Are you looking for a list of fun things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida? We have you covered!
While St. Petersburg or “St. Pete” is known as the Sunshine City, there are more than just beaches to see here! Located between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is a quick drive from Tampa or Clearwater!
From hidden gardens, museums, murals, restaurants, and breweries there is something for everyone on our list of things to do in St. Petersburg, FL!
17 Best Things To Do In St Petersburg FL You Shouldn’t Miss
St. Petersburg Sunken Gardens
The Sunken Gardens are a hidden tropical oasis located in old Northwest St. Petersburg. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and on Sunday 12 pm to 4:30 pm.
Admission is $12 adult, but they often run specials on Groupon, so keep an eye out! For those living in the area, they have annual family passes for $100!
Sunken Gardens made our list, as it is one of the best things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida. At 100 years old it is the oldest living museum in St. Pete, and also the last authentic roadside attraction. The Sunken Gardens is home to over 50,000 plants!
The ADA-accessible paths wind through waterfalls, tropical environments, bird habitats, and flamingos! There is plenty of shade in the gardens so this is a great activity if you don’t know what to do in St. Pete during the summer.
Murals and Street Art, St.Petersburg
If you are looking for free things to do in St. Pete, try walking around the 600 block of Central Avenue. It has over 90 street art murals to admire.
Staring in 2014, St. Pete embraced the artistic culture of the city. Every year the two-week Shine festival, held in October, gives local, national, and international artists the opportunity to paint murals. This year over 26 new murals were added to the 90 already located in St. Pete.
One of the more popular murals in downtown St. Petersburg is the Black Lives Matter mural outside the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. In the warehouse arts district, you have several “Sunshine on My Mind” murals as St. Pete is the sunshine capital!
From ocean themes to feelings, to retro, portrait, and pride these colorful murals provide a great free, outdoor thing to do in St. Pete! If you’re looking for somewhere just as unique to stay, try our suggestion of a tiny house oasis.
St. Pete is home to the largest Salvador Dali collection outside of Europe. If you’re looking for an art museum, add this one to your list of best things to do in St. Petersburg! The museum opened in 2011, and most of the collection belonged to the Morse family who donated it in 1982.
The Dali Museum is home to over 2000 works, ranging throughout every period of Dali’s life. The collection contains drawings, sculptures, photos, documents, and oil paintings. This includes 8 out of 18 Dali masterworks.
The museum itself is also a work of art with a glass dome known as the “enigma” and a spiral staircase leading to the roof!
The museum is $25 and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. Specially priced tickets are available Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm for $12.50. You can tour the museum digitally as well.
If you’re looking for free things to do in St. Petersburg, the museum gardens are always free!
Don CeSar Hotel
Built in 1928, the Don CeSar Hotel is known as the “pink palace”. Add visiting this luxurious hotel to your list of the best things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida.
For those interested in using the pool, beach, fitness center, restrooms and showers you can buy a day pass for $40 to make use of the facilities and beach!
If you’re looking to stay, the hotel has 241 rooms starting at $279 a night. This is the place to stay in St. Pete, Florida if you’re looking for total luxury and relaxation. Once the playground of the wealthy elite during the Jazz Age, Fitzgerald, Al Capone, and Franklin Roosevelt are all past guests.
During World War II the hotel became a military hospital, and later a Veteran’s administration office. It officially reopened in 1973 as a hotel.
For those looking for a bite to eat, try Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor and the Sea Porch Café. Or for upscale dining, try Maritana and the Row Bar. If relaxing poolside, try the Beachcombers Bar and Grill!
Chihuly Collection Museum
The Chihuly Museum opened in 2010 and houses the works of Dale Chihuly, a pioneer of the glass art movement. If you are downtown and looking for fun things to do in St. Petersburg make sure this is one of your stops!
Open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and 12 pm to 5 pm on Sunday, admission is $20, or included if purchasing a Tampa City Pass. You can also purchase a St. Pete Art Experience ticket for admission to the Morean Art Museums as well.
Chihuly is known for his large-scale, colorful sculptures blown from glass, such as Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier hanging in the lobby. His work has been seen in museums such as the Louvre, Chihuly Over Venice, and Chihuly in Jerusalem!
Skyway Fishing Pier
For those who like to fish, one of best things to do in St. Petersburg is to visit the Skyway Fishing Pier! This state park located at the mouth of Tampa Bay is home to a fishing pier that spans the entire length of the bridge.
Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, this bridge is lit up at night for fishing, has concessions, a restroom, and a bait shop. Snook, grouper, mackerel, snapper, and sea bass are all popular catches due to the 65 artificial reefs off the bridge.
The history of the pier dates back to 1980 when a freighter collided with the bridge and collapsed pilings of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge. When being rebuilt it was decided that the old bridge was to be used as a fishing pier.
The pier opened in 1994, spanning 4 miles, and it became the largest fishing pier in the world! There are two entrances to the bridge, the North and South Pier. It is also, popular with bird watchers, kiteboarders, kayakers, and windsurfers!
The St. Pete Pier
The new St. Pete Pier is another of the great, free things to do in St. Petersburg. It is not just a pier but a new attraction on the waterfront! You can bike, swim, dine, and be entertained at numerous venues.
If you’re looking for educational things to do in St. Petersburg with kids, the St. Pete pier is home to the Tampa Bay Watch: an interactive classroom experience providing education on how to restore the Tampa Bay Estuary!
For those looking to dine, the Pier Port has three restaurants: an upscale restaurant, a rooftop bar, and a casual café. For Caribbean fare and a lively atmosphere head to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar!
The Vinoy Hotel
The Vinoy is a Mediterranean-style hotel owned by Marriott Group, located in downtown Saint Petersburg. It’s a perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a weekend escape, as it is near St. Petersburg attractions such as theDali, Chihuly, and Fine Arts Museums. Tons of restaurants and shops are a short walk away.
For those looking for recreational things to do in St. Petersburg, you can charter a boat from the marina or play a round of golf!
Built in 1925 by Aymer Vinoy Laughner, the hotel has seen famous guests such as Babe Ruth and Herbert Hoover. During World War II, it was used as an army training school. The Vinoy closed from 1970 to 1990, and finally reopened in 1993.
A great thing to do in St. Pete is to visit the lobby bar for live music and drinks! The hotel is home to Paul’s Landing, a local seafood and smoked meats restaurant, and Marchand’s Bar and Grill the hotel’s signature restaurant!
Or try the St. Pete location of Datz for one of the Tampa Bay area’s most popular breakfast and brunch spots!
Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Holocaust Museum was opened by philanthropist Walter Loebenberg in 1998 in memory of those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
This museum makes our list of the best things to do in St. Petersburg, as the museum’s goal is to teach about the worth of all human lives regardless of gender, skin color, race, or culture.
Loebenberg escaped Nazi-occupied Germany in 1939 and later served in the US Army during World War II. The museum is credited with helping pass Florida legislature in 1994 for Holocaust history to be taught in schools.
The museum is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Tickets are $16 but are free for the US Military, USF students, and children under 6.
There is a docent-led tour of the first floor on Saturdays at 1:30, and the Anne Frank virtual tour is included with all ticket purchases. The “History, Heritage and Hope” exhibit houses original photographs, videos, and a boxcar used during the Holocaust.
The Holocaust Museum’s mission statement is ‘to empower people to make positive changes in the world’! It is home to the largest library of genocide and Holocaust documents in the United States.
Fort De Soto
For those interested in history, Fort de Soto should be on your list of best things to do in St. Petersburg, FL.
The fort dates back to the Civil War when it was used to block Tampa Bay. Named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, it was completed in 1900 and abandoned 23 years later.
During WWII it was used as a bombing range, and in 1962 was opened once again as a public park.
If museums are on your list of free things to do in St. Petersburg, check out the Quartermaster’s Museum, which does a great job of explaining the history of the fort. You can even explore a battery, and for those willing to climb the stairs you’ll be rewarded with a view of the gulf!
Open 7 days a week, from 7 am until dark, the entrance is free, but there is a $5 parking fee.
After you’ve explored Fort de Soto, you can then visit the other nearby beaches.
The Cider Press Café
The Cider Press Café makes our list of the best things to do in St. Petersburg as it is one of the best restaurants in St. Pete! This Asian-inspired eatery in downtown St. Pete focuses on farm-fresh ingredients and is open daily from 12pm to 8 pm.
The restaurant’s focus is on “veganista” or someone who loves plant-based foods! Open for 5 years, they have an award-winning menu of delicious vegan options.
Standouts on the menu include bang bang shrimp, cauliflower bites, bahn-mi made with grilled seitan, ghost bean burger, avocado BLT, buffalo chick’n, and mac n’cheese.
For those visiting with families or friends, they offer several family-style meals that serve four people, such as stuffed peppers, or shepherd’s pie! Kombucha and a wide variety of hard ciders are also on the menu.
The Cider Press Café is a great lunch spot after exploring the murals or museums in downtown Saint Petersburg.
