The 13 Absolute Best & Fun Things to Do in Gulfport FL

Looking for the best things to do in Gulfport FL? This artsy colorful beach city has loads of personality and fun activities for all ages. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, you have come to the right place!

Where is Gulfport FL Located?

Go to a Festival is one of the top things to do in Gulfport FL. Geckofest booths.
Go to a Festival is one of the top things to do in Gulfport FL

Gulfport is located just under 15 minutes from downtown St Petersburg in Pinellas County. From the Tampa International Airport (TPA), Gulfport is 24 miles away and will take roughly 35 minutes.

If you are staying for a weekend getaway, this city is in an ideal location to see all of Tampa Bay with most cities just a short drive or bike ride away. Uber or Lyft are available all over Tampa Bay, so a car can be optional!

Gulfport is easily accessible whether your visiting by bike, car or even boat. All parking is FREE to utilize with a first come first served approach. No having to worry about parking meters here!

What is Gulfport FL Known For?

Gulfport is known far and wide for its events, especially the annual GeckoFest. This end-of-summer celebration is dedicated to Gulfport’s unofficial reptile mascot. Each year it brings in over 200+ vendors with a wide variety of activities for kids and adults.

This charming city is also known for being an LGBTQ-friendly community and for the rights of all individuals. It is a kind and supportive environment welcoming everyone and pets alike. Gulfport is considered one of the friendliest cities in Florida!

Volleyball at the Gulfport Beach with great water views of Boca Ciega Bay

Arriving to Gulfport by Boat or Bike?

Boaters will need to follow the regulations that are visibly posted at the Pier Casino Public Docks.

General Dock Guidelines

  • Docks are FREE to the public.
  • Mooring is limited to 4 hours per 4-hour period.
  • Mooring in designated berths only.
  • Docking is on a first-come, first-served basis during operating hours only.
  • No commercial activity and no water or electric hookups.
  • For more information call, 727-893-1071.

Gulfport also connects to the Pinellas Trail, a beautiful bike ride through the northern edge of Clam Bayou Preserve. If you haven’t experienced the Pinellas Trail yet, this is a scenic way to get to neighboring towns in Pinellas County without using a car.

Gulfport FL - Waterfront sailboats near shore in historic downtown

Looking for the Best Things to Do in Gulfport?

There is something for everyone, whether it’s kayaking, shopping, sampling local food or craft beers, relaxing at the beach, or enjoying live music. Gulfport truly has it all.

Here is a list of the top 13 Best Things to Do in Gulfport FL!

Lounge at the Beach

A visit to Gulfport wouldn’t be complete without spending time at the beach located on Boca Ciega Bay. There are so many things to do at this beach with volleyball courts, picnic tables, a skate park, and playgrounds for the kids.

Gulfport beach has plenty of things to do with swings, picnic areas, and more!  You will love all the things to do in Gulfport FL.
Bring the kids to the perfect beach for families

In comparison to St Pete Beach, you will find this to be a more relaxed and tranquil location with more space to yourselves. It is an ideal location for individuals and families that prefer fewer crowds.

You can enjoy the outdoor workout equipment while taking in breathtaking bay views and the sailboats parked offshore. This is directly behind the Gulfport Recreation Center.

Gulfport Skate Park in Gulfport Florida Recreation Area
The Gulfport Skate Park has gorgeous views of Boca Ciega Bay

Attend a Fun Gulfport FL Event!

Gulfport Fresh Market

Over the years this artsy colorful small town has become known for its Tuesday Fresh Market.

Market vendors sell fresh produce, artisan goods, and handmade products. Located in Gulfport’s downtown historic Waterfront District on Beach Boulevard all within a short walk.

Gulfport Farmers Market Hours: January – April: 9am – 3pm; May – December: 9am – 2pm 

While you stroll and shop, listen for the local musicians keeping shoppers entertained with a variety of music genres. There is also a Gulfport Fresh Market every 4th Saturday through October.

Art Walk & IndieFaire

IndieFaire runs from 5 pm to 9 pm on the third Saturday of each month, lining the brick-paved streets of downtown. This is a relatively new addition to the monthly calendar for arts and craft lovers in Tampa Bay.

Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk occurs monthly from 5 pm to 9 pm. The downtown streets of this artsy town come to life with local artists and musicians.

Museum Events

The Gulfport History Museum is located at 5301 28th Avenue S. It has weekly hours of operation and events throughout each month. Overseen by the Gulfport Historical Society these events include Ghost Tours, Walking Tours, and more!

Gulfport History Museum in Gulfport, Florida is a quaint location in this friendliest of cities.

GeckoFest & Pride

The much anticipated GeckoFest will be held on September 3rd this year. Gulfport also hosts a Gecko Crawl and a Gecko Ball.

There is an Annual Gulfport Peace, Love, and Price Event. Details can be found here.

Looking for things to do in Gulfport FL right now?

