St. Pete-Clearwater, A Hidden Gem For Music Lovers

The beaches of St. Pete-Clearwater are among the top in the nation. In fact, the legendary Clearwater Beach was recently named “Best Beach in the South” by USA Today. And beyond those beautiful beaches is a community that loves the performing arts—especially music. Waterfront music venues, top performers and a concert schedule that’s packed with shows throughout the year make St. Pete-Clearwater a hidden gem for music lovers. 

Always In Tune

These communities boast a thriving music scene all year long. No matter when you visit, there is something special to see and hear, thanks to The Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience. The non-profit organization touts three venues that host over 300 concerts each year. Bobby Rossi, Executive Vice President and Chief Programming Officer, explains that what you’ll find in this community is unlike any other, “This beautiful area of the Gulf Coast is different compared to other parts of Florida. It’s a year-round community, unlike some other parts of Florida that are seasonal.” The residents drive the burgeoning music culture and Rossi says that makes all the difference. “It’s a vibrant community with the arts, obviously the water plays a big part, the weather and, of course, the music scene. So, if that’s your jam, this is really a desirable place to live and visit.”

A New Sound

The newest and most exciting venue is The BayCare Sound. This state-of-the-art outdoor music venue located in downtown Clearwater offers guests 4,000 covered seats along the waterfront. The perfect combination of water, weather and music enables Rossi to attract and host world-class artists like Diana Ross, Melissa Ethridge, Jewel, Barenaked Ladies and The Avett Brothers. “We keep bringing these A-list artists in from all over the country,” says Rossi. It’s not just amazing outdoor concerts that make this a special place. Classical music lovers will delight in the acclaimed performances of the St. Petersburg Opera Company and the Florida Orchestra

Perfect Harmony

All this music is surrounded by the beautiful sugar-white sand beaches and tranquil waters of Clearwater. There are not too many places where you can arrive at a concert by boat. Multiple ferries can take you from Clearwater Beach to The BayCare Sound. You can step outside your hotel and step onto a boat that will deliver you to the amphitheater. Beyond outdoor entertainment, this coastal community offers a bevy of outdoor activities. Kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkeling are great ways to explore the water. Or charter a boat for fishing, diving or even a sunset cruise. 

And if you’d like to learn more about some of the local underwater residents, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a haven for sea turtles, dolphins and other rescued marine animals. Explore the local environment on covered boat tours where you can learn about the wild dolphin population or see the grass beds and sand flats of Clearwater Bay. There’s plenty to see on land as well. The Pinellas Trail Loop, once fully complete, will be a 75-mile continuous pathway connecting numerous captivating cities in the region including Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. Bike, skate, walk or scooter parts of the trail or make your way through the entire loop. Charming shops and eateries along the way make great stops and give visitors a chance to enjoy all the local, natural beauty surrounding them. 

This coastal community offers award-winning beaches and extraordinary musical experiences within steps of each other. As Rossi explains, many visitors come for the concert and find so much more to see and do, or they come for the beach and are delighted by the robust music scene. “It’s not just the beach or the event or the culture—it’s all of it combined.” These hidden gems sprinkled throughout St. Pete-Clearwater offer the types of experiences that create lasting memories and the desire to return time and again. 

Come to St.Pete-Clearwater where you can soak up the sounds of the Gulf waves and a performance from your favorite artist. Let’s shine—plan your stay at

This article has been supplied by Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, a paid advertiser. The editorial staff of Chicago magazine had no role in this post’s preparation.