2020 Guide to Best Neighborhoods in Tampa: St Petersburg

St. Petersburg, “The Sunshine City”, is one of the largest metropolitan regions in the Tampa Bay Area and is quickly expanding. St. Pete (as the locals call it) is known for its diverse brand of culture and is one of the Tampa Bay Area’s most popular places to live and work.

Read on to find out what makes the “Burg” such a popular place!

Entertainment

The excitement never stops in St. Pete. There are countless activities that attract people from every corner of the world: art, sports, bars and clubs, beaches– the list goes on!

No matter what your preference, you can find something you’ll love in St Petersburg.

Sports

St Petersburg is home to two professional sports teams, the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays and the USL’s (United Soccer League) Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The Rowdies play at the beautiful Al Lang Stadium, which is located in Downtown St. Pete, right on the waterfront. They offer affordable fun for the entire family or a night out with friends!

Tropicana Field plays host to the Rays; this indoor stadium offers major league baseball that can be enjoyed in all weather conditions. During the holidays, it is also where you can find the world’s largest Christmas maze with hundreds of thousands of lights and an 80 foot tall Christmas Tree at the center.

Art & Culture

 

This strange Salvador Dali Museum is an amazing place to go in St Petersburg
The Famous Salvador Dali Museum

 

If you enjoy art, then St. Pete has some awesome treats for you. Downtown St. Pete is home to the Dali Museum. The museum showcases some of the famed surrealist’s incredible pieces, and the structure in and of itself is a surreal work of art to behold as well. Closeby you’ll also find the Museum of Fine Arts as well where you’ll find exhibits spanning 4,000 years, including African art, European paintings and American photography.

The Chihuly Collection, presented by the Morean Arts Center, is another of St. Pete’s art museums. It is a collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork who’s primary medium was working in glass. There are also glass blowing demonstrations that take place at the museum in addition to the art exhibits.

The Mahaffey Theater is a beautiful performing arts hall that is located right on the Downtown St. Pete waterfront and is home to the incredibly talented Florida Orchestra. The theater has played host to top-quality national and international artists and performances – Broadway, classical, pop, rock, comedy, dance, and more.

The Outdoors

Take a step outside to enjoy the many fantastic nature experiences that St. Pete offers.

The Sunken Gardens are a beautiful botanical garden that is home to more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. This fantastic 100-year-old garden is also home to flocks of pink flamingos and other species of tropical wildlife.

St. Pete Beach is ranked the number 4 beach in America. It features sugar-white sand, beautiful water, and many dining and beachside hangouts where you can get a drink, a tan, or both at the same time!

St. Pete is completely surrounded by water, so there are many different opportunities and areas for fishing, jet skiing, kayaking or paddle boarding. Book a private charter or cast a line yourself, many waterfront establishments offer kayak or paddleboard rentals as well as boat clubs and marinas. There is plenty of water based recreation to be had!

 

St Petersburg Pier mock-up created by the city
Source: Orlando Weekly, Re-Imagined St. Petersburg Pier

 

Finally, don’t forget the St. Pete Pier is having their grand re-opening in Spring 2020. The new and improved pier will offer restaurants, architecture, art and beautiful sights and sounds right on the water.

Nightlife

There are several bars and nightclubs in St Petersburg that have something for everyone. In the downtown area you’ll find Central Avenue, you can find local favorites such as Jannus Live, more than 10 breweries as well as funky/artsy bars you can’t even imagine!

Jannus Live and The Bends offer live music and drinks conveniently located within walking distance from many of the other bars and clubs downtown.

If you’re a fan of craft beers, you’ll love the Burg. There are so many breweries in St. Pete; it’s hard to walk a city block without running into one! Indeed too many to list here!

If you’re looking for something more “fun-focused,” make a point to check out Park and Rec, which features a variety of traditional and arcade games both indoors and out. Lastly, check out the Dog Bar; it’s precisely what it sounds like, a bar where dogs are welcome.

Restaurants and Dining

If you’re a foodie, you won’t be able to move to St Petersburg fast enough. There are a ton of fantastic dining establishments that cover nearly every cuisine imaginable.

Pia’s Trattoria offers traditional, authentic Italian cuisine and wine that is as close to Italy as you’ll come to in Florida! The establishment has been reviewed by several food critics and thousands on Google. It is considered one of the top 5, if not top 3 Italian restaurants in all of Tampa Bay.

 

St Petersburg Restaurant Pia's Trattoria
The family-owned and operated Italian restaurant has been serving up authentic Italian cuisine since 2005

On the beach drive with a view of the bay there are several excellent eateries. The most popular include Stillwaters Tavern, The Canopy at the Birchwood, 400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse and the Parkshore Grill.

Stillwaters Tavern brings together old world taste with modern American cooking, from seafood to more terrestrial-based dishes. Stillwaters is a fantastic establishment– and they offer a killer brunch menu.

The Canopy Rooftop Lounge is perched atop The Birchwood in the heart of St. Petersburg’s waterfront, complete with private cabanas, fire pits, living room seating and high top tables. With glass railings affording an unobstructed view of Tampa Bay, Straub Park, Beach Drive and the downtown St. Petersburg skyline this is a high class eating and drinking experience that you can’t find anywhere else.

400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse is located right on Beach Drive and has an amazing view of Tampa Bay. 400 Beach has been awarded by Florida Magazine as a Top 20 Florida Restaurant, has been recognized by Tripadvisor for Best Brunch, Best Mac & Cheese, Best Business Lunch and Best Happy Hour.

It’s not just food that this restaurant is known for, it offers 24 draft beer selections, 40 wines by the glass, bottles and a full liquor bar. They offer Sunday an upscale Sunday brunch bar, daily happy hours and more!

The Parkshore Grill is a contemporary American restaurant focusing on the finest ingredients. Proteins are free range, natural, free of GMOs and antibiotics. Seafood is sustainably caught or farmed. Located on Beach Drive across the street from Straub Park overlooking the Vinoy Yacht Basin.

It is one of, if not the most awarded restaurant on Beach Drive. Accolades include the coveted Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award, the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, OpenTable’s Top 100 Best Alfresco Restaurants in America and Diner’s Choice Awards, Best Chef in Tampa Bay and Best Sidewalk Dining.

Education

USF St. Pete is home to USF’s marine science program. In St. Pete, you’ll find Eckerd College, a private, liberal arts college that offers a variety of degree programs.

USF and Eckerd aren’t the only post secondary education you’ll find in Saint Petersburg, Florida’s first law school, Stetson University Law School is also here and has been producing top notch lawyers since the year 1900.

Many St. Petersburg high schools offer some different magnet programs such as Dixie Hollins, Gibbs, St. Pete High School, and Osceola High School and several others.

Other Amenities in St. Petersburg

St. Pete is home to St. Petersburg International Airport. Although much smaller than Tampa International Airport, it still offers international flights and is easy to navigate with ample parking. So if your job requires travel, you’ll find St. Pete to be quite travel friendly.

The Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach provides the ultimate staycation where you will be treated to stunning 5-star service that harkens back to a simpler and more refined time.

Tyrone Square Mall offers shopping at nearly 150 different stores and restaurants. You’ll find anything and everything here.

 

Large pink Loews Don Cesar Hotel on the beach in St Petersburg Florida
The Don Cesar offers a 5-star experience that will make you never want to leave

 

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