Nestled on the Gulf of Mexico is the “Sunshine City” of St Petersburg! Its nickname clearly references its year-round warm weather and blue skies!
I have lived in St Pete for a few years now and I definitely feel at home here! I love this coastal city so much and along the way, I have uncovered some of the best fun things to do in St Pete!
St Petersburg, Florida is known for its several white sand beaches, an artistic community, the newly finished St Pete Pier, charming neighborhoods, eco-parks, outdoor activities like biking and fishing, water sports such as boating and kayaking, a diverse range of museums from historic to modern, and much more!
Some things on this list may not come as much of a surprise but I definitely wanted to also highlight other things to do that aren’t so well-known!
Visitors love to come to visit from all over the United States, especially as a means of escape during the winter months.
There are so many fun things to do in St Pete and options for all types of interests! Whether you are a foodie, beach bum, adventure junkie, nature lover, partier, or museum enthusiast you’ll have no problem filling your days with any one of these activities.
With that said, I present the 48 most fun things to do in St Pete!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
48 Best Things to do in St Pete
1. Go on a dolphin boat cruise
Photo – Krystal Nocella Photography
A really fun thing to do in St Pete is to go on a dolphin cruise! They are fun for all ages and personalities and there are all different types and price ranges available. Which type of dolphin cruise you want to book will really depend on your group size, age, budget, and desired atmosphere.
There are two main types of tour options, private and shared and I will go over both options below.
Private Dolphin Cruises
As I had talked before at the beginning of this guide my favorite way to see dolphins is on a private boat charter. I just love them for families and groups of 4 or more because you get a very personalized experience with just your group.
The best affordable boat charter is this Dolphin Cruise to Shell Key. You can either book the whole boat for a private experience for around $300 USD for groups of up to 6 people or buy individual tickets for just $52 USD per person for the shared boat option. You must buy a minimum of at least 2 tickets in one order.
This dolphin tour leaves from Tierra Verde and once you take off your captain will head out to Boca Ciega Bay on St. Pete Beach to look for dolphins before continuing on to Shell Key Preserve where you can swim, snorkel, relax on the beach, or collect seashells.
Keep in mind, this tour is only 2 hours so by the time you get to the island it won’t really be for too long of a stop but at such a low cost I wouldn’t expect anything more. If you don’t mind a faster pace then this boat tour is of great value.
You can check prices and book this Dolphin Cruise to Shell Key tour here in advance which I recommend to secure your spot.
My favorite luxury option is the Platinum Funship Boat, it is a little bit of a drive (25 mins) from St Pete Beach over in Indian Rocks Beach but from my own experience the owners, crew, and service rocks! It holds up to 10 people and allows you to customize your experience based on what you want to see and do.
A typical 4-hour cruise will visit barrier islands where you can hunt for seashells, swim, snorkel, or relax on board and spot dolphins and other wildlife.
The amenities on board include a speaker, a cooler with ice water (you can also BYOB), a waterslide, life jackets, snorkel equipment, water floats, and mesh shell bags. You can book the Platinum Funship here online in advance!
The next few options I will recommend are large-group dolphin tours whose only focus is hunting for dolphins. These boats do not anchor up and you will not be able to swim at all during your tour.
They are a great affordable choice if your main objective is to see dolphins and don’t need the extra fluff that a private charter has.
The Big Blue Boat Tour is the largest and most iconic narrated dolphin tour in St Petersburg which departs from John’s Pass right across from Maderia Beach. This boat, while it’s not very private is very stable, safe, and comfortable and does have nice onboard amenities like bathrooms and a snack bar!
This tour costs $29 USD and can also be fully refundable or rescheduled on the odd chance you don’t spot any dolphins so it’s a no-risk option!
Note: Make sure to bring cash for snacks and drinks.
Another similar mainstream option is the St Pete Beach Dolphin Racer Speedboat, it too has provided commentary over the speakers but the main difference is that you will go faster speeds than many of the other cruises.
The main con I have with this tour is that the boat is completely unshaded, so on a hot day, you won’t be able to get out of the sun. If you burn easily or don’t like the constant sun this may not be the best choice for you. But as long as you use a lot of sunscreen and bring a hat and shades you should be fine. Plus, tickets are only $32 USD.
The Dolphin Quest Cruise costs $29 USD and also departs from Johns Pass near Madeira Beach. It’s only a 40-foot boat that holds up to 35 people but it has bench seats that go the full length of each side giving each person a “window seat” view.
Plus, the whole boat is covered so you won’t have to worry about ending the tour looking like a lobster.
It has a bathroom onboard and snacks and drinks are able to be purchased. If you book this tour at 12 pm, 2 pm, or 4 pm it has a guaranteed dolphin sighting or your next trip is free!
2. Try craft beer
St Petersburg is home to a lot of local and independent breweries. So naturally, if you like beer, a fun thing to do in St Pete is to do a craft beer bar crawl!
Unfortunately, I am not someone who drinks craft beer very often so I can only personally recommend Green Bench Brewing Co, 3 Daughters Brewing, and Grand Central Brewhouse.
Thankfully I loved those places and they happen to be some of the most popular breweries in the area!
This Trolley Pub Mixer Tour is a great option if you want to conveniently get to all the top spots! It costs just $39 USD per person and lasts for 2 – 3 hours. You can also customize your itinerary to included more of the spots I mentioned above but here’s what the standard route looks like.
It first visits Dog Bar which does actually have dogs – a whole yard of them! You can grab your drink of choice and watch or interact with the dogs here. Next, you’ll visit one of the largest sports bars in Florida – Ferg’s! They have 90+ TVs and a craft beer menu.
The third is a stop at 3 Daughters Brewing. They have lots of games to play and there’s typically live music. The last stop on your tour will be Pinellas Ale Works Brewery & Tap Room – an award-winning tap room with a garden patio.
3. See the murals
Being that St Pete has a heavy influence of art from local artists, the street art in downtown St Petersburg is prevalent and murals can be found on just about every street and street corner.
You can obviously drive yourself or walk around to see them on your own but I think renting an e-bike is the way to go if you care about efficiency.
Another option is to go on this mural biking tour which lasts 3.5 hours. It starts on the west side of downtown where you will leisurely make your way east past 30 different murals. As you go, your guide will also share with you more about some of the different artists and the history behind them.
The tour also stops at the Crislip Cafe for coffee and a truffle. Later in the ride, there will be another snack/bathroom break at The Burg Bar & Grill for an appetizer and a drink.
One of the main perks to walking, renting a bike, or going on a tour instead of driving is that you’ll be free to stop and see them up close and take enough pictures of your favorites until your heart’s content.
4. Visit Shell Key Island Preserve
Take a day trip out to one of the gulf coast’s beautiful and uninhabited island preserves with bright blue water and white sand. There are several islands around but one of the closest to St Pete Beach is Shell Key Island which can easily be reached by ferry.
The Shell Key Ferry, is located at the Fort DeSoto boat ramp. You can pay in person or take advantage of booking in advance online which is highly recommended, especially in peak season around spring break or holidays. The ticket cost is $40 USD but it includes a parking pass and the online booking fee in the price.
