Are you planning a visit to St. Petersburg, Florida and wondering what to do while you’re there? Look no further! I’ve compiled a list of the 37 top things to do in St. Petersburg Florida, from soaking up the sun at St. Pete Beach to exploring the world-renowned Dalí Museum.
Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or art enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Things to Book in Florida Before You Leave Home
Few things are more frustrating on vacation than missing out on that amazing hotel or tour because it is sold out. Here are my top things to book in Florida before your vacation.
🐊 Most Popular Tours in Florida:
1. Sunset Cruise in Key West – the best way to experience these amazing sunsets is from the water.
2. Miami Cruise of South Beach Millionaire Homes – see how the other half lives
3. Shell Island Snorkel and Dolphin Cruise – beautiful views and wild dolphins
4. Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami – one of my favourites
🛏️Where to Stay in Florida:
1. Esme South Beach – stylish and charming with a fantastic pool
2. Conch House Key West – Adults-only heritage property
3. Berkeley Beach Club St Petersburg – charm, style, space and a great location
4. Hotel Haya Tampa – Cuban style in historic Ybor City
37 Top Things to Do in St Petersburg Florida
Table of Contents
- 37 Top Things to Do in St Petersburg Florida
- Downtown St Petersburg
- 1. Visit The Chihuly Collection
- 2. Marvel at The Dali Museum
- 3. Visit the Morean Arts Center
- 4. Watch Glass Blowing in Action
- 5. Enjoy more glass art at the Imagine Museum
- 6. Visit the Florida Holocaust Museum
- 7. Enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts
- 8. Explore St Pete’s Pier
- 9. Have a Cuban Sandwich
- 10. Take the Trolley
- 11. See What’s On at the Floridian
- 12. Stroll and shop along Central Avenue
- 13. Have a key lime pie bar at the Hyppo
- 14. Head West at The James Museum
- 15. Enjoy the street art
- 16. Watch Your Beef Tartare Being Mixed at Allelo
- Along the Gulf Coast
- 17. Go Shopping in Passe-A-Grille
- 18. Watch the Sunset from the Berkeley Beach Club Rooftop Bar in Passe-A-Grille
- 19. Have dinner at The Dewey in Passe-A-Grille
- 20. Enjoy an over-the-top cocktail with a sunset view at Hurricane in Passe-A-Grille
- 21. Stretch on the beach
- 22. Cool down with an Iced Coffee at Indian Shores Coffee
- 23. Sip a Pina Colada at Palm Pavillion
- 24. Rent a Glass Bottomed Kayak
- 25. Take a Paddle Board Tour
- 26. Take a Sunset Walk along St Pete’s beach
- 27. Have a glass of wine at the Pink Palace
- 28. Order the Key Lime Pie at Don Cesar
- 29. Go Shopping and meet the Pelicans at John’s Pass Village
- 30. Kiss a Crocodile at John’s Pass Village
- 31. Visit Fort De Soto Park
- 32. Take a Dolphin Tour
- 33. Enjoy the Sunset from the Water
- 34. Parasail over the Gulf
- Other Fun St Petersburg Attractions
- 35. Get Up Close and Personal with Flamingoes at the Sunken Gardens
- 36. Check out the trees at Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum
- 37. Be Immersed at Fairgrounds St Pete
- Where to Stay in St Petersburg
- Berkeley Beach Club
- Hotel Don CeSar
Downtown St Petersburg
1. Visit The Chihuly Collection
If you are a fan of glass art, then you must visit the Chihuly Collection. I absolutely loved this art exhibition. I had never heard of Dale Chihuly before visiting the Collection. His work is so colorful and it sparkles against the black backgrounds in the gallery.
The flowers made out of glass are extraordinary and the multi-colored garden at the end of the collection is a real highlight. The museum is in the heart of downtown St Petersburg.
2. Marvel at The Dali Museum
You can’t visit St Petersburg and not go to The Dali Museum. Firstly, the building itself is extraordinary. Designed by architect Yann Weymouth, its 18-inch thick hurricane-proof walls become a glass dome known as the “engima”.
