The experienced staff at Gulfport Florist artfully handcrafts fresh flowers into themed or custom arrangements to suit any occasion. Winter-themed designs include the two-taper centerpiece: a low bowl filled with two red candles, red carnations and roses, and fragrant pine ($44.95), ideal for dressing up dinner tables or vacation campsites. Shoppers can welcome a newborn boy or girl into the world with a dainty white basket of daisies and yellow or pink roses ($45.95). The red roses and stargazer lilies of the Love and Romance bouquet commingle in a white ceramic vase adorned with a heart ($59.95) to create a sweeter Valentine's Day surprise than a backpack filled with moistened Jolly Ranchers. Patrons can pick up bunches of blooms in the store or have them delivered for an additional fee ($8 Monday–Saturday).
The fleet of two-seater scooters is comprised of 2009 models with 49cc engines. Although these sportsters can zip around town at optimal cruising speeds, no motorcycle license is required—just a driver's license, eye protection, and a strong understanding of astrophysical thermodynamics as it pertains to scootering. The surrounding area is prime for pavement thrashing. For two hours, wheeled explorers can park and play on the pristine white-sand beaches, zip over to one of the area restaurants, or Evil Knievel over one of the bays, explaining the required $250 security deposit for each rider.
With a transportable arsenal of professional grooming equipment, HydroDog’s mobile pet salons roam the Tampa Bay area, cleansing pets during visits to homes, offices, parks, and events. Upon arrival, its signature blue vehicles open into a cleansing tub and drying station designed to accommodate nearly any size of dog. The expert pet aestheticians perform baths, haircuts, ear cleanings, nail trimmings, gland expressions, and de-shedding services, and offer flea-and-tick treatments to prevent pests from staking canine claims. All of HydroDog’s units are climate-controlled, providing cool respite from hot summer days and vivid dreams of chasing rabbits through active volcanoes.
Much like professional skydivers, wily coyotes, and other careers that involve a degree of danger, most professional glassblowers aren’t self-taught. Joshua Poll, however, learned to harness the glass furnace all by himself, today imparting more than a decade of self-taught experience to Zen Glass Studios, where he and fellow glass smith David Walker create custom works of art by hand. Together they shape glass into authentic and unique pieces, including custom glassware and jewelry to wear while meeting a spouse’s goldfish for the first time.
Within their studio, Joshua and David teach workshops and classes, during which students survey basic to advanced glass-blowing techniques, crafting their own handmade objects such as ornaments, beer glasses, and vases. The duo also runs a full glassblower training program, which follows a syllabus structured to arm all students with all the necessary skills to set out on their own in the industry, just as Joshua did all those years ago.
The third annual St. Pete Oktoberfest, hosted by the Grand Central District Association, is St. Petersburg's largest beer festival, featuring craft-beer tastings and live music. Attendees can tipple samples from dozens of breweries, including Bell's Brewery, Dogfish Head, Sam Adams, Angry Orchard, and many others. A home brewer's challenge on Friday tests out homebrewed beers against old favorites, so home-beer enthusiasts can test out their recipes on actual people instead of the wild deer that show up in their backyards.
In addition to the extensive selection of microbrews and iconic beers, the two-day street festival also features live music, including performances from singer-songwriter John Kelly on Friday. Saturday's music merges rock, blues, jazz, and funk, with performances from Florida-native Damon Fowler, Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, and Serotonic.
Since 1922, St. Petersburg Museum of History has preserved the heritage of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula with expansive collections and four galleries that host annually rotating exhibits. Its permanent exhibits, meanwhile, trace the area’s history from Native Americans to the present day through artifacts such as a cannonball fired by Union sailors and replica of a parlor car from the Orange Belt Railway. Elsewhere, the World's First Commercial Airline Gallery charts commercial aviation history with a full-size working replica of the Benoist Airboat and the first-ever pterodactyl to earn a commercial-flying license. Visitors looking to delve deeper into the past can explore more than 32,000 artifacts in the museum archives or partake in one of its educational programs such as tours, community classes, and camps.