St. Pete waterfront and Beach Drive

Along St. Petersburg's waterfront is a swath of parkland, museums, restaurants and shopping — all with wide-open views of Tampa Bay. Oh, and carriage rides for your inner princess (or prince). The center of it all is Beach Drive.

On the main stretch is a contemporary glass exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg [255 Beach Drive NE; (727) 896-2667], with the modern chic MFA Cafe inside. Across the street is the Chihuly Collection [400 Beach Drive NE; (727) 896-4527], with stunning blown glass installations by the world-renowned artist. At the south end of the waterfront is the Dali Museum [1 Dali Blvd; (727) 823-3767], remarkable for its swooping architecture as much as the large collection of surrealist Salvador Dali artwork.

Drop by Hooker Tea Company [300 Beach Drive NE; (727) 894-4832] for a specialty brew like Dr. Feelgood or Paciugo Gelato [300 Beach Drive NE, Suite 120; (727) 209-0298] for a sweet treat. You can find gifts and home accents with a world flair at Agora [232 Beach Drive NE; (727) 823-7573], clothing for an active lifestyle at In Search of Balance [300 Beach Drive NE, Suite 135; (727) 823-0320] and art pieces and jewelry at Shapiro's Gallery [300 Beach Drive NE, Suite 112; (727) 894-2111].

Most of the restaurants have outside seating to take advantage of the park and water views: Cassis American Brasserie [fine dining, 170 Beach Drive NE; (727) 827-2927], Bella Brava [Italian, 204 Beach Drive NE; (727) 895-5515], Parkshore Grill [upscale American, 300 Beach Drive NE, Suite 104; (727) 896-9463] and 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House [400 Beach Drive NE; (727) 896-2400]. At the end of the Beach Drive commercial district is the historic Renaissance Vinoy Resort [501 Fifth Ave. NE], where you can enjoy a classic cocktail on the Veranda, overlooking a marina.

Jutting out from the waterfront is the inverted pyramid of The Pier, with casual Cha Cha Coconuts [800 Second Ave. NE; (727) 822-6655], where you can grab a tropical drink with a tiny umbrella. You can also take a boat ride with Pier Dolphin Cruises [(727) 647-1538], where you'll (probably) see dolphins, or a Segway tour of the waterfront [335 Second Ave. NE; (727) 896-3640] from the nearby St. Petersburg Museum of History.

St. Pete waterfront and Beach Drive 08/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 5:44pm]

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