13-15, Sirata Beach Resort, facebook.com/ReptailRally2015.
St. Pete Beach Community Center Yard Sale Browse more than 50 vendors inside and outside the beautiful waterfront facility on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to noon. 7701 Boca Ciega Drive. spbrec.com.

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