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St. Pete/Clearwater: Where Art Meets Adventure By the Sea

by | Sep 20, 2023 | 0 comments

Looking for the best things to do in the vibrant and dynamic world of St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida? This Florida vacation paradise is a haven for art aficionados and adrenaline junkies. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the eclectic range of experiences that make this destination a unique gem on Florida’s west coast. From must-visit museums to exhilarating watersport activities, discover how to soak up the best of both worlds for an unforgettable vacation.

The Artistic Soul of St. Pete/Clearwater

Museums Galore!

St. Pete/Clearwater offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, making it an essential stop for art lovers. The area is home to an impressive array of museums that feature both classical and contemporary art, as well as specialized collections that are hard to find elsewhere. Trust us, setting aside a day or two to delve into these treasure troves is well worth your time.

The Salvador Dalí Museum

No visit to St. Pete would be complete without stepping into the fantastical realm of The Salvador Dalí Museum. The architectural marvel of the museum is a work of art in itself, designed to encapsulate Dalí’s whimsical style. Your journey begins with the Avant Garden, an outdoor space that opens up to Tampa Bay and is crowned by the Enigma dome—a geodesic marvel that encapsulates much of the museum’s exterior. Once inside, you’ll find the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dalí’s works, filled with intricate details and complex themes. For a seamless and interactive experience, the museum offers an app that guides you through the art and history of Dalí’s life.

Museum of Fine Arts

A stroll along St. Pete’s waterfront will lead you to another gem—the Museum of Fine Arts. Housed in a stunning building, the museum offers a captivating mix of classical and contemporary art. Its galleries feature remarkable works by iconic artists like Monet, Renoir, and Cézanne. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a casual admirer, this museum promises a feast for your eyes.

The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

Founded by art enthusiasts Tom and Mary James, this museum is a 30,000-square-foot haven dedicated to art from the American West. From cowboys to Native Americans, the museum captures the essence and diversity of western and wildlife art. The museum also hosts a variety of special events, including artist talks and tastings featuring Native American-made wine and chocolate.

Glass Art in St. Pete

If you have a penchant for art glass, St. Pete has a dazzling experience in store for you. Begin with the Chihuly Collection, which features an awe-inspiring array of glass installations created by master artist Dale Chihuly. For a more hands-on experience, the Morean Arts Center across the street offers glassblowing demonstrations and workshops. To cap it off, the Imagine Museum showcases a stunning variety of contemporary glass art, housing more than 1,500 top-quality glass objects from artists around the globe.

Unleash Your Adventurous Side in Clearwater

About Idle Speed Watersports (The Play Side of Stay & Play Clearwater)Beautiful shot of dolphins and jet skiers at St. Pete/Clearwater

If you’re searching for some high-octane fun during your vacation, look no further than Idle Speed Watersports, a gem in Clearwater, Florida. This family-owned and locally-operated business takes watersports to a whole new level. From jet ski tours to kayaking, they offer an array of activities that bring you closer to the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The name Idle Speed Watersports was inspired by the “Idle Speed, No Wake” signs that pepper marinas and waterways, reminding boaters to slow down. But don’t let the name fool you. The adventures you’ll embark on here are anything but idle. The team at Idle Speed Watersports ensures a first-class experience that prioritizes your safety while maximizing your enjoyment.

Jet Ski Tours

One of the main attractions here is the Island Tour Experience, a 90-minute jet ski extravaganza that takes you on a voyage through the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll stop at three paradisiacal islands—Caladesi Island, Honeymoon Island, and Three Rooker Island. Each offers its unique charm, ranging from serene beaches to vibrant ecosystems.

What sets this tour apart? For starters, it’s not uncommon to find dolphins playfully swimming alongside your jet ski, elevating your adventure to a magical experience. Also, these islands provide perfect selfie spots, so don’t forget your waterproof camera! Trained and qualified guides will ensure you’re comfortable and safe throughout the tour, providing all necessary safety equipment and instructions.

Para sailing in St. Pete/Clearwater BeachOther Activities

While jet skiing might be the star attraction, Idle Speed Watersports also offers a variety of other must-try activities in Clearwater. Stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and parasailing are also on the menu, each providing a unique way to experience the vibrant marine life and crystal-clear waters of Clearwater Beach.

Kayaking offers a slower-paced adventure, where you can glide through the water and possibly spot manatees or sea turtles. On the other hand, if you opt for parasailing, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the coastline and perhaps even spot a dolphin or two from above!

Enjoy Beautiful Clearwater Beach

Nestled on the Intracoastal Waterway at the northern end of Clearwater Beach, Idle Speed Watersports offers the ideal starting point for all your aquatic escapades. Clearwater Beach, with its 35 miles of some of America’s best beaches, is a dream destination for sun-seekers and watersport enthusiasts alike. The waters here are not just beautiful; they’re also relatively calm, making it perfect for all kinds of water activities.

