Part of the Florida For Grown Ups Guide.
St Petersburg (St Pete’s) is in the Central West region of Florida, only a short drive from the popular city of Tampa.
St Pete’s is a favourite for me and the other half when we are in Florida. If we are over in Tampa having been to Busch Gardens or we’ve watched a football game, we pop this on the list too.
Did you know? St Pete’s is nicknamed the Sunshine City due to holding the record since the 1960s for having 768 consecutive days of sunshine! That’s pretty amazing.
Being on the West Coast and on the Gulf, St Pete’s gets really hot – and I mean really. I’ve visited both in June and October and it really doesn’t matter when you go – it’s scorching all the time. So there’s nothing better than sitting at the harbour, sipping ice cold beer, without a care in the world.
St Pete’s also has a great stretch of beach where you can choose to top up your tan, take a fishing trip or catch the island shuttle over to Shell Island where you will literally be surrounded by shells, ocean and not a lot else. More on St Pete’s beach – and others – here.
At the end of the day, why not stretch your legs and take a wander down the 1970s pier? Although the pier has been ‘under construction’ on both my visits, it’s still open to the public and it’s a good place to catch the last of the evening sun – with the pelicans.
If you can find the time to spend the night in St Pete’s, all the better – because it has plenty of nightlife and some of the best seafood eateries (like the 42nd Street Shrimp Store for example!)
On both occasions we stayed, we have chosen the Hilton Bayfront and the Hollander (a little further into the city). Although both were lovely and modern, I’d choose the Hollander as it was just that little bit more welcoming – and it had a cool residents bar (ideal cocktail drinking until the early hours).
…..And what better way to work off that hangover than a little bit of mind bending? St Pete’s has the largest collection of Salvador Dali art outside of Europe. The Dali museum is open daily and costs around $25 – and it’s well worth a visit – if nothing else, you’ll quickly realise your head isn’t as fuzzy as the messages behind the paintings.
Typical of a place that doesn’t take itself seriously and where life is best lived relaxed, you will also find some lovely, quirky, Caribbean style houses in St Pete’s, which are bound to put a smile on your face.
St Pete’s certainly has a lot of character and charm. Isn’t this better than a day at Disney? If you do find yourself in this part of Florida, to not stop at St Pete’s would be a sin – so make that trip!