St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa … are some cities and towns to visit in this area.

If you are coming from South Florida, take I75 north, where you will drive through Alligator Alley (which takes an hour or so to cross) and you will see alligators and lots of nature. Before arriving in St. Petersburg, the beautiful Sunshine Skyway Bridge welcomes you as you drive by the highest bridge in Florida. If you want, before crossing the bridge, there is a resting point from where you can enjoy a view of the bridge and the bay.

From Orlando, you can get to Tampa in an hour and St. Petersburg in a bit less than 2 hours.

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Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The drive to get from Miami to Tampa is about 4 hours. 428km to St. Petersburg and 453km to Tampa (without going through St. Petersburg) If it is your first time doing this trip, crossing “Alligator Alley” -as we mentioned before- is an interesting place, since you will be able to see alligators in various spots and enjoy part of the Everglades.

Then the road changes a bit. You will pass through several cities, some bridges with beautiful views and several places that you may want to stop to see.

I love visiting St. Petersburg. I think it’s a beautiful city, gorgeous beaches and one of my favorite downtowns. You may want to make that city your first stop. If so, and if you are coming from Miami, you have to take I275 to cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. From there you can appreciate a view of part of Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg and Fort de Soto Park. Of course, you cannot stop your vehicle on the bridge to take photos, and if the weather is very dangerous, the way might be closed.

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On a quick trip, I went up to Tampa first, although it is faster to go north on I75, I love going through the Sunshine Skyway. I get to drive also in front of the baseball stadium (Tropicana Field), then part of Largo and Clearwater (the latter has some very beautiful beaches too). A few minutes later, after crossing another bridge with a nice view too, I arrived at what was (between 1999-2003) my place to party on the weekends, Ybor City in Tampa.

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Ybor City is very close to downtown Tampa. Although it is no longer the place (as it was for me) to go to clubs and bars (I have been told that Hyde Park is much better), the area is still nice for a walk between shops, maybe a lunch or dinner, movies and even museums.

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From Ybor I drove to Downtown Tampa. Here, you will find an aquarium (very nice and fun to visit) and the port of the city. Right in front, a spot with several restaurants and shops. Nearby is the Ice Hockey Stadium and the University of Tampa.

Do you like roller coasters? In Tampa you will find Busch Gardens which has fun and excellent roller coasters. For me it’s a must! So much fun!

Let’s continue to St. Petersburg…

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