April 6, 2021

The Sunshine City Pt 2: Dancing in the Moonlight

In the second part of this series on urban living in downtown St. Petersburg, we check out what there is to do after the city’s infamous sun sets.

Returning briefly to the Grand Central District, this area transforms after dark. Going from a hip shopping and dining district to a hub of bars, and clubs. Whether you’re looking to while away a casual evening getting your fix of nostalgic arcade games and craft beer at Right Around The Corner Bar, or looking to dress to the nines, sipping top shelf cocktails while looking out over the bay from The Canopy, it’s sure to be an unforgettable night out. Other notable mentions include Ferg’s Sport’s Bar and Grill which boasts a veritable fleet of TV’s from which to watch all your favorite teams with a cool drink and a bit to eat. The Hideaway Cafe and Recording Studio is a more low key option, where patrons can listen in on local and even national level artists working there craft while enjoying brews and flatbreads.

If music is your thing, and you want a more uptempo experience than The Hideaway offers, St. Pete is home to numerous concert venues. Jannus Live is a raucous courtyard venue that plays host to all manner of shows, from small local rock groups to international DJs. If an evening in the night air, sparkling with sweat and swaying in time with a band you’ve never heard before but is really killing it right now is what you’re after, Jannus Live is the place to be. Located nearby is Ruby’s Elixir, this high end cocktail bar plays homage to the jazz bar of days gone by. This establishment hosts nightly live music, usually blues, jazz, or soul, and dishes out some killer drinks. The Florida Orchestra also has its home in downtown St. Pete, and offers several shows a month for those with an ear for classical music. They regularly perform classic symphonies at the local Mahaffey Theatre. Mahaffey Theatre also hosts a variety of live music acts, performances, and even theatre productions year round.

While it technically really gets going a short while before sunset, Pier 60 in nearby Clearwater beach is home to a nightly gathering of local street performers, artists, and crafters. Take in the gorgeous view of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico while a man on stilts juggles flaming knives and a group of reggae musicians provides a delightful underscore for the entire experience. This destination can make an excellent family outing, as there are a number of food vendors and a large well equipped playground to keep little ones full and happy.

For those wanting to get out on the water in the evening, there are a number of options as well. The Sunset Cruise for example is a catered intimate experience on the open ocean. Passengers aboard the luxurious Starlite Sapphire are treated to fine dining, an open bar, and a night of music and dancing under the stars. For the more rugged individuals looking for a truly unique offering, you can book a night of kayaking amongst the mangrove islands surrounding St. Pete. These kayaks are equipped with powerful LEDs, and glass bottoms to give a unique view into the nocturnal life of the Bay’s oceanic inhabitants. And for those just looking to fish, there are countless charters that can take you out, and several major piers in the area that allow night fishing.

This article just begins to scratch the surface of what the Sunshine City has to offer. In reality, urban living in downtown St. Petersburg is packed with things to do. You’ll never spend the night bored at home, if you don’t want to that is.

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