Endeavored as the Sunshine City, St. Petersburg is known for its pleasant climate and white-sand beaches. Situated within Florida’s bay coast, the city is a famous tourist locality of the Tampa Bay Region.
Given its warm weather, locals and travelers visit St. Pete for multiple recreational activities in the water, including boating, swimming, surfing, fishing, and whatnot!
The city is home to America’s best beaches, vibrant arts communities, and astounding outside encounters. I probably admire St. Petersburg so dearly because it is radiant and full of life everywhere you go.
The city flourishes with a dazzling climate and gutsy people throughout the year. Visitors, including myself, generally love their sports energy, soothing music, food, nature, and nightlife. Of course, there’s nothing more relaxing than spending your night at Sunset Beach and drifting away with waves.
While touring, I realized the city was never quiet; there is always a plethora of things to do in St. Petersburg. Apart from the beaches, I also encountered many handcrafted fine arts—the “Earth Engaged” Art, the famous Salvador Museum, and Craft Exhibition, where craftsmen communicated their sentiments through personalized work.
A shimmering pearl on Florida’s Gulf Coast, St. Pete indeed has many ideal elements for your best get-away—an excellent food and drink scene, delightful beaches, museums, vibrant arts, and nature at its best. If combining museums and beaches are your forte, this place has many surprises stored for you.
Here are my top picks of the best things to do in St. Petersburg; enjoy and explore!
Visiting other destinations in Florida? Check out our other guides:
- 9 Must-Try Marco Island Restaurants
- 13 Fun Things To Do In San Marco Island
- The 9 Best Amelia Island Restaurants
- 13 Best Disney Springs Restaurants
- Things To Do In St. Petersburg During Spring, Summer, and Fall
- Things to Do in St. Petersburg During Winter
- Wrapping Up the Best Things To Do In St. Petersburg, FL
Things To Do In St. Petersburg During Spring, Summer, and Fall
You ought to visit St. Petersburg during the long period of June-October to partake in the sunshine.
One Dali Boulevard // +17278233767
Dedicated to the work of Salvador Dali, a pronounced Spanish surrealist artist, this museum portrays his life history, early paintings, landscapes, his introduction to surrealism, classical art, the universe, fourth dimension, immortal paintings, and art pieces.
Dali never stopped painting and portrayed his world through multidimensional and mathematical angles. Launched in 1982, The Dali Museum now has more than 2400 of Dali’s exhibits, 2100 photographs, prints, artifacts, and textiles. Among the 2400 original pieces of Dali, 96 are surreal oil paintings, 200 are drawings and watercolor masterpieces.
Situated at St. Petersburg’s waterfront, the Dali Museum itself is a unique architectural building with over 1000+ triangular glass sheet walls, called the enigma, and the grand avant garden that presents the city beautifully.
The museum also offers a collective library for students who want to learn art, Dali’s work form, and the combined history. Trainees can learn and engage in multiple educational activities at the museum.
Not just Dali, but the museum also exhibits similar artists for a highly diverse visit.
The Dali Museum also exhibits unparalleled temporary exhibits on rotation to introduce new artists and artworks. At the museum, Dali’s oil work took me deep within the dimensions of science, mathematics, immortality, and beauty.
Situated at south-southwest St. Petersburg, this park is a massive collection of five elemental keys (small islands), beaches, white-sand shores, native trees and shrubs, and the remains of some significant history.
Once military fortifications, these five Florida keys now serve up majestic sceneries and historical remnants. The five islands are popularly known as the Madelaine Key, the Christopher Key, the St. Jean Key, the Bonne Fortune Key, and the Mullet Key. Among the five, the Mullet is considered the main island.
I visited this park as a morning trail, but its beauty held me back for some day-camping, touring, visiting the historic center at the location, and so much more. Spread over 1136 acres of landscape, Fort DeSoto will captivate you for a long day trip and night camping.
I enjoyed hiking, trailing, and walking throughout the beaches and off-shores. Swimming in the sea around sunset felt uplifting and serene. Travelers also enjoy fishing at the two fishing piers found at the location. Not to forget, this fort is an excellent location for bird-watching—more than 320 bird species frequent this park yearly.
Explore these keys alone and spend the night camping—there are multiple facilities organizing camps near the beach.
1825 4th St. N. // +17275513102
Almost a century old, the AvantSunken Gardens in St. Petersburg have been known as a famous, historic roadside attraction for more than 100 years now. First built in 1926, this botanical garden has protected and sustained 900 species of plants, shrubs, trees, and wildlife.