Departure Times: 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM Fri-Mon
Pick-up Times: 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM Fri-Mon
Note: It costs $5 USD to enter Ft Desoto park. To make the most of your money you could plan to enjoy the park, fort, and beach here before or after your ferry over to the key.
Another way to get to the island is on this Electric Paddleboarding Tour – it’s actually the next thing on my list so you can see full details below but it will actually take you to the south-facing side of the island whereas the ferry will drop you off on the north-facing side.
5. Electric Paddleboarding
Paddle boarding is a great way to stay active and enjoy the weather and clear waters. There are all different types of paddle boarding tours you can take in St Pete, the main difference with most of them is their departure points.
However, there is one unique variation which is this Electric Paddleboarding Tour. Yup, you read that right! Native eSUP Tours figured out a way to make their boards motorized which in my opinion really made my paddleboarding experience way more fun and I didn’t have to struggle at all! Especially being right on the coast there can be stronger winds can be unpredictable, so having the motor help to prevent an unpleasant experience.
After being instructed on how to use the motor controls you will head out to Shell Key Island Preserve which is absolutely gorgeous! The water is some of the brightest aqua that you will find around St Pete. While I didn’t see any dolphins on my tour many people do – instead, our group had some type of water bird that kept following us!
This tour is definitely one of the most fun things to do in St Pete out on the water! It costs $75 USD and lasts for around 2.5. hours. I would recommend booking here in advance, especially during the busy seasons.
My Featured Finding: If paddleboarding isn’t really your thing but you like being out on the water check out my guide that covers many other boating and water activities on St Pete Beach.
6. Explore the St Pete Pier
The St Pete Pier is a huge concrete waterfront walkway that expands for a length of 3,000 ft! The beginning portion of the pier has the St Petersburg Museum of History, a few waterfront dining and snack options, a beach, a splash pad and playground for the kids, and a marketplace that is filled with vendors on the weekends.
At the end of the pier is a 5 story architectural wonder that has a ground-level cafe called Driftwood Cafe, a gift shop, a tackle and bait store on level 2, a fine dining restaurant Teak on level 4, and a rooftop bar called Pier Teak. At the backside of the structure, there is a fishing deck.
It is one of the most impressive piers anywhere in the world – trust me I’ve researched this and not many can compare! The St Pete Pier is definitely one of the best things to do in St Pete to relax and enjoy the views of the bay and downtown!
You can either walk, rent a bike, or take the tram that frequents every few minutes – or do what I like to do sometimes and take the tram on one of the ways and walk the other way. You can see the pick-up and drop-off points here on the map (they are the pink T’s).
Cars are not allowed to drive down the end portion of the pier so you will need to park at the Pelican Lot which is the last parking point if you are driving.
From the rooftop bar, Pier Teaki, you’ll get the best views of downtown St Petersburg. The cocktails here are actually quite excellent and fairly priced. The food on the other hand may be a little underwhelming but is convenient if you don’t have the time to go somewhere else! But if you plan well in advance you could dine at Teak which is the restaurant on the floor below.
Don’t bank on getting a table as a walk-in. We thought we might be able to get in recently on a rainy day and it was still over a 2-hour wait! Otherwise, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille or Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro are the next closest dining options back towards the beginning of the pier.
7. Gaze at the Bending Arc
This is directly related to the last activity as that is where you will find the Bending Arc art piece by Janet Echelman. During the daytime, you might instinctively find this large floating piece of netting to feel a little bit out of place. However, at night, the Bending Arc lights up and transforms into such a dramatic yet calming sculpture.
Whenever I stand underneath it or sit in the chair circle below I am mesmerized as I look up and see the changing colors and shadows as it effortlessly sways changing its shape in the night breeze. It’s a great place to talk with a friend or significant other.
8. Visit a cute coffee shop
If you’re a coffee lover like me you’ll agree that enjoying a coffee will be a fun thing to do in St Pete. There are around 40+ local coffee shops in the entirety of St Petersburg and I have actually gotten to try most of them so I can clue you in on my favorites.
Driftwood Kava & Roastery is my favorite spot to get a flat white and so is Blush Tea & Coffee – they also offer a rotating monthly menu of drinks flavors which is fun when you want to try something new!
The Chelsea in the Warehouse Arts District is perfect for hanging out with a friend or getting some work done and their lattes are really delicious. The inside space is small but there is plenty of outdoor seating on the back patio. They also sell fun trinkets, jewelry, art, and kitchen accessories.
Bad Mother is a brand new gourmet coffee bar that has opened inside Station House St Pete which is a co-working space. It’s always been one of my personal favorite choices to work in as it has a big open space that is not only calm but aesthetically pleasing. The coffee shop that was here previously didn’t have very good coffee so it’s a very welcome upgrade. Consider me addicted to their lavender latte!
The Crislip Cafe has so many unique flavor options on top of offering breakfast, sandwiches, and locally made baked goods. The whimsical decor in the space just adds to the uniqueness of this coffee shop.
As I mentioned before there so just SO many options for coffee so check out my blog on the best coffee shops in St Pete for the full rundown.
My Finding’s Tip: You can also visit the Crislip Cafe on this mural tour!
9. Enjoy the view from a rooftop bar
Who doesn’t like having an amazing view from a rooftop bar with a delicious drink in their hands? I know I do!
The Birchwood Canopy is one of my most frequently visited rooftop bars in St Pete, conveniently downtown with an amazing view of the pier and bay.
They have pretty good appetizers, flatbreads, and cocktails – my go-to is the Watermelon Sugar which is watermelon vodka-based. However, the Frosé is their signature (I didn’t really care for it) that is made with Frozen Rose, Stoli Vodka, and a blend of juices.
You can hang out in the outdoor lounge or underneath the covered bar and if you’re feeling fancy you can reserve a cabana with will full service if you plan it in advance!
These are popular for celebrating birthdays or bachelorette parties in St Pete. We really had the best night when we reserved one for our friend who was the DJ for the night.
If you find yourself over on the St Pete Beach side then you must check out Level 11, it has one of my favorite views of the beach! Plus their cocktails are great and the setting and furniture are upscale and modern so maybe don’t wear your swimsuit if you can help it! Parking at the restaurant is free.
15 minutes down the road from St Pete Beach in Pass-a-Grill is Hurricane Seafood Restaurant which also has a great view. It has your typical Florida beach bar feel with cheesy bright-colored paint and a chill atmosphere.
A little bit more of a hidden gem is Vista at the Top located on the other side of the Tierra Verde Bridge on Tierra Verde which is only 15 minutes of a drive from either downtown St Pete or St Pete Beach.
Their cocktails are some of the best tasting and if you like coconut cream I’d recommend Write to Me an Escape! They are priced on par for the area ranging from $12 to $14 USD and are decent sizes.
Visiting a rooftop bar is definitely one of the most fun things to do in St Pete!
10. Visit the Saturday Morning Market
If you talk to locals, myself included, this is a cult classic! Everyone loves the Saturday Morning Market.
