16 Best Things to Do in Gulfport, FL

Best Things to Do in Gulfport, FL

Welcome to my humble hometown of Gulfport, Florida - a place with my heart and soul intertwined with every corner.

Nestled on the sparkling shores of Boca Ciega Bay, this charming city offers a rich tapestry of delightful experiences that have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Whether it's the serene sunsets painting the sky with hues of orange and pink or the quaint, artistic soul that thrives in our vibrant community, every facet of Gulfport holds a special place in my heart.

And now, it's time for me to share the magic of this quaint city with you!

Join me as I take you through the myriad of unique and captivating things to do in Gulfport, Florida - a treasure trove of experiences that have been my secret getaway, source of inspiration, and home.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Relax at the Gulfport Beach Recreation Area

The waters of Gulfport Beach Recreation Area
Del Harper / Shutterstock.com

There's a certain charm about the Gulfport Beach Recreation Area that pulls me back time and time again.

It's my sanctuary when I need to escape the daily grind, my little slice of heaven in Gulfport.

The Recreation Area has a stretch of beach with pristine white sand and is also a hub for recreational activities.

I've lost count of the times I've enjoyed a picnic lunch with friends at one of the many tables available, just soaking in the beach views and the warm Florida sunshine.

After our meals, we often compete at the sand volleyball courts, which are always well-maintained and ready for action.

When I need some alone time, I take to the exercise area for a quiet workout.

It's gorgeous in the early morning light, with the water as a calming backdrop.

The bench swings scattered around the park are also a favorite spot of mine for reading or simply unwinding at the end of a long day.

Adding to the Recreation Area's appeal is the proximity to Gulfport's charming array of shops and restaurants.

It's always a delight to head over to the local eateries after a day at the beach, with their variety of cuisines ready to satisfy my craving.

The Gulfport Beach Recreation Area is more than just a beach - it's a community, a lifestyle, and a place I'm proud to call my own.

It's one of Gulfport's greatest gems, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Unveil the Wonders of Beach House 5317

I've found that every day holds an adventure here in Gulfport.

And one of the best treasures around the corner is the Beach House 5317.

I swear, it's our secret oasis in the city's heart. For example, they hold the "Last Saturday Block Party."

I've always been a fan of these local gatherings.

The diversity of vendors who show up makes them even more special.

One of my favorites is "Artfully Yours," where they create original artwork in acrylic that's simply captivating.

The Beach House itself is a goldmine of unique finds.

From fantastic home décor items and great gift ideas to some incredible furniture pieces – it's impossible to leave empty-handed.

Part of what makes the Beach House 5317 so unique is the strong emphasis on locally made products.

You find special items such as locally made wood bowls carved from local trees, beach glass wind chimes, and stunning beachy resin art.

The handmade pottery pieces, sage and lavender bundles, and everything else you could imagine come from local artists in Gulfport, St Pete, and nearby.

Not to mention, the prices are reasonable for handmade items. And the location is perfect too.

Nestled in a string of excellent little shops, you can park in front and then meander along the street to a florist, antique shop, restaurant, and more.

So, whether you're looking for an immersive resin class experience or want to find something unique for your home, Beach House 5317 is worth visiting.

Visit the Domingo Studio

When I need some inspiration or creative rejuvenation, I make a beeline for The Domingo Studio.

Nestled here in our town, it's a hidden gem that always impresses.

There's always something new to look at, something that could be the perfect addition to my home decor or a thoughtful gift for a friend.

A visit to The Domingo Studio is always a highlight of my week.

It's not just about the art - it's about the community, the camaraderie, and the shared love for creativity.

Greet the Day at Clam Bayou Nature Park

Waters at Clam Bayou Nature Park
Calmuziclover, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's nothing like starting the day with a brisk walk at Clam Bayou Nature Park.

My routine usually begins on the picturesque boardwalks, the cool morning breeze blowing gently as I observe the soothing vistas of the water.

It's not uncommon to catch sight of people fishing, their lines quietly dipping into the tranquil waters.

One of the park's most exciting features is its diverse wildlife.

On multiple occasions, I've been lucky enough to spot brown and gray pelicans, their beady eyes scanning the water for their next meal.

And if you're fortunate, you might even catch a glimpse of the playful dolphins that occasionally appear.

