Located just west of downtown St. Petersburg, the Grand Central District is several blocks along Central Avenue that is home to restaurants, antique retailers, art galleries, bars and eclectic shops.
At the indie book store Haslam's [2025 Central Ave.; (727) 822-8616], you'll find new and used titles and, if you're lucky, a cat. Check out the ARTpool Gallery & Vintage Boutique [2030 Central Ave.; (727) 324-3878], with a selection of vintage and St. Pete-themed clothing as well as local artists' work.
The Craftsman House Gallery & Cafe [2955 Central Ave.; (727) 323-2787] in a renovated bungalow encourages you to relax on the porch with something tasty in hand as you check out the working pottery studio.
A little closer to downtown on Central is Paper Street Market [915 Central Ave.; (727) 894-7777] and Buffalo Gal Vintage right next door, both treasure-troves of unique, vintage items and clothing. Need a little something for a gift? Milagros [1104 Central Ave.] has creative, colorful soap by the slice.
Restaurants include the fiery fusion of Nitally's Thai-Mex creations [2462 Central Ave.; (727) 321-8424], Beak's Old Florida [2451 Central Ave.; (727) 321-9100] and its Floribbean-inspired cuisine, the cheap eats of the Taco Bus [2324 Central Ave.; (727) 322-5000] or the stylish European cuisine of Queenshead [2501 Central Ave.; (727) 498-8584].
The iconic sports bar in town is Ferg's [1320 Central Ave.; (727) 822-4562] right across from Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Burgers, wraps and wings (try the teriyaki ones) are served amid a fanatic's paradise of memorabilia.
If you are staying downtown, it's just a short trip on the trolley to get to the Grand Central district.