RNC Guide to Gulfport

Nine official delegations will stay in the Pinellas Beaches area during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. Gulfport officials hope they spend their down time in Gulfport.

Welcome to Gulfport

Swing by the Gulfport Casino Ballroom and you'll notice Gulfport's welcome message to RNC delegates. That's right, although Gulfport is not hosting any of the delegations, local leaders are hoping people will spend their down time in Gulfport.

Delegations on the Beaches

Pinellas Beaches will host 9 of the 56 delegations during the GOP Convention beginning on Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The following Pinellas Beaches hotels will welcome delegations during the convention, the RNC Committee on Arrangements said in a news release: 

  • Postcard Inn: Alaska
  • Tradewinds Island Resorts: California, North Mariana Islands
  • Bilmar Beach Resort: Connecticut, North Dakota
  • Alden Beach Resort: Guam, Nebraska
  • Sirata Beach Resort: Minnesota, New Jersey

View the full list of where the 56 delegations will be staying in the story,

Why should delegates visit Gulfport?


Enjoy Waterfront views at O'Maddy's Bar & Grille, The Neptune Grill or The Village Pub on Shore Boulevard.

Looking for an intimate atmosphere? Visit La Cote Basque or Pia's on Beach Boulevard.

In the mood for beer or wine tasting? Check out Peg's Cantina and Florida Orange Groves Winery in South Pasadena.

Plenty more! Depending on your tastebuds Gulfport and South Pasadena have plenty of local restaurants featuring Cuban, Italian, American, Jamaican, BBQ and more! Just check out the restaurants in our directory on Gulfport Patch.


Learn some new moves at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Boulevard S. ! The ballroom offers dance lessons Monday through Thursday this week. Admission is just $7 per person.

  • Mon: Ballroom Dancing at 7 p.m.
  • Tue: Tango Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.
  • Wed: Swing Dancing with Swingtime at 6 p.m.
  • Thur: Salsa Social Dance at 7 p.m.

Meet the locals at The Peninsula Inn & Spa on Thursday nights beginning at 6 p.m. There's nightly food and drink specials with a fun, friendly atmosphere in the courtyard.

On Saturday, Sept. 1 Gulfport will welcome about 30,000 people at the 12th Annual Geckofest in downtown Gulfport. From 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. dozens of vendors will line the streets and entertainers will perform on two stages on Beach Boulevard. The festival is free and family friendly. For more information check out www.geckofest.com

Outdoor Activities:

Cool off, lay out, or hit the sand at the Gulfport Beach on Shore Boulevard. The beach features a children's playground, volleyball courts and beautiful view of Boca Ciega Bay.

Located just west of the beach, the Gulfport Recreation Center features a track with a front row view of the bay. You can relieve some stress and work out during the sunset.

Kayak Nature Adventures offers kayak and paddleboard rentals in Gulfport. Spend some time with nature, bird watch and look for dolphins on a kayak or paddleboard in Clam Bayou and Boca Ciega Bay.

Local Deals:

Sea Breeze Manor Bed & Breakfast is offering 10% off any stay of two nights or more.

Juju Stevens August 25, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I wanna know where Jon Stewart and the Daily Show people are staying :) (Great article !!!)
Jeri Reed August 25, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Don't forget...There is a Welcome Party for the RNC at Tropicana Field Sunday - with an expected large attendance. So maybe some of them will find their way to Gulfport!
Deborah Molise August 25, 2012 at 05:34 PM
The number one attraction in Gulfport by Trip Advisor is the Eat.Sip.Indulge Food Tours - don't forget about the company that has a mission to help grow locally owned and operated business in Gulfport and St Pete. Check them out on Trip Advisor!
phillessense August 26, 2012 at 10:25 AM
I suspect that, if the Gulfport C of C wasn't involved in the planning, only those who are adventurous and who research the area will show up here. I really hope many DO. The restaurant I'd send them to is Backfin Blue. For me, Backfin Blue stands out as Gulfport's finest, best restaurant.


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