It is made up of over 125 vendors selling all different types of foods, produce, flowers and plants, and homemade jewelry and art.
Not to mention that there are oodles of food trucks serving over 15 types of international cuisine made to order. Some of my favorite booths are the agua fresca, the fresh bread, and the homemade guac.
The Saturday Morning Market speaks to the culture of St Pete which has a quote that says “Keep St Pete local”. I love supporting the people and their businesses that are the core of this city.
It happens every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm at its normal location 3223 62nd Ave N and from 9 am to 1 pm in its summer location in Williams Park from June – September. Most of the stands accept credit cards but you can bring cash to be on the safe side.
11. Charter your own boat
Take my advice and don’t just spend all of your time hanging out on the beach – get out on the water! It’s a whole different experience this way.
You may think that chartering your own boat would be very expensive and while that isn’t necessarily untrue there are ways to get around the cost!
Just north of St Pete Beach is A Boat Day charters, the owners have 7 different types of luxury boats and you can choose from boats that hold up to 6 or 10 people. Definitely, one of the best boat cruises near St Pete to go for if you want to party with a group of friends or have a family day and explore nearby islands!
Tours depart from Maderia Beach (the closest, just 10 mins from St Pete Beach), Clearwater, and Dunedin. The starting cost for 6 people and 4 hours is $800 USD, so with 6 people, it’s only around $133 USD per person which I think is a great deal for a private boat tour in St Petersburg!
I personally was able to experience the Platinum Funship Boat which had a dining table, lots of lounge seating so we could spread out, a sound system, and an upper deck with a waterslide! I really like how half of the boat was shaded and half wasn’t so we could stay cool or work on our tans whenever we wanted.
If you aren’t going with a big group of people that option will not be affordable so instead I recommend this Wildlife Cruise to Shell Key. While this is a shared tour the boat only holds 6 people so it won’t feel touristy and it is very affordable at just $52 USD per person.
If you want to have the boat for yourself you could honestly book all 6 spots for a little over $300 USD. That’s only $150 a piece for a private tour even if it’s just two people – really not bad at all!
This tour leaves from Tierra Verde and once you take off your captain will head out to Boca Ciega Bay on St. Pete Beach to look for dolphins before continuing on to Shell Key Preserve where you can swim, snorkel, relax on the beach, or collect seashells.
Note: a minimum of 2 people is required to book.
12. Watch a magic show
I’ve had my eye on Zubrick Magic Theatre in downtown St Pete for a while now but I’d never been to a magic show before so I didn’t really know if this particular one would be cheesy or jaw-dropping.
Well, I finally had the chance to go with my fiancé and it turned out to be such a magical date night! It would also be fun for families too!
From the moment the lights dimmed I was intrigued by what was about to happen on stage over the next 70 minutes.
Chris and Ryan Zubrick are not only the owners but are also the main performers of the show. They were such good storytellers and kept us engaged the whole time with their dry humor and masterful illusions!
There was seriously not a dull moment and the transitions between tricks happened so fast! There were all different types of magic on display from things (and people) disappearing and reappearing to objects levitating or being multiplied.
As we watched, all of the tricks blew our minds! We kept chatting with each other to try and figure out how they were pulling it off but we couldn’t!
We went in early December and loved how they included some Christmas-themed tricks in our show – it really felt like the holidays!
They have a small concession stand offering snacks like popcorn and candy and drinks such as soda, beer, wine, and canned cocktails.
It’s a small theatre so tickets are limited and they only do shows from Thursday to Sunday. Typically, there is only one timeslot per day but there may be more on the weekends or around a holiday. I would definitely recommend booking your tickets online in advance on their website.
A standard ticket costs $40 USD and gives you the best available seat at the time of purchase whereas the VIP tickets cost $147 USD for 2 people and include guaranteed front-row seating, 2 drinks, 1 popcorn, and a special gift.
Seeing a magic show at Zubrick Magic Theatre is a hidden gem activity but it’s for sure one of the best fun things to do in St Pete! It’s also a great option for a rainy day!
13. Check out a speakeasy
One of the really fun things to do in St Pete is to check out the speakeasies scattered around town. There are quite a few of them all with completely different vibes and themes.
Shhh! Don’t tell anyone I told you about these.
Dirty Laundry is one of my favorites and highly instagramable! One side is a low-key cafe that is themed as a retro laundromat and the other side is where you’ll find a Latin American-styled bar that feels like it’s out of the 20s. To enter you just… well, I’ll let you try and figure it out but once inside it feels like you have teleported straight to Havana.
The drinks are delicious and on-theme, my personal favorite is the Cielo Roja which has apple Brandy, lime juice, and cinnamon guava syrup! They also serve beer, wine, and food. I keep hearing about their brunch and Cuban sandwiches so I need to go back and try them very soon!
The outdoor patio is super cute and spacious and makes for a great place to hang out and talk with friends. Don’t miss the photo opp with the neon sign!
There is usually some sort of live music or entertainment running as early as Thursday evening and going through the weekend. My favorite is when they have the saxophone player with a DJ! Just check their Facebook page for announcements.
They do have a strict dress code in place so no athleticwear, flip flops, or shorts!
Another favorite of mine is in between days, a Tokyo-style listening bar. It is the first and only of its kind in Florida (as of 2022).
What is a listening bar you may ask?
A listening bar is traditionally a small space that has high-end audio equipment playing records and jazz that’s intent is to have visitor focus on listening rather than talking. Now, this isn’t to say there is no talking but it’s more so to actually focus on the music and ambiance along with chattering to whoever you are with.
This concept BLEW me away the first time Daryl and I went! It was such a magical night. I’ve tried almost all of their small plates and sake-based cocktails and they were all unique flavor combinates that tasted excellent!!!
Upon our arrival, the exterior looked like nothing more than an average home. (Since our visit, they added a front outdoor space so it is less camouflaged than it was originally).
Currently, you can’t make reservations so be sure to arrive early or prepare to wait for a little while on the weekends.
14. Go on a Tiki Boat Tour
One of my favorite fun things to do in St Pete for some incredible views is to ride on a tiki boat! This Tiki Boat Tour cruises around Tampa Bay and goes around the St Pete Pier!
I love how versatile this tour is! I went with a group of friends and it was a lively experience but I could also see it being more relaxed for couples or just a few friends. This tiki boat holds up to 6 people but there is also a Tiki Boat Tour on Maderia Beach that holds up to 12 people.
If you have 6 or fewer people going I would personally recommend the tour that departs from downtown St Pete as the views are hard to beat! There is a cooler on board so bring all the drinks you like and get the mood right by playing your music on the overhead speakers!
We had a really funny and personable captain who even let us take turns steering the boat!
The tiki tour from either location costs $60 USD a person and lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours. You can check out the booking times and book in advance here. I would personally recommend the sunset tour if it fits into your plans!
My Finding’s Tip: If you want only your group to go you will need to book all of the available spots to ensure a private tour.
15. Live music and ariel performers at Floridan Social Club
The Floridian Social Club is a really classy venue for live music and performances several times a week. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do in St Pete when I have family or friends in town or want a fun atmosphere for date night.