The park isn't just a hotspot for wildlife, though. It's also a delightful venue for canine friends.

Just remember to keep your pet dogs leashed! In fact, as a dog owner, the park has become a regular spot for me and my four-legged companion.

And once you're done immersing yourself in nature's grandeur, take some time to wander through the neighboring area.

The local homes, each with a unique charm, add an extra dose of character to the vicinity.

While the park is generally safe, I'd advise looking for ground wasps in certain areas.

Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

If you're into water sports, the park also provides facilities to launch a kayak, which can be a thrilling experience.

Clam Bayou Nature Park is a sanctuary that brings nature, wildlife, and community together in a perfect blend.

Spend the Day at Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market

I love to stroll down to the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market every Tuesday.

It's always a fantastic event, meticulously coordinated and showcasing various vendors.

You can find everything from handmade crafts to fresh, locally sourced produce.

There's always an impressive variety of products available here.

You never know what hidden gems you might stumble upon, from a myriad of quirky trinkets to an assortment of food items.

Walking through the friendly town and mingling with the congenial vendors is a noteworthy part of the experience.

It's a celebration of community spirit, where locals and visitors intermingle and share a common love for all things local and homegrown.

I've been so inspired by the local produce that I've started growing organic mini-red peppers in my garden.

The visit to the market is not only a shopping spree but a chance to support important causes.

It was refreshing to see Greenpeace representatives advocating for the environment, educating everyone about the harm of plastics and their link to the poisonous red tide.

For me, it was a stark reminder that we all must speak up and play our part.

Hang Out at Gulfport Brewery + Eatery

I've been living in this town for a while, and I must say, Gulfport Brewery + Eatery is the place that keeps me coming back for more.

It's the kind of joint where you feel at home but better because someone else cooks — and boy, they cook well.

The food is always on point, with their flatbreads and pretzels to die for. Let's not forget the beer cheese, though.

And even if you aren't into alcohol, you should visit them just for that.

I've been there many times, and each visit leaves me wanting to return.

But what truly stands out for me is their super dog-friendly patio.

My puppy is always welcome, and they even have a unique dog bowl on the menu, which is a big deal for us pet parents.

The brewery is not only about beers, you see.

They even offer white claws, which is impressive for those who, like me, are on a low-carb diet.

I did try their IPA once, and it was indeed a delight.

One of their specialties, the 420 Nachos, is a must-try — and the creative presentation with a coffee can add another layer to the experience.

The place also has live music, which my partner loves.

Our favorite thing on weekends is enjoying great food, superb drinks, and soulful music.

We've made many memories at Gulfport Brewery + Eatery, and I bet we'll make many more.

I can't wait for our next visit and honestly can't recommend this place enough!

Enjoy a Night at Gulfport Casino Ballroom

Exterior of Gulfport Casino Ballroom
Ebyabe; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:29, 22 February 2022 (UTC), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Gulfport Casino Ballroom is a historic venue that hosts dances throughout the week and brings a charm that's hard to put into words.

You're transported to a different era as soon as you step onto that 5,000-square-foot dance floor.

I attended a swing lesson there, along with about 100 other people.

After the class, we had the floor to ourselves for open dancing. It was genuinely one of the best times I've had.

During the day, the area around the Casino Ballroom is just as captivating.

I often stroll along the streets, popping into quirky little shops and grabbing a bite at some genuinely fantastic eateries.

There's something about watching the sunset from the beach or the pier after a fulfilling day that fills you with a sense of contentment.

Or, if you prefer to wind down with a drink, the local restaurants and bars' patios also offer stunning views.

However, it's not just about the views.

I've had countless fascinating conversations and made incredible friends, each with unique stories about their time in Gulfport.

The Gulfport Casino Ballroom and its surrounding area offer a unique blend of historic charm, beautiful vistas, and a warm community you won't find anywhere else.

Enjoy Life at Gulfport Recreation Center

Tell me about my town's best-kept secret, Gulfport Recreation Center.

It's where my heart finds joy, my kids find adventure, and we all find solace in the rhythms of the sea.

The center is a sprawling complex with a fantastic fenced-in playground, a hip skate park, and seating that offers respite under the cool shade.

But what truly sets it apart is the opportunity to be one with nature.

Imagine sitting on one of the two docks, gazing over the water, and having the chance to spot dolphins and manatees.

