In the 1960s, St. Pete Beach boasted a tropical dream vacation with Jai-Alai, horse racing, golf courses, sandy beaches and a popular aquarium.

Built in 1964, the Aquatarium housed trained porpoises, sea lions and pilot whales. Set on west side of Gulf Boulevard along the sandy beaches, its golden dome gleamed against the blue Florida sky connoting perpetual summer afternoons.

As Disney filtered tourists in the early ’70s, the Aquatarium changed hands and changed names.

It briefly transformed into Shark World, hoping to capitalize on the success of the movie “Jaws.”

Eventually it closed its doors and fell to the wrecking ball to make way for a resort, The Silver Sands Beach & Racquet Club (and condos).

SOURCE: TBNWeekly, 2002

Source: StPeteBeach on Instagram.

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