The restored fishing community of John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, on Gulf Boulevard at John's Pass in Madeira Beach, has plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to keep you occupied after the sun sets. Elsewhere, the nightlife scene at the beach revolves around rocking bars that pump out music until 2am. All of the places listed in this section are bars that feature live music.
Pass-a-Grille has the always-lively lounge at Hurricane, on Gulf Way at Ninth Avenue, opposite the public beach. Up on the northern tip of Treasure Island, Gators on the Pass (tel. 727/367-8951) claims to have the world's longest waterfront bar, with a huge deck overlooking the waters of John's Pass. The complex also has a nonsmoking sports bar and a three-story tower with a top-level observation deck for panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Live music, from acoustic to blues to rock, is featured most nights.
In Clearwater Beach, the Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar, on the beach at 18 Bay Esplanade (tel. 727/446-6777; www.palmpavilion.com), has live music Tuesday through Sunday nights in winter and on weekends in the off season. Nearby, Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, at 7 Rockaway St. (tel. 727/446-4844; www.frenchysonline.com/rock_index.html), is another popular hangout.
If you're into laughs, Coconuts Comedy Club, at the TradeWinds Sandpiper, 6000 Gulf Blvd., at 61st Avenue in St. Pete Beach (tel. 727/360- 5653; www.coconutscomedyclubs.com), has an ever-changing program of live stand-up, funny men and women. Call for the schedules and prices.
For a more highbrow evening, go to the Clearwater mainland and the 2,200-seat Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Rd. (tel. 727/791-7400; www.rutheckerdhall.com), which hosts a varied program of Broadway shows, ballet, drama, symphonic works, popular music, jazz, and country music.