I’ve been to Florida a few times, but each time it’s been for work or to go to Disneyland! This time I wanted a different Florida experience and decided to fill my time with diving, swimming with manatees and enjoying the St. Petersburg and Tampa area. I did a total of 6 days road tripping through west Florida and ended with a weekend spent in St. Petersburg FL.

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard much about this city before going, but it ended up being a vibrant, artsy, relaxing place that I can’t wait to visit again. Not only that, but Tampa, Florida is only a quick 15-20 minute drive from St. Pete and both cities have a unique life of their own.

Below are some fun things to do in St. Petersburg! I’ve also included great places to stay and all of the amazing places I ate that can’t be missed while you’re there!

Read Next: What to Pack for Florida in the Winter

honeymoon island

St. Petersburg FL Things to Do: 

Dali Museum

I’m not typically a huge museum goer, but the Dali Museum was gorgeous and I couldn’t say no. In fact, St. Petersburg is full of amazing museums, so I knew I needed to go to at least one! Plus, this museum was short and sweet, but also full of Salvador Dali’s incredible works of art. I recommend going because it will only take you an hour or two to get through. Stop in the gardens outside to get some different views and photos of the museum. Book your tickets here.

Dali museum
dali museum

Walk around the Central Arts District

I honestly could have spent the majority of my time in the Central Arts District! It’s such a cute neighborhood that has the best shops and restaurants. I loved going to see all of the art on the alley walls and people watching. I highly recommend walking down Central Avenue North for all of the shops and restaurants and then going into the back alleys to see all of the murals! They also do tours to these murals here. 

you are my sunshine - central arts district
central arts district
central arts district

Take the Looper Trolley around town

I loved finding this Looper Trolley! I went to all of the main areas of St. Pete on it and thought it was a great way to see the city. The best part? It’s free! You can either opt to tip the driver or not, but it’ll take you to all of the major districts and sights you’ll want to see.

Bike down Beach Drive

You can find city bikes to rent in St. Pete all over the place from Coast Bike Share. Just download the app and you’ll be able to see they are scattered throughout the city. Take a ride down Beach Drive and check out cute shops and restaurants along the way! You can then take your bike over into Vinoy Park and explore the waterfront.

beach walk

Fort De Soto Park

This is park is comprised of 5 islands off the coast of St. Pete and has beaches that span for 7 miles. You can get here by car to check out the beaches, trails and historic Fort. This is perfect for people who want to get out of the city and have an outdoorsy day!

Go to St. Pete Beach & The Don CeSar

Upon driving into St. Pete from Crystal River (where we swam with manatees) we drove by the beach to watch the sunset. The first thing we saw was the giant pink hotel, The Don CeSar on the water. It was remarkable! This beach is beautiful and I highly recommend going if you have time to spend.

St Pete Beach

Check out the famous Haslam’s Book Store

I didn’t get a chance to go here while I was in St. Pete, but just about everyone I talked to said to go. I think it’s the St. Petersburg version of Powell’s bookstore in Portland!

Visit Vinoy Park and the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg

St. Pete has its share of pink hotels, but each one is so unique. Check out the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg and then take a stroll through the famous Vinoy Park (named after the hotel that was built in 1925). Vinoy park runs 11 miles and is perfect for biking and checking out the waterfront of St. Pete. You might even spot some dolphins in the water! If you’re not into biking, check out the Segway tours that will take you through the park.

Visit the Chihuly Collection

St. Pete is home to many artist collections and museums. This museum, located in the Central Arts District, is home to Chihuly’s special collection. I’ve seen his artwork everywhere, so didn’t go inside, but every single person I talked to said it was amazing!

Go brewery hopping

Surprisingly, St. Pete is home to a vast plethora of breweries and wineries. I recommend taking a few hours and hopping around to some breweries. Some good ones to note are: Green Bench Brewery, 3 Daughters Brewing, Cage Brewery and Pinellas Ale Works. You can also take a tour of these breweries as well. Check here for recent prices. 

Take a walk through the Brocante market

If you’re here during the first weekend in a month, take a stroll through the Brocante market to see all of the fun vintage goods!

Go to Honeymoon and Caladesi Island

If you have the time and a car, I recommend going over to Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island. You can rent kayaks if the day is nice and kayak over from Dunedin Causeway to Caladesi, or just drive your car to Honeymoon and hang out on the beach. They are both gorgeous and a great little day trip from St. Pete!

dunedin causeway

IN TAMPA (across the bay) 

Go to the Florida Aquarium

This is one of the better aquariums I’ve been to in my life. I also got to go diving with sharks in their coral reef aquarium and it was EPIC! I highly recommend doing this if you’re a diver (you can swim too) and want a unique diving experience. See recent prices here.

Tampa Riverwalk

I had the best time taking bikes and biking along the Tampa Riverwalk. It was a great way to see the city and it was so easy to bike along. I recommend stopping at Armature Works and Ulele for some grub!

Visit Ybor City and SoHo for party vibes

I didn’t get a chance to go to either of these, but had to mention them both in case you’re looking for a great night out! I’ve been told that both of these areas are great for a weekend party night.

karma st pete
armature works

Where to Eat in St. Petersburg FL:

Pacific Counter – This is a great spot to go if you’re traveling alone and want to just grab something to eat quickly. Plus the fish was super fresh and yummy!

The Lure – This was a super hip tapas restaurant that I loved. If you can get the pork belly with mac and cheese tapas, you might die and go to heaven. I also loved the fig flatbread. 

Armature Works – OMG this place was soooo amazing. I really wish we had something similar in Boise. This one’s in Tampa and is right off of the riverwalk that we biked down. It has just about every kind of food, drink or dessert you could ever want. I saw a lot of people working and having coffees here and it seemed like the perfect place to get work done or hang out.

Intermezzo – I didn’t go here, but had about 100 people tell me I had to go! Clearly a winner. 

Maple Biscuits– This place looked bomb.com. I walked inside and knew I needed to come back here for breakfast biscuits. A few different people recommend this place to me as well!

St. Pete Beach bars – There are a ton of bars that line the beach and most are part of hotels. If you want a fun night on the beach, go to the bars on this side of town.

Karma Juice Bar & Eatery – I went here about 4x while I was in St. Pete. It was a great spot to grab a juice, salad and sandwich. Plus, everything is healthy and it’s super popular with the locals.

Bodega – When in Florida, eat a Cuban Sandwich. Head here for an authentic and amazing cuban sando.

WHERE TO STAY:

Budget & Mid-Range:

Airbnb – I stayed in the Old Northeast neighborhood and loved the old homes. My spot was so cute as well! Here’s the exact spot I stayed.

The Avalon – My friend Alex highly recommends this design/boutique hotel. I passed it on the drive in and thought it was in a great spot. Check out recent prices here.

Dolphin Beach Resort – Want more of a budget friendly spot on the beach, this is your spot! Check out recent prices here. 

Splurge:

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club – Want to splurge a bit, but want to be central and stay in the famous pink hotel? Stay here! Check out recent prices here. 

Don CeSar – This might be the most famous hotel in St. Pete and splurge-worthy. Another famous pink hotel, only on St. Pete beachside. Perfect for a relaxing weekend! Check out recent prices here. 

st peteresburg vinoy hotel
St. Petersburg Florida what to do
What to Do: St Petersburg Florida
St. Petersburg FL: What to Do, See & Eat