St. Pete Beach is best known for its stretches of soft sand and calm waters, but this area has attractions that go far beyond the surf. Guests looking for something a little different should take a break from sunning and swimming to check out some of these memorable local hot spots.
1. The Science & Technology Education Innovation Center for New Discoveries
The Science & Technology Education Innovation Center is often overlooked as a tourist destination because of its spotty schedule. During the summer in particular, the center closes frequently for workshops. Visitors willing to wait for an open afternoon, however, are in for a real treat. The Marine Room features a 600-gallon Marine Touch Tank with over ten species for guests to interact with. The Mosaic Walk of the States offers a stunning stroll, with decorative mosaics for each state in the country, featuring the state’s flower, bird, and stone.
2. Clearwater Marine Aquarium for Watery Wonders
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is home to one very famous dolphin. Winter, from the real-life story featured in the movie “Dolphin Tale,” is one of the aquarium’s most incredible recovery cases. Winter lost her tail after she became dangerously entangled in a crab trap line. Today she has a unique prosthetic tail, though she has adopted an unusual swimming pattern that allows her to move without it as well.
Though the Winter Zone is a major exhibit at the aquarium it’s far from the only attraction. Guests can also explore Turtle Lagoon, Stingray Beach, Otter Oasis, and more.
3. Dockside Dave’s for the Best Grouper in Town
Dockside Dave’s is famous for its outstanding grouper. According to Southern Living Magazine, this restaurant even has the best grouper in the south. The menu is packed with options, including grouper fritters, a black grouper sandwich, and grouper pasta. Guests who are in the mood for a different flavor will also find shrimp, chicken, scallops, and burgers on the menu.
4. The Sunken Gardens for Exotic Plant Life
Visitors who spend their entire stay at the beach can easily miss some of the lush tropical wonders that this area plays host to. The Sunken Gardens features over 50,000 tropical plants, interspersed with quaint brick pathways and trickling waterfalls. The setting is ideal for relaxation and meditative exercises. Weekly classes held in the gardens include various types of yoga as well as hoop dancing.
5. Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro for Fine Dining
Visitors who are looking for fine dining in an unforgettable atmosphere should head to Spinner’s Rooftop Revolving Bistro and Lounge in the Grand Plaza Hotel St. Pete Beach Resort. The entire 12th-floor restaurant revolves 360 degrees, offering an unparalleled view of the beach, ocean, and city. Guests can enjoy lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The lunch menu is mostly sandwiches and salads, while dinner includes everything from perfectly seared steaks to seafood specialties.
From fresh-from-the-sea eats to immersive tropical retreats, St. Pete Beach has something to suit any taste. Find cheap St. Pete Beach hotels near these attractions by using hipmunk.com.
About The Guest Blogger
Mandi Rogier lives and writes in sunny central Florida. Several blogs and websites feature her travel pieces including USA Today’s Travel Tips and Trails.com.