Clearwater, St Pete's, or Sarasota in Feb

Jan 10th, 2019, 03:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 94
Clearwater, St Pete's, or Sarasota in Feb

Hi. My wife and I just booked a flight to Tampa in early February well before the popular school vacation. Now we need to finalize our location and resort. Would appreciate any guidance. Last October we went to Naples and had a great time. For those that may have responded to that forum I updated all on everything.Just to be safe, we booked the Hyatt Regency Clearwater based on location and price. My only concern there is whether or not the pool based on how it is situated between two buildings gets enough sun.We are looking for a nice resort (not all inclusive) that has a great pool and close proximity to local restaurants. We love to walk so that is very important.All three locations as I understand are within driving distance from Tampa airport hence the reason we booked the flight.
Any suggestions on which of the three as well as where you would recommend we consider for a resort?
Anyone familiar with the Hyatt at Clearwater Beach?
It doesn't have to be right on the beach but that is a plus. When we stayed in Naples we stayed at the Naples Bay resort and it was wonderful.So, any advice on which of the three locations and which resorts to consider would be greatly appreciated. In due time we will go to all of them and will most likely do day trips to each. We have 5 nights in total.Thanks as always, W.
WarrenWST is offline  
Jan 10th, 2019, 05:07 PM
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We have never been fond of Clearwater Beach, a bit too crowded for us, and they knocked down all the little Mom and Pop motels and crammed in all those new places. I think you might be disappointed there after Naples. Clearwater Beach is often clogged with traffic. It has been a while since we have been there, but we always preferred Sand Key, a less crowded beach, but I don’t know if the hotels there have been updated. Clearwater Beach might be more walkable but you could probably walk there without too much trouble. If the beach isn’t important (although there is a small one), we are partial to St. Pete (the city not the beach); fabulous parks, very walkable, nice restaurants, Vinoy Hotel has a great pool and location and early February should get ahead of the many baseball teams that will call that home once the season starts (spring training is further south).
whitehall is online now  
Jan 11th, 2019, 12:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Will you have a car? Hope so, otherwise you’ll be pretty limited in this area, as public transportation isn’t that good. Especially so if you plan to visit all three cities.

Which city’s attractions do you hope to visit? If you’re planning, for example, to spend much of your time seeing the sights in Sarasota, it may be helpful to base yourself there.
bachslunch is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 04:08 AM
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I grew up years ago doing family vacations to Clearwater Beach and/or Treasure Island and loved them then (the 1960's). Hadn't been back there for years until last year, when we spent a weekend in Tampa (at the Grand Hyatt) and in St. Pete, but we live in Naples so didn't care about staying on the beach. Hated Clearwater Beach. We were stuck in traffic and wanted to stop and get coffee. We circled in the center area for about 20 minutes trying to find parking and finally paid $20 to pay to park for an hour at a big hotel on the beach so we could go to a Starbucks -- the only place we could find with any available parking. Just saying- I'd go crazy spending a week there in that traffic. We also visited the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach and thought it seemed very nice. We also enjoyed our couple nights in downtown St. Pete, eating at some nice restaurants, visiting the rather small but nice art museum and also the wonderful Dali Museum. Not that I'd suggest downtown is for you over the beach -- but an easier drive from St. Pete Beach than from Clearwater Beach. I think we spent well over an hour just getting to Clearwater Beach during the day from St. Pete. Frankly if you loved Naples, Sarasota is going to be infinitely more like that than Clearwater Beach would be.

Last edited by NeoPatrick; Jan 11th, 2019 at 04:12 AM.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Jan 11th, 2019, 04:37 AM
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Did you check out the Opal Sands? It is a little pricey but the pool deck is beautiful and all the rooms are facing the gulf.

Also look at the Edge hotel.
gmoney is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Probably not what you are looking for but the Postcard Inn in a vintage hotel with a new vibe in St. Pete -
It's gotten a lot of press.

