Affectionately known as ‘St Pete’, the sunny US city of St. Petersburg overlooks both the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg currently holds the title of ‘most consecutive days with sunshine’ – even in Florida, the famous ‘sunshine state’! But did you know that, aside from its warm weather, the city appeals to tourists looking for somewhere a little less obvious to holiday this summer 2019 / 2020?
With a string of award-winning beaches, the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum (showcasing the largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Spain), critically-acclaimed restaurants and the beautiful Fort De Soto Park, St. Pete’s represents a new frontier to tourists looking to sample an altogether different way of life across the pond.
There’s no getting away from the fact that St. Petersburg is something of a creative and culturally-appealing destination. Awash with vibrant murals, St. Pete’s downtown areas have been positively revitalised in recent years. Not just with artistic expression (you’ll find art galleries and cultural museums at every turn), but also with sophisticated eateries, craft breweries and farmers markets - all of which are attracting a new wave of culturally-curious holidaymakers.
Of course, it’s not all about the artsy interludes. After all, this is Florida so expect great retail experiences and fantastic food choices too. Head to Locale Market, an enormous one-of-a-kind marketplace offering the region’s freshest and finest artisanal foods.
If you happen to be a seafood lover – and like the idea of a St. Petersburg holiday – then you’re really in luck this summer. You’ll find laid-back beach restaurants with good food and live music, such as Frenchy's Rockaway Grill in Clearwater Beach and Salt Rock Grill, a legendary landmark that extends an embracing Floridian welcome to all. Expect a dazzling array of fishy plates including lobster bisque, calamari and clams.
Meanwhile Olde Bay Cafe & Dunedin Fish Market (once a wooden 1930s shack on the waterfront), Sea Critter Café (an old Florida-style café featuring picnic table dining along the waters of St. Pete’s Beach), the 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House (relaxed coastal cuisine, seafood and steak) and the Bonefish Grill (contemporary interpretations of grilled specialties and big city cocktails) offer variations on a common culinary theme.
There is a never-ending list of things to immerse in during a St. Petersburg holiday. For families this might take in the miles of white sandy beaches and the choice of water sports that go hand in hand (think jet skiing, parasailing, paddle boarding, fishing, swimming and more) Or it may run to exploring the more cultural options, by way of various world-class cultural attractions, largely situated in downtown St. Petersburg including botanical gardens, nature preserves and aquariums. The Great Exploration’s Children's Museum is a place where kids can let their creative side run riot creating art masterpieces, joining a workshop or just hanging out in the coolest place in St. Pete.
Action & Adventure
If you fancy an ocean adventure, ‘Dolphin Racer’ is an exhilarating speedboat tour, which allows passengers to watch in awe as acrobatic bottlenose dolphins surf and dive alongside. If that doesn’t float your boat, why not pilot your own speedboat through the serene waters of Tampa Bay? Or how about the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve Bike Tour? Learn about the many birds, mammals and butterflies living at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve here in this corner of Florida, during a 2-hour bike tour.
Imagine if you will sugary-white sands, dolphins frolicking off shore and scenic islands sitting amongst the waves. This coastal American city balances its downtown cultural highlights with stunning oceanfront charms. With a number of beaches at your disposal, St. Petersburg holidays offer visitors to these parts pretty much everything their heart desires. St. Pete’s beaches offer activities including parasailing and paddle-boarding on the crystal clear waters.
Once the light begins to fade over St. Petersburg, the evening’s entertainment begins in earnest. Both here – and nearby Clearwater – offer the holidaymaker a host of trendy venues. Most bars can be found clustered in downtown St. Petersburg, where you’ll encounter everything from chic lounges to thumping techno clubs.
If you’re still at the beach, chances are you just have to walk a little way down the sand to find the nearest beach bar. Options vary from small tiki huts to full-on night clubs featuring live music. The most popular options are located in St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach.
From the perfect sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico to leisurely canal cruises, there’s no end of romantic moments for couples in St. Petersburg. Why not enjoy a St. Petersburg Walking City Tour, taking in a cornucopia of cultural highlights? As you explore the spectacular metropolis on foot – from Palace Square to St Isaac’s Square – you’ll learn about its imperial history and witness landmarks like St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Nevsky Prospect and the Summer Gardens along the way.
The Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center is well worth dropping in on while holidaying in this Floridian creative hotspot. With its mission to make the arts accessible for everyone, Creative Clay has been providing local artists with the opportunity to pursue their passion for art for a number of years. Meanwhile, the Museum of Fine Arts is located on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront, and is widely celebrated as something of a city landmark. Opened to the public for the first time in 1965, it was the first of its kind in St. Petersburg. And don’t miss a visit to the Morean Arts Center, dating back to 1917. This establishment primarily focuses on an innovative, community-oriented approach to art, and is the permanent home to world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly's unique collection.