The best of St Petersburg, FL can be summed up in three words: sunshine, beaches, and nature. Two of its neighbors are Clearwater and St Pete Beach, so obviously one of the best things to do in Clearwater, FL is to head south and spend the day in St Petersburg. Meanwhile, one of the best things to do in St Pete Beach is to soak up the sun at its glorious beaches. As for things to do in St Pete Beach at night, don’t miss RumFish Grill’s unique dining experience.
Alternatively, unusual things to do in St Petersburg, Florida include petting a live ray at a major league baseball game! As for things to do in St Petersburg, FL in March, head indoors to check out The Dalí and the Chihuly Collection. Here are more things to do in St Petersburg, FL in December and year-round.
1. Salvador Dalí Museum
As the name suggests, The Dalí is an art museum dedicated to Salvador Dalí, the renowned Spanish Surrealist artist. It houses the largest collection of Dalí works – including objects, prints, and photographs – outside of Europe. The building is its own masterpiece, with 18-inch hurricane-proof walls, a helical staircase, and The Enigma, which is made from 1000 triangular glass pieces. The Dalí is also home to the Avant-garden, a library filled with Dalí resources, and the world’s largest collection of Dalí merchandise at The Museum Store.
2. Fort De Soto Park
Fort De Soto Park consists of five offshore keys/islands connected by bridges or causeways; with the main island being Mullet Key. A popular tourist destination, it’s home to over six miles of award-winning and pristine white-sand beaches. There’s plenty of other things to do in Fort De Soto Park too, like renting a kayak and navigating the 2.25-mile paddling trail, biking or walking on the park’s main seven-mile nature trail, fishing from the pier, and visiting its historic fort and museum.
3. Sunken Gardens
Established over a century ago, the Sunken Gardens is known as one of the country’s oldest roadside tourist attractions. Appropriately located in the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood, the Sunken Gardens is a tropical oasis in the middle of the city. Stroll along its winding paths and discover more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers, alongside themed gardens and cascading waterfalls. Fauna highlights include the pretty-in-pink flamingo flock, the butterfly courtyard, and an impressive koi fish population.
4. Skyway Fishing Pier State Park
One of the most unique things to do in St Petersburg, FL is to catch a fish off the world’s largest fishing pier. Skyway Fishing Pier (protected by the State Park) spans Tampa Bay and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The pier is conveniently lit at night and there’s also a concession store where you can purchase snacks, drinks, bait, and other fishing supplies. You can expect to catch a variety of fish off Skyway Fishing Pier, including grouper, Spanish and king mackerel, and red snapper.
5. Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge
Lying southwest of Fort De Soto Park, Egmont Key State Park and National Wildlife Refuge is only accessible by boat or ferry. It’s where history and nature harmoniously coexist, as the pristine landscape is home to an active 100-year-old light house and remnants of a 19th-century military fort. As a National Wildlife Refuge, it’s a vital habitat for nesting sea turtles, gopher tortoises, and over 30,000 nesting pairs of sea birds. Other activities to enjoy on Egmont Key include fishing, shelling, swimming, and snorkeling.
6. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
Sitting on Lake Maggiore’s shore, the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve started life as a zoo and botanical garden. Today, you can explore its many distinct natural habitats on three miles of walking trails, which include the Swamp Woodlands Trail, the Scrub Island Trail, and the Pine Flatwoods Trail. Furthermore, the Great Florida Birding Trail is indeed a birdwatcher’s paradise. Don’t miss the Lake Maggiore Environmental Education Center’s nature exhibits either, or the fun and informative daily tram tours.
7. Chihuly Collection
A part of the Morean Arts Center, the Chihuly Collection is a visually-stunning permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique works. The Chihuly Collection was “designed so that the art and architecture work together to create a visitor experience unlike any other exhibition of Chihuly’s art.” It features pieces that have thrilled worldwide audiences, like the Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier. After exploring the collection, visit the onsite store to browse collection merchandise, and the Glass Studio and Hot Shop to watch glass blowing demonstrations or to create your own masterpiece.
