St. Petersburg has a perfect blend of metro living and appreciation for the environment, which helps make it a major tourist destination. Beautiful Tampa Bay provides water enthusiast with many opportunities to fish, sail and enjoy water sports. While back on land, the many parks, trails, sports and entertainment venues offer limitless opportunities to enjoy the natural and cultural aspects of St. Petersburg. When you add the fabulous downtown business and shopping district
, the St. Petersburg area becomes hard to beat.
Things to Do in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a city that has a lot to offer regardless of whether you're an 'indoor' or 'outdoor' person. If you enjoy the outdoors, there's Tampa Bay and the nearby beaches, such as Treasure Island. The Bay is popular with sail boaters because it's a huge protected body of water; jet skiing and parasailing are also common. You can charter a boat for a day of fishing
, sight seeing, dolphin watching or take a Pirate Cruise. For you 'land lovers', historical Fort De Soto is a great place to spend a day exploring. The Salvador Dali Museum
is a favorite cultural spot which features new exhibits all the time. St. Petersburg's Pier will sometimes hosts local festivals, but has shopping, dinning, fishing, boat rentals, an aquarium and fabulous night time entertainment all day, every day. St. Petersburg is also the location of the spectacular Sunshine Skyway Bridge; a wondrous sight to behold. While on the west coast, don't miss the fun of nearby Clearwater
and Tampa's Busch Gardens
Enjoy the Waterfront at St. Petersburg Pier
With a view of downtown Tampa
, the St. Petersburg Pier, simply called "The Pier" by locals, over looks Tampa Bay and is known for its five-story inverted pyramid shape. This major tourist destination in downtown St. Petersburg has a wide range of activities to be enjoyed including: fishing, boat rentals, weekly festivals, and the pier aquarium. You'll also find fine shopping opportunities and wonderful dining experiences, as well as a fabulous nightlife.
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Get Outdoors at Fort De Soto
Fort De Soto Park is made up of five offshore islands, or 'keys', known as Madelaine Key, St. Jean Key, St. Christopher Key, Bonne Fortune Key and the main island, Mullet Key, which are located at the southern tip of St. Petersburg and are accessible by a toll road from the mainland. The park is open year - round and has many things to enjoy, such as two piers where you can fish out of the Gulf of Mexico; both sell bait and tackle and have food concessions. There are two swimming areas, North Beach and East Beach, picnic areas and a camping area with a store. They have a seven-mile, multi-purpose trail, 2¼ mile canoe trail, 800 foot boat ramp and an area to exercise pets. There is a snack bar with gift shop at the fort and a ferry that'll take you to Egmont Key State Park on Egmont Key.
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Hit the Beach at Treasure Island
Touted as "The Treasure of the Gulf Coast", you'll find Treasure Island on Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast near St. Petersburg. It has miles of gorgeous sand beaches and that "Old Florida" style that so many are drawn to. Since Treasure Island is part of the Tampa Bay area, it's also part benefiting from the growth in the Tampa
area. Treasure Island offers a quiet "laid back" atmosphere while being just a short drive from Tampa's major theme parks, which is also not very far from the Orlando Attractions
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Explore the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge pier in Tampa Bay is touted as the longest fishing pier
in the world. Formed from what was left of the old bridge when the new one was built, this pier allows fishermen to park their cars just a few feet away from their favorite fishing spot. The Skyway State Fishing Pier is open 24 hours a day, year-round, and lighted at night so that fishermen can see what their doing; as you may or may not know, lighting up the area after the sun goes down also attracts fish to it after nightfall.
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Get Outside at John's Pass
On the south side of "The Pass" is John's Pass Marina. Also known as Hubbard's Marina, John's Pass is a perfect place to refuel your boat, get food and supplies or even buy a boat if you need one. Here is where you'll also find John's Pass Village, a small little fishing village that has more than 100 unique shops, and quaint little eateries. There is easy access to a wide variety of water sports and boat trips, either fishing or sight seeing and an 1,100-foot Boardwalk.
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By Beverly Martinez-Collins – PlacesAroundFlorida.com