The Gabber newspaper provides an excellent review of all of the town’s events! Check out their website or grab a FREE newspaper from the stands located outside of many of the Gulfport restaurants and businesses.


Boat Adventure Tour from the Gulfport Marina!

Gulfport Marina for rentals - and to catch the dolphin snorkeling cruises
Gulfport Marina

Looking for a super fun boating tour adventure? Hop aboard the Calypso Cat and see the sunken ruins of Old Fort Dade, and have more fun! This boat and snorkeling tour departs from the Gulfport Marina just outside of downtown Gulfport.

The trip includes an exploration of the beautiful Egmont Key, which is only accessible to boaters. Here you will see the lighthouse, dolphins, gopher tortoises, and other creatures. The Calypso Cat’s certified captains will ensure a safe and fun family activity for all ages!


Take a Stroll to Williams Pier & the Veteran’s Park

Williams Pier and the Veteran’s Park are next to each other on 54th Street South and Shore Boulevard in Gulfport. O’Maddy’s Restaurant is located directly across the street.

This quiet corner is the perfect place to take in the views at sunset or a leisurely walk in town after a meal. Local fishermen are often seen utilizing the pier, along with couples who enjoy sitting on benches. There is a peacefulness to these grounds that soothe the soul.


Shop at the Local Boutiques and Art Galleries

Gulfport has an Old Florida feel with independent shops, boutiques, and art galleries in the historical downtown. No chain stores adds an authentic charm. This is a very dog friendly city, and restaurants and shops often have water bowls out for pets to use.


Dine at the Best Restaurants in Gulfport FL

Looking for delicious restaurants in Gulfport FL? You will want to check out my article which lists the best restaurants. There is a variety of cuisines from American, Greek, Italian, and of course plenty of fresh seafood from Boca Ciega Bay!


Enjoy Live Music at The North End Tap House

Music lovers will definitely want to visit The North End Tap House! This outdoor venue has daily entertainment from live music, open mic, and trivia nights. Located next to Stella’s on Gulfport’s main street known as Beach Boulevard.

The North End Tap House is always a hopping place. Check out their list of weekly entertainment event schedules at their website or in The Gabber newspaper.


Relax at Your Hotel in Gulfport, FL

Photos provided by the Peninsula Inn in Gulfport Florida
The charming Historic Peninsula Inn

While there are plenty of things to do, sometimes the most enjoyable part of a vacation is spent right at your home away from home.

One of the best hotels in Gulfport FL is Sea Breeze Manor Inn which is steps away from the Gulfport Casino and has water views! Click here to book your hotel stay on Priceline.com.

Another excellent property is The Historic Peninsula Inn. The hotel is currently under renovation and under new ownership. This is the perfect quiet getaway in the heart of the city, yet close to everything in town and the beach.

Guests will enjoy all the comfort and charm of this beautiful bed and breakfast. Everything is within easy walking distance for an evening out on the town, or a short drive to St Pete Beach.

VRBO Rentals in Gulfport FL

Gulfport FL Rentals - VRBO home with big pool and outdoor seating.  Photo provided by VRBO.
VRBO Gulfport FL House Rental + Pool

There are also plenty of Gulfport FL rentals available from cottages to beautiful pool homes like this highly rated two-bedroom home near the action. Here are the Top 50 Gulfport House Rentals on VRBO to check out for your next vacation.


Dance at the Historic Gulfport Casino

The Gulfport FL Casino has been a common destination for visitors and locals alike. It has a unique history of being rebuilt twice prior due to hurricane damage. It still remains a prime gathering location with weekly dances, weddings, and other special events.

The weekly dance schedule includes Argentine Tango, Ballroom, Swing, and Latin night. They also have monthly events. Cost for dance classes is $10 at the door.

See the City of Gulfport official website for more information on the variety of lively events here.


Clam Bayou Nature Park & Nature Preserve

Clam Bayou Nature Park is located on waterfront 8.8 acres near the Gulfport Marina on Miriam Street and 29th Avenue South. These areas are home to wildlife such as clams, birds, dolphins, and manatees to name a few. There is a canoe or kayak launch, and also a place to clean your fish.

Clam Bayou Nature Preserve is located slightly further from downtown in the Broadwater neighborhood. This is a popular area because it connects with the Skyway Trail.

One of the most beautiful Pinellas county parks with water views, birds, and ducks to see.
Clam Bayou Preserve in Gulfport, FL

You can ride your bicycle, walk, or run for miles since the Skyway Trail is part of the Pinellas Trail that goes from South St Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. The path is paved which makes for a comfortable ride.

It is also a great spot for kayaks, paddle boards, and of course nature lovers. There are picnic tables and plenty of areas to sit on the grass and enjoy the outdoors. They even have public restrooms and a water fountain that is easily accessible.


Go for a Stroll in Clymer Park

img 2018 gulfport fl

Before you make it to the historic downtown area, you will notice Clymer Park for Gulfport residents and visitors to enjoy. Portions of this park are part of the edible food forest.

