Dancing and Nightlife in St. Pete/Clearwater

Story highlights:
  • Pulsating sound at the Wave in Clearwater Beach
  • Gulfport Casino's swing lessons and dancing
  • Dancing at downtown hot spots
Links within article correspond to map points.
St. Petersburg Clearwater dance club
Hit the dance floor and show off your best moves.

Beach trips and nightlife go hand in hand. When you spend your day catching waves and basking in the sun, you want to spend your nights showing off that tan and your best moves on the floor. There are plenty of places in the St. Pete/Clearwater area to dance, dance, dance. Here's just a sampling.

Nightclubs & Beach Bars

Downtown St. Petersburg is nightclub central. The best approach is to simply get out and explore. Push Ultra Lounge provides an excellent starting point with an upscale setting, indoor dance floor and rooftop deck overlooking the city. Vintage Ultra Lounge, also located in the heart of downtown, is a full-service bar and club, known for its ritzy VIP amenities and first-class service.

In Treasure Island at John's Pass, Gator's Cafe & Saloon, touted as the “World’s Largest Waterfront Bar,” is a restaurant and sports bar that features a DJ and dancing when the sun goes down. With several waterfront and open-air bars to enjoy, it’s perfect for a night out, Florida-style.

Another spot for laid-back, beachside fun is Caddy's on the Beach. Located south of Treasure Island on Sunset Beach, Caddy’s brings the good times with a party-like atmosphere, bands playing covers of your favorite beach tunes and plenty of unique characters to get to know.

On South Gulfview Boulevard in Clearwater Beach, the Wave at Shephard's Resort is a two-level nightclub with state-of-the-art lighting, pulsating sounds and a suntanned, energetic crowd. Shephard’s also has an outdoor tiki bar that boasts a big dance floor right near the water. This is a great spot to take advantage of all the action Clearwater Beach offers; after all, it was voted the "Best Beach Town in Florida" by USA Today readers in 2013.

Live Music Hot Spots

Catch live music and bayside breezes at Jannus Live, an open-air concert venue in downtown St. Petersburg, featuring a diverse line-up of local, up-and-coming and established artists. While you’re downtown, walk along Central Avenue to find many venues, including The Garden Restaurant, an intimate courtyard setting where you can listen to jazz and savor delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

Closer to the beach, Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, the largest of the four Frenchy's establishments on Clearwater Beach, opens right onto the Gulf of Mexico sand and often hosts live local bands. Also on the beach and (conveniently) across the parking lot from Frenchy's is the Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill and Bar. With live jams and the ocean breeze echoing in their ears, patrons often take a twirl around this relaxed beachfront venue.

For a more low-key experience, head to the Dunedin Brewery for a blend of craft beers and eclectic music. For the best of the locals, check out Open Jam on Wednesdays, while Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights boast a range of musicians from reggae and rock to funk and retro.

A Different Beat

Get into the “swing” of things every Wednesday night at the Historic Gulfport Casino in Gulfport. Located in the beautiful waterfront Grand Ballroom, known as one of the best dance floors anywhere, this is a high-energy social event. Take a dance lesson from 7-8 pm (no partner required), and then show off your new moves on the floor until midnight.

In downtown St. Petersburg, dance to a Latin beat at Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant, which features a basement Flamenco bar. Enjoy Spanish guitarists and Flamenco shows in this intimate yet lively setting.

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