It's as if you're living in your personal nature documentary. And for those who love angling, there are a few great spots to cast your line and enjoy fishing.

When hunger strikes, rest assured you won't have to venture far. You can satisfy your appetite in several places right across the street.

Explore the center's website to unearth a treasure trove of classes and activities for all age groups.

From exceptional after-school programs for students to basketball, games, and other fun activities, there's something for everyone.

Are you thinking of hosting your next private party? Gulfport Recreation Center is the perfect venue.

It offers an unforgettable view of the ocean and a relaxing space for your guests to unwind while the children enjoy the playground.

There's a lot more to discover at the Gulfport Recreation Center.

See a Show at Catherine A Hickman Theater

There's nothing like discovering a hidden gem in your town, like the Catherine A Hickman Theater.

That's precisely what I felt when I walked into the Theater for the first time.

The occasion was a jazz concert featuring Rob Zinn and Andrew Neu.

Not only were their performances top-notch, but the theater's small size made the experience even more intimate and engaging.

Even from the back row, I felt part of the action!

The theater was pristine, clean, and well-kept, making the experience all the more enjoyable.

They even serve alcohol, but bring cash if you want to grab a drink.

And there's no need to worry about finding a spot for your car, as the free parking is a huge plus.

One of the things that surprised me was the wide variety of shows they put up.

On a recent visit, I caught the Rock Cats show, and let me tell you, it was unlike anything I've ever seen!

I'm looking forward to the next event at the Catherine A Hickman Theater, a great place to spend an evening and has quickly become one of my favorite local attractions.

Go Fishing at the Bert and Walter Williams Pier

Arch of the Bert and Walter Williams Pier
amateur photography by michel, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Occasionally, I crave some quietude and seek refuge at one of my favorite spots; the Bert and Walter Williams Pier.

It's such a beautiful place to relax, and on most days, I absorb the stunning view of the sunset.

The open-air bars and grills come alive as the day wanes, serving some delightful bites.

It's always amusing to watch the mix of locals and vacationers, all drawn by the allure of the pier.

Moreover, the weekend live bands further liven up the atmosphere, although finding a parking spot can be challenging.

I've also had my fair share of fishing at the pier on calmer days.

Sure, we only catch small fish sometimes, but the sheer joy of the experience is beyond compare.

The rough waters can make fishing a bit of a struggle, but it's the perfect place to cast a line on a good day.

Finally, the Bert and Walter Williams Pier is about shared experiences, the raw beauty of the place, and the tranquil moments amidst the bustle of life.

Enjoy a Night at The Village Courtyard

The Village Courtyard draws me to the soothing sounds of jazz music drifting from the Northend Taphouse.

The melodies mingle with the sizzle of good food, creating an atmosphere that makes any midweek blues evaporate.

Moreover, the courtyard is an oasis of calm where I love to relax.

Yet, the Village Courtyard is more than just a music venue.

It's a haven for food lovers with a menu that tantalizes my taste buds, and the selection of craft beer is nothing short of excellent.

The vibe here is contagious; it's as if one is stepping into a world away from the mundane, steeped in flavors, aromas, and sounds.

Finally, the Village Courtyard remains a comforting constant, a place to lose yourself in music, food, and camaraderie.

Take an Artistic Stroll Through Gulfport Art Walk

Every first Friday and third Saturday of the month, I make a point to wander down to the Gulfport Art Walk.

It's a quaint, small town with artist shops, eateries, and the friendliest people you've ever met.

The atmosphere is intimate, almost like you're stepping into a different world where art and creativity reign supreme.

The variety is impressive, from beautiful artisan works that span all price ranges to unique craft stalls.

Glass artists, jewelry makers, specialty candles, and woodworkers line the streets, showcasing their crafts that are all painstakingly handcrafted.

The air is often filled with the soothing scent of essential oils, making the experience all the more magical.

What makes the Gulfport Art Walk so unique to me is its vibrant and hipster vibe.

There's live music around every corner, turning the whole town into a lively concert.

It's not unusual to see fellow residents dancing in the streets or artists painting to the rhythm.

Every stroll through the Gulfport Art Walk is a unique experience, a celebration of local art and culture, and a reminder of the beauty of our small town.

