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Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

New York
Level Contributor
3,002 posts
39 reviews
Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

Hi all,

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!!

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
Level Contributor
11,939 posts
63 reviews
1. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

I replied on the Clearwater forum, only because I saw your question there first.

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
1 post
58 reviews
2. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

St. Pete beach along Gulf Blvd would be my choice due to less costly lodging (i.e. Tradewinds Resort at 5500 Gulf Blvd; Tripadvisor will have more listings) and a variety of eateries including beach bars/cafes. I have no ties to any hotels or restaurants, am semi-retired from the publishing field and live full-time in a condo near Eckerd College on Pinellas Bayway. Once on I-275, its a short drive to the Dalí. On-ramp for 275 is close to Eckerd. I tend to avoid areas such as Clearwater because of the tightly developed touristy shops but if you prefer those surroundings then Clearwater may work for you, however, there is that drive to the Dalí. There's also a Museum of Fine Arts just a short drive from the Dalí. Nice outdoor cafés along that stretch of Beach Drive. Also of possible interest is the Morean Arts Center along Central Ave. close to both the Dalí and the MoFA. Check online for glass blowing demonstrations. That alone is worth the stop at the Hot Shop. www.moreanartscenter.org/content.php?id=77

Enjoy.

Tampa Bay FL
Level Contributor
13 posts
73 reviews
3. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

Right now, check Groupon for getaway to Treasure Island, Fl, There is a special for $75 dollars a night. Treasure Island is along the beach, just north of St Pete Beach. St Pete Dali is a short drive east to the downtown area from Treasure Island. Clearwater is up Gulf Blvd about 10 miles. Pinellas County is all built out, so it is like one large city, even though there are 27 different cities and towns. The drive along Gulf Blvd is nice with a number of places to eat. You will pass through several towns along Gulf Blvd with a number of choices. groupon.com/deals/… ////////////paste that into your browser and look at the Treasure Island hotel. I dont own or work for them, its just to help you out with your decision. Good luck. I have lived here in Pinellas County for 30 years and use Tripadvisor multiple times. Best Wishes

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
Level Contributor
11,939 posts
63 reviews
4. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

I am leery of Groupon travel offers. There have been posts on other TA forums about problems with Groupon. If I understand their process you have to purchase a voucher for your hotel before you can verify availability for specific dates. It may be okay if you have flexibility in your travel plans.

If I am wrong and others have personal experience with Groupon for travel I apologize. I've used Groupon locally for restaurants and services, it's just the travel offers that I've heard negative reports about.

Tampa Bay FL
Level Contributor
13 posts
73 reviews
5. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

I have been to Hawaii and recently a hotel in Indiantown FL. Both using Groupon. I have never had a problem, the one in Hawaii was great, I did a review on the groupon hotel in Florida a few weeks ago. That was very nice place also. Try out those groupons, I told my neighbor about groupon and she recently went to one in Ruskin. She said that great also. Just my input regarding this topic

New York
Level Contributor
3,002 posts
39 reviews
6. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

Thanks Jo H for all the other information. I think I need to just find an inexpensive, clean, safe, bug free motel because this really isn't a beach trip where I plan on plopping in a chair for 3 days. I need to start over with a different perspective.

Jerry I use Groupon and I appreciate your suggestion. Thank you

St. Pete Beach...
Level Contributor
2,062 posts
51 reviews
7. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

If you still want to stay on the beach, have you checked the Bon Aire? It is on St. Pete Beach, family owned and very clean. They have hotel rooms for about $82 per night. When family comes to visit us and they want a clean place to stay we recommend the Bon Aire, Bayview Plaza, Palm Crest and Long Key. If you decide to stay downtown St. Petersburg, I would recommend the Hollander Boutique Hotel, very clean, free parking and under $100 per night.

New York
Level Contributor
3,002 posts
39 reviews
8. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

Thank you for the recommendation!

9. Re: Need guidance on best way to manage my 3 nights please

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