New & Coming Soon to St. Pete/Clearwater
• In celebration of its 100-year anniversary, the St. Petersburg Museum of History is planning a $7.5 million, 10,000-square-foot expansion. Featuring a 360-degree view of the downtown waterfront and St. Pete’s Pier, the new building’s second level and rooftop terrace exterior, available for special events and gatherings, will be wrapped by an aluminum sculpture crafted by celebrated local artist Ya La’ford. Construction is scheduled to begin in February.
• St. Pete Beach’s 156-room Grand Plaza Hotel has undergone a major makeover and rebranding. Now known as the Bellwether Beach Resort, the cylinder-shaped, 50-year-old property reopened in August with a nostalgic, beach-chic aesthetic. Amenities include four restaurants, a revolving rooftop bar, a pool, three meeting rooms and 8,000 square feet of total event space.
• The destination's "Rise to Shine" campaign was launched
to let visitors know what hotels, attractions, restaurants and destinations are doing to keep the public safe in the destination.
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• The newly renovated and reflagged Hilton Garden Inn St. Pete Beach features 144
guestrooms with balconies or patios, the Coconut Charlie’s bar and grill, a fitness center, a pool and 900 square feet of flexible indoor meeting space.
• Coastal ecologist Dr. Stephen Leatherman, better known as “Dr. Beach,” has reviewed, evaluated and rated beaches and coastal areas throughout the world. In his latest rankings, Caladesi Island
State Park in Dunedin was ranked seventh, by virtue of its untouched, beaches, old-growth slash pines and live oaks, nature trails and the heavenly blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
• Get an in-depth look at destination newcomers Grand
Central Brewhouse and the Residence Inn by Marriott St. Petersburg, on these new videos.
• The destination has several recent accolades from travel site Tripadvisor: Clearwater is among the Top 10 Trending
Destinations in the U.S. in 2021, while St. Pete Beach was named the Top Beach in the United States.
Most recently, Tripadvisor’s
Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Things To Do voted Get Up and Go
Kayaking’s singular Clear Kayak Tour on Shell Key Preserve as 2021’s top experience in the U.S. Get Up and Go utilizes clear single
and double kayaks to effectively illustrate the preserve’s remarkable fauna —
dolphins, turtles, stingrays, crabs and the like — plus its vast panoramas of
mangroves, sandbars and beaches.
• The iconic 277-room Don Cesar Hotel has completed a three-year, head-to-toe restoration.
The 93-year-old property has 22,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting and event space and more than 16,000 square feet of outdoor event space .
• Following an extensive renovation, St. Pete Beach’s iconic Grand Plaza Hotel is now the152-room Bellwether Beach Resort. When it reopens in summer 2021,
the property will feature refreshed guest rooms and suites, 8,000 square feet of redesigned event spaces and a 12th floor rotating restaurant and bar.
• TradeWinds Island Resorts completed upgrades to its two properties, the 211-room RumFish Beach Resort and 585-room sister property
TradeWinds Island Grand, at a cost of $15 million.
• Aficionados of artisan beers have a new destination to explore in St. Pete: Grand Central Brewhouse. Just opened in the city’s burgeoning Grand Central District, the two-story 6,000-square-foot brewery specializes in all styles of lager. It also offers
a 4,000-square-foot courtyard, beer garden and event space that will be shared with neighboring LALA St. Pete, a restaurant and karaoke bar scheduled to open in late 2021.
• Who doesn't love dolphins? The Clearwater Marine Aquarium has a new 1.5-million-gallon dolphin habitat that showcases the aquarium's most
celebrated residents, Winter and Hope and its newest high-profile resident. Hemingway, a 700-pound Atlantic bottlenose male dolphin. The venue also added meeting and event space; contact the facility for current availability and state or local group
gathering guidelines. A new exhibit at the aquarium lets guests experiences the undersea world of the critically endangered North American right whale. Whales, Living With Giants, which runs through August 31, 2021.
• The 91-room Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club Hotel, a five-story, marine-life themed property has debuted in Clearwater Beach near the Clearwater
Marine Aquarium. The property, part of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection, features two restaurants, an outdoor heated pool and a sundeck. Guests can rest easy at the eco-friendly, marine-themed hotel, which has banned single-use plastics and installed
sea turtle–safe lighting as part of its sustainability initiatives. In partnership with the nearby Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the hotel charges a daily conservation fee of $9.95 per guest room to fund the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured
• The 132-room Tru by Hilton St. Petersburg has opened in the Grand Central District, near Tropicana Field and the Dali Museum. The boutique
property offers an outdoor terrace, a fitness center, complimentary WiFi and 500 square feet of meeting space. Enhanced cleaning and safety standards under Hilton’s new EventReady With CleanStay program give planners and attendees a safe event experience
from start to finish.