On Sundays they have Jazz so it’s a great background for sitting at one of the cocktail tables, ordering drinks, and chatting with my partner. If I’m wanting to have fun with the music they frequently have rock artists that play here. From the 70s, 80s, and 90s hits to new indie and psychedelic rock, the performances are always well done! Aerial acrobats demonstrate their skills throughout the night – the longest segment is when the bank takes an intermission halfway through the evening.
Drinks here are decently priced compared to some of the other neighboring bars. The cover is usually $10 or $15 USD for shows. After the show at 11:30 pm, there is no cover and a DJ plays music for the afterparty.
16. Dance the night away at The Estate
One of the best things to do in St Pete if you like spending a night or weekend on the dance floor is to pay a visit to The Estate.
I do not go out very often but when I do this is the place to go – it is the main nightclub in St Pete! One of the reasons I love The Estate is because it isn’t a trashy atmosphere, the decor is classy with chandeliers, the crowd is mostly young, and the dance floor is spacious. They also crank out the A/C so it always feels relatively comfortable.
The DJ here typically plays EDM-style remixes of pop, rap, and throwback songs.
Drinks here are really expensive. I paid around $18 USD for a double vodka with soda before tip so if I’m going to spend I’d prefer to order most of my drinks from Copper Shaker, the cocktail bar next door.
If there is a cover it is typically $5 USD. They don’t accept cards so make sure to bring cash.
If you want to bar hop before or after or if dancing isn’t your thing there are lots of other great options for drinks nearby.
- Copper Shaker – Craft cocktails, chic setting, sophisticated bites, and entrees.
- Pour Judgement – Shot bar, my favorite is the Butter Beer shot!
- The Garden at Five Bucks Drinkery – Cheap drinks, modern vibe, often a DJ.
- Saigon Blonde – Electronic music, cool 60s tiki bar decor.
- Mandarin Hide – Moody and retro cocktail bar. Usually, it’s packed.
- Crafty Squirrel – A sports bar with a DJ. On Thursday’s $2 USD High Noon from 9 pm to close. The food here isn’t very good.
17. Breakfast at La Croisette
La Croisette on St Pete Beach is a delicious breakfast or lunch restaurant for filling and authentic American / French dishes.
This restaurant has a rich history and a cute story, it was started 35 years ago by a French couple who fell in love with St Pete Beach and moved here to open this cafe. In 2020 they decided to sell it to another younger French couple who decided to keep the name and maintain the traditional french pastries served on the menu.
They use many ingredients that come straight from France. I can confirm the flaky croissants are delightful and so was the rest of my breakfast!
Also, the staff was all very attentive and super friendly! La Croisette is open daily from 6:30 am to 1:30 pm.
La Croisette was recently featured by ABC news, give it a watch below!
18. Relax on the beach
When visiting the gulf coast I’m sure you are already anticipating hanging out on one of the many white-sand beaches in the area.
Which beach you end up going to will depend on if you are coming with a car or not. If you don’t have transportation then the hotel you choose will drastically narrow down which beaches are close enough to walk to. However, if you do have a car then you’ll be able to easily pick your hangout spot!
My personal favorite beach near all of the restaurants and shops is either Upham Beach or St Pete Beach but my all-time favorite beach for relaxing is the less touristy Fort DeSoto.
I do have a separate blog on the best beaches on the Tampa Bay gulf coast so check it out to learn the differences between each beach.
You can also do something a bit more unique and take the Shell Key Ferry and explore Shell Key Island.
There is also an Egmont Key Ferry that goes over to Egmont Key or to make things easier you can book this Egmont Key Ferry Tour right out of downtown! It’s as close as you can get to chartering your own boat but for way cheaper and it anchors up at the island for 2 hours!
My Finding’s Tip: The newly open Sun Runner Rapid Bus system can now take you from downtown St Pete to many different locations along the coast! It’s free to ride until April 2023.
19. Day drink at St Pete Beach beach bars
While at the beach a weekend in St Petersburg wouldn’t be complete without day drinking at some of the beach bars. The hotspot for them is St Pete Beach and Treasure Island. There are quite a few beach bars to choose from but all with drastically different vibes. Let me elaborate.
Coconut Charlie’s is a great (my favorite) spot to grab some fun cocktails and elevated bar food and just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere. I personally fell in love with the tiki bar layout and live music out on the deck space most weekdays, evenings, and weekend afternoons and evenings (see full schedule).
The hammocks are great if you want a quiet space to talk and there’s also a volleyball court. You can easily access the beach from here and there are cabana rentals available.
Jimmy B’s right next to Coconut Charlie’s has a small dance floor and 3 full bars, it can be really fun depending on which type of music is being played – don’t expect much quality from the food and drinks though.
Postcard Inn on the Beach is the place to be if you want to socialize and party with the DJs! It’s usually packed with a young crowd during the day on weekends and I’ve heard things can be on the chaotic side.
Currently, on Sunday you can take part in their brunch buffet party that includes a live DJ, delicious food, bottomless mimosas, and a Kettle One bloody mary bar. This event starts at 10 am and goes until 1 pm.
If by chance you are not visiting over the weekend in St Petersburg there is Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 3 to 6 pm.
Caddy’s Treasure Island Parking in the restaurant lot is expensive but they have another lot on the corner of 1st St E and Gulf Blvd across from the 7/11 that isn’t a far walk. Their drinks personally aren’t my favorite and their food is hit-and-miss but if you are primarily there for the view and fun atmosphere then it could be worth the sacrifice.
20. Dinner boat cruise
You take either a lunch or dinner dining cruise out of Pasadena (near St Pete Beach). We chose to go on the Evening Dinner and Dance Cruise and overall it ended up being a pretty fun date night! Admission to the boat is $25 USD per person and it does not include dinner or drinks which are optional.
Entrees were priced around $25-30 and were actually pretty good for being prepared in mass quantities. The free dessert was a nice treat!
I’m not going to sugarcoat the cocktails. I tried two different ones and they were way too sweet and syrupy. I’d recommend playing it safe and ordering wine or whiskey.
After my experience, I almost feel like this is a better activity for friends, a St Pete bachelorette party, or as a pregame before going bar hopping downtown.
What I liked most about this dinner cruise was the upper outdoor deck and we ended up hanging out up there while we waited for our food to arrive! We caught dolphins swimming alongside the yacht, and the lit-up buildings along the intercoastal waterway were so pretty and romantic! The lower dining room was quite noisy because there was a bachelorette party, so we didn’t care to be down there anyway.
You won’t really know what the atmosphere will be like until it gets going, so definitely something to consider with this dinner cruise in St. Pete, and it may not be as romantic as you might anticipate.
Overall we were not blown away by this experience but we did have a fun night that was something different from having dinner at a restaurant. I think it’s fun to try this activity at least once and see how you like it for yourself!
Spots are limited and do fill up so I’d suggest you book the Dinner and Dancing Cruise here in advance.
If you want more of a calmer dining experience I would recommend booking the lunch version of the tour here.