From chilling on the pristine sand to engaging in a variety of water activities, Clearwater Beach offers a plethora of options for the entire family. And it’s no wonder Idle Speed Watersports is rated #1 in the area—they offer an exceptional range of activities that cater to everyone, from beginners to seasoned adventurers.

Stay, Play, and Make Waves with Stay & Play Clearwater Beach

When it comes to unforgettable experiences in Clearwater Beach, look no further than Stay & Play Vacation Rentals. Far more than just a place to lay your head, Stay & Play Clearwater offers a seamless blend of cozy lodging and heart-pounding watersport adventures, thanks to its partnership with Idle Speed Watersports. Imagine waking up in your waterfront vacation rental, just steps away from an array of exhilarating activities on the azure sea. It’s not just a stay—it’s a full-fledged experience tailored to both thrill-seekers and relaxation enthusiasts alike.

More than Just a Stay: The 1000 Palms Experience

Our core mission is to offer guests a sanctuary where they can cast their worries aside and relish a memorable adventure. This means you’re not merely booking a room; you’re securing a home base for your sun-soaked Clearwater Beach escapades. Whether it’s a single night’s stay, a weekend getaway, or an extended retreat, you can be assured of unparalleled hospitality that leaves no room for anything but relaxation and enjoyment.

A Vacation Customized to You

This synergy between 1000 Palms Vacation Rentals and Idle Speed Watersports crystallizes into what we proudly call Stay & Play Clearwater Beach. It’s a one-stop-shop for tourists of all stripes. Solo travelers will find freedom in the open waters, couples can relish a romantic sunset kayak trip, and families will revel in a day full of fun and sun. With activities to engage every age and interest, your perfect beach vacation is just a booking away.

Explore the Local Cuisine

The culinary scene of St. Pete/Clearwater, where waterfront dining meets local seafood to create an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Florida’s Gulf Coast offers a plethora of dining options that are as varied as they are delicious.  We wrote about this in our last blog, which was all about the best restaurants in Clearwater, but there are a few more favorites worth mentioning!

More Must-Visit Restaurants

400 Beach Seafood and Tap House – Located in St. Pete, this eatery is a haven for seafood lovers. Dive into their catch of the day or savor their oyster specials.

Guppy’s on the Beach – Head to Indian Rocks Beach for this gem. It’s a local favorite for those seeking a range of flavors—from seafood pasta to steak.

Bodega – Situated in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, this spot offers mouthwatering Cuban sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices.

Nightlife and Entertainment

The fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun sets over St. Pete/Clearwater. This vibrant area offers a range of nightlife activities to suit all kinds of travelers.

Live Music and Bars

There are tons of live music and bars to choose from, but here are a few honorable mentions.

The Ale and the Witch – Located in downtown St. Pete, this is your go-to spot for craft beers and live music. They feature different genres from jazz to rock throughout the week.

Ringside Café – Another downtown St. Pete venue, famous for its live music and dancing.

Theatre and Performances

American Stage Theatre – For those interested in plays, this is St. Pete’s premier professional theater.

Ruth Eckerd Hall – Located in Clearwater, this venue is a haven for those seeking more cultured evenings, featuring everything from ballet to concerts.

Outdoor and Nature Activities

Beyond the watersports that St. Pete/Clearwater is famous for, there are numerous opportunities to connect with Mother Nature.

Hiking and Parks

Weedon Island Preserve – Perfect for those who enjoy hiking or bird-watching. This nature preserve offers a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle.

Fishing and Boating

Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise – Basically a show on the water, with pirate themed fun for the whole family.

Kayak Rentals – For a more laid-back water experience, consider renting a kayak and exploring the mangroves.

Shopping and Souvenirs

No vacation is complete without some shopping. St. Pete/Clearwater has something to suit every shopper’s paradise, from local markets to boutiques.

Popular Shopping Areas

Sundial St. Pete – Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, offering a variety of shops and dining options.

John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk – Famous for its unique boutiques and local food.

Family-Friendly Attractions

St. Pete/Clearwater isn’t just for the grown-ups. It’s a family-friendly destination offering a variety of activities for little ones.

Check out the Clearwater Aquarium!

Clearwater Marine Aquarium – A must-visit spot where you can meet Winter the dolphin and learn about marine rescue operations.

Mini-Golf and Arcades

Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf – Perfect for families looking to engage in a spirited round of mini-golf.

Seminole Lanes – For indoor arcade fun, this is a great option with everything from bowling to arcade games.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

To get the most out of your visit, it might be worth planning your trip around one of the area’s famous events or festivals.

Clearwater Jazz Holiday – A four-day and night live music festival staged in the heart of Clearwater.

St. Pete Pride Festival – One of Florida’s largest LGBTQ+ parades and festivals, held annually in June.

So there you have it—a comprehensive guide to maximizing your St. Pete/Clearwater adventure. Whether you’re a food lover, a night owl, an outdoor enthusiast, or a family traveler, this Floridian paradise has something for everyone.

Don’t forget to check out the great rooms at 1000 Palms Resort to get the full authentic Clearwater experience during your stay!

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