SHOP, DINE, STAY & PLAY BY THE BAY…
We’ve been called funky, eclectic, artsy, charming, progressive, welcoming, warm, and yes, even weird.
We are a small town, but we have a big heart. It’s easy to make yourself at home here. Visit us and we think you’ll agree.
All of the businesses in our waterfront village are independently owned and operated.
No chain stores here. No parking meters. Just small-town warmth and people as friendly and welcoming as they come. Our village offers the best of “Old Florida” charm. Picture old oaks draped in Spanish moss, brick-paved streets, small colorful cottages, and light shimmering on the Bay.
Beach and Shore Boulevards are at the heart of our historic downtown area, situated on scenic Boca Ciega Bay.
Unique, independent shops and boutiques offer the work of local artists as well as apparel, books, gifts, home décor, antiques, bath, body and wellness products and much more. Many choices are available to pamper yourself while you visit: spas, salons, skin care, massage therapy and more are available.
A concentration of more than a dozen restaurants in the village has made Gulfport a premier dining destination.
A wide variety of foods in all price ranges is represented within just a few blocks, from sandwiches and burgers to fine dining. Live entertainment is featured in several locations throughout the week.
Overnight accommodations in the village are also of the unique variety, offered by two independent venues with great attention to Gulfport-style hospitality.
Individually furnished rooms and suites are offered with their own identity, such as the Marrakech or Serengeti at the Peninsula Inn, and the Jamaica or Aruba at the Sea Breeze Manor. Some locals also offer cottages or guest apartments for rent on an independent basis.
There’s always something going on here.
Visit a selection of artists and crafters, from breathtaking to funky, on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month for our popular Art Walk. Beach Boulevard’s trees are lit up, shops and restaurants are open late, visitors and locals mingle on the street, and that “only-in-Gulfport” energy ebbs high.
Our Tuesday Fresh Market days happen each week throughout the year, offering fresh fruits and veggies, breads, cheese, seafood, honey, plants and more of the best of what local vendors have to offer.
It’s a chance to find food for your body and community spirit for your soul. Special events throughout the year offer a chance to celebrate and mingle: our Get Rescued event is an animal rescue street festival in our very dog-loving town; Spring Fest celebrates the change of seasons; the Pink Flamingo home tour unlocks surprises in a selection of local homes; the July 4th Celebration is a homespun event that surprises with its world-class fireworks display; and Gecko Fest is the grand-daddy of our festivals, luring thousands of visitors to Beach Blvd. to celebrate the end of summer in a fun-loving salute to our favorite lizard. (Remember the weird part?) Sprinkle liberally with smaller events: open mike night at the Art Village Courtyard, Swing dance night at the Casino, first Friday drum circles and more. Add your own energy to the mix.
Gulfport is a beach town.
Our beach, overlooking Boca Ciega Bay, features white sand and calm waters. Picnicking, volleyball, kid’s areas, bocce ball and more are favorite pastimes here.
Williams Pier is a favored fishing spot.
Our Clam Bayou Nature Park is a living/breathing estuary full of bird, marine and plant life, and is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Visit Clam Bayou by canoe or kayak, or stroll along walking paths and overlooks. The simple fun of a stroll through Gulfport’s brick-paved streets is one of the best ways to enjoy the local color of cottages, gardens and people. Our historic Casino, on the waterfront, offers events and dancing most every night of the week, and is available for your event. Catherine Hickman Theater hosts popular local and touring productions of plays, musical performances and more.
Gulfport is conveniently located to many other destinations in the area.
Gulf Beaches and downtown St. Petersburg are minutes away. You can travel to Tampa, Ybor City and Busch Gardens in a half-hour, and a drive to or from Orlando is about two hours.
The Gulfport Merchants Association proudly represents local businesses, non-profits and other groups in the Waterfront District.
We meet on the second Tuesday of each month at locations throughout town. If you are a business owner or think you might like to open for business in Gulfport, let us know. We will be here to support you.
Come here tired and get revived.
Come here scorned and be accepted.
Come here misunderstood and find others like you.
Come here rushed and get laid-back.
Come here alone and make friends.
Come here happy and stay here happy.