Beachfront Hotel with Lively Seafood Restaurant and Bar
Situated along the Gulf of Mexico’s wide-open beaches, Treasure Island is known as "the sand-sculpture capital of Florida." The Bilmar Beach Resort has done its part to help the city earn that title by hosting an annual sand-castle competition every year. The resort was also the site of the world's largest sand castle in 1985. More recently, the hotel was selected as the location for sand sculptures of Abraham Lincoln and the White House, built by world-champion sand-castle builders Dan Doubleday and Meredith Corson. These impressive sand sculptures not only exemplify Bilmar Beach Resort’s playful attitude, but also provide an excuse to spend time on the hotel's beautiful beach.
As its name implies, the onsite Sloppy Joe's on the Beach features two-tier deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from which guests can watch a Florida sunset with margaritas in hand. Gulf Coast grouper and bread bowls of lobster bisque are served in heaping portions, and the staff also prepare a trio of fresh-catch options every night. Sloppy Joe's is also known for its lively party scene, a trait that can be traced back to the restaurant's original Key West location, which was one of Ernest Hemingway's favorite hometown watering holes. The newer outpost at the Bilmar Beach Resort honors this tradition with frozen cocktails, shooters, and live musical entertainment on the weekends. Nearby Bazzie's Beach Bar also hosts live Dixieland Jazz every Wednesday, karaoke on Friday nights, live weekend entertainment, and offers free breakfast for kids 12 and younger.
Guest rooms at the Bilmar Beach Resort evoke a laid-back vibe through white wood furnishings and tropical-colored decor. Inside the deluxe gulf-front studios, guests can whip up home-cooked meals in stocked kitchenettes, and soak in views from private balconies looking out onto the beach. The hotel's two outdoor pools are popular during the day, and you can always swim in the Gulf of Mexico or collect shells along miles of pristine shoreline.
Treasure Island, Florida: Beach Village with Three Miles of White Sand
Surrounded by the warm waters of the Gulf, Treasure Island has a 3-mile-long white-sand shoreline. A great way to explore the area is by taking the Suncoast Beach Trolley, which makes stops at many popular beaches as well as at Pier 60 in Clearwater, site of a nightly sunset celebration. Families may also want to make the trip to Busch Gardens, which is an hour's drive away.
Nearby Saint Petersburg has a charming downtown area featuring art-deco buildings and broad streets lined with palms. Along the waterfront, you'll find restaurants, nightspots, and museums. The town is also home to The Dali Museum, which displays the paintings, sculptures, and melted timepieces of surrealist master Salvador Dalí.
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