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Old 08-16-2019, 03:01 PM
 
15,600 posts, read 32,065,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinatras View Post
The thing about St. Armand's is that it is a densely occupied retail area that is easy to navigate, plus the design of it makes for perfect sidewalk cafes, dining al fresco and people watching (which is what the OP is looking for).
Nothing in Tampa or St. Pete that comes close.
I totally agree - nothing else comes close. St. Armand's is ALWAYS bustling, almost 24/7 and it's just a great spot to just walk around or sit on a bench and people watch. You can shop, go to bars, restaurants, cafes, candy shops, ice cream places you name it. And you can walk down to Lido Beach. Or head over thebeautiful Ringling Bridge to downtown. While I do enjoy Beach Drive in St. Pete, is just doesn't compare - it's one short street. The only other street is Central, and while it has cool stuff to do, it is spread out, not as clean or safe and not set up for just "hanging out."
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:28 PM
 
Location: South Tampa, Maui, Paris
3,147 posts, read 2,032,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
The only other street is Central, and while it has cool stuff to do, it is spread out, not as clean or safe and not set up for just "hanging out."
Plus as is the case in all of Tampa Bay, you can never count on places to stay open. Restaurants and shops are "here today, gone tomorrow" along Central Ave in St. Pete. Is the restaurant that was there on Central Ave 3 months ago still there? You never know.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:05 AM
 
4,079 posts, read 3,269,312 times
Reputation: 2760
I actually prefer Ybor (7th) to St. Armand's Circle. To me, it has a more urban/vibrant feel than it overall, more authentic/historic. But, I see the point that someone impressed by Lincoln Road Mall might not be by Ybor. There is a VERY different vibe between those two. Unless one appreciates nightlife (in which case, by all means), I would posit that the best time to visit Ybor might be on a Saturday from 9-4 or so. Go to the Saturday market, take a historic walking tour which the Tampa Bay History Center seems to put on every week, get coffee from Tre Amici at the Bunker, go to some of the independent shops on the street there, go to the Ybor State Museum, Marti Park (unofficially, officially, Cuba), etc. Alternatively, I think that a Friday in the early evening might work well too. Perhaps if coming in on a 4th Friday too, because many places are open for free and stuff, you can take the streetcar back and forth between downtown and Ybor for free. You could watch the Flamenco show at Columbia, and perhaps catch Ybor in early evening when its nightlife but not too rowdy, perhaps grab drinks at like Cigar City Cidery/Meadery or something.

St. Armand's Circle does have a bit more of a sterile feel if I'm being honest (no offense meant, frankly I think Lincoln Road has a bit more of this feel too, and it isn't all a bad thing).

If you're really looking for special neighborhoods, public spaces, etc., a good guide for within the US is the PPS Great Places in America list.

Miami area has the following listed:
-Wynwood/Miami
-Broadwalk/Hollywood
-Plaza Real (Mizner Park)/Boca Raton
-Ocean Drive/Miami Beach
-Clematis Street/West Palm Beach

Tampa area has the following listed:
-7th Avenue Ybor/Tampa
-Lake Mirror Park/Lakeland (frankly, while nice as a public space for downtown, I think Florida Southern area is more deserving)

Bottom line, what other posters are saying is correct, Lincoln Road Mall is far more urbane than anything you will find in Tampa region (or Sarasota or Orlando or almost anywhere in the Southeast, for that matter). I believe Flamingo-Lummus is only outranked by French Quarter in the entire Southern US when it comes to neighborhood walkability rating.

Here's another indicator:
St. Petersburg has 681 restaurants listed for review on TripAdvisor, spread over an area of 62 sq mi of land.
Miami Beach has 750 restaurants listed for review on TripAdvisor, spread over an area of 7 sq mi of land.
So do with that what you will lol, I think what I understand is most people telling you to expect a difference in size/scale.

That said, I think you can have a good time here, and if you want to spend 8 days, then by all means, I also think you can, given you have the expectation of not "rushing around to everything". If you want to chill some, go to the beach, "live like a local", I think you will be fine doing so.

Would I spend 8 days in just the core of St. Petersburg? Probably not, unless staying with family or honestly trying to see what living there is like... but then again, while I want to live somewhere abroad at some point too, that's just generally not how I travel. I mean, I did Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing last summer, and only did about 3-4 days in each (even though obviously those are about as big/urbane/endless as a place can get).

