By Marcia Biggs
Nothing beats a spectacular view to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day. For those in search of the perfect happy hour complemented by a stellar sunset, plan to end your day at one of these popular rooftop bars!
THE CANOPY, ST. PETERSBURG
Visitors to downtown St. Petersburg should put The Canopy at the Birchwood Hotel on top of their list for sunset views, great food and a vibrant social scene. This boutique hotel on upscale Beach Drive is ideally situated on a trolley stop and within walking distance of many downtown bars and restaurants. Ride the elevator to the top floor, where the rooftop lounge offers a sweeping view of Tampa Bay, the waterfront and downtown high-rises. Sip on a Birchwood Old Fashioned and mingle at the bar, or relax on comfy couches as twilight turns the sky to pastel pink. Happy hour is 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday with $3 drink specials; a full menu is available. thebirchwood.com
SAND BAR, OPAL SANDS RESORT, CLEARWATER BEACH
Settle in at the beachfront tiki bar, the Sand Bar at Opal Sands Resort on the south end of Clearwater Beach and let the Caribbean vibe surround you. The Sand Bar is uniquely situated on the water’s edge just above a rocky outcrop for a bird’s-eye view of the turquoise Gulf of Mexico and the wide, sandy beach to the north. The flip-flop crowd is welcome to hang at the shady bar, relax in a rocking chair or grab a bite at a table on the sand floor. The menu features lighter, casual fare with appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, seafood and a full menu of tropical cocktails and craft beers. Happy hour lasts all day and there’s live music on the weekends. opalsands.com/sandbar
THE HURRICANE, PASS-A-GRILLE BEACH
For more than 30 years, the Hurricane Restaurant in Pass-a-Grille has attracted both locals and visitors who come to the rooftop twin bars in search of the famous “green flash” as the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico. Downstairs, casual indoor/outdoor dining offers one of the best grouper sandwiches around, but the real attraction is on the third floor where a nightly crowd gathers to toast the world-class sunsets (no food service). Stroll the beach, complete with balmy breezes and soaring shorebirds, for a romantic walk at dusk. thehurricane.com
Grab a glass and book your St. Pete / Clearwater getaway today at www.allegiant.com!