Destination: St. Pete/Clearwater

Destination: St. Pete/Clearwater

By:Susan B. Barnes
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The St. Pete/Clearwater region along Florida’s Gulf Coast includes the thriving city of St. Petersburg, aka St. Pete, and some 35 miles of tranquil beaches rolled into one. Attendees can get outdoors to enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, boating and fishing, or stay inside for fascinating museums, eclectic galleries and enticing boutiques. Add to that an alluring dining scene and dynamic LGBTQ+ community, and it all makes for a very attractive destination — the region welcomed more than 6.8 million people in 2019. There’s something for everyone in St. Pete, just take a look.

Why St. Pete?

  • The average daily temperature is 80°F.
  • The destination is served by two international airports: St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).
  • The St. Pete area offers 35 miles of powder-soft, white-sand beaches.
  • The region is home to a vibrant arts scene.
 

What’s New in St. Pete?

  • St. Pete Beach was named No. 1 beach in the U.S. for 2021 in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards.
  • St. Pete’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the American Arts and Crafts movement.
  • The St. Pete Pier is the Southeast’s largest waterfront district, with 26 acres.

See


Sponge Diver at Sponge Docks - Tarpon

Tarpon Springs

North of St. Pete and its beaches is the thriving Greek community of Tarpon Springs, which is known as the “Sponge Capital of the World”. Its charming downtown center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the brick streets lined with art galleries, antiques stores and specialty shops in the historic district date back to the late-1800s. It’s easy to fill a day here by visiting the sponge docks, taking a sightseeing cruise and eating at any of the fantastic Greek restaurants. Stop by a bakery to take a taste of Greece to enjoy later.

Fairgrounds St. Pete

In September, this new permanent immersive art and technology exhibit opened in the heart of St. Pete’s Warehouse Arts district. More than 60 Florida-based artists were commissioned to create multimedia works of art for the opening of the 15,000-square- foot artist-made environment, and guests are invited to interact with and immerse themselves in every inch of it via choose-your-own-adventure experiences. Fairgrounds St. Pete is available for private events, too.

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

The only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the American Arts and Crafts movement opened in September 2021 and is housed in a building that can be considered a work of art in its own right. Inside, the world's premier collection of art and objects from the movement are on display alongside complementary exhibitions. Private events can be held in the 2,000-square-foot Collector’s Gallery, featuring 75 rare and important art objects from the Two Red Roses Foundation Collection, as well as in the 3,700-square-foot ballroom, with 15 vintage Doria Leuchten chandeliers made of hand-blown Murano glass. The ballroom can accommodate up to 300 guests.

 

For more activities and ideas, ask your ALHI GSO about working with Global DMC Partners.

 


Do


Wild Dolphin on a Dolphin Cruise - Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater

Dolphin Spotting

Take advantage of all of the water that surrounds St. Pete on a dolphin-watching cruise. Sit back and relax as the captain navigates the calm and protected back bay waters while pointing out highlights like a bird nesting island, a fishing village and some of the spectacular waterfront homes. Along with dolphins, chances are good to spot manatees and plenty of birds that live here year-round, or birds that are simply passing through, including pelicans, egrets, herons, osprey and cormorants.

Glass Blowing

In addition to viewing the permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork in the Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center in St. Pete, visitors can watch glass blowers create their fragile works of art at the Morean Glass Studio and Hot Shop. Or, instead of just watching, groups of up to 10 can turn up the heat on teambuilding and learn the fundamentals of glass blowing from the studio’s demonstration team instructors to make their own masterpieces.

Play Ball

Major league baseball fans will thrill at the chance to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on their opponents at St. Pete’s Tropicana Field, where it’s always 72 degrees. In addition to enjoying peanuts and Cracker Jack, groups can cheer their favorite players from a variety of private spaces, including the left field patio box for groups of 10 to 22; the bullpen box, an exclusive, on-field party area right alongside the Rays bullpen that can host groups of 50 to 85; or groups of 35 and more can spread out and make themselves comfortable in the 200-level party area.

 

For more activities and ideas, ask your ALHI GSO about working with Global DMC Partners.

 


Eat


The Mill

The Mill

Voted the Best New Restaurant in Florida by Florida Trend when it opened, The Mill on Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete serves up New American dishes with a southern twist. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, dishes to try include boudin egg rolls, Southern fried lobster tail, Roast Beet Panzanella with pound cake croutons, and Meatloaf Wellington. The restaurant’s private event space comfortably seats 60 in a steampunk/farm/industrial designed room.

The Urban Stillhouse

Whatever size group, The Urban Stillhouse has myriad options to suit planners’ needs: the 16,000 square feet of space encompasses three private dining rooms, an outdoor patio, three bars, a large upstairs space and the main dining floor. The space is built around the premium spirits made by Horse Soldier Bourbon, and the menu features a blend of new and traditional American dishes, featuring elevated takes on classic staples. Try the bone-in bison filet, slow roasted porchetta, or the pappardelle with lobster and lemon mascarpone cream.

Social Roost Kitchen and Bar

Chicken takes center stage at this new restaurant in downtown St. Pete, cooked into American and globally inspired dishes like samosas, bahn mi and even with waffles. For dinner, attendees can choose delicacies like chicken khao soi, or make a departure and opt for shrimp & grits or the short rib instead. The posh decor sets the mood for power lunches and casual dinners, and is even a spot for the brunch bunch on weekends.

 

For more activities and ideas, ask your ALHI GSO about working with Global DMC Partners.

 


Stay / Meet


 

Innisbrook, a Salamander Resort

Innisbrook, a Salamander Resort

Set on 900 rolling acres on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Innisbrook sets an idyllic scene for every gathering, whether a board retreat, team-building outing or as an incentive destination. Throughout the 900 acres, guests can play on and in 11 clay tennis courts, six swimming pools and four championship golf courses; Innisbrook is home to the PGA’s Valspar Championship. Play the course the pros play--Copperhead, which is nicknamed “The Snake Pit” because of its challenging holes. When it comes time to work, Innisbrook has more than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space that can be customized to fit any needs, and guests will happily retreat to one of the more than 300 guest rooms and suites that range in size from 225 to 1,400 square feet.

The Don CeSar

The Don CeSar

The Pink Palace on St. Pete Beach has welcomed guests since 1928, and was recently named in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2021, and TripAdvisor’s 2021 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best. In addition to its prime beachfront location, The Don, as it’s known to the locals, is a terrific meetings and events destination with Four Diamond dining, and 22,000 square feet of indoor function space. Outside, planners will find 16,000 square feet of event space, including verandas and terraces. Attendees can also dine with toes in the sand at North Beach or partake of a cocktail reception in one of the beachfront pavilions at sunset. When it comes time to recharge, The Don offers 277 guest rooms, 36 suites and two penthouses.

TradeWinds Island Grand Resort

TradeWinds Island Grand Resort

There is plenty of space to spread out at TradeWinds Island Grand Resort — 25 beachfront acres, in fact. Work with the resort’s planning team to transform the 71,000 square feet of indoor and 20,000 square feet of outdoor space and see your vision realized. Once the work is done, the resort’s planning team can arrange team-building activities to get groups moving, from volleyball and a boat-building regatta, to drive-in movies and beach bonfires. Afterward, 600 guest rooms, suites and penthouses await for weary heads and bodies.

 

For more activities and ideas, ask your ALHI GSO about working with Global DMC Partners.

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