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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Susan Bednar

Top Ten Reasons to visit Sunset Inn & Cottages of Treasure Island, Florida

Treasure Island is home to Sunset Inn & Cottages Midcentury roadside motel, a gem bordering the ocean shores of the Gulf Coast. This historic property was built in the 1940s as "The Coral Lee” and offered both beach rentals and residences. Changes in tourist travel saw a downfall to many motels like this one, but Sunset Inn withstood the test of time. Its prime location to both the beach and to Downtown St. Pete make it appealing to those with a wide variety of interests. Relax on the beach for a day or shop till you drop in the Arts District of St. Pete. Venture the ocean shore by private cruise or enjoy the waterfront view while fine dining on fresh seafood. Stay on our newly renovated historic property, enjoying the amenities and prime access to the beach. You’ll be in the front row for the most stunning sunsets on the Gulf shore. Whatever your plans are, we’ve got you covered with our favorite recommendations for the Top Ten Reasons to visit Sunset Inn & Cottages of Treasure Island, Florida.


1. A Treasure Chest of MidCentury & Space Age Architecture

Three buildings in fun curvy architecture specific to Googie style in the mid century.
Googie Architecture Examples

On Treasure Island you’ll find treasure in many forms, including the gems of architecture that make up the very town! This little pocket on the Florida coast is home to some of the last-standing Googie-Style buildings that were popular in the 1940s/1950s during the Space Age Era. Visitors can explore a route to see these historic buildings of the Atomic Age by cruising along the MidMod site-seeing tour. For the full retro experience, pack for a Mid Century Motel vibe and plan a retro-photoshoot while you stay on our Historic Mid Century property at Sunset Inn & Cottages.


2. Sunsets at Sunset Beach

Three deep orange sunset photos taken on Sunset Beach directly in front of our boutique motel.
Sunset Beach Treasure Island

Location is everything, and you’ve got the best seat in the house for an incredible sunset view. Heck, you don’t even need to leave property to witness the colorful array of oranges and yellows the sky displays even evening. Sunset Inn and Cottages overlooks the Gulf Coast, across the street from the coastline with entry paths to the beach. Many of our rooms can see across to the beach, and every room and cottage on our property is less than a two minute walk to the beach. If you do want to witness the colorful sunsets reflecting off the ocean waters in full effect, simply walk across the small residential road between us and the sandy shore. Pack a little towel or blanket and make an evening of the spectacle!


3. Make A Splash!

With such close proximity to the beach, you're looking at lots of days of fun water adventures! Our guest package at Sunset includes everything you’ll need for a casual day at the beach, including beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and a variety of sand toys. At The Pavilion there are paddle board and surfboard rentals available (with easy access from the hotel). There is something for everyone, from FREE yoga classes on Fridays at Caddy’s to See Through Kayaking Tours with Get Up and Go. Sip on something yummy while cruising on the ocean as the sun sets with boat tours through Saltwater Cycle and Pelican St. Pete.


4. Weddings on Sunset Beach

Plan an intimate wedding at sunset by renting a spot with the Sunset Beach Pavilion. This package provides the couples-to-be with full access to the pavilion party space, bathrooms, parking lot, and a designated ceremonial spot on the best spot of Sunset Beach. Our property is directly across from the pavilion, the most convenient location imaginable! There are a lot of businesses that cater to wedding packages on the beach, including Tide The Knot, Sun Coast Weddings, Weddings on a Whim, and many more. And you can’t forget about the I-Do Crew party plans for before hand! With Treasure Island being in such close proximity to downtown St. Petersburg, there is much to plan. Companies like Bride Tribe Events and Bach Boats can aid in planning the perfect party prior to the wedding day.


5. Shop Local

St. Pete and Treasure Island are overflowing with creative endeavors, from local boutiques and shops to marketplaces and pop-up shops all around town. Local’s favorites include the Corey Avenue Market and Friday Morning Market, both of which have local food trucks, vendors, and handcrafted artisan booths. In Treasure Island there is a lot of touristic shopping at John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk and at Surf Style. In St. Pete's Arts District there are many of our favorite brick and mortar shops, like Be MisRed and Ash Couture.


6. Nature Preserves and Conservation Areas

There is much to do beyond the sand and the sun; the Gulf Coast is filled with local excursions worthy of a day trip, including hikes and guided walking tours on Wheaton Island Preserve and visiting the historic Sunken Gardens in the Old Northeast Neighborhood.


7. Eat Local!

Foodies- this area is for you!! There are SO many incredible restaurants and food trucks nearby. From the freshest sea food to the best tex-me to authentic Italian food, you’re sure to chow down on something delicious! Caddy’s and Ka’Tiki are two favorite beachside bar & grills that are walkable from Sunset Beach . Taco Bus is within walking distance from Sunset Inn, a Mexican Street-Style food joint with incredible food and speedy service. Off the beaten path but a short drive’s away is La Casa Del Pan and Mazzaro's, two Sicilian/Southern Italian Pizzeria & Grocery that we HIGHLY recommend checking out. Of course, downtown St. Pete has options for any craving, from the to-go homemade Italian pasta at Dalmoros to casual tacos & crafted cocktails, check out the Red Mesa Cantina. There is a plethora of finer dining options, many with waterfront views! One of our favorite spots is Ceviche, a tapas/small plate style restaurant perfect for bringing a group of friends.


8. Get Caffeinated!

Each district of St. Pete has it’s own hot spot for coffee lovers, but our recommendation is in the heart of the arts district, the whimsical Black Crow Coffee. For a modern aesthetic, Bandit Coffee Co is the perfect place to lounge with a cup o’ joe in hand. Te Bella Tea and Blush Tea & Coffee Co. are two of our favorite tea rooms in town, each with unique tea blends also available online for purchase.


9. Bar Hopping

The book enthusiast will adore Book & Bottle, the bookshop/bar that specialized in curated wines and you’re next favorite reads. While Caddy’s and Katiki in Treasure Island are always a fun spot to share a pint or two, Downtown St. Pete is the place to do a proper pub crawl. We recommend researching St. Pete Bar Crawls with Eventbrite for seasonal events. Notable bars include No Vacancy Mandarin Hide and Dirty Laundry. There are so many more unique bars, This List can help you plan your night out on the town.


10. Stay at Sunset Inn & Cottages

Stay with us at the historic midcentury roadside motel, Sunset Inn & Cottages! Located overlooking Sunset Beach, this roadside motel has the best location in Treasure Island! Fully renovated in 2022, this hotel was brought back to it’s Space Age roots, redesigned with a 1950s retro-vibe to highlight what makes this historic building so special. There are a variety of room options, from two bedroom private cottages with kitchens to the retro roadside motel rooms. Each room is fully equipped with Keurig coffee maker, a mini (to full sized) fridge, and a microwave. On property there are many amenities, including outdoor lounges, grill station, picnicking tables, a ping pong table, outdoor games, beach gear stations, coin operated washing machines/dryers, along with a designated parking spot for each reservation.


We hope this list inspires your travel itinerary when you come to stay with us. Thank you for reading!


The Sunset Team

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