I’ve been coming to Gulfport for many years, and this is one of the best-kept local secrets. Most people whiz by this park since it’s the first location you see when you head towards the historic downtown from Gulfport Boulevard South.

These 3 acres of green space are surrounded by large mature live oaks. It is home to the Gulfport Food Forrest which provides nutritious food to others. Check out the sculptures as you continue to stroll through the Clymer Park Art Walk.


Take in a Show at the Catherine Hickman Theater

This quaint theater is located at 5501 27th Ave S, Gulfport, FL 33707. The Gulfport Community Players have been entertaining audiences since 1980 with a wide variety of shows that would meet everyone’s taste. Purchase tickets from their website.


Snack at a Local Bakery: A Friend Who Bakes

While strolling through downtown Gulfport, you will want to make a short detour to A Friend Who Bakes. This local bakery indulges your sweet tooth with made-from-scratch treats.

The coconut lemon bar will just melt in your mouth. It was so good I ate it before I could take a photo! They also are renowned for making specialty cakes.


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45 thoughts on “The 13 Absolute Best & Fun Things to Do in Gulfport FL”

  1. What a wonderful guide to Gulfport Erin. I’ve never visited so this provides me with some excellent tips and inspiration. Saving this for future reference!

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  2. Gulfport looks like such a fun place! I’d love to shop the local boutiques. Definitely adding this to my list for the next time I’m in Florida 🙂

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  3. Okay, now I’m ready for a beach vacay (especially one with snorkeling!). This looks like a great destination to escape our cold Canadian winters!

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  4. I’ve been to most of the states but, I am sad to say, have never been to Florida! I will have to remedy this oversight shortly. Gulfport looks like a super cute city and I’m definitely adding it to my Florida bucket list.

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  5. I never heard about Gulfport and now it feels like I’m missing out. So many cool things to do and see, thank you for putting this together and sharing 🙂 I bet this article can attract many new visitors.

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  6. What an awesome spot! I think I’d love to snorkel with the dolphins and spend some time shopping in those cute, colorful boutiques. I’ve never heard of Gulfport, so thank you for putting it on my radar! 🙂

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  7. Gulfport looks like an awesome place to visit. I haven’t heard about it before, so there is always something new to learn about. The snorkeling with dolphins sounds especially appealing! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I’ve never heard of Gulfport but it looks like amazing places with many things to do and see. I’m so ready for the summer and the beach after reading this article!

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  9. I absolutely love this section of Florida. I spent 2 weeks last year and another week this year. But I didn’t get to Gulfport so I guess I need to come back.

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  10. Been to Florida twice – both times for business but never heard Gulfport – and definitely on my horizon to visit Clam Bayou Nature Preserve. Great post and photos.

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  11. I never heard of Gulfport, but it looks like a lovely place to visit. I would enjoy the peaceful vibe of the city, explore the shops and take a walk in the Clam Bayou Nature Park.

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  12. We are always looking for new spots to visit in Florida. Gulfport looks like a spot that would keep us busy for a few days. We would certainly indulge our sweet tooth at A Friend Who Bakes. A good way to fuel up after some time snorkelling with the dolphins.

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  13. I haven’t been to Gulfport, Fl but you are giving me a reason to checks it out. I’d like to visit Clam Bayou Nature Preserve and go snorkeling with dolphins!

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  14. Okay, I have been ready for a road trip and it sounds like Gulfport it is! Being a local here in FL for 14 years I still haven’t been. Thanks for this guide because I will sure use it on my trip!

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  15. Happy to have found this article while I’m in Florida! I love the photography – Haven’t explored a lot of Florida so far so I’ll have to add Gulfport to my list

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  16. Gulfort looks amazing! Especially the snorkeling with dolphins would love to do. So many great vibes in this article. I definitely need to visit next time I’m in Florida!

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  17. Clam Bayou National Park looks idyllic!! I’ve never heard of Gulfport (or Clam Bayou) but it looks like there’s a variety of things to do around. great post!

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  18. I have been to Tampa and St. Pete’s but had know Idea that Golfport’s even existed. Next time I go back, I will have to visit. The town looks so quaint and I would LOVE to snorkel with the dolphins!

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  19. The beach in Gulfport looks very inviting! Looks like there is plenty to do in the area if you are travelling with kids!

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  20. I’m always looking for Florida destination ideas and Gulfport sounds pretty fun! I especially like the sounds of the Fresh Market and swimming with the dolphins!

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  21. I’ve never heard of Gulfport, Florida but it looks like an amazing place to visit! I’d definitely want to lounge on the beach, go to the Clam Bayou Park, and swim with dolphins. Attending GeckoFest sounds like a lot of fun too!

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  22. It sounds an incredible place and I was in as soon as I read kayaking!! Thanks for sharing another one added to our list!

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  23. There are so many places in Florida I still haven’t been to despite how many times I’ve visited. I can’t believe the docks are FREE to the public… that’s very rare here in Michigan.

    Reply

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