The Best Things to Do in St. Petersburg, Florida

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 opportunities for 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.

aerial view of St Petersburg pier with downtown skyline in background

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.

Fun 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

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’s made up of five offshore keys with beaches, bike lanes, campgrounds, and some boat ramps. Historically, the islands were used for military purposes so you can check out the museum and cannons as well.

aerial view of Fort De Soto Park

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.

There is a Paw Playground 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

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.

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

Water Sports

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, and they include a tour guide too!

If you can’t get enough of the water, be sure to look into paddleboarding, parasailing, jet skiing and windsurfing.

Related: 20 Fun Things To Do in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Shell Key Preserve

There are many boat rentals and kayak rentals that will take you to the preserve. What’s really cool is that you can go camping here! Check out this video to see how breathtaking the area is.

Craft Beer Tours

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 a Publix. It’s not local to St. Petersburg but worth mentioning nonetheless!

Here are some local breweries to check out:

Best Beaches Near St. Petersburg

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!

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!
  • Madeira Beach:

Related: Where to Go Snorkeling in St. Pete Beach

Pass-a-Grille Beach

I really enjoyed Pass-a-Grille Beach the most. It’s on the southern part of the barrier island, and it’s much quieter compared to 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.

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.

Best Places to Explore (Besides the Beach)

There is plenty of fun things to do around the city that don’t involve getting the white sand in your shoes!

Downtown St. Petersburg

The downtown area has lots of amazing 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.

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.

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 encounters birds, turtles, and of course, alligators!

Tropicana Field

If you love Major League Baseball, then 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.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

This is a massive bridge that 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

Florida Holocaust Museum

Incredible history displayed here. Staff are 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.

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.

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 out of recycled scrap metal. Inside, the exhibits were divided into large, themed rooms with individual rooms being devoted to sight, sound, or touch exhibits.

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 to check out.

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 exhibit in the local artists’ studio which also has works on display for sale. Learn more about the exhibit on their website.

Best Places to Eat

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

Recently opened, Mullet’s is a hidden gem, but that probably won’t last for 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 classics like pancakes, eggs, and sausage for breakfast. 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.

Coffee Shops

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 decided to stop by Black Crow Coffee. The indoor area was so artistic and eclectic, I didn’t want to leave. In the photo below, you can see they offer some outdoor seating under an awning with plenty of plants.

outdoor view of Black Crow Coffee in Saint Petersburg, Florida

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!

Bottom Line

Visiting St. Petersburg and the surrounding area was really fun! There are plenty of airbnbs in the area to book your stay as well as hotels and beach rentals. If I visit again, I would definitely like to stay in Pass-a-Grille Beach or Tierra Verde.

St. Petersburg FAQs

What is the coldest month in St. Petersburg Florida?

The coolest months are December through March, with temperatures in the high 60s. The coolest month is January with lowest temperates around 56 degrees.

Are there alligators in Pinellas County?

There are alligators that live in ponds and lakes in Pinellas County. Seeing an alligator show up in your neighborhood or backyard is very rare, and they are usually 4 feet or less in length. Always be mindful of the bodies of freshwater when you’re with pets or small children.

How far is St. Petersburg from Disney?

St. Petersburg is approximately 95 miles from Disneyworld in Orlando. The fastest route includes toll roads.

Miranda Hassen

Miranda is a content writer and blog strategist. In her free time, she loves traveling, hiking, watching the latest shows on Netflix, and geeking out on all things blogging.

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