8. Museum of Fine Arts
Founded by Margaret Acheson Stuart in 1965, the Museum of Fine Arts is housed inside an elegant Palladian-style building. Spanning 5000 years and including over 20,000 works, the museum’s permanent collection features everything from African art to Claude Monet masterpieces and the Southeast’s finest photography collection. The Museum of Fine Arts also offers daily guided tours, and youth and adult programs. So if you’re looking for indoor things to do in St Petersburg, FL, visit the Museum of Fine Arts.
9. The Morean Arts Center
With an innovative approach to art, The Morean Arts Center is dedicated to connecting the community to art through classes, workshops, and exhibitions. Its permanent and temporary exhibitions include work from local, national, and international artists. Meanwhile, it offers a plethora of classes in jewelry making, metal sculpture, fiber arts, and so much more. Located at different premises but under the Morean Arts Center umbrella is also the aforementioned Chihuly Collection, the Glass Studio, and the Center for Clay.
10. St. Pete Beach
St Pete Beach is a barrier island community and St Petersburg’s next-door neighbor. It’s primarily known for its glorious sunshine, with an average of 361 sunny days every year. But St Pete Beach is also home to miles of white-sand beaches, the historically-grand and legendary Don CeSar Resort (known as the Pink Palace), and Corey Avenue. At the city’s heart, it’s lined with independent boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. For an unforgettable dining experience, head to RumFish Grill and enjoy a seafood feast beside the tropical fish aquarium which encompasses an entire dining room wall.
11. Weedon Island Preserve
Located on the western shore of Tampa Bay, Weedon Island Preserve has a rich history, as indigenous people occupied the area for centuries. Today, its aquatic and upland ecosystems are home to several species of native flora and fauna. Hiking is a popular activity within Weedon Island Preserve and there are also guided walks available. Alternatively, go on a self-guided journey along the boardwalk that passes by the Cultural and Natural History Center and visit the 45-foot observation tower for views across Tampa Bay.
12. Historic Kenwood
Located west of downtown, Historic Kenwood is a diverse and artsy neighborhood known for its charming craftsman bungalows and oak-lined brick streets. Plan your trip to coincide with the annual Bungalowfest, which sees homeowners open up their bungalows and mid-century houses to curious locals and visitors. In summer, head to Seminole Park as it hosts weekly live music performances. Historic Kenwood’s top restaurants and bars include funky Punky’s Bar and Grill, Fray’s Donut House, and Casita Tacqueria.
13. The Manhattan Casino
Established in the 1920s, The Manhattan Casino has surprisingly never been a casino. It started as the local African American community’s dance hall and has hosted many legendary African American entertainers over the years, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole. Closing its doors in 1968, The Manhattan Casino stood dormant for decades, until it was restored to its former glory. Today, it’s one of the city’s top entertainment venues and event spaces.
14. St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market
If you’re searching for things to do in St Petersburg, FL on the weekend, head to the St Petersburg Saturday Morning Market. Conveniently located downtown, it operates out of the Al Lang Stadium parking lot from October to May. In the interim, the Williams Park Summer Market takes over. There are over 170 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to clothing and handmade gifts. With food stalls representing over 15 different nationalities, it’s no wonder 10,000 people visit the market each Saturday.
15. The Canopy Rooftop Lounge
Sitting atop The Birchwood with sweeping city and waterfront views, The Canopy Rooftop Lounge features private cabanas, fire pits surrounded by comfortable lounges, an air-conditioned bar, and high-top tables. The lounge serves a relaxed seasonal menu of sandwiches, appetizers, and flatbreads; alongside a signature cocktail list. Items on both menus are exclusively made from locally-sourced ingredients. One of the hottest spots in town, stop by The Canopy Rooftop Lounge for a pre-dinner cocktail or a nightcap.
16. Tropicana Field
Known locally as The Trop, Tropicana Field has been home to Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Tampa Bay Rays since the team’s inaugural season in 1998. Featuring a non-retractable domed roof, it’s the MLB’s only year-round indoor venue. Tropicana Field has also hosted college football games and gymnastic competitions. Along with the usual concession stands, Tropicana Field goes one step further with the Rays Touch Experience. Free for all fans attending home games, kids will surely love the opportunity to get up close to a ray.