Spend the Day at the Wood Ibis Park

Water fountain at Wood Ibis Park
Del Harper / Shutterstock.com

I'd be lying if I said Wood Ibis Park isn't one of my cherished spots in town.

There's something truly mesmerizing about spending your day under the cool shade of the trees, watching the Wood Ibis in their natural habitat.

You can observe these majestic birds as they bask around the fountains, and if you're lucky, you might even spot a few butterflies fluttering amidst the flowers.

I often find myself taking leisure walks around the quaint little loop.

Nestled off the more trodden paths of Gulfport, this park has an aura that makes you forget about the hustle and bustle of daily life.

It's a common sight to spot fellow residents strolling along with their dogs, with the park being a popular spot for the furry companions of the town.

One of the best things about Wood Ibis Park is the abundance of wildlife.

Benches and swings are sprinkled across the park, offering great spots to sit back, relax and enjoy the serene surroundings.

You can spend hours here without realizing how time flies by, captivated by the symphony of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, and the gentle whisper of the wind.

Whether you're a bird lover, a nature enthusiast, or merely looking for a tranquil place to spend your day, Wood Ibis Park is the place to be.

Eat Your Fill at Neptune Grill

Now and then, life calls for some good food, live music, and a tranquil water view.

Fortunately, I have the perfect place in my city - the Neptune Grill in lovely St. Petersburgh, Florida.

The menu at Neptune Grill offers an array of Greek and seafood dishes.

I remember once stopping by for lunch with my family. What a splendid meal we had!

I savored the crab cakes while my family enjoyed the fried shrimp and grouper bites.

Likewise, no visit is complete without their smoked fish dip. It's simply divine!

On another occasion, I had their Grilled Octopus. It was cooked just right, tender, and flavorful.

Accompanied by their satisfying portion of fried calamari and fish tacos spiced up with light chipotle mayo, it was indeed a feast.

And let's not forget their selection of beers and cocktails, enough to quench any thirst.

Neptune Grill isn't only about great food. It's also about the ambiance. The live band adds charm to the place, creating an atmosphere of laid-back fun.

The best part? Their outdoor seating options!

You can choose to sit by the street side or enjoy the striking view of the beautiful Floridian waters from the outdoor bar.

Moreover, as a Greek Seafood restaurant, they always give you a taste of authentic Greek cuisine.

Take their Greek Chicken Souvlaki and Greek salad, for instance.

Grilled to perfection, not dry at all, accompanied by a salad with a nice slab of feta and a good variety of veggies.

So, if you're ever around St. Petersburg, FL, drop by Neptune Grill.

Take a Breath at Historic Peninsula Inn

For the past 18 years, I've been residing in this quaint part of the town, and my go-to place for weekend drinks has always been the Historic Peninsula Inn.

I've always enjoyed the colonial-style rooms, suites, polished restaurant, and bar.

Let's not forget the shaded deck where I've spent countless mornings enjoying their complimentary breakfast.

The porch and patio, along with the inside bar, are picture-perfect.

However, the one thing that has been gnawing at me is the steep price of their martinis.

The last time I had two small Tito martinis, the bill totaled $34! This isn't Miami, and the drink prices should reflect the location.

Despite that, the Peninsula Inn has transformed into an even better version of itself, and I can see myself continuing to be a regular - albeit maybe without the martinis.

Discover Gulfport History Museum

Exterior of the Gulfport History Museum
Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I was feeling adventurous one afternoon and decided to explore my hometown more.

My curiosity led me to the Gulfport History Museum, a gem of historical richness in our quaint town.

To my surprise, although I've been living here for years, I learned quite a few things about Gulfport that I didn't know before.

The museum offers a nostalgic journey to Gulfport's past, elegantly captured through a collection of old photographs and memorabilia.

The atmosphere is inviting with its light, open, and airy space, creating a sense of tranquility and reflection.

Each exhibit is meticulously organized and presented, making it easier for visitors to grasp the essence of each historical period.

Whether you're a long-time resident or a newcomer, it never hurts to discover more about the town's heritage—it's a fulfilling way to spend a leisurely afternoon.

So why not stop by, wander around, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Gulfport's history?

Final Thoughts

Visiting these places, I am constantly reminded of why I love Gulfport.

These are the treasures of Gulfport, and I am fortunate to experience them every day.

What are you waiting for? Visit Gulfport, Florida, today!

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