Known as the sunshine capital, where the sun usually shines 361 days per year, it is little surprise that activities on or near the water are focal points for visitors to St Petersburg and provide year-round opportunities for swimming, sailing, fishing and shelling.
St Petersburg offers picturesque award winning beaches along 244 miles of shoreline along Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and intra coastal waterways. Ft. De Soto Park is one of the nation’s top ranked beaches.
For the athletic, young and old, St Petersburg offers three award-winning public golf courses, nine public pools including an Olympic-size training facility located on Tampa Bay, 80 lighted tennis courts, five dog parks, two skateboard parks, a BMX bicycle track, and a Maximo Park flying disc golf playing facility.
Downtown St. Petersburg is home to six award-winning museums, all within easy reach of each other.
Salvador Dali Museum
The Salvador Dali Museum contains the world’s most extensive collection devoted exclusively to this famous Spanish master. The Museum of Fine Arts is noted for its display of French impressionist paintings. There is also the St. Petersburg Museum of History, while Heritage Village in Largo offers historical exhibits, and a self-guided tour among the restored homes and buildings provides an insight into the lifestyle of Florida’s pioneers.
Florida International Museum
The Florida International Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, brings world-class, Smithsonian exhibitions to St. Petersburg on a regular basis. The museum’s permanent exhibits feature the world’s largest private collection of President John F. Kennedy’s personal items and an interactive exhibit on the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Other attractions include The Pier, Tropicana Field, Sunken Gardens, Tampa Bay Walk of Fame, Baseball Boulevard, and St. Petersburg Times Walk Through History.
The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg is a popular festival marketplace of shops, restaurants and entertainment. The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores is the largest wild bird hospital in North America. More than 500 birds are on display including a large nesting colony of permanently injured brown pelicans. Samples of marine life are on exhibit at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a research center that conducts a “head start” program for baby sea turtles and is the area’s licensed marine rescue facility.
Florida’s famous man-made attractions are nearby. Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay is less than a 35-minute drive away from any point on Florida’s Beach. The Walt Disney World Resort, Sea World and Universal Studios Florida are 90 minutes away.
St. Petersburg is part of “Florida’s Beach”, thirty-five miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches featuring the resort communities of St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, where unique settings for shopping and dining are found at John’s Pass Village, Indian Rocks Beach, Dunedin, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs.
St Pete Beach
The City of St Pete Beach is a barrier island community located just off the Pinellas County mainland west of St Petersburg itself. In fact, locals voted in 1994 to change the name of the city from St Petersburg Beach to the shorter version to distinguish it from its larger neighbor.
Today the city is a popular winter residence for many people living in other parts of the United States, Canada and Europe.
One of the main landmarks of the community greets visitors as they enter the resort. The Don CeSar Beach Resort opened in 1928 and is an over-the-top mélange of Moorish and Mediterranean architecture. Its signature hue has led to its nickname, the Pink Palace. The palace numbers celebrities such as F Scott Fitzgerald, Ringo Starr and Bill Clinton among its guests.
St Pete’s Beach is the ideal base to explore the area, offering it’s own year-round opportunities for swimming, sailing, fishing and shelling as well as the attractions of St Petersburg, Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area.