Grab a Saint Petersburg Rental Car and Soak up the Sun
After you’ve landed at the Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, explore some of the cities’ nearby attractions in your St. Pete rental car. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Clearwater holds the record for most consecutive days of sunshine in a single year, with 361 days. You might want to visit Clearwater Beach, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium or Ruth Eckerd Hall.
Characterized by white sand beaches stretching for two and a half miles, Clearwater Beach offers beachgoers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located 12 miles from Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and 25 miles from downtown Tampa, this beach haven offers shopping, restaurants and activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, boat tours, miniature golf, fishing charters and pirate ship cruises. In January 2013, Clearwater Beach was awarded the designation of Florida's Best Beach Town by a reader poll from USA Today readers. The beach is situated on a barrier island and features a full marina on the Intracoastal Waterway side, linked by a short bridge to another barrier island called Sand Key.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Located at 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a great stop to add to your list in your Clearwater Airport car rental. Opened in 1972, this marine habitat is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick and injured marine animals, public education and animal-assisted therapy and research. One of the best-known residents of the aquarium is Winter, a bottlenose dolphin who was rescued after getting caught in a crab trap. After the aquarium fitted her with a prosthetic tail, the facility received worldwide attention, leading to the dolphin starring in Hollywood films Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, shot partially on location at the aquarium. In addition, other marine animals such as river otters, green sea turtles, southern stingrays, nurse sharks, great white pelicans and other fish can be seen here.
Ruth Eckerd Hall
For a taste of Clearwater’s performing arts, head over to Ruth Eckerd Hall, located at 1111 N McMullen Booth Rd. Named after Ruth Eckerd, the wife of Jack Eckerd (founder of the Eckerd chain of drugstores), this venue boasts 73,000 square feet and a 2,180 auditorium featuring continental seating. The Florida Orchestra is featured regularly here.