Gulfport and South Pasadena share one characteristic that is unique to the area. Neither city has a hotel. Consequently, both don’t suffer from the “tourist syndrome,” of extraordinary traffic congestion, tacky tourist traps and noise. Taken together, the two small cities, (a total of 3.4 square miles), provide all the amenities of small town America with excellent shopping; several fine restaurants; in-town medical facilities; an historic waterfront village and quick, easy access to all the amenities of St. Petersburg and the Gulf beaches.
Aside from a couple of good, small, bed and breakfast businesses in Gulfport, chances are visitors will be staying with friends, renting homes or condos or staying at one of the many hotels at the nearby beaches. Gulfport’s historic waterfront area offers the two bed and breakfasts and some short-term rental units.
There is no shortage of things to do in the Gulfport-Pasadena Area. Immediately to the West of So. Pasadena, just across the Corey Causeway, (actually a drawbridge), lies the City of St. Pete Beach, home to several excellent public beaches and marinas along with all the usual trappings of a substantial tourist town, including some of the negative attributes mentioned above. Restaurants, nightclubs and other entertainments are all along the beaches in profusion.
In Gulfport there are 15 privately owned and operated restaurants that cater to a primarily local clientele. Most are located within the city’s historic district where popular “Art Walks,” are presented on the first Friday and third Saturday of every month. Several other festivals are run throughout the year including the famous “Geckofest,” “Springfest,” “Bluesfest,” “Flamingo Tour of Homes” and the “Tuesday Morning Fresh Market.”
Both So. Pasadena and Gulfport sport large marinas. The Gulfport Marina is a municipal facility and the So. Pasadena marina is a private facility capable of doing major repairs. There is a high and dry storage building in Gulfport. There are two boat clubs in Gulfport that are probably inappropriately called Yacht Clubs due to their informality and relatively low costs.. In short, boaters will find the Gulfport-Pasadena area an ideal place to layover.
There is a second run/art film movie house just over the causeway in St. Pete Beach and Gulfport has a fine, small legitimate theater that provides several community productions per year. A professional theatre, (special arrangement with Actor’s Equity), is in St. Petersburg just North of the Gulfport border. The historic Gulfport Casino, (seating up to 750) provides a ballroom dancing venue and occasional entertainments.
The nearby City of St. Petersburg offers a wide range of restaurants, nightclubs and theatres, (about a 15 minute drive). It is the home to the Tampa Bay Rays at the Tropicana Field,(about a 10 minute drive).
We know of no cities without the trappings of a “tourist town” that provides more dining and entertainment opportunities within their borders and within a 15 minute drive.