My recommendation, if you are coming from Miami, for 8 days, would be something like this:

Day 1: Drive up to Sarasota, see the Ringling, and perhaps spend the evening around St. Armand's. Perhaps also stop for lunch in DT Fort Myers on way.

Day 2: See Bradenton for a few hours in the morning (the Riverwalk is a really nice public space), then go across the bridge. St. Petersburg can be your "destination base" of sorts, at least for the next few days. For this first day, perhaps go check out Gulfport? A separate artsy community which gets more vibrant after 5, and on weekends.

Day 3: You mentioned St. Pete as a priority, so I think there is a full day of looking around you could do here and be happy doing so. Museums, various neighborhoods etc., let me know if you need further recommendations, but the core and it's adjacent neighborhoods worth noting really run into each other anyways. Maybe stay at the Avalon or Hollander Hotel on 4th? Go check out the shuffle club in the evening?

Day 4: Take the Central Avenue Trolley or Pinellas Trail if you're feeling fit over to the St. Pete Beach area. Maybe check out some parts of St. Pete that piqued your curiosity earlier, or go check out John's Pass at Madeira Beach. I'm surprised no one recommended this actually. Yeah it's touristy, but so is Lincoln Road, and it is a place you can walk around between various shops and restaurants without encountering traffic, plus it's right next to the beach.

Day 5 (again, in the mornings and evenings you are back in St. Pete and can check out places you missed): I'd do north county today. No real need to visit Clearwater Beach itself IMO if you've already visited a beach (and if not, Honeymoon Island/Fort De Soto are much more peaceful and quiet). You could check out DT Clearwater itself, there are some interesting older buildings plus the presence of Scientology gives it a unique vibe. I'd say today would be a good day to do Tarpon Springs and Dunedin. Both are neat areas. Tarpon Springs has the Greek Sponge Docks fishing area, and Dunedin is the craft brewing epicenter of Florida with like 6-7 breweries within a 5-10 minute walk. Safety Harbor receives some praise from the "Strong Towns" website too, but I don't know much about it. Don't expect any of these places I mention to occupy "all day" or be like Lincoln Road, but each is interesting in it's own way at least for a few hours.

Day 6: Today, perhaps go see Tampa (you can drive, or you could actually take the Cross Bay Ferry from St. Pete waterfront if they decide to start it up again, which I think they will). I believe there is probably one full day of things to see between Hyde Park, Downtown, Channelside, and Ybor (and actually, while not mentioned, Armature Works is an interesting stop too, it's kind of like Ponce City Market in Atlanta, though maybe a little smaller and not with retail (mostly a food hall type concept for now).

Day 7: Maybe today head out towards the rest of Central Fla. check out Lakeland and the FLW designed Florida Southern campus plus their main street area. Bok Tower Gardens is out this way, and while opposite of city, it is one of the prettier places in the state. The town of Lake Wales is kind of like an Old Florida place, and I believe Florida Natural (orange juice factory) is based here and offers tours. From there, you could check out the touristy districts of Universal (CityWalk) or Disney Springs, outside of the park, or could continue on and spend evening in Downtown Orlando or Winter Park as mentioned above (all of this might take more than one day depending on your pace, though it also could easily be done in a day as well).

Day 8: Perhaps see anything left that you want to see in the Orlando area, and then it's a straight, 3 hour shot down the turnpike back to Miami (you could stop in like West Palm or somewhere like it on the way back if you haven't been).

In short, I believe there are options.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:58 AM
 
15,600 posts, read 32,065,722 times
Reputation: 19437
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
I actually prefer Ybor (7th) to St. Armand's Circle. To me, it has a more urban/vibrant feel than it overall, more authentic/historic. But, I see the point that someone impressed by Lincoln Road Mall might not be by Ybor. There is a VERY different vibe between those two. Unless one appreciates nightlife (in which case, by all means), I would posit that the best time to visit Ybor might be on a Saturday from 9-4 or so. Go to the Saturday market, take a historic walking tour which the Tampa Bay History Center seems to put on every week, get coffee from Tre Amici at the Bunker, go to some of the independent shops on the street there, go to the Ybor State Museum, Marti Park (unofficially, officially, Cuba), etc. Alternatively, I think that a Friday in the early evening might work well too. Perhaps if coming in on a 4th Friday too, because many places are open for free and stuff, you can take the streetcar back and forth between downtown and Ybor for free. You could watch the Flamenco show at Columbia, and perhaps catch Ybor in early evening when its nightlife but not too rowdy, perhaps grab drinks at like Cigar City Cidery/Meadery or something.

