Downtown St. Petersburg has reversed the clock, claiming a youthful new profile. Captivating thousands of new residents and visitors each year, the numbers confirm young professionals are showing up, dining out, staying up late, and enjoying quality time in “Sunshine City.” Known for an abundance of gorgeous, sunny days to enjoy its divine coastline, the city is gaining international notoriety for its multiple arts and cultural destinations, unique local retailers, boutique luxury hotels, craft beers, and fine dining.
Embellishing its rich history, St. Petersburg’s oldest neighborhoods surrounding the city center are adorned with graceful Mediterranean-style architecture and lush landscaping, all within walking distance of the city’s busy, engaging, and opulent Beach Drive. The newly renovated Sundial, outfitted with the exceptional Locale Market international gourmet food and wine shop is a definite must-do, along with luxury retail and dining options, new-release theaters, and central square patio. Downtown bistros and offices mix with brick facades and ivy-covered walkways, inviting exploration. Whether you choose to walk, segway, ride the Downtown Looper Trolley, bicycle, or boat the coastline, the layout of the city favors many modes of transportation.
The sparkling Waterfront Arts District, tucked into Beach Drive between 7th Avenue North and 7th Avenue South, is home to several world-class museums, including the Dali Museum, the Chihuly Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts and the St. Petersburg Museum of History as well as several popular performing arts venues. Lush green parks and tree-lined streets add to the charm of this beautiful district, making it a preferred destination for families and couples.
The waterfront area boasts a selection of high end hotels, like The Vinoy Renaissance Resort with its own marina, accommodating a luxurious waterfront stay. A few blocks away, the boutique Birchwood Inn offers 18 classically-designed rooms dressed in a modern impression of 1920s décor. The Canopy rooftop lounge perched above Beach Drive is perfect for well-crafted sunset cocktails and a stylish nibble.
The city’s eclectic, indie, downtown Central Arts District is another reason St. Pete is joined at the hip with chic residents and visitors. Home to the Morean Arts Center, the area boasts unique shops featuring handmade collections, a wide selection of craft beers, and some rather hard-to-snag tables at fabulous local restaurants. The nearby Grand Central District is an elegant, vibrant downtown, offering a myriad of independent stores, shops, antiques, restaurants, and art galleries.
The city bustles with activity, hosting more than 1,000 events each year. Weekly farmers markets, outdoor concerts, exciting yacht regattas, and dramatic Grand Prix racing fill the calendar. The waterfront near Al Lang Stadium draws baseball’s spring training fans, again welcoming the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team. Tropicana Field hosts the boys of summer with a roster of Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball games featuring matchups with teams like the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox.
And lastly, yes, they do still play shuffleboard here, but it’s not your grandparent’s game. You’ll find a trendy new fan base enjoying the leisurely game as a social event, with DJs, jazz, and a 21st century appreciation for the history of the game. Just like the city, it’s got a whole new vibe.
From world-class museums to shopping and entertainment, St. Petersburg is a waterfront destination just waiting to be explored. Lower your anchor, enjoy an afternoon shopping, and capture a spectacular beachfront sunset at one of the many waterfront dining eateries. Take along our handy list of the city’s accommodations, restaurants, marinas, fuel stops and launch sites — accessible only by boat.
Please click on the links below for easy access to make your excursion great!
St Petersburg Excursion Destinations
We also have an Excursion Guide for Fort Myers!