Shopping on the Main Streets of St. Pete/Clearwater

By Chelle Koster Walton

Head out for a cool shopping adventure with this list of traditional and off-the-beaten-track shops.

Six St. Petersburg/Clearwater communities, six main drags, a hundred uncommon opportunities to reward your inner shopaholic. Main Street? Yes. Mainstream? No way! 

In downtown St. Petersburg, you can just as easily land on a beaded Vera Wang gown as a book on metaphysics. In Safety Harbor, you can buy a striking art glass vase or a peek into your future. Fill up on natural sponges and baklava in Tarpon Springs. Antiques and tartans are standard stock in the Scottish-pedigree town of Dunedin. Gulfport’s quirky Beach Boulevard retailers sell art from kitsch to fine, while the merchandise in Pass-a-Grille ranges from beachwear to Evander Preston’s famed eclectic art and jewelry. 

St. Petersburg

Meander up Central and First Avenues and discover vintage vinyl, hand-made soaps, exotic home furnishings and designer consignment shops. The historic Crislip Arcade, a renovated 1926 shopping arcade located on the 600 block of Central Avenue, is an open-air, covered hallway with a string of small retails shops on either side. Now housing eight art galleries, the arcade features Cuban floor tiles, tall ceilings decked with iron chandeliers and a huge iron gate among other architectural elements. 

On St. Pete Beach’s main street, historic Corey Avenue, you'll sense a retro vibe, for sure. Tour the eclectic assortment of independent stores, which offer everything from beads and Christmas ornaments to top-notch cigars and custom jewelry. 

  • Quirkiest Shop: Buttons, Bangles & Beads on Corey Avenue
  • Best Buy: A bright painted side table from White Owl Market in the Crislip Arcade

Safety Harbor

Safety Harbor’s health-conscious and artistic aura glows along Main Street, which dead-ends at a body of water named – what else? – Safety Harbor.  

  • Quirkiest shop: Jars of herbs line the shelves of Bailey's Naturals Herbal Apothecary, a block off Main.
  • Best buy: You won’t be able to turn away from the enchanting menagerie of rainbow-hued, art-glass lava bowls at Syd Entel Gallery/Susan Benjamin Glass, Etc.
  • Bargains and splurges: Splurge on the Caviar & Champagne Spa Package at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa – a caviar cream facial and “pedi kur” washed down with a glass of champagne. Or indulge your curiosity with a psychic reading downtown.
  • Refuel: Head over to Green Springs Bistro, just off Main, for creative Gulf Coast/Greek fusion fare in a cozy cottage setting.

 

Tarpon Springs

Named for a chain of Greek isles, Dodecanese Boulevard whisks visitors away to the Aegean.  

  • Quirkiest shop: Besides buying sponges at Spongeorama, you can watch a free vintage film and tour exhibits on the town’s heritage.
  • Best buy: It's all about the sponges here and you won't find a better deal on these natural and versatile sponges than in Tarpon Springs.
  • Bargains and splurges: Both a bargain and a splurge – try baklava at any of the string of bakeries along Dodecanese.
  • Refuel: You can’t get a bad Greek meal in Tarpon Springs. Dimitri's on the Water, however, has the best view of the Anclote River and its boat traffic.

 

Dunedin

Its hometown downtown lies along Main Street and intersects with the Pinellas Trail. Antiques and Celtic wares honor its history and Scottish heritage. 

  • Quirkiest shop: Need to rent a kilt? The Celtic Shop of Dunedin has them for all occasions, along with district tartans, tams, coats of arms and even teeny kilts for dressing up beer cans.
  • Best buy: Decorate with garden and wall art made by a local artist from recycled aluminum and glass at Clay and Paper Gallery of Art.
  • Bargains and splurges: From affordable trinkets to vintage décor, the antique shops of downtown Dunedin offer friendly faces and a range of merchandise to be discovered.
  • Refuel: Mexican cuisine is fresh, authentic and healthy at Casa Tina Mexican Grill.

