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Vacationing in Saint Pete Beach FL
By Jennifer Weiss

If you are searching for pristine, white sand beaches, numerous amusements, and centrality to excellent shopping, then consider St. Pete Beach for your next vacation to Florida. Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico and on the west side of Tampa Bay, St. Pete Beach is close to the attractions of the Orlando/Disney area while providing its own charms to those who want to escape the crowds. Head to St. Pete Beach for a relaxing getaway and experience all this waterfront wonderland has to offer.

The four miles of white sand that comprise St. Pete Beach make it easy to find the perfect spot to throw down your towel for a little rest and relaxation. In addition to the gorgeous St. Pete Beach, two that you absolutely must check out are Fort de Soto Park and Caladesi Island State Park. Fort de Soto Park was named the number one beach in the country for 2005 and is the largest park in the area with over seven miles of beaches and five interconnected islands. Visitors will find two large swim areas, two fishing piers (one on Tampa Bay, the other on the Gulf), picnic areas, and a variety of snack and souvenir shops for when you need a slight diversion.

Caladesi Island State Park can be accessed via the ferry from Honeymoon Island or by cruising out on your boat rental and tying up at one of the docks. This pristine island is one of the last underdeveloped barrier islands in the state, and its understated beauty led to it being named the number two beach for 2006. While the usual beach activities, including swimming, sunning, snorkeling, scuba diving, and shelling, are all popular here, one excellent way to explore this hidden treasure is on the three-mile trail that winds its way through the islandís interior.

If you want to head out of the St. Pete Beach and St. Petersburg area, the well-known attractions of central Florida are just a short drive away from the Gulf Coast. Experience an extraordinary zoo and theme park combination at Busch Gardens Africa, located in Tampa Bay and only 45 minutes away. For those who cannot resist the allure of Disney World or Universal Studios, these theme parks are located just outside of Orlando and can be reached in about 90 minutes from your accommodations in St. Pete Beach.

Shopping enthusiasts certainly will not be disappointed by the opportunities that St. Pete Beach provides for perusing interesting items and souvenirs. To find that perfect one a kind item to remember your vacation by, make your way to the specialty boutiques along the 8th Avenue business district in Pass-A-Grille and browse items such as original hammered jewelry. For a relaxing day popping in and out of stores, stroll the "Historic Corey Avenue Shopping District" or any of the stores located along Gulf Blvd.

While the shoppers in your family venture through the many stores, the duffers can get out there and hit some of the most beautiful links in Florida. Those looking for a championship course can head over to St. Petersburg and attempt to tackle the challenging Mangrove Bay Golf Course. Ranked one of the nationís top 50 municipal courses, Mangrove Bay cozies up to the Old Tampa Bay inlets and has available extras such as golf club rental, a driving range, and professional golf lessons.

Whether you journey here for the sun, sand, or diverse amusements, you can find accommodations near everything you want to see and do when you consider Saint Pete Beach FL vacation rentals for your lodging needs. Stay near the sparkling beaches with unobstructed views of the water as you enjoy all the amenities and conveniences of home from your luxurious condo or home rental. When everything you need for a smooth, headache-free vacation is at your fingertips, you can truly enjoy all this gorgeous area has to offer and leave the stresses of home behind.

HomeAway.com has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider Saint Pete Beach FL vacation rentals for your next trip to the Florida Gulf Coast.