If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the many things St. Petersburg has to offer, be sure to check out its multitude of beaches. There are plenty of places to swim, sunbathe, and play in the sand. There’s also a great selection of restaurants and bars that will satisfy any craving. If you’re feeling active, there are plenty of cycling, snorkeling, and kayaking.
We’re listing all the fun things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida! St. Petersburg is a great place to visit for dog lovers, craft beer enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and anyone who enjoys the Florida beaches.
What is St. Petersburg Known For?
Located between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Central Florida, this city is nicknamed “The Sunshine City”. In fact, there is an average of 361 days of sunshine per year. And if it does happen to rain, it won’t last long at all. You may wake up to a thunderstorm in the morning but the air and ground will be dry by lunchtime.
The Best Things to Do in St. Petersburg
A few other things that make St. Petersburg stand out are all the nearby beaches, the recreational activities, pet-friendly places, and how easy it is to get around. Let’s go over some of the best places to see!
The best things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida, include all of the nearby beaches, the recreational activities available, and how easy it is to get around. There are also a lot of pet-friendly places in the city so you can bring your furry friend along. If you’re looking for something to do while you’re in town, there are plenty of things to choose from!
Related: Top 15 Beach Essentials for Your Beach Vacation
1) Bring Your Dog to Fort De Soto Park
This is one of the best places in the area that is kid-friendly AND pet-friendly! Fort De Soto Park is operated by Pinellas County. It comprises five offshore keys with beaches, bike lanes, campgrounds, and some boat ramps. Historically, the islands were used for military purposes, so you can also check out the museum and cannons.
The best part is the dedicated beach for dogs! Dogs are allowed to roam off-leash and swim in the water with you. The water is very blue but the waves can be intense so keep a close eye on your pup! The beach itself is relatively small so it may be crowded on the weekends.
A Paw Playground is nearby so you can rinse the sand off your dog. There are also waste bags and water fountains provided.
Related: 14 of the Best Sunflower Fields in Florida
2) Visit the Sunken Gardens
Do you love walking through botanical gardens and enjoying the flowers and plants? At Sunken Gardens, you can see exotic and tropical plants.
3) Sunset Cruises
The sunsets on the gulf side are out of this world! What would make them even more wonderful? Getting up close and personal in a sailboat! Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center offers a sunset cruise as well as private charters and ways to watch dolphins in the bay!
Related: 7 Best Central Florida Day Trips near Orlando
4) Go kayaking or boating near the Shell Key Preserve
There are many boat rentals and kayak rentals that will take you to the preserve. What’s cool is that you can go camping here! Check out this video to see how breathtaking the area is.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to consider! Rent a kayak along Pinellas Bayway S. In a kayak, you can explore the Shell Key Preserve. It’s like hanging out on a small, secluded island. It’s a great place to find seashells and see the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Here are a few places to rent a kayak, including a tour guide too!
- Topwater Kayak Outpost
- Get Up and Go Kayaking – Explore the preserve areas in clear kayaks!
- Island Kayak Adventures
If you can’t get enough of the water, look into paddleboarding, parasailing, jet skiing, and windsurfing.
Related: 20 Fun Things to do in Cocoa Beach, Florida
5) Go on a snorkeling tour
There are several places to go snorkeling around St. Petersburg, and none of them will disappoint you! Some of the local tours that include snorkeling are Island Ferry, Island Boat Adventures, and Adventure Cruises.
6) See wildlife at the Weedon Island Preserve
The Weedon Island Preserve is a free attraction with over 3,000 acres of land. Visitors can head to the visitor center first to learn about the area’s natural habitats and wildlife. Then you head out to the scenic nature trails and see the beautiful preserve for yourself.
7) Go on a Craft Beer Tour
Brew Tours by Thirsty Pelican is the best place to go if you want to taste all the best local beers. I wish I had time to visit some of the local breweries because they all look great! But I was able to buy a case of Funky Buddha from Publix. It’s not local to St. Petersburg but worth mentioning nonetheless!
Here are some local breweries to check out:
There are a few beaches in the area that are simply the best! The white sand and bluish green water are mesmerizing, so you can expect to have a joyful and relaxing day on the beach. In fact, TripAdvisor’s list of Top 25 Beaches in 2021 includes a few beaches in the area!
8) Play in the Sun at St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach is a Florida resort city set on a barrier island located directly west of St. Petersburg. It includes the following beaches:
- Upham Beach Park: There are some amazing fireworks here on the Fourth of July!
9) Bring Your Dog to Pass-a-Grille Beach
I really enjoyed Pass-a-Grille Beach the most. It’s on the southern part of the barrier island, much quieter than St. Pete Beach. If you want to be within walking distance from the beach, without all the fuss of tourism and high-rise hotels and cottages, then this is the place to be.
10) Spend a day at Siesta Key
This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. It’s about 50 miles south of St Petersburg and 150 miles southwest of Orlando so you could easily plan a day trip here during your stay!
Related: The Best Beaches in Siesta Key, Florida You’ll Love to Visit
At the main entrance of the beach, there is a sea turtle statue that’s filled with plastic bottles. It’s a good reminder to keep the beaches clean for the sea turtles that live there.
There are plenty of fun things around the city that don’t involve getting the white sand in your shoes!