Gulfport

Host of first Friday and third Saturday art walks, Beach Boulevard reaches the waterfront, here lively restaurants overlook the bay. 

  • Quirkiest shop: Anything that doesn’t move gets hand-painted at The Outpost.
  • Best buy: Try out your skills at Argentinean, swing, salsa or ballroom dancing with free lessons at the Historic Waterfront Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

Pass-a-Grille Beach

Eighth Avenue may be short – stretching a couple of blocks from beach to bay – but it’s packed with shopping stops tucked into historic digs. 

  • Quirkiest shop: Bamboozle’s name is quirky enough, and then you see the shell mosaic mermaid that greets you at the door. Give yourself plenty of time to shop its hip clothes, accessories and art.
  • Best buy: On what other main street in the world can you buy passage to an un-bridged, uninhabited island? Board the Shell Key Shuttle at Merry Pier.
  • Bargains and splurges: It’s all about art! At Evander Preston, splurge on the extravagant art jewelry that celebs have dropped up to five figures to wear. Or find local artwork in the two- to three-figure range at the utterly charming A Little Room for Art.
  • Refuel: Just off Eighth, facing the beach, the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant serves up seafood and spectacular views in a sprawling, two-level building modeled after a Victorian home.
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Downtown St. Petersburg

City: St. Petersburg

Address
Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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Downtown Safety Harbor

City: Safety Harbor

Address
Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL 34695

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Crislip Arcade

City: St. Petersburg

Address
645 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone: 727-487-1947

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Corey Avenue

City: St. Pete Beach

Address
350 Corey Ave.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

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Buttons Bangles and Beads

City: St. Pete Beach

Address
425 Corey Ave.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

Phone: 727-363-4332

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Bailey's Naturals Herbal Apothecary

City: Safety Harbor

Address
470 2nd. St. N.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695

Phone: 727-725-1617

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Syd Entel Galleries/Susan Benjamin Glass, Etc.

City: Safety Harbor

Address
247 Main St.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695

Phone: 727-725-1808

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Green Springs Bistro

City: Safety Harbor

Address
156 4th Ave. N.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695-3629

Phone: 727-669-6762

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Spongeorama's Sponge Factory

City: Tarpon Springs

Address
510 Dodecanese Blvd.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Phone: 727-943-2164

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Dimitri's On The Water

City: Tarpon Springs

Address
698 Dodecanese Blvd.
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Phone: 727-945-9400

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Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

City: Largo

Address
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774

Phone: 727-582-2100

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Celtic Shop of Dunedin

City: Dunedin

Address
354 Main St
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone: 727-733-2200

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Clay and Paper Gallery of Art

City: Dunedin

Address
362 Main St.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone: 727-736-0934

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Casa Tina Mexican Grill

City: Dunedin

Address
365 Main St.
Dunedin, FL 34698-5700

Phone: 727-734-9226

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Historic Waterfront Gulfport Casino Ballroom

City: Gulfport

Address
5500 Shore Blvd. S.
Gulfport, FL 33707

Phone: 727-893-1070

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Eighth Avenue Historic District

City: Pass-A-Grille Beach

Address
1000 Pass-A-Grille Way
Pass-A-Grille Beach, FL 33706

Phone: 727-363-9247

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Bamboozle

City: St. Pete Beach

Address
105 8th Ave.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

Phone: 727-360-1166

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Shell Key Shuttle

City: St. Pete Beach

Address
801 Pass-a-Grille Way
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

Phone: 727-360-1348

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Merry Pier

City: Pass-a-Grille

Address
801 Pass-a-Grille Way
Pass-a-Grille, FL 33706

Phone: 727-360-1400

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Evander Preston

City: Pass-a-Grille

Address
106 8th Ave.
Pass-a-Grille, FL 33706

Phone: 727-367-7894

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A Little Room for Art

City: Pass-A-Grille Beach

Address
111 8th Ave.
Pass-A-Grille Beach, FL 33706

Phone: 727-360-8572

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The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

City: St Pete Beach

Address
809 Gulf Way
St Pete Beach, FL 33706-4218

Phone: 727-360-9558

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