Exterior of the Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

Things to do in  St Petersburg

Spectacular beaches, surreal art

Warm sunshine, a cool bay breeze, and dozens of museums make St. Petersburg’s walkable city a treat for visitors. Located along Tampa Bay and adjacent to the Gulf Coast, St. Pete is a sweet spot for those who desire a mix of urban exploration and days spent at the beach. Hallmark attractions like the Dalí Museum and Tropicana Field draw in visitors from around the state, while nearby Clearwater Beach draws folks in from around the world to view its immaculate sunsets.

Top 12 attractions in St Petersburg

Egmont Key

Egmont Key off St. Petersburg, Florida is a tiny island with a grandiose past that’s only accessible by boat. This 450-acre island was used as a jail for Seminoles, and was held by the Union in the Civil War for its strategic location in the bay. With the threat of war against the Spanish in 1898, a fort was built on the seashell shore to guard against potential attack, and stands today as concrete reminder of the island’s historic past. When visiting Egmont Key today on a boat ride from Fort DeSoto Beach, pack along shoes to enjoy the hiking trails that weave through the island’s interior, and keep a lookout for gopher tortoises that inhabit the sandy the island. Also bring your bathing suit, of course, for wading in the cerulean waters, and sunscreen to keep your skin protected while lounging out on the beach. Towards the end of the island is Egmont Key Lighthouse, which has stoically stood here since 1858 as an aid to passing ships. Today it’s one of the only structures that still remain on the key, which is a calming retreat of seashells and wilderness just minutes from bustling Tampa Bay.More

Salvador Dalí Museum

The extensive Salvador Dali Museum is home to the largest collection of works by the famous Spanish surrealist outside of Europe. Visitors to the St. Petersburg highlight can view key works from every stage of Dali’s career as well as exceptional pieces from every medium of his artistic endeavors—oil paintings, original drawings, prints, sculptures, and photos—along with manuscripts and an extensive archive of documents.More

Fort De Soto Park

Located off the coast of St. Petersburg, Fort De Soto Park is not your average ‘park.’ It’s actually 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys) and is the largest park in the Pinellas County park system. With seven miles of waterfront, including almost three miles of beautiful, white sand beaches, Fort De Soto is a popular destination for both visitors and guests to the St. Petersburg area.There’s plenty to do in Fort De Soto Park. History buffs can explore the historic fort while cyclists and walkers can enjoy seven miles of paved trails that run through the park. For nature lovers, it’s worth noting that the park is the start of the Great Florida Birding Trail (328 species of birds have been documented over 60 years and new species are being added every year) and offers the one of the greatest diversities of bird, sea life, plant and wild life in Florida. The beach is also a nesting ground for the loggerhead sea turtle between April and September. Add in the picnic area, kayak trail, camping areas, dog park and the ferry to Egmont Key State Park and there is plenty to see and explore during a visit to Fort De Soto.More

North Straub Park

Right on the waterfront of downtown St. Petersburg, North Straub Park offers a quite respite from the city. The small 4.8-acre park features trails, picnic spots and a stage where community events are held. Locals recommend visiting the park during holidays, like Christmas, when it’s lit up with lights and decorations, or on the Fourth of July and New Years, when it offers a great vantage point for fireworks shows. At the southern end of the park, you’ll find the local Museum of Fine Arts and the St. Petersburg Museum of History, and nearby Wheel Fun Rentals is a good spot to rent a beach cruiser or surrey.More
Coffee Pot Bayou

Coffee Pot Bayou

Located between the Historic Old Northeast district and Snell Isle, Coffee Pot Bayou is one of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Petersburg. An upscale, residential area, it’s also known for the many wildlife species that can be found in the waters of the bayou and surrounding areas, including manatees, dolphins, and birds.More

St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts

The St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is one of Florida’s most comprehensive art collections, with exhibits spanning 5,000 years and over 20,000 works. The museum boasts pieces from famous artists such as Monet and O'Keeffe as well as sculpture gardens, prestigious photography exhibits, and early American Indian art.More

Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum

Spanning 2 acres (0.8 hectares, the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum is home to more than 500 palms and cycads from around the world, representing more than 150 different species. Featuring paved walkways, a shaded gazebo, and wooden benches; this hidden gem allows visitors to study and enjoy palms in a beautiful and tranquil setting.More

St. Pete Beach

Set on a small island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, St. Pete Beach is known for its white-sand beaches, water sports, and the historic Don CeSar resort. Despite the island’s small size, you can find everything you need, from mom-and-pop restaurants and quaint hotels to upscale resorts, art galleries, and shopping.More

