In the dead of winter, North American travelers generally do one of two things. They either embrace the cold and send off skis and snowboards for edging and waxing to prepare for trips on the snowpack, or their minds tend to lead them south to places where snow boots are replaced with sandals and where wool coats are unidentified foreign objects.
For the sunlovers dreaming about a warm-weather trip during the winter, Florida always enters the mix. Canadian snowbirds escape to South Florida condos for the winter; families venture to Orlando for shorter lines at the theme parks; and the outdoor-lovers paddle kayaks to see the manatees in King's Bay on the Crystal River. In fact, hardcore Floridophiles might say the hardest part is picking just one place.
But choose you must, and if you've done Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and St. Augustine, the next destination to explore is the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. While the Pinellas County beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico may be the region's top draw for winter sun-worshippers, you'll also find history (picks: Henry B. Plant Museum, Museum of Science and Industry), culture (picks: Ybor City's cigar-rolling past, The Dali Museum ) and kid-friendly destinations (picks: The Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens). The area's climate is mild even in the winter, with the daytime temperature typically reaching highs in the low- to mid-70s and lows registering only in the 50s.
If any of this sparks some interest (and clearly it has in New York, Chicago and Toronto), then pause for another couple minutes and take a visual tour of the Tampa-St. Pete area with these two state tourism videos which capture the area's attractions and appeal via time-lapse videography.
St. Petersburg & Pinellas Beaches
Inspired yet? Use our Tampa-St. Petersburg travel information page to start researching things to do and planning a trip.