21. Eat dinner at a revolving rooftop restaurant
If you want a sunset dinner view like no other, dine at Spinners Rooftop Grill, you’ll be able to see 360-degree views from the 12th floor of the restaurant as it slowly rotates. As far as I can tell you it’s the best dinner view anywhere on the beach!
The food is pretty tasty but not mind-blowing for the price you pay. Keep in mind you’re 100% coming for the view, especially during sunset! Make sure to make reservations at least a couple of days in advance because they don’t accept walk-ins for the tables with the views.
There’s also a more casual outdoor patio and bar on the floor below called Level 11 (mentioned earlier) if you want to feel that ocean breeze! This is where I will go if I don’t want to pay a premium for dinner but still want to enjoy drinks with a view.
22. Wine tasting at Sip St Pete Beach
Sip St Pete Beach is right in between Treasure Island Beach and St Pete Beach on Gulf Blvd and just a few minutes walk from Upham Beach so it’s easy to get to.
What makes Sip St Pete Beach stand out is its self-serve wine machines so you can try as few or as many of the wines available.
You can load any amount of money that you want onto one of their wine cards that insert directly into the machines.
There are 3 different wine pour size options to pick from 1.5oz, 3oz, and 6oz. The cost will of course vary depending on the brand and size pour but the screen will let you know much money is available on your card as you go.
Their wine offerings from around the world are always changing so you are likely to discover many new brands! To me, this is one of my favorite things to do in St Pete that gives me that chance to fall in love with a new wine!
You can pair any glass with one of their appetizers, charcuterie boards, flatbreads, or sandwiches. The walnut honey-baked brie with crackers was bubbly, sweet, and addicting! It’s a small space but there is seating inside and on the front and back patios.
23. Coffee flights at The Blend Coffee & Wine
Have you ever gotten to try a coffee flight?
If you haven’t then The Blend Coffee & Wine is the place to go!
You can order their standard coffee flight is permanently on their menu. It has all of their most popular flavors which are latte, caramel latte, white chocolate latte, and cold brew.
The Blend also brings out seasonal and holiday flights too! We went last year on Valentine’s Day – the red velvet was our favorite one!
For us, it was definitely a fun thing to do in St Pete together that mixed up our normal coffee shop visit.
24. Shop at local boutiques
Shopping is definitely one of the best fun things to do in St Pete. There are a few different areas around St Pete you can visit to find local boutiques and shops.
Some of the main places to shop are John’s Pass, St Pete Beach, downtown St. Pete, 4th St, and Martin Luther King Jr. Also, about 15 minutes outside of St. Pete is the small town of Gulfport which has a few options on the main block.
On Central Ave, the different shops pretty much go for 2 miles all the way to Beach Drive which also has more great shops of its own but Central has my favorites!
It can be a little daunting to know where to go but some of my favorite shops in downtown St Pete are:
Plain Jane which has clothes, accessories, home goods, and baby clothes. At MISREAD you’ll find clothes, jewelry, and accessories.
(re)treat St. Pete is a high-end consignment boutique and one of my favorite choices to find designer purses and shoes. It also has a furniture and decor section on the other side of the store.
Sip Shop Horray is a super funky modern men’s and woman’s boutique with a full-service bar and a rotating selection of clothes and jewelry that sometimes includes local designers. The prices here are moderate.
Bohemian Reeves is the place to go for natural skincare and candles made right in St Pete, they also have trinkets, hippie-friendly items, and a small selection of clothes.
San’s Market zero waste lifestyle store connected to a plant store – I love seeing what new innovative products I can find!
ZaZoo’d offers new and vintage interior design pieces that will work for all different styles and themes.
ArtPool Gallery and Records has funky vintage clothing, accessories, and vinyl records.
Lion’s Paw Antiques is a disheveled store filled with thousands of vintage and antique furniture, decor, and jewelry. The real fun here is the hunt! I have found a few special items that are displayed in my apartment.
Where to go shopping on St Pete Beach:
The Corey Area Shopping District is the main spot for shopping on St Pete Beach and has been for the past 6 decades!
You must visit Grove Surf + Coffee – they really have such a cute space! It’s a surf shop boutique that has high-quality clothing brands, swimwear, shoes, and jewelry for men and women. While you’re there grab one of their yummy coffees, teas, or kombucha.
If you visit on a Sunday that is when the Corey Ave Sunday Market takes place. It is open year-round from 9 am to 1 pm. There’s live music, fresh flowers, art, jewelry, food stalls, and even massages!
Over at John’s Pass across from Maderia Beach is a shopping village with all kinds of choices! There are also a lot of restaurant choices here so you can easily take a lunch break when you get hungry. It is a touristy area so it’s easy to find gifts and souvenirs but not all of the shops are high quality.
25. Putt Putt at Par Bar
Par Bar is definitely the most adult-themed putt putt I have ever done! This 18-hole course can be played while simultaneously drinking. It costs $14 USD for one round of golf.
Our group had a fun time playing but being the very competitive people that we are we got frustrated with the unevenness of the grass on some of the holes and a couple of them are purely based on luck. So definitely don’t take things too seriously.
If you don’t want to pay for the mini golf many of their other games are free with any drink purchase.
They have a few beers on tap as well as canned cocktails, seltzers, beer, and wine.
Hours are Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 12 am and they open earlier at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday.
26. Have brunch inside a “library”
The Library is a one-of-a-kind place to enjoy brunch on a weekend in St Petersburg. Adorned with blue-toned books from floor to ceiling and cozy two-seater dining nooks this interior takes my breath away each time I enter the restaurant.
Inspired by the George Peabody Library in Baltimore The Library was built inside the John Hopkins Children’s Hospital in downtown St Pete and designed by John Hopkins himself.
I’d recommend ordering whichever rotating pancake flavor they have at the time or the eggs benedict paired with a latte from an in-house espresso bar that uses Buddy Brew coffee, a local Tampa Bay favorite.
Note: If going for brunch make reservations in advance, spots fill up quick!
My Finding's Tip: For something a bit more casual and affordable you’ve got to try the crepes and coffee from The Wooden Rooster!
27. Sawgrass Lake Park
The options for secluded parks in St. Petersburg are quite limited. Sometimes I just want something more quiet and relaxed with an easy parking situation. Sawgrass Lake Park in Pinellas Park is my ideal tranquil setting.
I know many people who have spotted alligators and armadillos so I’m a bit jealous because I haven’t been lucky enough yet. But I’ve always seen birds, turtles, and fish on the mile-long boardwalk that leads through the marsh. There is an observation tower with benches at the end with a lush view of the lake. Additionally, there are a few dirt trails you can explore.
Note: dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk
My Finding’s Tip: It’s a bit weird but you’ll have to go through a residential neighborhood to get to the entrance!
28. Go for a bike ride around the city
Biking is not only a good method of transport to get around the city but it will also make sightseeing a breeze! You can rent a bike or an ebike and explore on your own or go on a city bike tour.
In downtown, there are so many bike-friendly areas to ride around at like the pier, Central Ave, Bayshore Blvd, Beach Drive, North Shore Drive, Coffee Pot Bayou, and Snell Isle.