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Hidden in the interior of St. Petersburg, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is a lakeside preserve with hiking trails, a 19th-century pioneer settlement, and a visitor education center. It’s considered a hidden gem, as many tourists don’t visit it, but it’s a popular park with locals for weekly events for adults and children.More

Sunken Gardens

An oasis in the heart of St. Petersburg, Sunken Gardens is a 4-acre, century-old living museum in the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood. Walking paths weave through the botanical gardens, adorned with hundreds of species of plants, flowers, exotic birds, and flamingos that add even more vibrant hues to the lush surroundings.More

Weedon Island Preserve

First inhabited by the Manasota peoples 5,000 years ago, Weedon Island Preserve remains a significant cultural, ecological, and social destination in St. Petersburg. Along with historical landmarks, the limited solid land and rich marine ecosystem on Weedon Island offer unspoiled opportunities for birdwatching, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and wildlife photography. Guests regularly visit to spend the day under the sun, just minutes from downtown St. Petersburg and South Tampa.More

Chihuly Collection

See the fantastical glass creations of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly at the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg. Presented by the Morean Arts Center, the collection features 18 installations from several of Chihuly’s most popular series in a space designed to showcase his organic and large-scale artworks.More

Top activities in St Petersburg

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All about St Petersburg

When to visit

MLB fans should plan a trip during baseball season, especially since Tropicana Field’s indoor stadium protects against rain delays. March to May is an ideal time to visit, as pre-hurricane season temperatures are comfortable compared to the sweltering summer. January and February are also quite popular, while early autumn has tolerable temperatures and fewer crowds. Summer months offer affordable hotel rates and the opportunity to wait out daily rain storms in one of the city’s 31 museums.

Getting around

Getting around St. Petersburg is a breeze thanks to multiple forms of visitor-friendly transportation. The city itself is walkable, though electric scooter rentals and Coast Bike Share programs offer a temporary set of wheels. Trolleys like The Downtown Looper, Central Avenue Trolley, and Suncoast Beach Trolley offer free or low-cost fare around downtown, St. Pete Beach, and surrounding areas. The seasonal high-speed Cross Bay Ferry provides a fast, affordable, and car-free way to visit Tampa from downtown St. Petersburg.

Traveler tips

Technically, St. Pete Beach is a separate city, but St. Petersburg proper features beaches that aren’t in Gulf waters. Gulfport Beach is on the Boca Ciega Bay, while Spa Beach and North Shore Beach are on Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg Preservation offers walking, bicycle, and self-guided tours that explore the history and hidden gems of many inland neighborhoods, like bungalow-filled Historic Kenwood and the brick-paved streets of Historic Old Northeast.

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People Also Ask

Is St. Petersburg, FL, worth visiting?

Yes, St. Petersburg is a popular destination for visitors who want to explore the greater Tampa area yet desire instant access to the beach. Millions of overnight travelers visit the St. Pete/Clearwater area each year, making it one of the most popular destinations along the US Gulf Coast.

How many days are enough to spend in St. Petersburg?

St. Petersburg and the surrounding area can be enjoyed thoroughly in three days. Along with ample time spent soaking up the sun, museum hopping tends to top most weekend itineraries. Visitors should also anticipate spending one day in a nearby city, such as Clearwater Beach or Tampa.

Which beach is nicer, St. Pete or Clearwater?

Clearwater Beach regularly receives recognition as one of the best beaches in Florida. However, St. Pete Beach has its own stunning sunsets and beachside bars to please out-of-town travelers. Visitors may also enjoy the fewer crowds on St. Pete Beach compared to the large gatherings that come to watch sunsets at Clearwater Beach.

Why is St. Pete so popular?

St. Petersburg’s two most popular attractions are the Dalí Museum and Tropicana Field. Tropicana Field hosts Tampa Bay Rays baseball games, as well as other events throughout the year. The Dalí Museum showcases the surrealist works of Salvador Dalí and is housed in an equally unique building composed of 900 glass panels.

Can you swim in St. Pete Beach in January?

Yes, St. Pete Beach is open year-round. Technically a barrier island separate from St. Petersburg city, St. Pete Beach boasts multiple public spaces along the coastline, including a dog beach. Temperatures in St. Pete Beach can reach up to nearly 80°F (26.7°C) during the winter, offering a cool yet refreshing swim.

Is St. Petersburg a walkable city?

Yes, St. Pete’s compact downtown allows visitors to walk from their hotel to multiple attractions. Popular sites like Tropicana Field, the Dalí Museum, and St. Pete Pier are within a 30-minute walk (or shorter) from Williams Park in the center of the city.

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