St. Petersburg, Florida & 5 Flat Paved Bike Paths Bicycle Tour 2020

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  or 706-363-0341
 
Celebrating 12 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
2020
 
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  • Join us for a beautiful bicycle vacation in Florida. We start our week in St. Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Florida, with a small town look and feel with the large city in the distant background.
  • Each day we ride a different, unique and beautiful paved bike path including: the Van Fleet State & Auburndale TECO Trails; the Suncoast Trail; the Withlacoochee State Trail and the Pinellas Trail.
  • We ride each path only one way, no doubling back or repeating on the path, so we get to see the most that each path has to offer.
  • Unpack only one time! We stay at the same hotel for the entire bicycle tour.
  • Florida holds the title for the most days in a row of sunshine - 768 days!
  • The State of Florida puts in $25 million per year into the state's bike paths. You will love them!
  • May is the perfect time to visit Florida with the "snowbirds" already having headed back north and schools still in session, the bike paths are great for riding.
  • Not only will we see the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, but also have to see beautiful farmland, wide open fields, palm trees and swamp lands all from your bicycle!
Day 1, Saturday - May 16, 2020
 
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St. Petersburg, Florida is where we start. St. Petersburg continues to feel and look like a small town, surrounded by a big city in the distance with palm trees, beaches, pelicans, dolphins, sunshine and sailboats. The city has emerged as one of the top destinations for the arts, including the unique Dali Museum and the amazing Chihuly Collection glass exhibition at the Morean Arts Center, as well as five other museums. Of course, the downtown is situated overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay with city parks situated all along the water's edge with unobstructed ocean views.
 
Most importantly, we are staying in the tourist epicenter of St. Petersburg at the Hampton Inn downtown. While we are there, notice your beautiful surroundings and all must see areas that are in within walking and biking distance from the hotel. You will have time to relax, explore and begin taking in your fun bike vacation. Vacation Bicycling welcome dinner and get together scheduled for 5:00pm.
 
Dinner:
 
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Bella Brava
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
Salad choice:
  • Caesar salad
  • Misticanza salad - romaine, housemade croutons, shaved parmesan
Entrée Choices:
  • Spaghetti & Meatballs - pomodoro sauce, ricotta salata
  • Short Rib Ragu - fresh cavatelli, wild mushroom, pecorino, extra virgin olive oil
  • Ravioli Genovese (Vegetarian) - goat cheese, spinach and toasted pine nuts, basil pesto cream, oven-dried tomatoes
  • Wood-Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak - grilled broccolini, salsa verde, mascarpone mashed potatoes
  • Wood-Fired Pizza - Margherita, Roasted Mushroom, House-Made Sauasage and Roasted peppers, Smoked Eggplant, Hot Sicilian or Squash Blossom.
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Downtown (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
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Day 2, Sunday - May 17, 2020
 
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Van Fleet State Trail & Auburndale TECO Trails
 
We start our bicycling adventure on one of the straightest trails in Florida, so no need to look at directions, just get on your bicycle and start riding. The Van Fleet State and Auburndale TECO Trails connect Lake Myrtle in Auburndale with Polk City and travels through part of central Florida's 322,000 acre Green Swamp area and forests all around you. Last year, we even saw an alligator directly beneath the sign that said, "Beware of alligators!" ... at least the sign was placed in the perfect spot. On the southern end of the trail there is an observation area where you may be lucky and catch sight of a beautiful bald eagle. Of course the other great part about bicycling on these trails beside the great views of natures is that the total ascent of the trail is ...5 feet, so a perfect day with no climbing!
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; or 30 miles, riding the complete Van Fleet State Trail; or 36 miles, riding on the both the Van fleet State and Auburndale TECO Trails, taking the SAG vehicle to and from the bike paths. [The route is on one continuous paved bike path.]
 