Upon entering, the garden extends a cooling canopy shed of palm trees to travelers exhausted by the sunlight. With its 50,000 tropical and subtropical plants, this botanical garden offers purified air throughout your journey.
Mr. George Turner first developed the garden in an area of four acres; generations later, it was sold to the city and is now a famous tourist attraction.
The Sunken Gardens now have paved paths, cascading waterfalls, small fish ponds, a Japanese-style garden, butterfly garden, wooden bridges, and Italian-style pergolas for added scenery.
Watching ponds, small waterfalls, and greenery in the area feels like a soothing encore for the tired travelers; nature’s sounds that resonate from the birds alone are therapeutic.
Although the whole garden was a surreal experience, witnessing the flock of flamingos was something I didn’t anticipate.
The park is open to the public at an affordable entrance charge up until 4 PM. Many events frequent the destination throughout the year, including educational events, horticulture sessions, growing plant organizations, etc.
255 Beach Dr. NE // +17278962667
The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is the city’s heart, providing a diverse variety of art from every corner of the world. With over 5000 years of human civilization history, the museum promotes 20,000 historical and present artifacts, including some of the most exclusive Florida collections, like the Monet.
Spanning around various art forms, the MFA provides a multicultural experience for art lovers by its boundless Asian, African, contemporary, European, and Oceania exhibitions. Along with permanent collections, the museum revolves around temporary exhibitions to promote aspiring artists and their art.
A little dive into history? Mrs. Margaret Acheson Stuart founded this museum in 1896 to provide the city with boundless art.
Things to Do in St. Petersburg During Winter
If you are used to cold weather, traveling to St. Petersburg, Florida, may feel like living in an open sauna. I decided to take my second trip to St. Petersburg in early December because it wasn’t too chilly, but neither was it piping hot.
Swimming and relaxing at the beaches will be your go-to activities in the summer, while winter will allow you more space to explore, learn about the city up close, and be introduced to its diverse culture.
Located downtown, the new St. Pete Pier will introduce you to St. Petersburg’s authentic lifestyle and culture. Covering over 26 acres, this recreation center, called the Pleasure Pier, offers multiple activities for travelers and locals, including kayaking, paddle-boating, swimming, hiking, walking, etc.
At St. Pete Pier, visitors can also enjoy the serene waterfront, along with downtown City-vibe.
St. Pete Pier is a popular destination for families and friends with over five restaurants, recreation playgrounds for kids, a pier plaza, an authentic market, waterfront resting places, and so much more.
For kids, this pier includes the splash pad at the plaza, Discovery Center and wetland, the Glazer playground with swings and slides, and the Bioswale picnic area. Children will love to spend time here given all the activities and attractions.
The avenue has bars, walking pavement close to the waterfront, spas, kayaking enclosure, boating, fishing, and paved walking trails for adults.
This is a perfect destination for couples looking for a pleasant evening date, Sit beside the waterfront and have a candlelight dinner in the open, spend the evening at the dock mesmerized by the darkness, the lighting, the ocean, the stars, and Pete’s Pier aura.
1925 4th St. N. // +17278218992
Are you looking for something fun for your kids? Great Explorations Children’s Museum is a great indoor platform for an entertaining evening—with more than ten gaming zones. The zones include the vet’s office, a kid-size grocery store and carts, a tall surfboard tower, slides, and a Lego wall.
The entrance ticket is pretty much affordable, with a lot to offer inside. The museum also has a touch tunnel to indulge kids’ sensory motors. Founded in 1986, this children’s museum stands beside the Sunken Gardens.
Park St. N. & 38th Ave. N. // +17278937441
Abercrombie park is a peaceful destination near the waterfront to enjoy family picnics and get-togethers. The garden is spread over four acres of land and water space. It allows you to appreciate walking, hiking, and biking.
Locals call it a hidden gemstone, given its low-popularity yet applaudable architecture. It’s a shed to relax when St. Petersburg shines with the bright sun. The canopy of trees filters light through the space and gives natural tan hours to visitors.
Adorned with vintage lamps, the jungle neighborhood, and wholesome greenery, this park will bring solace to people who enjoy diverse flora. The twisted trees accompanied by hundreds of different plants and the waterfront offer a spectacular panorama.
Built by the Fill & Muller group in 1954, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is one of the top symbols of Florida. The bridge runs along Tampa bay and connects St. Petersburg to Terra Ceia. It also crosses Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, and Manatee County.
The bridge at night looked exceptionally beautiful and stood above the sea with all its glory.
