St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach is a coastal city, famous for its status as a tourist destination.
It sits on a barrier island called Long Key, and is a separate city from St. Petersburg.
- Around 1900, St. Petersburg experienced a land boom that brought the first weekend tourist to the beaches. Because there were no bridges at this time, travelers had to rely on (mostly unreliable) ferry service.
- In 1919 the first bridge was built from the mainland to Long Key. It was a wooden bridge, had a one-way toll of 25 cents, and closed nightly at 9:00 PM.
- The Cory Ave. Bridge opened in 1923. It and the growth of the “Historic Corey Ave. District” which saw it’s first store open in 1937.
St. Pete Beach is loaded with things for travelers to do, including resorts, restaurants — and always the magical sunset at dusk.
The historic Don Cesar Hotel is located in Pass-a-Grille – a section or neighborhood of St. Pete Beach. The Don CeSar Hotel opened in 1928 with a gala grand opening party.
- The hotel was purchased by the government in the 40’s and was used as a hospital and rehab clinic during World War ll.
- Scheduled for demolition in the late 60’s the historic hotel was saved from the wrecking ball and renovated in the 70’s
- The hotel is sometimes called the “Pink Palace”, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Pass-a-Grille section of St. Pete Beach was named for the grilling activities of fisherman. It seesms that the fisherman would build camp fires on the beach, to grill the day’s catch. Pass-a-Grille’s first store opened in 1902 and by 1905 there were enough residents to warrant a Post Office.
More information: http://www.stpete.org/surprising/surprising.php