Dinner:
On your own
 
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Downtown (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
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Dinner:
 
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Fresco's Waterfront Bistro
- The only waterfront dining in downtown St. Petersburg -
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
Soup or Salad:
  • Lobster Bisque Soup
  • Wedge Salad - Iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, bacon, blue cheese crumbles and blue cheese dressing.
Entrée Choices:
  • Pesto Chicken Pasta - Grilled chicken breast, broccolli and peas tossed in a white wine and basil pesto sauce.
  • Shrimp Scampi - Jumbo gulf shrimp, garlic, lemon butter, white wine and angel hair pasta.
  • Mahi Mahi Dinner - Grilled or blackened topped with mango salsa.
  • Fish Tacos - Blackened grouper on corn tortillas topped with lettuce , pico de gallo and avocado creama.
  • Fresco’s Burger - 8 oz. topped with provolone or cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion and chipotle mayo on a Kaiser roll.
  • Sirloin - Grilled & topped with a chimichurri sauce
Day 3, Monday - May 18, 2020
 
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Withlacoochee State Trail
 
Monday we take the Withlacoochee State Trail. It is a wonderful experience from your bicycle. On the paved trail you can see the equestrian trail...be sure you are saying, "On your right" to a person and not a horse on the adjacent trail. You will pass through many beautiful Florida cities and food and drinks are never too far. This trail parallels the Withlacoochee River, which is a state-designated paddling trail. Keep an eye out for deer on the path. They (the deer) are sharing the same views. Take a stop in Floral City to get a bite to eat or visit the little shops in the area. This area has a state of the art overpass that leads safely across the popular Ridge Manor trailhead. You may want to have a drink of Zephyrhills water at the start of the day. Yes, this is where Zephyrhills water from the grocery store is bottled. Zephyrhills 100% spring water comes from five springs right in Florida. The path designers and builders have thought of everything, so you can take in the beauty from your bicycle. There are not many road crossings or driveways. Just relax and enjoy the scenery from behind your handlebars.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; or 30 miles, taking the van to the SAG dropoff in Inverness and riding to the trail end near Zephyrhills, taking the SAG vehicle to and from the bike paths.[The route is on a paved bike path.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Downtown (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
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Dinner:
On your own.
 
Day 4, Tuesday - May 19, 2020
 
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Suncoast & Upper Tampa Bay Trail
 
On Tuesday we join The Suncoast Trail that is part of Florida's Greenway and Trails System.  It passes through a gathering of suburban, agricultural and natural areas where you will see the trail's historic significance. You will want to check out the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve on your ride through this area. There are waterways and amazing views of natural areas that will be beautiful from your bicycle. The riding ends on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail and parallels the Suncoast Parkway. At the end of the trail is a Dunkin Donuts in case you want a doughnut to reward yourself after a great day of riding.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; 42 miles, taking the SAG vehicle to the trailhead and riding the complete Suncoast Trail taking the SAG vehicle to and from the bike paths. [The route is on the paved Upper Tampa Bay and Suncoast Trails.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Downtown (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
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Dinner:
On your own
 
Day 5, Wednesday - May 20, 2020
 
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Free Day or West Orange Trail
 
On Wednesday enjoy time off the bike to explore St. Petersburg on your own or wake-up and take the SAG van to one of the most popular trails in Florida, the West Orange Trail. The trail passes through the small towns of Killarney, Oakland and Apopka. See glimpses of Lake Apopka or view the lake up close. Stop and see the Historic railroad exhibit before venturing across the restored railroad bridge. Make a stop at the Oakland Nature Preserve, "a hidden gem," a 128-acre preserve offering environmental education and ecotourism activities, including a visitor's center featuring live fish and turtle exhibits before ending your day's ride at the shaded pavilion.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; 21 miles, riding on the complete route of the West Orange Trail; taking the SAG vehicle to and from the bike paths. [The route is on a paved bike path.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Downtown (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
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Dinner:
On your own
 
Day 6, Thursday - May 21, 2020
 
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Pinellas Trail - Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg
 
