BEST DOWNTOWN

St. Petersburg

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It's always comforting to know our readers have good taste. No downtown in this area touches St. Pete. Tampa is a government/business hub during the day, but at night it looks like a scene from a zombie movie just before the ghouls cut loose. Y'know, quiet in an eerie sorta way. Clearwater? Do they have a downtown? St. Pete has a beguiling mix of quaint and modern. It's easy to get in and out of. Parking's OK. You've got the waterfront, BayWalk, that freaky inverted pyramid. The nightlife has picked up considerably. Folks can now say, "Hey, let's go downtown St. Pete," just like they say, "Hey, let's go to Ybor." (Although it's never the edgy mob scene that is sometimes Ybor City.) And downtown is growing. Peripheral sections that were once run-down wastelands are getting all spiffed up. If you like smaller and homier, check out the runner-up: Dunedin.

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