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Known for its pristine coastline and vibrant arts scene, St. Petersburg offers a diverse choice of excellent museums, gardens and cultural attractions. You’ll find a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, where you can dig your does in the soft sand of St. Pete beach then explore the world-renown paintings in the Dali Museum all in one day. From idyllic landscapes in Fort De Soto Park to Saturday Morning Market activities, here are the best things to do in St. Petersburg.
The crown jewel of the St. Petersburg area, Fort De Soto Park boasts five interconnecting islands and 1,136 acres of waterfront oasis along the Gulf of Mexico. Backed by miles of sugary sand, this diverse coastal habitat is a hotspot for outdoor recreation. Spend the day in a kayak, cycle on the scenic trails or search for seashells on its beautiful beaches.
A Gulf Coast gem, St. Pete Beach offers a solid stretch of undeveloped beach with a beautiful landscape of immaculate sugar-sand and sparkling blue waters. This family-friendly beach is where kids will delight in a day of swimming and making sand castles. Enjoy the plethora of water sports on offer, or simply lounge under an umbrella and soak up the warm Florida sunshine.
One of the most important museums in Florida, the Salvador Dali Museum is where art aficionados and budding art fans alike can appreciate the uniqueness that is Salvador Dali. You’ll find an impressive and comprehensive collection of work on display, including eight of his “Masterworks”. Admire pieces of art that include oils, watercolors, sketches and sculptures, and let your imagination run wild as you learn all about Surrealism.
Taking an innovative, community-oriented approach to art and education, the Morean Arts Center is a unique attraction where you can admire artwork from local, national and international artists. You’ll find education-based programs, including a Glass Studio & Hot Shop with a workshop for glass artists. Make sure to see the Chihuly Collection, a stunning permanent collection that includes large-scale installations designed so that the art and architecture work together.
Visitors flock to the Saturday Morning Market for the great selection of organic produce and handmade crafts. Located in downtown St. Petersburg, you’ll find ready-to-eat foods that range from Greek and Italian to French and Belgian. Artisan food vendors tempt your taste buds with the fresh seafood, baked goods, cheeses and chocolates, while live music, magicians and balloon artists make it a family-friendly event.
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg to admire masterpieces of art from renowned artists like Monet and Renoir, then explore the on-site sculpture garden and Steuben glass gallery. Dedicated to inspiring and educating, the museum is known for its excellent permanent collection and variety of rotating and traveling exhibitions, where you can browse 14,000 objects that include decorative arts and pre-Columbian artifacts.
The Sunken Gardens is St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, home to more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. A tranquil escape from the bustle of the city, you can take the entire family here to enjoy its four acres of winding paths, cascading waterfalls and hidden groves. Marvel at the 100-year-old garden and discover some of the oldest tropical plants in the region.
Nestled in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, The Mahaffey Theater is one of the city’s biggest cultural attractions. You’ll find an array of well-known national and international artists, such as the Florida Orchestra, gracing its stage. The European-style 2,031-seat venue dates back to 1965 and hosts anything from music events to comedy acts and Broadway shows.
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, head to Weedon Island Preserve. Spanning 3,190 acres it is comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems where you can spend an afternoon walking through its boardwalks to marvel at tidal flats and mangrove forests. There’s also an educational center where you can learn about the indigenous people who lived on the land for thousands of years.
A charming beach community at the southern tip of St. Pete Beach, Pass-a-Grille Beach offers the perfect vacation away from the tourist crowds. This area is a local favorite, where miles of undeveloped shoreline and a laid-back ambiance attracts those looking to get away from it all. Indulge in a day of parasailing, paddleboarding or kiteboarding, then browse the area’s local boutiques and ice cream shops.
A family-owned business that produces over 43 different tropical citrus and berry wines, the Florida Orange Groves and Winery is Florida’s original tropical fruit winery. The wines here are made 100% from juice indicated on its bottles and have won numerous awards. Visit this unique attraction to sample Key Lime, Hurricane White Sangria and Mango Mamma and take a guided tour of the winery.
Creativity comes to life at Great Explorations Children’s Museum, where creative play is enhanced through real life, practical learning experiences. Kids can build with various materials and discover their inner architect, learn how to cultivate and grow vegetables, see themselves on TV on the Live On Air display, or watch live shows with music and dance at the Explorations Theater.
If you’re a fan of craft beer, stop by 3 Daughters Brewing to experience its state-of-the-art brewing process, take a tour of the brewery and pick up a pint from the over 60 beers on tap. You can browse the open floor plan brewhouse to watch the brewers in action and see the entire brewing process, then hang out in the lively tasting room that features live music, outdoor games and food trucks.