After all that beach-bumming, the time is nigh to inject your vacay with a cool cosmopolitan vibe. Next stop: St. Pete! Haul an Uber or Lyft, or grab your car for the 40-minute ride to downtown. It is brimming with superb restaurants, bars, boutiques, galleries, museums and local breweries with street art almost everywhere you turn.
Drive straight to the Dalí Museum and park – (8:30 – 9:15am)
Parking is just $10 and the cheapest parking you will find in downtown, as you can leave your car here all day! You’ll be able to walk or take a trolley around most sights from here. Next, hop on the trolley towards the Central Arts District to start the day with some scrumptious breakfast.
Breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company (9:30 – 11:00am)
The Maple Street Biscuit Company is all about comfort food (or shall we call it guilty pleasures?) and is so worthy of all its rave reviews. Think succulent, golden-brown chicken, deliciously flaky biscuit that dissolves in your mouth, home-made jams and jellies and freshly roasted coffee from the local roastery. Throw in some fried green tomatoes and waffles, and you are all set. (Quite possibly with a slight food coma) Luckily, your next stop is just next-door!
Visit the Chihuly Collection (11:00am – 12:30pm)
The totally captivating Chihuly Collection is a glass wonderland and makes for an immersive experience, adding a memorable splash of color to your Clearwater Beach trip. We recommend starting out in the Theater, where you get to see how artists breathe life into glass – quite literally.
Afterwards, admire the sea creatures in the Sealife room and marvel at the out-of-this-world large-scale installations of the Macchia Forest. The Glasshouse and Garden also make for a nice walkthrough, mixing huge glass creations with real plants and flowers. Pass by the gift shop on the way out to pick something up for yourselves, and mom’s/dad’s/Bob’s/Sue’s birthday.
Check out the murals and try some local brews (12:30 – 2:30pm)
St. Pete Mural Map | Pixelstix app
Depending on your hunger level, you could aim for a late lunch today and stroll west on Central Ave towards the edgy Edge District to catch some more awe-inspiring murals. Stop by Green Bench Brewing Company for refreshments before you continue walking towards the Warehouse District. You’ll be spoiled for choice with street art and local breweries along the way, and we recommend 3 Daughters Brewing if you are in the mood for some boisterous, bold brews.
You could take a tour of their tasting room and grab something quick to eat for lunch off one of the food trucks. Or, you could make a loop and turn back towards the Edge District for lunch.
Grab lunch in the Edge District (2:30 – 3:45pm)
Engine no. 9 possibly have the best burgers in town, with a mouthwatering selection of juicy meats with irresistibly tongue in-cheek names. Or how about Alice in Pain, Demi-God and One Bad Pig?
The award-winning Bodega packs more of a Cuban punch with something for everyone – to be washed down with their home-made thirst quenching juices. After food, jump on the trolley toward the waterfront, which stops right outside the Dalí Musem at the Bank of America high-rise.
Dally around the Dalí Museum (4 – 6:30pm*)
Redeveloped in 2011, the striking concrete and glass Dalí Museum is hurricane-proof and kind of looks like two totally different structures have collided. Well inside, your eyes are immediately drawn to the spiraling staircase and pillar. The museum offers a comprehensive look at the artist’s eclectic work, which you can easily spend a few good hours to explore.
Outside, the garden offers a nice little break with views over the marina along with the fascinating melting bench with its melting clock (which looks like it’s straight out of Alice in Wonderland!)
Explore the Marina and Pier (7 – 8:15pm)
Leave your car parked at the museum and walk over to St. Pete Pier. (It is only a 0.7-mile walk.) On your way to the pier, stop by the large fountain for a snap, then continue strolling along Bayshore Drive to enjoy the marina views with fishing boats bopping in the water and take in the awesome Floridian vibe. Continue out on the Pier for amazing vistas. Then head back the way you came and walk over to
Dinner at Red Mesa (8:15 – end)
At Red Mesa, you’ll find the best of the best Mexican and Latin American fare. Think plump, juicy meats, yummy enchiladas and freshly made churros that melt in your mouth. All of which you can wash down with lovingly handcrafted cocktails. Go on, treat yourself! *responsibly*