In St. Petersburg one thing you can’t miss investigating is The Pier. It’s well-known upside-down pyramid shape is synonymous with the area. Delights inside include an observation deck, aquarium, and disco as well as the usual shopping and eating places. From there why not take the trolley down to the hands on Great Explorations museum which children of all ages will find fascinating. Other museums in the area include the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Florida International Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Salvador Dali Museum, so if the Gulf Coast sunshine gets too much for you, there’s plenty of places in St. Petersburg where you can keep cool as well as entertained. Lovers of nature however will find the Sunken Gardens a great alternative to the usual beach and gulf wildlife.
Tampa is a rapidly expanding city but for visitors to the area it’s not known so much for its cigars as it is the world famous Busch Gardens. Although a theme park by definition, the Busch Gardens are somewhat different to most theme parks as they include one the USA’s best zoos. The entire park is based around an African theme, and incorporates natural beauty, excitements, thrills and spills, and a little bit of fantasy. There’s even a water park for those who need to cool off after a ride or two on Gwazi, the park’s huge dueling roller coaster. Other Tampa highlights include the Henry B. Plant Museum housed within the lavish Tampa Bay Hotel, and the Starlite Princess, an old paddlewheeler that offers trips for those who love to be out on the water.
If you’re looking for a little culture on your vacation to Florida’s Gulf Coast then you must add a trip to Sarasota to your itinerary as this city is noted as being the cultural center of the state. With restored Victorian architecture, antique stores, dinner cruises, and a number of great museums – such as the Museum of Cars and Music of Yesterday, the Ringling Museum of Art, and the magnificent Ringling Museum: Ca’ D’Zan. More natural attractions include the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Pelican Man’s Bird Sanctuary.
If you wish to venture a little further afield on your vacation, why not drive south and check out the working ranch and swamp buggy rides of the Babcock Wilderness Adventures, or alternatively get a taste of old time Florida in Fort Myers. Drive north from St. Petersburg however and you’ll experience some of the best natural attractions on the Gulf Coast at Crystal River.
If you’re looking for a vacation that offers a good degree of sunshine with clean beautiful beaches, along with a lot of interesting places to explore, the Florida Gulf Coast has a lot to offer.