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Located just across the bay from Tampa, St. Petersburg, Florida is a world unto itself. Whether you’re there for work or pleasure, you’ll find a vibrant downtown with no shortage of bars, restaurants, world-class museums and other unique attractions to keep you occupied long after the sun has set over the Sunshine City.
If you’re on a tight timeline and only have time to take in one sight, check out the St. Pete Pier. Completed in July of 2020 at a cost of about $93 million dollars, the Pier marks the newest addition to the downtown area. On the 26 acres stretching over the water, you’ll find a marketplace, interactive discovery center, artworks including Janet Echelman’s Bending Arc, foot and bike paths, and plenty of options for food and drinks. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy an evening in town.
How to Get to St. Petersburg, FL
Along Florida’s Gulf Coast, St. Pete is adjacent to Tampa, which makes it easily accessible by air, land and sea. If you’re driving, I-275 is the main north-south highway to the city and connects with I-75. Tampa International Airport (TPA) is about 25 minutes north of downtown St. Pete and the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) is ten minutes closer. If you plan to arrive by boat, the St. Petersburg Marina is your best bet (and the largest city-owned marina in Florida).
Like Tampa, you won’t find a lot of public transportation options. Your best option is a car (such as a rental or Lyft). You can also cover pretty much all of the downtown area by bike or on foot.
Where to Eat Dinner in St. Petersburg, FL
The Chattaway // The COVID-19 global pandemic may have put your European travel plans on hold, but you can still feel like you’re visiting the UK at this much-loved local eatery. If you have time, you can also schedule “high tea” with Lady Chattaway herself.
Red Mesa Cantina // This award-winning local favorite serves up a blend of Tex-Mex, Latin and Caribbean fare and two bars from which it boasts the most extensive selection of Mezcals and tequilas in the South.
The Mill // Voted the Best New Restaurant in Florida by Florida Trend Magazine, this is your go to in downtown St. Pete for steak and seafood. It can get crowded so consider making a reservation.
El Cap // It’s just about universally accepted that since 1964, El Cap has made the best burger in the Burg.
Beans & Barlour // Have you ever have a hard time deciding between the drink or dessert menu? Enter St. Pete’s first craft coffee and dessert bar serving a variety of alcohol-infused ice creams. Problem solved.
Things to Do in St. Petersburg, FL at Night
Check out the Murals // SHINE St. Pete has become a major annual event for muralists (formerly known as graffiti artists) from around the world. Consequently, it has turned all of downtown St. Pete into an open-air art gallery. There are so many, in fact, that change so frequently you’ll want to download the free app to keep track.
St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club // The world’s largest shuffleboard club isn’t just for retirees – it’s become a big draw with the younger crowd. Week nights you can often join a class and Fridays it’s open to the public from 7 – 10 pm.
The Dalí Museum // In the competition for St. Pete’s most artistic mustache, there are many contenders but only one clear winner. St. Pete is home to the largest collection of Salvador Dalí’s work outside of his hometown in Spain, and the museum stays open till 8 pm on Thursdays and Fridays.
The Vinoy Park Hotel // Florida loves it’s Mediterranean Revival-style architecture and its ghost stories – you’ll find more than enough of both to fill an evening at this local landmark.
The Movement Sanctuary // When you’re traveling, one hotel gym looks pretty much like any other. Sure, you could take a spin class somewhere local, but why not check out the only place in St. Pete where you can learn circus arts like aerial silk and acrobatics? You’ll work muscles you probably didn’t even know you had and if you keep at it, you’ll have your friends scratching their heads and asking, “hey, didn’t I see you perform at Burning Man?”
Guide and Photos by Joshua Ginsberg | Secret Tampa Bay | Facebook
Also check out:
- St. Petersburg, FL After 5:00 pm
- Tampa, FL After 5:00 pm
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- Miami After Five: The Magic City
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