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St. Pete/Clearwater consistently garners more recognition than any other Florida destination on TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice Awards of Top 25 U.S. Beaches, including Clearwater Beach being named the No. 1 beach in America in 2016 and St. Pete Beach No. 4. The dynamic duo deserve the accolades: These blindingly white beaches aren’t just pretty to look at and powdery soft to the touch, they offer visitors lots to do and room to do it. Head to Clearwater Beach’s Pier 60 for some of the area’s best fishing, or enjoy the huge beach playground. Visiting in April? Don’t miss the pier’s Sugar Sand Festival, a 10-day sand sculpture contest that gloriously reworks 900,000 kilograms of the stuff. Spend an active morning windsurfing, kiteboarding and parasailing St. Pete Beach. For lunch, walk to Corey Avenue, a funky little shopping and eating district with a throwback vibe. Still not done? Jet out to Egmont Key to snorkel the sunken ruins or take a short trip north to unspoiled Honeymoon Island.

St. Pete/Clearwater could stop at its marvelous shoreline, but it doesn’t. Downtown St. Pete’s Central Arts District includes the Morean Arts Center, with its famed Chihuly Collection. See the glass sculptor’s elaborate, large-scale installations in the Center (more than 60 urban murals are on view around downtown). A stop at the Dali Museum – home to 7 of the artist’s 18 masterworks – is a must. For a lesson in local marine life, visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Go native and explore John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk in Madeira, a community bursting with local color and fresh-catch seafood. Or follow the blowing-up brew scene to Dunedin, a waterfront Scottish town with Florida’s oldest craft brewery. Work your way through 18 craft breweries in all, sampling a “Florida Weisse” at 7venth Sun Brewery as you go.

Fun Fact

Sun setting on St. Petersburg, Florida
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St. Petersburg holds the Guinness Book of World Records top spot for most consecutive days of sunshine, which was 768 between February 9, 1967 and March 17, 1969.

Winter the dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium
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Clearwater Marine Aquarium is home to Winter from the movies “Dolphin Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2.”

Aerial of Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach
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Couple biking on the beach at Siesta Key
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