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Al fresco dining with stunning views of Clearwater Beach at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
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  • States:
    Florida

Here’s how to spend your days dining and drinking in the sun around St. Pete and Clearwater.

Nearly every day of the year is sunny in St. Pete/Clearwater along Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast, making it a prime destination for exploration. Work up an appetite while playing on one of the many beaches. Or, enjoy a feast for the eyes while browsing world-famous artwork, from the vibrant murals lining the streets to immersive attractions such as The Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center. The area has a thriving craft beer scene and innovative culinary offerings to complement its beautiful waterfronts and artsy culture.

Savoring the Charms of Beachfront Dining

Enjoy a side dish of scenic beauty with a table at one of the area’s many beachfront restaurants – from relaxed tiki bars to white tablecloth establishments, all with postcard-worthy views of the Gulf of Mexico. Make your way down the beach, trying appetizers like fried alligator bites and fresh stone crab to dishes like just-caught grouper transformed into a delicious sandwich. On Clearwater Beach, melt into the laid-back vibe at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, one of the area’s most popular seafood cafes. (Hint: Order like a local and get the grouper Reuben sandwich and smoked fish dip.)

Live music adding to the low-key beach atmosphere at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill

Live music adding to the low-key beach atmosphere at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
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Sipping the Gulp Coast Craft Beer Trail

Stretching from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete, about an hour’s drive in all, is the St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail, a collection of more than 35 craft breweries. Each brewery has its unique charms, so be sure to sign up for a tour and a tasting to talk with the brewmasters. Try a pint of the tart-and-fizzy local specialty called Florida Weisse. Brewers add their own twists to it by infusing it with tropical fruit. In Dunedin, grab a frosty mug at Woodwright Brewing Company, where you’ll find two floors of brewing production and some eight different varieties of beer to sample. (Fun fact: The brewery shares its building with a woodworking shop.) In St. Pete, try some 300 beers, many made locally, at neighborhood favorite Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe.

The open, airy Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe, an ideal place for sipping craft beer with the locals

The open, airy Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe, an ideal place for sipping craft beer with the locals
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Nibbling Through St. Pete

The city of St. Pete especially attracts foodies from around the globe – and it’s no wonder since a restaurant renaissance has taken over the city spreading chef-curated concept restaurants from downtown into the neighborhoods. Located downtown, Locale Market is a true destination for eating. Award-winning chef Michael Mina co-founded the market/restaurant hybrid. Browse the inside to find an ice cream shop, bakery, café and prepared food stands, or sit down for Italian-inspired comfort fare at FarmTable Cucina. While you’re exploring downtown, go to the Edge District to taste flavorful smokehouse fare at Dr. BBQ, a comfortable place serving American-style barbecue with a fancy flair. Select from an array of signature meats or sandwiches, and pair them with tasty sides and sweets. Wash it down with a craft cocktail or bottle of good beer.

Sipping craft cocktails while savoring the cuisine at FarmTable Cucina

Sipping craft cocktails while savoring the cuisine at FarmTable Cucina
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Getting There

The St. Pete/Clearwater area is served primarily by Tampa International Airport (TPA). This gateway to paradise features services from more than 20 airlines, competitive rates and efficient facilities packed with amenities.