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St. Pete listed as one of 30 rising vacation spots

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg has landed itself on Trip Advisor’s list of 30 rising vacation hot spots.

While the list appears to be in no particular order, it is listed ninth in the rundown. Two other Florida destinations made the list including Ana Maria Island just to the South of St. Pete and Sunny Isles just north of Miami.

The list was compiled using data from Trip Advisor about how many “clicks” destinations received on the site. That represents the number of people viewing vacation rental listings in each destination between January and April.

It appears whoever wrote the blurb for St. Pete isn’t exactly familiar with the Burg.

“If you closed your eyes and pointed to a map of Florida, chances are you’d land on a well-known vacation spot. While St. Petersburg is a tried-and-true family getaway, it’s due for even more home renters this year. Hit the links for a round of 18 or take the kids to the water park with a lazy river, thrilling rides and an interactive play area,” the list describes St. Pete.

The “lazy river” is likely a reference to Adventure Island … in Tampa. The “links” is a reference to Mangrove Bay’s golf course, which is actually in St. Pete. Though that golf course is hardly what locals would use to describe the city’s attraction.

Trip Advisor makes no mention of the city’s thriving downtown, robust nightlife, eclectic arts scene or bubbling craft brew industry. These are all things The New York Times recognized in 2014 when St. Pete made its list of 52 places to travel.

A spokesperson for Trip Advisor didn’t seem to have too much more to offer.

“St. Petersburg showed an impressive increase in bookings within the last year, and was praised by reviews as a tried-and-true family vacations destination,” Trip Advisor’s Ashlee Centrella told the Tampa Bay Times.

Despite the seeming ignorance of Trip Advisor of St. Pete’s actual awesomeness, reviews on the travel website tell a better story. There’s a laundry list of reviews for things like museums, art galleries, breweries, boat tours, parks and restaurants.

This is just another in a growing list of accolades for St. Pete and other surrounding areas. St. Pete Beach and Clearwater were both recognized as one of the nation’s top 25 beaches. St. Pete landed at an impressive number two while Clearwater came in at number 8.

Other destinations on the list of rising vacation spots include the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, South Lake Tahoe, Ocean City, Gatlinburg, San Juan and Eureka Springs in Arkansas.

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.

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