St. Armand's Circle does have a bit more of a sterile feel if I'm being honest (no offense meant, frankly I think Lincoln Road has a bit more of this feel too, and it isn't all a bad thing).

If you're really looking for special neighborhoods, public spaces, etc., a good guide for within the US is the PPS Great Places in America list.

Miami area has the following listed:
-Wynwood/Miami
-Broadwalk/Hollywood
-Plaza Real (Mizner Park)/Boca Raton
-Ocean Drive/Miami Beach
-Clematis Street/West Palm Beach

Tampa area has the following listed:
-7th Avenue Ybor/Tampa
-Lake Mirror Park/Lakeland (frankly, while nice as a public space for downtown, I think Florida Southern area is more deserving)

Bottom line, what other posters are saying is correct, Lincoln Road Mall is far more urbane than anything you will find in Tampa region (or Sarasota or Orlando or almost anywhere in the Southeast, for that matter). I believe Flamingo-Lummus is only outranked by French Quarter in the entire Southern US when it comes to neighborhood walkability rating.

Here's another indicator:
St. Petersburg has 681 restaurants listed for review on TripAdvisor, spread over an area of 62 sq mi of land.
Miami Beach has 750 restaurants listed for review on TripAdvisor, spread over an area of 7 sq mi of land.
So do with that what you will lol, I think what I understand is most people telling you to expect a difference in size/scale.

That said, I think you can have a good time here, and if you want to spend 8 days, then by all means, I also think you can, given you have the expectation of not "rushing around to everything". If you want to chill some, go to the beach, "live like a local", I think you will be fine doing so.

Would I spend 8 days in just the core of St. Petersburg? Probably not, unless staying with family or honestly trying to see what living there is like... but then again, while I want to live somewhere abroad at some point too, that's just generally not how I travel. I mean, I did Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing last summer, and only did about 3-4 days in each (even though obviously those are about as big/urbane/endless as a place can get).

My recommendation, if you are coming from Miami, for 8 days, would be something like this:

Day 1: Drive up to Sarasota, see the Ringling, and perhaps spend the evening around St. Armand's. Perhaps also stop for lunch in DT Fort Myers on way.

Day 2: See Bradenton for a few hours in the morning (the Riverwalk is a really nice public space), then go across the bridge. St. Petersburg can be your "destination base" of sorts, at least for the next few days. For this first day, perhaps go check out Gulfport? A separate artsy community which gets more vibrant after 5, and on weekends.

Day 3: You mentioned St. Pete as a priority, so I think there is a full day of looking around you could do here and be happy doing so. Museums, various neighborhoods etc., let me know if you need further recommendations, but the core and it's adjacent neighborhoods worth noting really run into each other anyways. Maybe stay at the Avalon or Hollander Hotel on 4th? Go check out the shuffle club in the evening?

Day 4: Take the Central Avenue Trolley or Pinellas Trail if you're feeling fit over to the St. Pete Beach area. Maybe check out some parts of St. Pete that piqued your curiosity earlier, or go check out John's Pass at Madeira Beach. I'm surprised no one recommended this actually. Yeah it's touristy, but so is Lincoln Road, and it is a place you can walk around between various shops and restaurants without encountering traffic, plus it's right next to the beach.

Day 5 (again, in the mornings and evenings you are back in St. Pete and can check out places you missed): I'd do north county today. No real need to visit Clearwater Beach itself IMO if you've already visited a beach (and if not, Honeymoon Island/Fort De Soto are much more peaceful and quiet). You could check out DT Clearwater itself, there are some interesting older buildings plus the presence of Scientology gives it a unique vibe. I'd say today would be a good day to do Tarpon Springs and Dunedin. Both are neat areas. Tarpon Springs has the Greek Sponge Docks fishing area, and Dunedin is the craft brewing epicenter of Florida with like 6-7 breweries within a 5-10 minute walk. Safety Harbor receives some praise from the "Strong Towns" website too, but I don't know much about it. Don't expect any of these places I mention to occupy "all day" or be like Lincoln Road, but each is interesting in it's own way at least for a few hours.