For the mornings, I covered a small trail of this magnificent bridge that runs 12 miles long. Ride along the bridge, the ocean, wild wind, water lengths, and high altitudes at night or sunset; the bridge is perfect at night. The bridge also offers a fishing pier for enthusiasts interested in fishing at sea.
Want to collect souvenirs on your way back home? I visited this cozy Sunday market at St. Pete beach for antiques and authentic goods.
Exhibiting over 70-80 vendors every Sunday, Corey Avenue Market is a blast with live music, open street food counters, pottery, homemade goods, and so much more.
The market is available every Sunday throughout the year and opens in the morning up until noon. You can enjoy breakfasts, brunch, and lunch at the location.
The whole avenue gives a local vibe. Tourists who enjoy interacting with the locals will especially love this market. Support local business and purchase authenticity. The vendors feature groceries, fresh farm-grown vegetables and fruits, herbal supplements for healing, etc.
You may witness some international vendors from Himachal, India, selling handmade scarfs if you are lucky enough.
116 18th St. S. // +17273046290
A fan of mountain climbing? St. Pete, Florida, might not have many mountains to climb, but it definitely has Vertical Ventures, also called the climber’s gym. Vertical Ventures provide vivid wall-climbing experiences to the visitors.
Bizarre to have a climbing practice field on a flatland called Florida? Well, locals enjoy this mountain-climb training and continue their trips to high rocky mountains for misfit adventures.
Vertical Ventures is an entertaining place to attend, even if you can only visit it once. The gym provides 20,000 square feet of space with 40 tall routes, nine auto-belay, 75+ climb lines, and 150+ routes to climb.
There are multiple walls for different climbers, broadly divided into beginner’s luck, intermediate, and pro. Once you cover the rookie’s guide to climbing and belaying, there’s a whole lot of fun waiting for you at the tall, curvy walls with edges at every corner.
It truly is a wholesome experience for adventure lovers. I visited here with local friends during the week to avoid crowds, and the whole thing turned into a fun gaming day. Along the lines of the walls, the climbing gym also has an actual fitness and yoga area. You can either take personal training or learn with the beginner’s group!
Vertical Ventures is an equally fun destination for kids who enjoy sports like wall/mountain climbing.
6800 Sunshine Skyway Ln. S. // +17278712628
I have always enjoyed activities in water, whether it was swimming, boating, kayaking, or river rafting. St. Pete Beach and Island Boat Adventures introduced me to snorkeling, shelling, and dolphin watching.
The complete trip takes travelers to the ruins of Old Fort Dade, where you can snorkel and pick seashells. Next, the boat ride takes the passengers to the Egmont Key for more snorkeling, wildlife discoveries, shelling, and picnic.
Throughout the whole ride, expect many wild bottlenose dolphins to greet you. We were lucky enough to witness them swirl fast in the water—it was beautiful. This four-hour boat ride will introduce you to many birds, fish, aquatic fauna, and even tortoises if you love to see marine and bird wildlife.
The boat ride is pretty affordable and also provides you with snorkeling accessories. Try this journey to witness the beauty of underwater life.
4237 Gulf Blvd. // +18135275822
Have you heard of kayaking at night? I never did until I tried it with Glass Bottom Tours—it was fierce and breathtaking. The kayaks we used had glass bottoms and LEDs that lighted the craft and the water below and around.
Despite the glorious darkness, we could see through the water and wildlife present deep within the sea in a colorful demeanor. The Glass Bottom Tours organizes a one-hour excursion at St. Pete Beach. The wild trip starts at 8:30 PM. Although the city is engulfed in the dark, our kayaks and the water beneath glow with vibrant contrasts—green, pink, etc.
It’s genuinely enthralling to watch the night unfold the beauty of the darkness—nighttime kayaking will introduce you to a different and unique world.
The eco-friendly tour also includes feeding the fish at night. You can kayak along with the tour guides or enjoy it with your friends; both rides are equally fun and mesmerizing.
Wrapping Up the Best Things To Do In St. Petersburg, FL
This golden city offers multiple entertainment activities at every hour of the day. While you can enjoy beaches and a good suntan at noon, St. Petersburg is wild and illuminating at night.
Take a stroll amid the famous downtown district and enjoy their cuisine scenes; St. Pete is exceptionally popular for wineries and breweries. Then, take a sunset cruise across the waterfront and enjoy lunch on the watercraft amidst the sea. At night, go kayaking or spend a cozy date with your partner on Fort DeSoto.
You will never find yourself wondering what to do in St. Petersburg. The city has it all and attracts visitors with its beaches, parks, playgrounds, and dining scene. So enjoy these twelve best things to do in St. Petersburg for your perfect summer family/couple vacation.