While not quite as scenic as riding around the waterfront park and around downtown the Pinellas Trail is great for long bike rides. It stretches across a lot all of St Petersburg and goes al the way north to Palm Harbor – it’s massive! You can easily access it from many different points around town. Check out the bike and walking map here (it is marked in green).
Also, another rental option is a sand bike and as the name suggests they are designed to handle and be ridden in the sand (and any terrain)! You can rent this one from Maderia Beach for 2 hours and explore the nearby beach and maybe even the beach shops and restaurants.
29. Mazarro’s Italian Market
Mazzaro’s Italian Market is quite the hidden gem that only locals really know about. This gourmet market started out at a family coffee roasting business in 1993 and then moved to its current located and opened as a market in 1996.
They have it ALL! From prepared meals, sides, and desserts to deli meats, fresh seafood, homemade pasta, a bakery (order some of the biscotti), and shelf-stable imported foods so that you can make your own authentic Italian dishes back home.
They also have a wine cellar with thousands of bottles, a gourmet cheese room (one of the largest in Florida), a coffee bar, and a patio to eat their fresh hot or cold deli sandwiches on. When I go, I don’t even need to walk away with something (although that is virtually impossible) because I am simply in awe of everything that is happening in each section of the building – it really feels like you are somewhere else!
They are open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday they close early at 2:30 pm.
30. Fairgrounds St. Pete
Immersive art in St Pete? Say less! This permanent Florida-themed art installation is a fun thing to do in St Pete that is bound to intrigue many different senses. There are bright-colored LED lights, shapes, textures, and things that are just downright funky – Florida in a nutshell! There are around 7-8 different exhibit rooms all with varying themes filled with creative pieces from local artists.
It costs $27 USD for visitors and $25 USD for Florida residents. The type of person you are will determine if you will find this activity to be worth the money. If you appreciate art and enjoy looking at every detail you may spend 2-3 hours immersing yourself in the art. While other people might just walk through and scan each room and be a little disappointed when it only took them 30 minutes to an hour to finish.
To enjoy Fairground St Pete you will really need to take your time to try and discover the story that lies in the details. If that doesn’t sound like you maybe skip this one!
There is free parking on-site and Fairgrounds St Pete is open from Thursday to Sunday with varying times.
31. Weeden Island Preserve
This is a nature lovers gem. Located inside a 3,190-acre natural area it’s one of the only parks in St. Petersburg with multiple hiking trails and a canoe/kayak launch that will take you through a dense red mangrove forest. You can also see the skylines of both Tampa and St. Pete from the observation towers.
Option to rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard from Weeden Island Rentals
Click here for the visitor’s map from their main website.
32. Visit Gulfport
The city of Gulfport is about a 15-minute drive from downtown St Pete and is worth checking out for an hour or two if you have a car and some spare time to go exploring. The highlights here are the quiet beachfront that looks out at Boca Ciega Bay and the few blocks of downtown that are lined with colorful shops, delicious cafes, breweries, and restaurants.
Some of my favorite things to do here are to walk on the boardwalk and swing on the bench, order coffee from GulfPerk, and take pictures of the streets – like the row of green and purple apartments or the historic casino.
33. Enjoy fresh baked goods
I am not one to gravitate toward sweets unless they are done right and I can confidently say that there are some great local bakeries in St Pete!
For donuts and cupcakes, I like Hale Life Bakery in downtown St Pete. They have lots of flavor options and everything they make is vegan and gluten-free which is great as I try to avoid dairy and gluten. Even if you aren’t you will still enjoy them as my fiancé does – they don’t taste much different from the real thing – maybe just less sweet!
Valkyrie Doughnuts is another spot that serves really good donuts that are all vegan. My favorite is the Oreo one!
Right next door is Vahalla Bakery which sells all kinds of treats including cookies, cakes, bars, and seasonal pies.
For the best selections, I always come earlier rather than later – they sell out of flavors quickly!
A regular bakery and coffee shop is Mama G’s. This family-run spot is a little bit of a drive outside of downtown but it is worth it! They make homemade bread and pastries including but not limited to tarts, croissants, and German specialties. They also have a small German breakfast menu. It’s all delicious here!
34. Watch planes take off at lunch
Over at the Albert Whitted Airport in downtown St Pete there is a restaurant called The Hangar on the top level that has an outdoor balcony that faces right towards the landing strip! This is definitely one of the fun things to do in St Pete that provides a unique view.
If you come a bit early for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner you can snag a table to get the view you are coming for! (By the way, they serve breakfast all day).
The menu is pretty standard bar-type grub but my burger and pasta salad were enjoyable and reasonably priced.
35. Abercrombie Park
Welcome to Savannah! Not quite, but the galore of mossy oaks at Abercrombie Park make it reminiscent! The trail is also covered with uniquely old twisted trees making it a great place to take pictures. This park will lead you right up to the intercoastal waterway and although there is not much of a beach, you can launch kayaks or swim here.
Leashed dogs are allowed to join.
36. Have a beach picnic
A beach picnic is always a great idea! It can be a super cheap, simple, and casual affair by bringing your own blankets or towels, food or snacks, and drinks. When I do this I always make sure to bring my Bluetooth speaker too!
Or you can go all out and hire a professional to make this more of an experience!
There are a few different companies around St Pete that can provide this service.
Posh Pique-nique is based out of Tampa but they travel to St Pete! They are a customizable luxury picnic service that brings and set up everything you need in the location of your choice!
You can book for just two people all the way up to groups of 20 people (needs two-week notice).
SeaGrapes Lounge across from St Pete Beach does a super fun beach Picnic Basket Package! How romantic for a date night or a special occasion? For $120 USD you will get a charcuterie and dessert board for two, a bottle of wine or bubbly, two insulated wine tumblers and a canteen, a beach blanket, an insulated picnic basket with tabletop, a SeaGrapes tote bag, and LED candles.
37. Sunken Gardens
The Sunken Gardens are one of the more common tourist attraction parks in St. Petersburg to visit. I think it’s pretty cool that the city has chosen to maintain the gardens for 100 years, and as a part of St. Pete’s history, I think this park is worth the visit.
I just bought a Groupon for it so I’m planning to go soon and come back with an update on what I think! It’s a 4-acre park with koi fish, flamingos, turtles, and tropical plants but walking through the gardens shouldn’t take much longer than an hour. It’s kid-friendly are there’s an attached kids museum on the grounds.
Admission is $15 USD for adults and $6 USD for kids.
Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed here.
38. Find local treasures at a vintage store
To me, there’s just something magical about going thrifting at a vintage store. From the cluttered hallways and the musty smells to the discovery of an item that I can already envision sitting somewhere in my apartment or the disappointment of coming out empty-handed. Regardless, I’ve never regretted going into one.
Lion’s Paw Antiques & Collectables and ARTpool Gallery are my top two favorites to visit – I’ve lucked out pretty well at them!
Wendy’s Closet is another cool spot but I have yet to actually spend much time in here which is definitely needed because there are legitimately mountains of clothing and accessories to sort through!
