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Ultimate List of Parks in St. Petersburg, Florida | RachelsFindings

Rachel HannahDecember 8, 2021
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Welcome to the ultimate list of parks in St. Petersburg! If you’re a local I’ll give you some fresh spots to explore and remind you of old favorites. For all you vacationers looking for a break from the beach, there are park options for the whole family! As you probably already know, Florida is crawling with all kinds of animals, so you’re set up to see something new from any of the parks on this list!

St. Pete Parks With The Best Trails

Sawgrass Lake Park | N St. Pete

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! 

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve | South St. Pete

Extremely family and kid-friendly is Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. With over 8 miles worth of trails to choose from, it’s one of the largest parks in St. Petersburg for great trails! Don’t miss the inside nature center, you’ll find the Birds of Prey exhibit, where injured birds are being taken care of by the staff! In reality, there really are no better south St. Pete parks than this one!

Trail fee: $3/per adult $1.50/kid to maintain the preserve

Playground & inside exhibit are free

No dogs allowed

Weeden Island Preserve | NE St. Pete

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.

Best Parks in St. Petersburg To Take Your Dog

See Dolphins at Vinnoy & North Shore Park | DTSP

These two St. Pete parks are connected to make for a large wide-open walking path lined with palm trees. A dog walkers heaven with a nearby fenced-in dog park! If you walk right up to the water’s edge often times you’ll see dolphins or stingrays! You could also bring a hammock and set it up along the water and enjoy the closest and best views of St. Pete Pier.

a dolphin tail seen as a thing to do for free at vinnoy park in st pete

Cresent Lake | N St. Pete

A wide-open park off of 4th Street N, with just over a mile of sidewalk around the lake perfect for dog walks or jogging. There’s also a tennis court, a baseball field, playgrounds, and a dog park. Since everything is spaced out it’s unlikely that it’ll feel crowded! The only con is there are no bathrooms.

Gizella Kopsiick Palm Arboretum | DTSP

I recently learned about Gizella Kopsiick Palm Arboretum, a perfect thing to do if you want to get lost inside a tropical oasis! The waterfront park is brick-lined with 150+ palm trees from all around the world! Most of the palms have labels so you can learn their origins. The options of things you could do here are endless; walk your dog, meditate, go on a date, rollerblade, have a picnic, or bring a chair and sit on the beach.

Amenities: Bathrooms, outdoor shower, water fountains.

Free parking and entry

North & South Straub Park | DTSP

If you’re ever hanging out on Bayshore or Beach Drive these are the two main downtown waterfront parks in St. Peterburg sandwiched in between the restaurants and the pier/marina. It doesn’t matter what time or day of the week, it’s always a lively area with stuff to see in every direction!

During Christmas and New Year’s they decorate these parks with lights, garland, and decorations on the lawn, it adds another element to this area–it’s just the best!

rachel posing with hand on hip standing near bushes inside straub park in downtown st pete, florida

Ambercrombie Park | West St. Pete

Welcome to Savannah! Not quite, but the galore of mossy oaks at Ambercrombie 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 allowed

St. Pete Parks With The Best Views

Coffee Pot Park & Bayou | DTSP

Along Coffee Pot Blvd are two underrated areas, Coffee Pot Park, and slightly south, Coffee Pot Bayou. There’s a boat ramp for small boats and a playground at Coffee Pot Park. This is also a great area for biking, rollerblading, running/ walking, wildlife sightings (manatees in winter), and fishing. If you follow the road north it will connect to Weedon Island Preserve, south it will lead you to Vinnoy Park, Gizella Kopsick Palm, Cycad Arboretum, and eventually, St. Pete Pier.

I love visiting Coffee Pot Blvd and the Snell Isle Blvd bridge intersection and scoping out the wealthy homes while enjoying a leisurely walk, plus this area is also great for pictures!

rachel sitting on waters edge of coffee pot bayou

Veteran’s Park, Gulfport | SW St. Pete

This spot is not technically a part of the St. Pete parks but I’m including this park in Gulfport anyways. Firstly, because more people need to explore this small beach town, and secondly because it’s only a 10-15 minute drive from downtown St. Pete so we can let it slide. 😉 There isn’t much to see inside the grassy part of the park but the views of the bay, bench swing, and the new walking pier are great!

rachel sitting on metal bench swing facing bay from gulfport, florida

Demens Landing Park | DTSP

A more secluded St. Pete park right downtown is Demens Landing. Parking downtown isn’t always easy but they have a huge lot with free parking for up to 3 hours! It’s located right across from the St. Pete Airport so you’ll be able to see planes land and take off from here. Facing the other side of the park there are views of the city, pier, and the marina. I also saw a limpkin (type of crane) hunting sea critters!

limpkin bird at demens landing park downtown st pete

Best St. Parks for Relaxing

War Veteran’s Memorial Park | NW St. Pete

War Veteran’s Park is one of the nicest sizeable northwest St. Pete Parks that isn’t a beach! What makes this park so great is the military history, wide-open views of the Bayou, and plenty of benches to watch the sunset from.

Amenities: Playground, shaded pavilions, grills

Florida Botanical Gardens + Herritage Village | NW St. Pete

The Florida Botanical Gardens are not technically one of the St. Pete parks but Largo is not too far of a drive, especially considering the value this free garden offers. Here you’ll find more free things to do in St. Pete! The garden and connected village are large enough that there are downloadable maps available!

The Florida Botanical Gardens are 100+ acres of plants, landscapes, fauna, and nature trails. It is directly connected to Heritage Village which showcases exhibits of local Pinellas County history, how cool!? I’m not originally from this area (who really is? lol) but I’d love to learn more about it and can’t wait to check it out soon!

Follow both the garden and the village’s Facebook pages below because I noticed they’re always hosting events such as garden yoga, live music, and seasonal activities!

Florida Botanical Gardens

Heritage Village

Sunken Gardens | N St. Pete

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: $15 adults $6 kids

No dogs allowed

Mirror Lake DTSP

In my opinion, Mirror Lake is one of the St. Pete parks that easily get overlooked. It’s on Mirror Lake Drive right behind 1st Street N which has a lot of foot traffic. Instead, mix it up and hop on over to this park where it’s less congested!

Historic Round Lake Park | N St. Pete

Historic Round Lake Park is usually very quiet, just be aware that there may be some homeless people around but they usually keep to themselves. It’s one of the smaller St. Pete parks right off 4th St. North with a notably large banyan tree. FLATBREAD & BUTTER or Foxtail Coffee Co. are super close, so grab a cup of coffee and sit and enjoy the park from one of the benches! There are also several restaurants close by (The Bier Boutique is closest) if you want to get some fresh air after lunch or dinner.

free activity in st pete is walk around historic round lake

Don’t forget to pin in the “Ultimate List of Parks in St. Petersburg!”

Thanks for reading, and hopefully you learned about some new parks to check out all year long…. and speaking of parks, check out this riverside city park in Tampa!

Until next time,

Rachel

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Comments (2)

  • The Best St. Pete Coffee Shops | RachelsFindings

    December 8, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    […] That’s a wrap on the best coffee shops downtown St. Pete! 🙂 Which of these spots would you want to visit first? If you’re a local, drop your favorite coffee shops in St. Pete in the comments. A couple of other Tampa Bay related posts you might enjoy are 7 Non-Touristy Tampa Activities, 30+ Birthday Deals in Tampa, or Ultimate List of St. Pete Parks. […]

  • The BEST St Pete Beach boat tours and water activities

    May 29, 2022 at 4:44 am

    […] Visit one of the many nature parks in St Petersburg […]

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