This article is part of a series of pieces called “Detours” designed to send you just a little off the beaten path from the beaches and attractions of St. Pete/Clearwater, to discover other, lesser-known local favorites like family-run stores, unique galleries, and tantalizing restaurants. Read on and take a Detour into authentic St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida!
Blink and you’ll miss the sign—it’s only about the size of a serving tray.
You don’t need signage, though, to realize you’ve left the grid of subdivisions and tract homes and entered another world, one that mixes old Florida with a wealthier Florida, where live oaks outnumber palm trees, and a favored mode of transportation is the golf cart.
Enter a Different Zone in Ozona
Ozona—located on the Gulf coast between Dunedin and Palm Harbor (and 10 miles from Clearwater Beach)—is the kind of place that all but forces you to take a deep, cleansing breath, to let your muscles loosen.
“The sense of peace you get in Ozona is probably the first thing that comes to mind,” says eight-year resident George Yost, who lives with his wife Wendy Armel in a custom-built modern home surrounded by natural bamboo. “It has a Mayberry feel, like going back 50 years, but at the same time it’s very diverse.”
The shoreline is dotted with wharfs and docks and small marinas. And the village’s mostly narrow residential streets feature a delightful hodgepodge of housing, from mobile homes to mansions along Harbor Drive, and an abundance of charming bungalows.
Quaint Places to Eat and Treat Yourself in Ozona
And then there’s the quaint commercial district along Orange Avenue. It features quirky restaurant-bars like Molly Goodhead’s and The Ozona Pig, as well as Antiques and Uniques and The Conscious Connection, where you can go for a dose of enlightenment (or maybe just an ayurvedic massage).
At Pop Stansell Park, there’s a launch for non-motored boats, playing fields and a covered roller hockey rink. The village loves its green space, be it tree-lined neighborhoods, moss-draped alleyways, large expanses of grass, or specialty shops shaded by giant oaks.
Take a Detour to Ozona!
Ozona, a long-ago fishing hamlet and health retreat, has over the decades nurtured its status as one of the most unique communities in Florida. Take a detour off the usual path and see all the reasons why locals love Ozona!