39. Visit Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge
Another opportunity to visit an island is by going on this Pier to Egmont Key Tour that departs from downtown St Pete. It heads an hour from the Pier along the coastline making a pass underneath the famous yellow Skyway Bridge before anchoring up at Egmont Key.
The biggest perk of this tour is that they give you 2 hours to explore the island, beach, lighthouse, and ruins of Ft Dade. In total you will be gone for around 4 hours.
Another thing I like about this option is that it’s priced per person which isn’t typically the case, normally charters are a high flat rate so you need a bigger group to get the cost down. So if you are a couple or a small group this tour option is great for around $69 USD each.
You can bring your own food and drinks to enjoy on the relaxing ride over and might even spot dolphins!
Make sure to book your tickets online in advance before your preferred date sells out!
40. Book a day pass at the Don CeSar
Get pampered at the Pink Palace! Even if you don’t splurge on a room at the Don CeSar you can still enjoy the space and services inside the historic hotel. Besides their traditional services like massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, and salon services.
They also have spa packages that are the ultimate way to pamper yourself. Making a booking for any service from the spa menu grants you access to the whirlpool, steam room, luxurious locker rooms, and rooftop terrace.
41. Go on a walk through idyllic neighborhoods
When I want to get my steps in I try and take advantage of all the beautiful neighborhoods that there are around St Pete.
The cobblestone streets of Historic Kenwood aren’t far from me so this is an area I walk around often!
When I want a water view I’ll walk around Historic Old Northeast or Snell Isle close to Vinnoy Park and Coffee Pot Park – the houses here are stunning to look at!
Sometimes the most simple things end up being the most fun things to do in St Pete!
42. Take the Cross Bay Ferry to Tampa
On my days off I do not anyways feel in the mood to deal with all the traffic on the drive to Tampa so more times than not I end up doing something local but I have been dying to try out the Cross Bay Ferry instead of driving!
It’s a really scenic and stress-free alternative to get to Tampa! If you are vacationing here this is an even better way for you to get to Tampa if you don’t have a rental car!
We are actually planning a double date in the next couple of weeks where we will take the ferry, check out Tampa for the afternoon, and then head back home! I can’t wait to try this fun thing to do in St Pete soon!
This ferry is seasonal and runs from October 21st through May 1st. On board, there are limited food options and drinks such as tea, coffee, and soda. Excitingly enough there is also a full-service bar with beer, wine, and mixed drinks!
One-way admission costs $12 USD for adults, $8 USD for youth (5-18), and seniors (65+). Round-trip admission is simply double the cost of one-way prices. You can buy your tickets in person at the ferry dock or here on their website. All sales are final.
If you have a car and need to park you can park at the Sundial Garage just 3 blocks away and the cost of parking can be comped for you by the ferry staff in St Pete.
43. Take advantage of waterfront dining downtown
In downtown, enjoying my meal with a bay view is definitely one of my favorite fun things to do in St Pete! There are lots of great waterfront and water-view restaurants along the main strip and along the pier but which ones are actually worth the price?
Personally, while it may be a little overpriced I don’t think you can go wrong with Teak out on the St Pete Pier. Because it’s on the 4th floor it has the best view of the bay and downtown, hands-down! The dining room has a luxury look so feel free to dress up if you want to but it isn’t required.
Also towards the beginning of the pier are two more restaurants, Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro and Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille.
Of the two I have only been to Fresco’s and it’s pretty good but definitely casual. They mostly serve seafood and classic bar food. Your view from the patio will mostly be of the boats in the marina. It’s a really nice and laid back to grab lunch or dinner.
Even though I haven’t been there what I have heard about Doc Ford’s has been a bit mixed. They serve a lot of similar dishes as Fresco’s with Caribbean and South American flavors but they also have some more complicated dishes as well.
Parkshore Grill is a classy spot for a delicious lunch or dinner. You will need to sit outside for the view. The restaurant is set a couple of streets across from the bay but you still get a nice view of the waterfront parks and bay in the background!
I’ve only been for lunch and I have to highlight their Parkshore Picnic lunch special. For $32 USD you get an entree from the list, a side salad, and a mini dessert. My grilled beef tenderloin and buttermilk mashed potatoes were insanely good! It runs daily until 6 pm. I’ve heard rave reviews of their dinner from friends so I’m sure that will also satisfy.
Stillwater Tavern is another great spot that I have been to several times before that has similar views as Parkshore Grill and it’s just down the block. I would consider their dishes elevated bar food with fun spins on classic dishes. Order the Artichoke Dip and Fish and Chips they’re my staples!
If you would rather explore a wider range of the food scene during your quick weekend in St Petersburg I would recommend this Gourmet Food and Tasting Tour instead for an early dinner or late lunch option. It covers 4 different popular local restaurants and includes 3 half-sized entrees, drinks, and dessert for $110 USD.
44. Go to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game
Take me out to the ballgame… well actually I should say ‘in” because Tropicana Field is indoors – you won’t have to worry about dripping sweat or being blinding by the sun during a hot day which of course is more likely than not here.
Even if you aren’t local but have an interest in sports…. or the concession stands it could be a fun thing to do in St Pete for a few hours. It’s right in downtown St Petersburg so there are lots of bars and restaurants you can walk to – the closest being Ferg’s Sports Bar which I mentioned earlier in this blog.
45. Take a clay-making class
Pottery is always something I’ve thought about trying. I just need to find a friend who wants to go with me first because my fiancee laughed at the suggestion.
At the Morean Center For Clay, they offer many different types of clay classes for different skill levels. If you have never done this before then you can book 6 introductory classes for $230 USD or try out the Friday Night Clay which only costs $30 USD for one class. It is every week from 7 pm to 9 pm. Advanced booking online is required.
46. Visit the Salvador Dalí Museum
The Dalí Salvador Museum is a fun thing to do in St Pete for just about anyone. The Dali Museum is a collection of work from Salvador Dali who is one of Spain’s most famous artists of the 20th century and known for his surrealist designs.
While I personally don’t relate to this style I can see how it can draw people in – a lot of the people who were there when I was were pointing out details and talking out the pieces with each other.
I am by no means a lover of museums but its unique shape intrigued me from far away which is why I wanted to pay a visit. It was impressive just admiring and photographing the bubble dome design from the outside but it’s even more impressive from the inside.
From the base of the ground floor, there is an impressive spiral staircase that takes you up to the first-floor landing that has a view of the bay. This is where the entrance to the art exhibit entrance is.
You can also use the Dali Museum app which uses AR (augmented reality) technology to give you deeper insights into his work.
You can book your ticket online in advance to reserve a timeslot!
It costs $25 USD for adults, $23 USD for seniors, $18 USD for students, and $10 USD for kids aged 6-12. If you only want to see the building from the outside parking at the Dali Museum is $5 USD.
It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
My Finding’s Tip: If you visit after 5 pm on Thursday GA only costs $12.50 USD for adults and $8 USD for kids.
If this particular museum doesn’t excite you there are tons of other types of museums to check out around downtown St Petersburg.
Here are some other top museums:
- The Florida Holocaust Museum – Experience the chilling reality of what the individuals who were injured or killed in the Holocaust went through. There are original artifacts, videos, and photos from that time period.
