Most people would say that the Floridian city of St Petersburg is all about the beach and they would almost be right. The city is fringed with sandy stretches of coast and is a water sport lover’s dream. Head out jet skiing, water-skiing or wake-boarding. Snorkel, dive and just splash around in the warm Gulf waters and soak up the sunshine in one of America’s finest sea-side destinations.
But there is more to St Petersburg than just sand. The city has gone out of its way to encourage the arts, and has several fine theaters, cinemas and shopping districts. Head over to the Morean Arts Center with its magnificent collection of glass artworks, visit the local Historical Museum or hit the boutiques and restaurants of the strikingly designed pier.
The area is also a sporting center, and you can take in an all-American experience by watching one of the ball games of the Tampa Bay Rays, and the area has tens of fine golf courses set in parkland and seafront settings.
Natural beauty is another great attraction of St Petersburg. Head to the beautiful Sunken Gardens in the downtown area, take a dolphin watching cruise or the short drive to the scenic coastal town of Gulfport to check out its arts and crafts scene.
In the evening, St Petersburg will always have something to offer as well. Aside from superb restaurants serving up local seafood, you’ll find street parties and concerts aplenty.
Built on the peaceful waters of the Gulf of Mexico, St Petersburg is a classic summer destination, but because Florida has a sub-tropical climate, the beaches will be pleasant almost all year round. You might even want to avoid high summer in July and August when the heat can be a bit much, and the prices will be high. It’s a great place for a Christmas break, which can also be an affordable time to visit.
There are plenty of options for getting around town. The local bus service covers the metropolitan area and runs every day, but it might not be available after a night out. The shuttle bus covers the route between the center and the major beaches, while cyclists can trace the beautiful Pinellas Trail. There are also plenty of taxi firms, and ample parking spaces for hire cars.