After tons of research my head is spinning and really need some guidance please. Normally I head straight to the east coast of Florida because I regularly visit my family there and I have never been on the west coast of Florida. Due to the Dali/Picasso exhibit in St. Petersburg I will be heading to the area for a few nights before heading east. I would also like to explore the beach areas a bit and perhaps spend a day relaxing.
So far the confirmed plan is to arrive Tampa Airport on Tuesday, November 11 at 10:27am and I have a rental car reserved with Enterprise. I will stay 3 nights (not sure yet where) and on Friday November 14 I will drop the car at Enterprise branch located near Union Station in Tampa and take a 12:45pm Amtrak to head east for the rest of my trip.
After lots of research not sure what area to stay. Been going back and forth between Clearwater Beach, St Petes Beach, and St Petersburg. My budget will be under $100 per night and there are options in all areas. My intention is to go to the museum on Thursday since they are open late and I won't have to feel rushed to get there first thing in the morning. That being said if there are torrential storms on Wednesday and a sunny prediction for Thursday I might want to switch the day.
I like the idea of Clearwater where it seems the beach town area is condensed. I also think I like St Petes because the Pass a Grill area seems really cute, but due to budget might have to stay in a different part of St Petes so not sure if it will be too spread out from what I am reading. If I stay in Clearwater Beach area it might make sense to only spend Tuesday night & Wednesday night there, head to Dali museum Thursday morning and spend night in St. Petersburg before heading to Tampa in the morning to catch Amtrak. Or maybe it's just as easy to go back to Clearwater Beach after museum because an easier drive to Tampa from there?? If I stay in St Petes Beach area thought it would be a better proximity to museum and stay all three nights there, but would still take a drive to explore the Clearwater area. To be honest I have several more "scenarios" in my head of how to plan the 3 nights, one of which includes spending all 3 nights in St Petersburg, and one which includes spending the last night in Tampa which I don't have a big desire to do in case of terrible traffic Friday morning.
I'm going to post this in a couple of the Forums so I apologize in advance if there is overlap. And forgive me please if you're head is now spinning too!!