Summer’s calling, and if you’re looking for a budget-friendly destination where you can soak up some seaside vibes, the waterfront towns of St. Petersburg and Clearwater are calling your name.
Here are a few cheap things to do when you get there.
Experience St. Petersburg’s natural beauty with a walk through Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, where three miles of boardwalks and trails showcase the best of St. Pete’s lush ecosystems. Walk among coastal willows as butterflies flutter over a nearby marsh, search for box turtles through swamp woodlands or watch as alligators coast by on Lake Maggiore Island. Admission is $3, and you can take a tram tour of the preserve for an extra $2.
St. Pete Beach
Florida boasts some of the country’s most incredible shorelines, and in St. Petersburg, the namesake St. Pete Beach blows the competition out of the water. Often named the number one beach in the U.S., St. Pete Beach is known for its sandy white shores, year-round sunshine and the iconic pink architecture of the Loews Don CeSar Hotel that towers along the shoreline.
Hot Shop at Morean Arts Center
The Morean Arts Center is home to an impressive collection of blown glass by artist Dale Chihuly, but if you want to save a little cash while checking out blown glass in all its hot glory, skip the exhibit and instead opt for the museum’s Hot Shop demonstration. For $8.95, you can watch skilled artists blow glass masterpieces right before your eyes.
St. Petersburg Preservation walking tours
St. Petersburg’s ever-sunny weather makes for the perfect reason to explore the city by foot, and you can do just that with the St. Petersburg Preservation. Their guided walking tours cover everything from historic St. Pete to the waterfront and unique neighborhoods. Tours are technically free, though a $5 donation is suggested.
Art lovers won’t want to miss a chance to check out the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, dedicated to surreal artist Salvador Dali. The museum hosts the artist’s largest collection outside Europe, with exhibits that continually rotate through hundreds of the artist’s pieces. Visit on a Thursday after 5 p.m. to take advantage of reduced admission at just $10.
Sunsets at Pier 60
End your day on Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach with this daily free festival. Sunsets at Pier 60 entertains with live music, street performers and artisans. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can also catch a free movie screening under the Florida night sky at the Pier.
(Featured image: David Thomas)