- James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art – Western paintings, artifacts, and jewelry from 1980 and after. Collections from 20th and 21st-century artists. Recent art from Southwest Native American artists. Wildlife gallery.
- Chihuly Collection – Inside the Morean Arts Center, you will find unique glass sculptures created by the world-famous Dale Chihuly.
- Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement – 4 floors of art, vintage furniture, and architecture with a garden space and cafe.
- Imagine Museum: Contemporary glass art from around the globe that plays with motion and light.
- Duncan McClellan Gallery – Rotating glass exhibits from acclaimed artists. One of my favorites, it’s nice to walk around inside and out in the sculpture garden. Free entry.
- Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum – Learn about African American History. Free entry.
- Museum of Fine Arts – Many rotation exhibits ranging in age from B.C. to modern art. Fantastic on-site cafe with unique homemade light eats and baked goods.
47. Seaside Seabird Sanctuary
Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is a non-profit rehabilitation center for sick and injured birds. They are able to rescue around 3,600 birds annually with the help of local volunteers!
Although it’s a little bit outside of St Pete Beach (15 min drive) it is a unique place you could stop in at if you’re already at one of the beaches in the area. Reddington Shores is the closest beach, just 2 minutes of a drive.
While it is free to visit you can choose to donate to help support this amazing cause!
48. Helicopter Tour of St Petersburg
An activity that I have yet to do but something that I think would be an epic and fun thing to do in St Pete is this helicopter tour of downtown and the St. Pete Beaches!
Even if you only have a few hours of downtime this is an exhilarating experience you can squeeze into a short window. While pricey it will definitely be a memorable ride if you can afford to splurge.
The flight costs $170 USD and lasts 30 minutes. It departs from the Albert Whitted Airport in downtown St Pete where you will see the city from above before flying along the coast past the Sunshine Skyway and Ft Desoto en route to Treasure Island. The great thing about this tour is there are plenty of start times available daily.
Where to Stay in St Petersburg
There are two main areas that people stay at when visiting St Pete, the downtown or the beachside. So those are the two places I have given my personal recommendations on below.
However, if you are having trouble deciding which area is best for you I have a very in-depth guide of the best hotels in St Petersburg that goes over the pros and cons of each location, gives options for all budgets, as well as provides other nearby alternative areas if you want to stay outside of the busy zones.
Downtown St Pete
- The Exchange – A newly renovated older hotel where you can grab rooms for around $100 USD a night plus $20 a night for parking if you have a car. It’s one of the cheapest places to stay right in downtown so keep in mind while it has been refreshed a bit some of the fixtures are still a bit dated and there are no fridges in the rooms. There is a fitness center and a lobby bar with cozy seating but they do not serve breakfast.
- The Hollander Hotel – The hotel I recommend the most to family and friends who come to visit. The rate per night cannot be beaten for the location, amenities, comfort, and design of the rooms. I really like the food at the on-site restaurant and there is also a coffee shop, spa, and a pool with an outside bar. The property is located close to restaurants and shopping and is under a mile from the pier.
- Avalon Hotel – The neighboring sister hotel of The Hollander which is another great and comparable choice. You will also have access to all of the amenities at the Hollander, the main difference is the art deco style of the lobby and rooms. They offer a free shuttle to Tropicana Field daily.
- Bay Street Inn – This B&B is the most home-like stay you will find right downtown. It is a bit higher priced but it is in one of my favorite safe neighborhoods that is easily walkable to the heart of downtown. It has very high reviews on booking.com. There is a continental breakfast served each morning and some rooms have a kitchen and hot tub.
- The Vinoy – This historic pink resort is right next to the bay in the center of downtown. Some of the rooms have been updated while still keeping the architecture from its past. There are all kinds of amenities, there is a spa, heated pool, hot tub, and sauna. You can eat at 4 different options, join daily fitness classes, or play at the 18-hole golf course nearby.
St Pete Beach
- Sea Jay Motel and Marina $ – One of the most affordable modern motels that is just a 5-minute walk to Treasure Island Beach. Rooms have a microwave and some have a fridge or kitchenette. There’s a shared courtyard pool and grills.
- Hilton Garden Inn $$ – This is the perfect mid-range budget hotel set on St Pete Beach and Coconut Charlie’s restaurant and beach bar is on the property. It’s within walking distance of the best restaurants, beach bars, and shops on St Pete Beach. You will have ocean views from some of the higher-floor rooms which are clean with simple modern furnishings. You can book standard rooms, suites, or the penthouse.
- Bellweather Beach Resort $$ – The rooms are located below Spinners Revolving Restaurant which I believe to have some of the best views on St Pete Beach! This resort has everything you could ask for – a beachfront pool and sun deck, complimentary beach cabanas, 24-hour help desk, evening live music, and a bar. Bellweather is sandwiched in between two great beach bars serving delicious food!
- Treasure Island Beach Resort $$$ – The place to stay on Treasure Island if you are coming with a large group or have a big family! Apartment-styled suites, choose between the standard, one, or two-bedroom suites that can accommodate up to 8 adults. Rooms have full kitchens, a desk, seating, and robes. The property has a beachfront pool, an on-site restaurant BRGR (great breakfast), and a gym.
- The Saint Hotel $$$ – A converted motel into a hip and trendy hotel with one of the highest overall ratings on booking.com! It is not beachfront but just a 5-minute walk to Upham Beach. Plus, there is a pool and bar to enjoy from. You can opt for a kitchenette when choosing a room. The on-site restaurant, 82 Degrees offers incredible dishes!
- Don CeSar $$$ – Historic exterior with a recently renovated interior that brings the rooms back into this era. “The Don” is a stay that is sure to impress, it’s super clean with comfortable beds and a great place to celebrate special occasions. Inside the resort, there are several restaurants from casual, fine dining, and a rooftop bar. You can also browse the boutique shops, take a dip in the pool, or have a spa day.
My Final Word on the Best Things to do in St Pete
Thanks for reading, you made it to the end! That was quite an epic list of all the most fun things to do in St Pete. I hope that my local knowledge and insights have given you a ton of new ideas and ways to explore St Petersburg! Let me know if you have any questions about anything below and I’m curious as to which activity you will pick next from this ultimate list of the 48 best things to do in St Pete!
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[…] rooftop bar on St Pete Beach is one of the best things to do in St Pete when you’re looking to impress or be impressed with panoramic views of St Pete Beach and the part […]
Best hotels in St Petersburg: BEST areas to stay for first timers
February 1, 2023 at 6:19 am
[…] There are a lot of nice hotels in downtown St Pete that are super close to a lot of the main attractions like the St Pete Pier, which is one of the best things to do in St Pete. […]
Romance Paris Cafe Ambience
April 18, 2023 at 3:21 am
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13 Things to know for a one day trip to Catalina Island, California
May 26, 2023 at 3:07 am
[…] Things to do in St Petersburg, Florida […]
5 Best Bakeries in St Pete, Florida
May 27, 2023 at 3:32 am
[…] you’re looking for some other things to do while in St Pete check out some of my recommendations […]