• Southeast Florida’s newest waterfront attraction has opened in St. Petersburg. Located adjacent to the city’s vibrant downtown, the 26-acre St. Pete Pier and its impressive cultural and recreational
offerings serve as a $92 million investment and major extension to the city’s burgeoning amenities. The wide-open space already hosts several public art installations from internationally renowned artists.
• A $44 million rapid transit project that will link downtown St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach has taken another step forward. The newly dubbed "SunRunner" bus line will
convey passengers via speedy signal-priority lanes, making the trip from the city’s downtown to its beaches in less than 35 minutes. Completion of the project is expected in 2022.
• A revival of St. Pete Beach’s historic
Don CeSar Hotel is more than two-thirds complete. Phase two of the refresh included
updates to the lobby bar, meetings facilities, retail space, Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor and the award-wining Maritana restaurant. The National Historic Landmark property is now in its third and final phase of work, which is expected to finish in
the fall, transforming the hotel’s 277 guest rooms, and revamping the Sea Porch Café and the Beachcomber Bar & Grill.
• St. Pete’s development review commission has green-lighted plans for a new $300 million mixed-use tower. Slated for a downtown 2.3-acre site with sweeping views of Tampa Bay, the project will include a 225-room, Marriott-branded hotel with a rooftop
pool, casual dining and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The 45-story skyscraper will also include 300 luxury condominiums plus 25,000 square feet of retail shopping and restaurants. Construction started in 2021.
• A 161-room, Marriott-flagged Moxy Hotel, is coming to St. Pete’s burgeoning Edge District. Amenities will include a rooftop pool and bar, plus an outdoor wellness and
meditation space. The property is scheduled to open in 2022.
• A 200-room Marriott Autograph Collection hotel is also being planned in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. The 50-story
mixed-used tower also calls for 325 condominiums, dining and retail space. At press time, details on other offerings — including meeting and event space — as well as a projected opening date have not yet been announced.
• North Clearwater Beach's Hotel Cabana is sporting a lavish new look following a total refresh and renovation. Accented by 29 Key West-inspired guest rooms and suites, property
perks include a heated pool, complimentary Kahwa-branded coffee and WiFi, a landscaped courtyard, a sun deck and easy access to nearby restaurants, bars and beaches.
More Event Venues
• The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg offers several event and meeting spaces, including a 250-guest ballroom and a 500-guest conservatory that overlooks Tampa Bay.
St. Pete’s famed Dali Museum features a collection of one of the world’s most celebrated surrealists,
Salvador Dali. But mix in another Spanish master of the arts, and the
experience becomes almost transformative. That’s the intent behind the museum’s
next high-profile presentation, Picasso and the Allure of
the South, which will appear Jan. 29-May 22, 2022.
The James Museum features 30,000 square feet of gallery space housing an extensive collection of western and wildlife art from the private collection of Tom and Mary James, who invested nearly $50 million to create the museum. The venue offers
6,000 square feet of event space that can accommodate groups ranging from 20 to 750 guests. In addition, there is a 129-seat auditorium as well as a museum shop & cafe that can host gatherings.
Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s extensive collection of furniture,
pottery, photography, metalwork and other decorative arts from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Group meeting and event options include a100-seat auditorium and an event and banquet hall adorned with
16 period chandeliers that can accommodate around 200 people. Stay tuned for the opening date.
• Underscored by a nine-gallery, eye-candy collection of more than 500 pieces of American Studio Glass, the Imagine Museum accommodates private events for up to 150 people.
• The Florida Holocaust Museum in downtown St. Pete accommodates groups and events in a 200-guest dining room and an intimate 30-guest meeting space. A critically
acclaimed exhibit detailing Anne Frank’s tragic experiences is currently on display through January 2021.
• The St. Petersburg Museum of
History offers an array of iconic exhibits, ranging from the world’s first commercial flight to the world’s largest collection of baseballs autographed by the game’s foremost names. The museum is nearing the completion of a three-phase, $7 million
renovation and expansion project that will add 8,000 square feet of new space, including a new visitor’s center, a new rooftop terrace and a new exhibit gallery, that will showcase the history of the city and Florida.
• St. Pete's NOVA 535 is a meticulously renovated historic 1920 building with 7,000 square feet of event space, convenient interstate access, multiple full-service bars,
VIP areas plus a private 4,000-square-foot brick and bamboo courtyard.
• Stay, meet and play at 362-room Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.
Located in the vibrant downtown district, guest perks include three restaurants, a spa, a health club, Ron Garl-designed golf and 60,500 square feet of total event space.