If you go, have breakfast at this little French bakery -

But St. Pete is a long line of traffic with lots of beachside places.

For a resort, you may like the Don CeSar -

I like the funky little community of Pass-A-Grill at the tip (past the Don) but it's definitely not what you are looking for -
Pass-a-Grille, St. Pete Beach, Florida - The Official Visitor's Site - Winner of TripAdvisor's 2013 Travelers Choice Award. Get off the grid in relaxing and historic Pass-a-Grille, St. Pete Beach, Florida.
starrs is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 94
Great feedback! Thank you. We will have a car.
We checked out the Don Cesar but it was way too pricey.
We did look at Opal Sands and may reconsider.
While we are there we hope to do day trips to Clearwater Beach, St Pete Beach, St Petersburg downtown, Dunedin, and Sarasota. Still not 100% of where we will stay but booked the Hyatt in Clearwater just in case. I'll keep checking other resorts just in case. Our preference would be to stay in an area similar to Naples where there is nice walking to local restaurants.
Any other advice is always helpful. Thanks, W
WarrenWST is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 11:44 AM
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Best of luck with all that. But frankly I'll be looking for you back in Naples the following year. Yea, I know. I'm spoiled.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Feb 10th, 2019, 03:59 PM
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Posts: 94
Hi everybody. I wanted to let you all know that we just got back and had an amazing time. Thank you all again.
We decided to stay in Clearwater at the Hyatt Regency. It was a beautiful hotel and the staff were incredibly friendly. We arrived at the hotel around 3pm and they were able to check us right in. We took a walk and enjoyed the street performers at Pier 60 which was only a short distance away.. They are amazing! At night we took a long walk across one of the bridges and had dinner at the Columbia. I would highly recommend this restaurant. We took advantage of Beach Bill for the ride back to the hotel. They have a service like Uber that operates on tips only. On the second day we drove to Dunedin and rented electric bikes at Pedego rentals and rode them to Tarpon Springs and back. Both Dunedin and Tarpon Springs are wonderful little towns that you do not want to miss. At night we ate at Clearsky in Clearwater and both had their amazing Crab cakes. On Wednesday we walked the the beach of Clearwater and spent the afternoon by the pool. The beach is beautiful. Best white sand I ever saw, The pool is very relaxing! In the evening we drove to St. Pete's beach to check its out and compare to Clearwater Beach. We both say Clearwater Beach hands down. The area around St. Pete wasn't anything like Clearwater where you felt very comfortable walking with plenty of restaurants. However, we then went to St. Petersburg which is about a 45 min drive from St. Pete. Based on our concierge's recommendation we ate at the 400 Beach Club., Another great choice. St. Petersburg definitely has the bigger city and nightlife compared to Clearwater. We really like St. Petersburg although Clearwater was extremely nice as well. We liked St. Petersburg so much we went back the next day because we wanted to enjoy it during the daylight as well. We took a very long walk along their bay. I think we walked a total of 5 miles along the bay and back. We saw manatees and porpoises! Another amazing treat for us. We drove back and took in another spectacular sunset. After the sunset we took an Uber to a very highly rated Mexican restaurant in Dunedin called Casa Tina. Fantastic just as described from the Margaritas to the enchiladas! For the last full day we wanted to enjoy Clearwater and did. Took another long beautiful walk along their bay and then spent the afternoon at the pool. After another beautiful sunset we walked around until we decided to eat Frenchy's original cafe and had their famous grouper sandwich. On Saturday we just hung out and got some more sun before the flight home. Would do it all again. Extremely happy with all our choices. The weather was beautiful. We never did have the time to visit Sarasota so we will do that on our next trip. The most important thing I want to mention is that everybody regardless of where we went were so very friendly. Again, appreciate your help and wanted to share our experience. W
WarrenWST is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 05:08 AM
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Thanks for reporting back. Sounds like a wonderful relaxing vacation.
schmerl is offline  
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