Classic 'Old Florida' Attractions and Restaurants

Check out our list of some vintage Americana icons that shine with old Florida flavor.

A woman pushes a disc on a shuffleboard at the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club

In downtown St. Pete is the world's oldest shuffleboard club, founded in 1924. Experience fun events here like the St. Pete Shuffle Friday nights.

For more than a century, visitors have flocked to Sunken Gardens to gaze at exotic plants and pink flamingos. For decades, a vacation to Clearwater Beach hasn't been complete without a stop at Dairy Kurl, and the Gulfport Casino Ballroom has seen its fair share of dancing since opening its doors in 1934. For a tour of the area's classic attractions, don't miss these historic landmarks, old-school hangouts and slices of vintage Americana. 


Sunken Gardens, Downtown St. Pete

The sign outside of the Sunken Gardens

Botanical City Garden

The Sunken Gardens is a 4-acre botanical garden near downtown St. Pete that is more than 100 years old.

For more than a century, visitors have flocked to this sanctuary just outside downtown St. Pete. This 4-acre attraction features exotic plants, pink flamingos and more. City streets bustle just outside, but inside it's a tropical paradise. Don't forget to snap a pic of the iconic sign out front. 

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St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, downtown St. Pete

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This club has a revitalization story that makes local preservationists proud. Neglected for years, the world's oldest shuffleboard club was founded in 1924 and nurtured back to life a decade ago. The best time to visit is during the world-famous St. Pete shuffle 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday night.

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El Cap Restaurant

El Cap restaurant sign at night

Word of Mouth

Locals will tell you: Just a few minutes north of downtown St. Pete, El Cap is the place to get a burger.

This family-owned restaurant keeps folks coming back for more because the food is great, the beer is cheap and the ambience is friendly. Enjoy classic burgers, cold drinks and fried appetizers.

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Thunderbird Hotel, Treasure Island

The Thunderbird Beach Resort on Treasure Island

Iconic Landmark

The Thunderbird Beach Resort is an iconic landmark on Treasure Island.

The enormous sign has lit the Treasure Island skyline in vibrant neon since 1957. Though the amenities have been modernized, the hotel retains much of its mid-century appeal. Be sure to stop by the poolside tiki bar. 

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Candy Kitchen, Madeira Beach

A employee behind a counter at the Candy Kitchen on Madeira Beach

A World of Candy

Since 1937, Candy Kitchen on Madeira Beach has been making salt water taffy, creamy fudge and delicious hand-dipped chocolates the old-fashioned way.

Generations of locals and Madeira Beach visitors know a trip to "Mad Beach" always ends with a scoop of ice cream from this mom-and-pop shop, which is easily spotted by its red-and-white peppermint striped awnings. 

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Polynesian Putter, St. Pete Beach

Those exploring St. Pete Beach have enjoyed the kitschy charm of this 18-hole mini golf course since the late 1960s. It's  filled with madcap statues, making it completely photo-ready. 

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Angie's Restaurant, Clearwater

A server brings out food at Angie's Restaurant in Clearwater

Great Food, Great Service

Angie's Restaurant has been a Clearwater favorite since 1965.

Folks who are extra hungry head to this family-friendly restaurant in Clearwater. An enduring local favorite since 1965, Angie's home-cooked grub and low prices keep customers coming back for more. 

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Dairy Kurl, Clearwater

This sweet Clearwater landmark has been enticing folks on their way to and from Clearwater Beach for several decades. Nothing better than a delicious milkshake, malt or ice cream cone on a hot day. 

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Frenchy's Oasis Motel, Clearwater

Step back in time to another era at this Clearwater Beach motel that features a completely mid-century modern décor. 

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Express Cafe, Dunedin

Formerly known as the Orange Crate Café, Old World meets new in this adorable cafe set inside a boxcar. Perfectly positioned next to the Pinellas Trail in downtown Dunedin, people watching goes hand-in-hand with a sipping fancy coffee and nibbling a healthy wrap or salad.

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Sponge-O-Rama Vintage Museum, Tarpon Springs

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This quirky spot in Tarpon Springs is a slice of roadside America. Since 1968, the museum - using vintage dioramas - has educated visitors about the local Greek tradition of sponge diving. 

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The Chattaway, St. Pete

A turkey burger at the Chattaway in St. Pete

Food and more

In addition to a great food menu, enjoy afternoon tea at the Chattaway in St. Pete.

The Chattaway is a best kept secret of St. Pete with a fun outdoor oasis. This location offers a british flair to their pub fare, and one can even enjoy afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, scones and sweets.

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