Conde Nast Traveler names St. Pete one of America’s ‘most underrated’ cities

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People who live in the ‘burg know it’s a gem like no other, but is it underrated? According to the travel website Conde Nast Traveler, it is.

“Florida has higher-profile destinations (Miami, Orlando, Key West…) than St. Petersburg,” senior digital editor Lauren Dannen Redman writes. “But this Gulf Coast city stole our hearts recently with its new Salvador Dali museum.”

First of all, I’m not sure St. Pete can be fairly classified as underrated considering it was recently listed as one of the New York Times’ top 52 places to visit in 2014 along with the likes of exotic hotspots in Africa and South America as well as popular vacation destinations like the Vatican and Switzerland. The city was also ranked as the top arts destination in mid-sized cities three years in a row from 2010-2012 by American Style.

That’s a lot of impressive ranking to be called underrated, no?

Another thing to note about this writer, she’s clearly not a ‘burger. No one who’s lived in the Sunshine City for more than five-minutes would ever take the extra time to say St. Petersburg instead of just St. Pete. Plus, she calls the Dali Museum “new.” Psshh. That was so three years ago!

Nevertheless, it’s still an honor to live in a city where, even with a growing list of accolades praising our museums, craft beer scene and sandy white beaches, some outsider out there still thinks we’re underrated.

So, what characteristics land a city on this list?

“To start, it can’t have its own TV show. (Sorry, Portlandia. You too, Philadelphia,)” the blog answers. “Sometimes, it takes a wedding or a business trip to bring us to different parts of the country, but these 10 American cities—from Portland, Maine to Boise, Idaho—make great destinations unto themselves. We love them for their dining or microbrew scenes, cultural attractions, or that under-the-radar charm.”

I should also point out that, though St. Pete doesn’t have it’s own T.V. show, it has been featured in multiple movies over the years – George Clooney and Brad Pitt had fans swooning when they filmed a scene for Ocean’s 11 at the Grayhound track – and neighboring Clearwater has its own movie (and sequel!), Dolphin Tale.

I think we’re on the map, but thanks for the props anyway.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.