The first bike trail on your bike adventure in Florida is taking in the Pinellas Trail from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg. This route is sometimes a paved bike route along side, but separated from the road and sometimes it is using the rail corridor not sharing the road at all. St. Petersburg glimmers between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. It is beautiful! St. Petersburg is known for its warm weather and for holding the title of the "most consecutive days with sunshine" - 768! The road crossings that we are using allows the Pinellas Trail riders (us) the right of way, which we can all agree is a nice plus for bikers. The Pinellas Trail also allows riders to trigger lights and signals to motor vehicles anytime we are in the company of motorists along the trail. In Tarpon Springs, you can visit A.L. Anderson Park - this is a Tarpon Springs favorite and located across the street from our hotel.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; or 36 miles, taking the van to Tarpon Springs, overlooking the harbor and bicycling to the Hampton Inn in St. Petersburg. [The route is on paved bike trails.]
 
​Lodging:
 
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Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Downtown (Stay at the same hotel each night of the trip.)
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
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Dinner:
 
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Stillwaters Tavern
St. Petersburg, Florida
 
Beginning:
  • House or Caesar Salad
Entrée Choices:
  • Blue Crab Spaghetti - Maryland style blue crab, fresh spaghetti, heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, old bay bread crumbs
  • Fish N’ Chips - local snapper, crushed pea salad, malt vinegar sauce
  • Beef Short Ribs - Buttermilk mashed potatoes, sautéed greens, pickled mushrooms, braising jus
  • Key West Pink Shrimp & Grits - bradley’s country store cheddar grits, charred tomato tasso ham gravy, scallions
  • Gulf Snapper - pan seared, roasted cauliflower, jasmine rice, curry sauce
  • Marinated 1/2 Roast Freebird Chicken - Smoky potatoes, braised greens and pan jus
Day 7, Friday - May 22, 2020
 
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Enjoy beautiful and warm Florida one last time before starting your journey home.
 
Breakfast provide by hotel each morning
 

Please note all trip information is based on previous trips and/or contracted lodging and restaurants and is subject to change based on availability or specific trip needs.
Riding difficulty:
  • Riders who are comfortable riding at least 10 miles per hour should have an enjoyable trip. The routes are primarily on bike paths with a little riding on bicycle designated or low traffic roads. Please see the daily routes descriptions for additional information. Of course, if a rider is tired or does not feel like riding, the SAG vehicle will transport the rider to the hotel. All riders may ride at their own pace, slow or fast or anything in-between.
Arriving by Automobile:
  • Drive to the Hampton Inn St Petersburg Downtown, 80 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Your car can be valet parked at the hotel for $16 per day or at one of the city's surface parking lot or garages within walking distance of the hotel for as little as $3 per day St. Petersburg Parking
Arriving by Plane:
  • Fly directly into Tampa International Airport (TPA), 21 miles from the starting hotel; or fly directly into St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), 13 miles to the starting hotel.
Deposit:
  • $200 to reserve your spot and the remainder due 45 days before the trip start.
What is Included:
  • Hotel lodging
  • Ride packets, including maps & cue sheets (directions)
  • Fully sagged, including ride leaders, luggage transport, SAG vehicle transportation and rider assistance
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Dinner with the group three nights (see above)
  • Great riding, scenery, fun and enjoyment!
Bicycles:
  • Most participants bring their own bicycles
  • To ship your bike, we would suggest using shipbikes.com or bikeflight.com for shipping. To ship your bike to the hotel: Hampton Inn St Petersburg Downtown, 80 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • If you fly, most major airlines including Delta, American, United and Alaska Air now waive the oversize fee for bicycles (sporting equipment) and just the standard luggage fee applies. Please contact your airline for all the details.
  • To rent a bicycle, please contact St. Pete Bicycle & Fitness, 1205 4th St N, St. Petersburg, Florida, located about a mile from the hotel.
Weather in May in St. Petersburg, Florida:
  • Average Low 72° and average High 85°

 

Contact Information:

Vacation Bicycling, LLC
1860 Barnett Shoals Rd, Ste 103-514
Athens, GA 30605
Phone: 706-363-0341 or email your question on our short Contact Form
 
Celebrating 12 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
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