On the western shore of the bay, St. Petersburg, Florida (“St. Pete” to most locals) stands in contrast to Tampa, much as San Francisco compares to Oakland in California. Whereas Tampa is the area’s business, industrial, and shipping center, St. Pete was conceived and built a century ago primarily for tourists and wintering snowbirds. Here you’ll find one of the most picturesque and pleasant downtowns of any city in Florida, with a waterfront promenade and the famous inverted pyramid-shaped Pier offering great views across the bay, plus quality museums, interesting shops, and a few good restaurants. Thanks to an urban redevelopment program, St. Pete has awoken from its slumber and actually resembles a city that could be considered hip, with renewed, restored streetscapes full of punk’d-out skateboarders, clubs, bars, and a vibrancy that goes well beyond the excitement surrounding bingo night at the “adult” communities in town.
When To Go…
While St. Pete is known for always being in season, weather drives the tourism. If you don’t mind the crowds, peak season is January through April. Off Season, June through September, for those who can handle the heat, and December (except from Christmas to New Year). Shoulder Season is May, October through November, when the weather is at it’s best and there are several major festivals.
This lovely city is close to Clearwater, Florida and it is known for its warmth and breezes that blog off Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg is only a 17 mile drive from the Tampa International Airport and is about 2 hours southwest of Orlando.
You should rent a car. St. Petersburg is the easiest city to navigate in Florida.
What do you love about St. Pete?
In my next Destination Spotlight, I’ll be covering Where to Stay and What To Do while visiting St. Pete, Florida.
As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.
Carmen M. Perez, Travel Planner
Your Florida Travel Expert and Girlfriends’ Getaway Specialist
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