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St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach have national chain hotels and motels of every name and description. You can use the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Convention & Visitors Bureau's free reservations service (tel. 800/345-6710) to book rooms at most of them. The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce lists a wide range of hotels, motels, condominiums, and other accommodations in its annual visitor guide, and also publishes a brochure listing members of its Superior Small Lodgings program.

As is the case throughout Florida, there are more short- and long-term rental condominiums than hotel rooms here. Many of them are in high-rise buildings right on the beach. Among local rental agents, JC Resort Management, 17200 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach, FL 33708 (tel. 800/535-7776 or 727/397-0441; fax 727/397-8894; www.jcresort.com), has many from which to choose.

The Laughing Lizard: A B&B on the Rocks -- The Laughing Lizard B&B, on Indian Rocks Beach, was built in 2005 and is billed as a contemporary throwback to island-style architecture. Inside the three-story Key West-style home, you'll find the antithesis of quaint B&Bs with an elevator; 56 windows, many with a view of the Gulf or of Gulf Boulevard; and guest rooms with private bathrooms and kitschy names such as Nautical Newt, Crimson Chameleon, and Gallivanting Gecko. The newest addition, Island Iguana, is an efficiency apartment with partial kitchen and separate entrance. Innkeeper Bill Ockunzzi, a former mayor of Indian Rocks Beach, holds an evening wine tasting in Lizard Hall just as the sun sinks into the water. Other amusements can be found in the collection of clay, glass, wood, and plastic lizards lounging around in some of the most unexpected places. Rates are $145 to $200. Head to 2211 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach (tel. 727/595-7006; www.laughinglizardbandb.com).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.