Gulfport – Some call it Funky, Others say Charming, We Found it to be a Delicious Discovery

One of the most exciting things about our journey through Florida is discovering places that we knew existed but had no idea of how cool they are, and Gulfport is one such place.

Gulfport is a suburb community of St. Petersburg on Florida’s West Central Coast in Pinellas County. It is a welcoming and diverse community full of life, beauty, and what some might call an eclectic vibe.

Nature & the Bay

We started our Gulfport adventure walking the nature trail at Clam Bayou Nature Preserve across the street from the Gulfport Municipal Marina. It is a short 3/4 mile to 1-mile loop walk through the native vegetation that lines the shores of the bayou, opening up to a spectacular view of Boca Ciega Bay.

Clam Bayou provides habitat and food to various species such as fiddler crabs, clams, wading birds, small animals, dolphins, and manatees. The view from the trail and its observation decks were spectacular, but I bet the view from a kayak or canoe would be downright awesome. A canoe/kayak launch and wash station are provided conveniently near the parking area.

Clam Bayou Nature Preserve is located at 4099 34th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711. There is no entry fee. The preserve Opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset.

A video view of our day

The Historic Waterfront District

It’s a colorful district where funky meets artsy meets quirky and then gets splashed with a laid-back tropical atmosphere. And it’s a place that you should go to hungry because the food is always five stars delicious.

John and I went on a Tuesday, and we were surprised to find the streets packed. We were also surprised that the parking was free, which is always an added bonus because you don’t often find free parking in popular Florida places.

Why so busy on a Tuesday? We asked ourselves that same question because we didn’t know that Gulfport holds an open-air market on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, the main street is lined with vendors selling everything from lama yarn handmade sweaters to kangaroo and alligator jerky to cigars.

After burning off some calories on our nature walk, our first order of business when we arrived in the historic district was lunch. Picking out a place to eat was no easy task as there is quite a selection of restaurants within the district and each one looked just as inviting as the next.

Outdoor garden-style dining seems to be the thing in Gulfport’s Historic Waterfront; perhaps that is because of the Covid 19 outbreak, if so, it is a silver lining in a Covid cloud because outdoor dining works in this beautiful tropical community.

We chose Tutto Bene for lunch, and I have to say we made a great choice. The menu is Italian, and our meal was Tutto Bene which is Italian for everything good. We ate outside in a garden, and as with just about every restaurant on the main street, our meal came with entertainment.

From what I hear, there is always something fun and delightful going on in Gulfport, and it is a place that I am glad we discovered. Now that I know it is here and what a vibrant, delicious little city it is, I am sure we will be visiting again and often.

The address of The Gulfport Historic Downtown Visitor Center is  3101 Beach Blvd South, Gulfport, Fl. 33707

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