Escape the polar vortex and warm up in Tampa Bay

Are you sitting at work, snow boots on, dreaming of warmer climes? The polar vortex of 2019 is making this a winter to remember, but not for any good reason. Nobody who goes to work in below-zero temperatures can be blamed for staring at their computer screen saver, with a photo of an island tropical paradise surrounded by waters so blue, and giving serious thought to the meaning of life.

Maybe planning a trip to an island in the South Pacific is out of reach, but why not warm up someplace a little closer? The southern coasts of Florida are escaping the freezing temperatures and offering reliable sun, and temps are usually warm enough to take a dip in the ocean. And the gay scene here is as vibrant as the white sand beaches.

First stop on our tour of southern Florida: St. Petersburg, in the fantastic Tampa Bay area.

Here are 5 steps to soaking in the sun on the Gulf of Mexico...

Check in

GayStPete House

Tropical Gay Paradise Hotel
4505 Fifth Avenue North St Petersburg

Go to the beach

Sunset Gay Beach

The gay beach in St. Petersburg
2 79th Terrace Treasure Island

Have a lovely dinner


Dining al fresco
204 Beach Dr NE Saint Petersburg

Have a drink, see a show

Flamingo Resort

Gay hotel/club complex
4601 34th St S St. Petersburg

The next day, get some culture

The Dali Museum

Museum dedicated to Surrealism artist
1 Dali Blvd St. Petersburg
By Daniel Renzi