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 of 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 truly have a unique life of their own.
St. Petersburg FL: What to See, Eat & Do
Below are some fun things to do in St. Petersburg! I’ve also included great places to stay and all of the incredible places I ate that can’t be missed while you’re there.
While you’re at it, let’s be friends on Instagram @travelingspud and Tiktok!
Read Next: What to Pack for Florida in the Winter
Best Time To Visit St Petersburg, FL
Luckily, St Petersburg, Florida, is gorgeous year-round! The best times to visit are in the late fall and early winter since this is the coolest time of the year. The Florida heat can get brutal in the summer months, making you want to stay in the air conditioning.
You can expect an average of 72° / 57° in December and an average of 91° / 77° in July. You can truly visit any month out of the year; just be aware of that southern humidity!
If you are visiting from June 1st to November 30th, be aware of Hurricanes. This is Florida’s hurricane season, so check the local weather before you leave for your trip. This could prepare you for what storms are coming off of the coast.
Getting Around St Petersburg, FL
Walk Downtown St Pete
If you stay downtown, you don’t need a rental car. You can simply walk the quaint city streets. There is a walking path along the water which will bring you through Vinoy park to the other side of town. From there, walk to any restaurant or bar that you want to in downtown St Petersburg.
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 to Vinoy Park and explore the waterfront.
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.
Using a ride-share app is common in St Pete when you don’t want to walk. This is especially convenient if the weather is bad or if you are coming back late at night. While the city is relatively safe, sometimes it’s just nice to grab an Uber instead. Requesting one is easy as there are plenty of drivers around this cool city.
St Petersburg FL Things to Do:
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.
Walk around the Central Arts District
I could have spent most 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 of these murals here.
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
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.
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. Enjoy some ice-cold craft beer while enjoying live music on the brewery’s patios.
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 and enjoy St Pete’s clear water. . They are both gorgeous and a great little day trip from St. Pete!
Walk The St Pete Pier
Check out St Petersburg, Florida’s newest attraction, St Pete Pier! The pier is 26 acres of nonstop things to do. This includes dining, shopping, swimming, and even concerts. You can enjoy the views of Tampa Bay while also admiring St Pete. It is free to explore too!
Saturday Morning Market
The Saturday Morning Market is rated one of the best things to do in St Pete! It takes palace every Saturday at the Al Lang Stadium. The market is hosted year-round, depending on the weather.
You will find over 130 local vendors here, selling fresh flowers to baked home goods. Grab yourself some fresh produce while sipping on a refreshing lemonade. You can admire the local artists and listen to the musicians who fill up the stadium parking lot.
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.
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.
Where to Eat in St. Petersburg FL:
This is a great spot to go if you’re traveling alone and want to grab something to eat quickly. Plus, the fish was super fresh and yummy! Pacific Counter is located in the Central Arts District, making it a quick walk through town. They serve up some fresh gulf coast poke bowls and delicious sushi burritos!
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. The Lure is one of the best restaurants in St Petersburg, and they serve sushi, tapas & cocktails! This award-winning restaurant was even named the Best Sushi Restaurant of 2020; need I say more?
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 Coffee & Cocktails
I didn’t go here, but I had about 100 people tell me I had to go! Clearly a winner. Their vibe is inspired by European and American cafés from the 1950s and 1960s. They have specialty coffee and hand-crafted cocktails for you to enjoy. Did I mention Intermezzo even has an oyster bar in the back? You have to stop here and try some when visiting St Pete.
Maple Street Biscuit Company
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! They have “Biscuits That Wow.” The Squawking Goat was even featured on the foot network! It has battered chicken strips, toasted goat cheese, and scratch-made, sweet-not-spicy pepper jelly.
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. Some of my favorites include Salty’s Tiki Bar and Beach Lounge, which has tables and fire pits right on the beach. Swigwam Beach Bar, which is a hole-in-the-wall local favorite with cheap drinks and a pool table. And finally, Harry’s Beach Bar, a spot that is popular for its live music!
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. Try one of their Acai Bowls, which is blended with almond milk and topped with their house-made, gluten-free granola and honey.
Bodega on Central
When in Florida, eat a Cuban Sandwich. Head here for an authentic and amazing Cuban sando. The restaurant is in the Edge District, which is a short walk from Tropicana Field. In addition to the Cuban Sandwich, they have Pollo and Tempeh sandwiches along with large Platas for you to try.
Where To Stay In St Petersburg, FL
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.
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.
Yes to brewery hopping!! That’s the first thing we’ll do when we get there 🙂 I had no idea that the Chihuly Collection was in St. Pete — I’ve been to the one in Seattle, so definitely putting that on our St. Petersburg, FL list. Would also love to check out the Dali Museum — it looks bigger than the one in Monterey, California!
Jenn had so much fun in Tampa with you that she’s taking me back this weekend. We’re going to bike the Riverwalk and eat at Armature Works for sure. I don’t know what else she has in mind but I am looking forward to it all.
Awesome read Katie! Thank you. I will be out there in May first time.