Day 6: Today, perhaps go see Tampa (you can drive, or you could actually take the Cross Bay Ferry from St. Pete waterfront if they decide to start it up again, which I think they will). I believe there is probably one full day of things to see between Hyde Park, Downtown, Channelside, and Ybor (and actually, while not mentioned, Armature Works is an interesting stop too, it's kind of like Ponce City Market in Atlanta, though maybe a little smaller and not with retail (mostly a food hall type concept for now).

Day 7: Maybe today head out towards the rest of Central Fla. check out Lakeland and the FLW designed Florida Southern campus plus their main street area. Bok Tower Gardens is out this way, and while opposite of city, it is one of the prettier places in the state. The town of Lake Wales is kind of like an Old Florida place, and I believe Florida Natural (orange juice factory) is based here and offers tours. From there, you could check out the touristy districts of Universal (CityWalk) or Disney Springs, outside of the park, or could continue on and spend evening in Downtown Orlando or Winter Park as mentioned above (all of this might take more than one day depending on your pace, though it also could easily be done in a day as well).

Day 8: Perhaps see anything left that you want to see in the Orlando area, and then it's a straight, 3 hour shot down the turnpike back to Miami (you could stop in like West Palm or somewhere like it on the way back if you haven't been).

In short, I believe there are options.
Wow - that's awesome - you should be a trip planner!
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:51 AM
 
4,079 posts, read 3,269,312 times
Reputation: 2760
Well thank you : )

I would very much like to be in that industry (travel, cities, etc.) but I’m not quite sure what that looks like yet or how to “break in”. My educational and work experience at this point have primarily been in education, though I do have some social science and statistics background as well. I’m trying to just learn and read as many different things as I can (right now, I’m learning market research and SQL, kinda self taught/online courses) along with finishing my doctorate work, and hopefully seeing where that takes me.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:44 PM
 
50 posts, read 31,655 times
Reputation: 51
WOW! Thanks so much for the very specific detailed answer! Much appreciated. I will review it in full and likely take you up on a number of suggestions. You are a doll!
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:05 PM
 
46 posts, read 12,620 times
Reputation: 64
Did you ever consider Key West? Just a thought.
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Old 08-31-2019, 04:13 PM
 
4,079 posts, read 3,269,312 times
Reputation: 2760
Thank you Marguerite2015!

HarryWhom: I am sure the OP has probably considered it if they haven't been, but if they were specifically looking at heading towards Tampa Bay, that would seem to be better saved for another trip. Key West does look like a neat town though, it has been quite a while since I was there, I think I was still like 8 or 9 last time my family took me there, so hardly any memory.

I would certainly be more likely to consider going there if I was living further south in SWFL or esp. in the Miami area. That said, there is actually a ferry that I guess leaves from Fort Myers Beach to there and back... I was really considering taking it there at some point this winter, perhaps for a brief anniversary trip over winter break.

What's interesting about Key West is despite its isolation it was THE city in FL for a decent portion of the latter 19th century.. at least up until Vincente Ybor decided to relocate his cigar business up to Tampa lol
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:33 PM
 
276 posts, read 262,974 times
Reputation: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
Well thank you : )

I would very much like to be in that industry (travel, cities, etc.) but I’m not quite sure what that looks like yet or how to “break in”. My educational and work experience at this point have primarily been in education, though I do have some social science and statistics background as well. I’m trying to just learn and read as many different things as I can (right now, I’m learning market research and SQL, kinda self taught/online courses) along with finishing my doctorate work, and hopefully seeing where that takes me.
Would add Atlantic Ave in Del Ray. Probably my favorite spot in FL.
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Carmel, NY
90 posts, read 92,288 times
Reputation: 90
Safety Harbor and Dunedin are well worth day trips. Shops, restaurants, etc. There’s an ice cream shop in Dunedin (at the end of Main Street close to the water) that is my favorite. Well worth the trip just for that!
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