St. Petersburg (Florida) sits comfortably between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It has done a lot in recent years to revive the dull reputation that was once a destination for spring break and also as a retirement destination.
By redeveloping the beach, arguably the best feature of the city, and renewing interest in the historic district, the city is making itself a holiday destination in the south of the country.
With such beautiful weather that it has earned the nickname “City of the Sun”, St. Petersburg has award-winning beaches, high-rated restaurants, great state and national parks, excellent shopping, breweries, farmers markets and extraordinary cultural experiences. He holds the title of ‘Most Consecutive Days with Sunlight’, in 768 days and will love to discover it for yourself.
Here’s the best things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida:
1. Dali Museum
Celebrating the life and work of Salvador Dali, the Dali Museum features works that span the entire fascinating career of artists.
With more than 2,000 works, featuring every medium and moment of his art, this is the largest Dali collection outside of Europe. It started as a private collection of the Morse family in the 1940s and in 1982 they donated it, in its entirety to the St. Petersburg community.
You will see 96 oil paintings, book works, original drawings, sculpture, prints, manuscripts, pictures and a large collection of documents. This is a unique museum, featuring an observation area that is nothing more than a solid white room with a window.
2. Skyway Fishing Pier State Park
The longest fishing pier in the world is located in St. Petersburg. Created When the new Sunshine Skyway Bridge was built connecting St. Petersburg with Sarasota, the existing bridge became a pier.
Fishermen could not have been happier. The best feature is that you can shop right next to your favorite fishing spot and relax all day. Once the sun goes down, the lights on the pier attract a ton of different fish.
You can expect tarpon, fish, cube, snook, red snapper, pompano, Spanish mackerel and king, sheep head and more. The park has a bait and snack shop and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
3. Florida Holocaust Museum
One of the largest Holocaust museums in the country is located in St. Petersburg. The core exhibition is called History, Heritage and Hope, and it covers the entire first floor. Events are presented in a simple, direct and exciting flow that I have the power to experience.
There are original objects, photographs and video that start from life before World War II, following the rise of Hitler, and the brave results. The museum contains one of the few carriages left that were used by the Nazis to transport Jews and other groups to concentration camps such as Treblinka and Auschwitz.
The museum also makes a great effort to educate visitors on other human rights issues facing the world today.
4. Port de Soto beach
You will immediately notice the rich ecology of the Port de Soto beach park. It is the largest park in the district system, with over 1,000 acres and five connected islands (or keys).
Relax on the beach, kayak or walk along the beach. No matter what you do, you will be completely fascinated by the natural beauty of the place.
The park has swamps, mangroves, coastal plants, palm hammocks and tons of local plants to discover. More than 300 species of birds have been observed here, and more are added each year. And between April and September Port de Soto provides shelter for the endangered sea turtle.
As the top beach in America in 2009 by Trip Advisor, you will want to come back again and again.
5. Moran Arts Center
The Moran Arts Center is a community space that aims to connect people to art in a variety of ways. Not only do they host interesting and dynamic exhibitions, they also hold studio classes, programs for children and an art summer camp.
Founded in 1917 as the St. Petersburg Art Club, the center now has an impressive permanent collection that includes the Chihuly Collection and impressive international exhibitions. Be sure to visit Glass Studio and the Hot Shop to see local artists create blown glass masterpieces.
The artists will even describe the process to you while watching. There is also the Clay Center, the largest working pottery studio in the South, and the Make Space art lounge, which features Wi-Fi and a coffee shop – perfect for relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.
6. Vidon Island Reserve
Widon Island Reserve was created with the hope of reconnecting people to the larger environment. Located on Tampa Bay, the 3,000-acre land is a coastal system that is home to a variety of native plant and animal species.
There is an education center where you can check out a backpack full of tons of activity suggestions as well as valuable field guides. The reserve is known for its distance in birding and fishing, and is the perfect place to spend a day.
Take a walk on the trails, visit the prehistoric canoe, learn about the archeological sites, and do not forget to visit the history center to learn more about the natives who lived on the land for thousands of years.
7. St. Petersburg Museum of History
This museum has such a strange selection of exhibits that it is sure to win a place on your favorites list.
They have a two-headed calf, a full-size replica of a Banoist plane, a 3,000-year-old mummy, information on the ecology of the bay, and of course, a Tampa Bay Rays baseball exhibit.
Conveniently located near the pier, they have stunning views of the marina and downtown St. Petersburg.
With over 30,000 works of art on display, there is something to learn about the city, state and nation.
8. Chihuly Collection
Dale Chihuly’s work can be found in places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and even the Louvre in Paris.
But if you want to see his regular collection, you have to go to St. Petersburg. The exhibition is housed in a simple wooden and marble building that is part of Moran’s Arts Center, the exhibition was specially designed to display this impressive collection.
You will find the ruby red ice chandelier and the magnificent entrance made from a 20 foot display of ‘rocky’ cerise.
9. Historic Kenwood
When looking for charm in St. Petersburg, look no further than the historic Kenwood neighborhood. It is filled with trees along the historic brick and bungalow roads.
Most of the houses were built between 1912 and 1945 and there are a variety of architectural styles like Minimal Traditional, Tudor Revival, Ranch, Prairie, Mission, Revival Colonial Dutch, and more.
The community is wonderfully involved and the locals work hard to create a friendly culture that embraces the arts and culture of the city.
Right in the heart of this busy city are the sunken gardens, a botanical paradise just waiting to be explored. The gardens are considered to be the oldest living museum of St. Petersburg, one hundred years old and you can find here some of the oldest tropical plants.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a walk on the many trails that come with stunning demonstration gardens, cascading waterfalls, and more than 50,000 plants and flowers.
The city manages the four-acre complex and hosts daily tours, educational programs and special events.
11. St. Pete Beach
The list of top beaches in St. Petersburg is indeed long. St Pete Beach was ranked first in the United States and fifth in the world by Trip Advisor in 2012.
One of the only places to surf in the Gulf of Mexico is Upham Beach – at the edge of St. Pete. Enjoy a day of shopping on historic Corey Avenue or dinner on the waterfront.
If you like water sports, try cross-country skiing or jet skiing. The Don CeSar Beach Resort is a must-see destination – built during the jazz era, the Don has been the heartbeat of the community for decades.
12. Manhattan Casino
For a little history of St. Petersburg, visit the Manhattan Casino. It was built in 1925 and has made a significant contribution to the African-American culture and community for the past 40 years.
James Brown, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Nat King Cole are just some of the greats who have played here.
You can now dine at Sylvia’s Soul Food Queen restaurant and every Sunday the Gospel Sunday Casino hosts a brunch.
13. Clearwater Beach
USA Today named Clearwater “America’s Best Beach Town” in 2013, so why not take a day trip to Clearwater?
Famous for its stunning white sand, clear waters, family-friendly water sports, dinner cruises and nightclubs.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is nearby and for fifty cents you can enjoy a trip to the end of Pier 60.
14. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
The nearby Clearwater has one aquarium that will take you far beyond the typical experience. With a ‘rescue, detox, release’ mission, Clearwater’s marine aquarium allows you to immerse yourself in the important conservation work that takes place there.
The team works to preserve the environment and provide marine mammals with a strong future. The aquarium has daily presentations, behind-the-scenes tours, an indoor theater, opportunities to visit with the animals, fun and educational movies, summer camps, a cafe, kayak trips and more.
The highlight is the change to meet the Winter Dolphin. He is the most famous resident and the star in the popular dolphin story movies.
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