11) Explore Downtown St. Petersburg
The downtown area has lots of fantastic food. The heart of downtown St. Petersburg has many opportunities to enjoy good seafood, craft beer, and walk along with the beer or nearby parks. Downtown and the beaches have plenty of street parking, so it’s easy to find a spot if you want to skip the costs of Uber.
12) Take a stroll along the St. Pete Pier
This pier is such a cool place to hang out! There are plenty of lounge chairs and comfortable places to relax, especially if you eat a big meal at one of the nearby restaurants. Check their Instagram or their calendar for news on events and fun things to do.
13) Visit the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
If you’d like to explore the local walking trails, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. There is a pond and a lake here so you may encounter birds, turtles, and of course, alligators!
14) See a baseball game at Tropicana Field
If you love Major League Baseball, go see the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field! The stadium has a dome, so you don’t have to worry about the summer weather or thunderstorms.
15) Drive across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
This massive bridge takes you from St. Petersburg to Terra Ceia. The bridge has a steep climb to 430 feet, so it can feel intimidating the first time driving through. But the views are well worth it! There are boats and fishermen everywhere.
Museums & Artwork
Many visitors will be surprised to learn that St. Petersburg actually has its fair share of art and history museums. So don’t worry if thunderstorms or heavy rain disrupt your itinerary. You can adjust your schedule and spend some time indoors at one of these amazing museums!
16) Learn history at the Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Holocaust Museum is worth a visit for history buffs. The staff is friendly and helpful. I always learn and appreciate this place more with each visit. So much respect for the history, the survivors, the perished and the liberators of this tragedy.
Address: 55 Fifth Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
17) View amazing artwork at the Museum of Fine Arts
Beautiful museum and a great way to spend an afternoon in St. Petersburg. If you enjoy art or architecture, I’d definitely recommend adding this place to your must-see list while in the area.
Address: 255 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
18) Have some family fun at Great Explorations Children’s Museum
This children’s museum has a lot of fun and interactive activities for young children to enjoy! Its parking lot featured a to-scale replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex made entirely from recycled scrap metal. Inside, the exhibits were divided into large, themed rooms with individual rooms devoted to sight, sound, or touch.
19) Visit the Dalí (Salvador Dalí Museum)
The Salvador Dalí Museum is an art museum dedicated to the artistic work of Salvador Dalí. Many of his oil paintings are here, with other temporary exhibits.
20) Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center
The scale and overall amount of glass is mind-blowing. Colors, whoah! If you are in the area don’t miss out. Included in your ticket price is a glassblowing demonstration just a short walk from the local artists’ studio exhibit, which also has works on display for sale. Learn more about the exhibit on their website.
Local Food & Vendors
21) Buy from local vendors at St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market
Every Saturday from October through May, you can see produce and products from around 200 vendors that are registered at the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market.
22) Eat some delicious seafood
Anywhere you go in the city is going to serve seafood, and you need to enjoy it at every chance you get! Go here on a Friday night, and then you can walk across the pier too.
Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro: The Fresco’s Bowl is a healthy and satisfying dish. Whatever sauce they put on the shrimp tastes delicious! The linguini alfredo wasn’t too shabby either.
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille: Doc Ford’s is the perfect restaurant for anyone looking to enjoy a fantastic meal at the St. Petersburg Pier. The outdoor seating gives you a wonderful view of the pier.
Mullet’s Fish Camp & Market: Mullet’s is a hidden gem recently opened, but that probably won’t last long! There is plenty of outdoor seating and large TVs to watch your favorite games. There is also a small stage for live music. The seafood was great, and if you love spicy food, order the cajun fries!
Munch’s Restaurant & Sundries: Munch’s will remind you of an old-school diner. They have all the breakfast classics like pancakes, eggs, and sausage. For lunch, you can get burgers, fries, and a milkshake.
Krispy Krab: The seafood doesn’t get fresher and more wild-caught than this! There are a few Krispy Krabs in the area so you can locate the one closest to you. The one I went to was a takeout establishment.
23) Grab a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop
There are also plenty of coffee shops in the area too. The variety of choices in Sunshine City won’t let you down!
It was raining one morning during my trip, so I stopped by Black Crow Coffee. The indoor area was so artistic and eclectic, that I didn’t want to leave. The photo below offers some outdoor seating under an awning with plenty of plants.
Then there is the Southside Coffee Brew Bar. It’s a small shop next to Munchie’s, so there is no indoor seating. But they have some outdoor seating with umbrellas. I ordered an iced chai latte and a cinnamon apple bundt cake. So sweet and delicious!
24) Mazzaro’s Italian Market
Mazzaro’s Italian Market is the perfect market to visit for anyone who loves wine and Italian cuisine. Participate in a wine tasting and eat some delicious cheese and deli sandwiches. It’s a fun place to hang out and everyone to choose whatever Italian dish they please. There is also a cheese room and wine cellar for you to take some Italian delights home with you!
25) Eat some amazing gelato
While you’re exploring downtown, head to Paciugo Gelato & Caffè for some flavorful gelato and a shot of espresso! There is a HUGE selection of many different flavors—there are multiple sugar-free and dairy-free options. Some of the best flavors include cannoli, dulce de leche, mint chocolate chip, tiramisu, caramel, and cookies n milk.
Visiting St. Petersburg and the surrounding area was fun! There are plenty of Airbnbs and hotels in the area to book your stay as well as hotels and beach rentals. If I visit again, I would like to stay in Pass-a-Grille Beach or Tierra Verde.
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