Morean Arts Center
The Morean Arts Center should be on your list of things to do in St. Petersburg Florida as the art gallery is free and open to the public. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm.
Founded in 1917 as the Art Club of St. Pete, the Morean Arts Center is home to the Art Gallery, Chihuly Museum, the Morean Center for Clay, the Bank of America Children Learning Center, and the Moran Glass Studio.
If you’re looking for interesting things to do in St. Pete, try a glassblowing class at the Moran Glass Studio, or stop in for a local demonstration Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Or you could try a hands-on class at the Morean Center for Clay, open Tuesday through Saturday. There are 42 resident clay artists working at the museum, which is home to the largest pottery studio in the South.
The Bank of America Children’s Learning Center hosts story and art time on Saturday mornings. The Moran Arts Center holds many affordable classes and workshops open to the community.
Reduced admission for those on EBT or WIC admission to the museum is only $3! And first responders and medical workers and their families are $5!
Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
If you are looking for outdoor things to do in St. Petersburg, visit the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. It is a 245-acre protected preserve in St. Pete located on Lake Maggiore.
Open Tuesday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm and Saturday 7 am to 6 pm, facilities include water fountains, restrooms, picnic tables, playgrounds, and kayak rentals. Entrance costs $3 for adults and $1.50 for children.
There are 3 miles of trails, many of which are ADA friendly, but a tram tour does run at 1 pm, and on Saturday 10 am and 1 pm for $5 adult and $3 children.
The nature preserve is home to a bird of prey aviary for permanently injured birds now taken care of by park staff. At the nature preserve, you will see different ecosystems, from the marsh, swamp, pine flat woods, hammock, and sand scrub.
3 Daughters Brewing
Started in 2013 by Mike and Ty, 3 Daughters got its name from the owners asking how many beers they would have to sell to send three daughters to college. 3 Daughters Brewing made our list of best things to do in St. Petersburg Florida for those who want to visit a family-friendly brewery!
In 2013, the first beer was brewed after trying to make beer-battered fish, and it quickly outsold every other beer offered. The brewery is one of the largest independent breweries in Florida. Plus it’s home to the only seltzer made in Florida!
With a family-friendly environment, the brewery is home to live music and events, a tasting room, food trucks, and games. 3 Daughters Brewing offers a brewery tour for those wanting a behind-the-scenes look at the brewery and has 60 beers on tap.
St Pete Beach
Voted one of the best beaches in the US, it would impossible to visit St. Petersburg and not visit St. Pete Beach. Known for its white sands and stunning sunsets, St. Pete Beach is one of the best things to do in St. Petersburg.
Play in the emerald shallows, comb for shells or relax on the wonderfully clean, soft sand. The more adventurous folks may choose to kayak, windsurf, or parasail. The water at St. Pete Beach is always kept warm by breezes coming in from the gulf.
Restrooms are available at St. Pete Beach, and chairs and cabanas can be rented. However, be sure to pack your own lunch, as there isn’t food for sale on the beach itself.
Park & Rec DTSP
If you’re looking for a fun date night, one of the best things to do in St. Petersburg is to visit Park & Rec. This lively bar will fill you with nostalgia for the 90s as you play arcade games and drink a creative cocktail out of a Capri-sun-like pouch.
Their motto is “youth has no age”, so let yourself feel like a kid again. With both an indoor and outdoor section, you’ll be sure to have a blast playing pinball, cornhole, skee ball, giant Jenga, and giant beer pong. Or simply challenge your date to a game of pool. Meanwhile, snack on pizza, burgers, or fried Oreos.
A fun place to visit either day or night, Park & Rec is located in downtown St. Pete. It may soon become one of your favorite bars in St. Petersburg. (They have a Tampa location as well!)
For a more romantic date, one of the best things to do in St. Petersburg is to attend a show at the Mahaffey Theater. Performances at the Maffey Theater range from Broadway tours to pop and rock concerts, comedy shows, and classical music.
Located inside the newly-renovated Duke Energy Center for the Arts, the Maffey Theater has more than 2,000 seats in an elegant, old-fashioned concert hall with European-style box seats, but with up-to-date acoustics.
After the show, take your date for a stroll along the palm tree-lined waterfront, with views of Tampa Bay.
On this list of things to do in St. Petersburg Florida, we have chosen the best the Sunshine City has to offer. From free things such as museums, outdoor murals, and piers to amazing museums and hotels that should be on any list of things to do in St. Petersburg Florida, we hope you enjoy!
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