The museum and its collection have been around for about thirty years. Albert Reynolds Morse and his wife Eleanor became friends with Dali and major collectors of his works. They founded the museum and it is the largest collection of Dali’s works outside of his hometown, Figueres in Spain.
The museum offers a true multimedia experience with VR headsets, QR codes and immersive experiences. I most enjoyed the painting that appears to be a woman looking out over the Mediterranean, but when you get up close it turns into Abraham Lincoln. This is an old school style immersive experience thanks to Dali!
Don’t miss the small outdoor area that contains some Dali sculptures and a bench with a melting clock.
3. Visit the Morean Arts Center
The Morean Arts Center dates back to 1917 when the Art Club of St Petersburg was founded. Today, the center consists of four different venues in St Petersburg. It showcases local artists, runs exhibits throughout the year and offers a wide range of classes.
4. Watch Glass Blowing in Action
The Morean Glass Studio is also part of the Morean Arts Center. Included in every ticket for the Chilhuly Collection is admission to this studio that runs glassblowing demonstrations on the hour. It is fascinating watching the artists move the liquid glass from ovens to twists to cold water and seeing the actual glass blown through long thin pipes. They also have a great shop filled with beautiful blown glass objects.
5. Enjoy more glass art at the Imagine Museum
The Imagine Museum is a newer addition to St. Petersburg’s art scene. The museum features a collection of contemporary glass art from around the world. The museum’s collection includes a range of glass sculptures, installations and immersive glass art experiences.
6. Visit the Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. It is one of the largest Holocaust museums in the United States.
7. Enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts
For those who appreciate fine art, the Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see. The collection includes works from around the world, including ancient Greek and Roman art and contemporary pieces. Museum highlights include masterpieces from Monet, O’Keeffe, De Kooning, Wiley, a sculpture garden, and one of Florida’s most respected photography collections.
8. Explore St Pete’s Pier
Covering 26 acres, St Pete’s Pier is one of the newer attractions in St Petersburg. It has restaurants, playgrounds, green space, shopping, art, a fishing deck and even its own beach. USA Today voted The pier the #2 New Attraction in the U.S..
9. Have a Cuban Sandwich
Famed for its Cuban sandwiches, Bodega is located at the Western end of Central Avenue. Have a sandwich or a plate of meat with rice and black beans. I loved my pork sandwich and also enjoyed a delicious fresh juice.
10. Take the Trolley
St Petersburg has several trolley services for getting around. The Central Avenue Trolley runs up and down Central Avenue, of course. The Downtown Looper covers a broader route.
The Jolley Trolley runs between Clearwater Beach and Tarpon Springs. The Suncoast Beach Trolley runs from Clearwater along the beach communities. It also connects to the other trolleys so you can head to downtown St Petersburg.
11. See What’s On at the Floridian
The Floridian Social Club has live entertainment Thursday through Sunday. They host a mix of national and local artists and the venue dates back to 1924.
12. Stroll and shop along Central Avenue
Central Avenue is the heart of downtown St Petersburg. It has loads of shops, restaurants, attractions (many of the attractions in this article are located on Central Avenue) and street art.
13. Have a key lime pie bar at the Hyppo
The Hyppo creates gourmet, homemade ice pops. They have offered over 450 flavours and their clean ingredients list makes for a delicious snack. As this is Florida, I of course had to have a key lime pie bar which was delicious.
14. Head West at The James Museum
The James Museum is dedicated to the history of the American West. The 26,000 square foot gallery houses over 400 pieces of art, from jewelry to sculptures to paintings. The James Museum was founded by Tom and Mary James as a gift to the St. Petersburg community and opened in 2018.
15. Enjoy the street art
As you wander St Petersburg you will inevitably stumble across street art. The city is famous for its more than 600 murals. The city offers street art tours or take your own self guided route. And if you’re visiting in October don’t miss the annual street art festival Shine.
16. Watch Your Beef Tartare Being Mixed at Allelo
Allelo is a Mediterranean restaurant on Beach Drive with outdoor and indoor seating. The restaurant has a beautiful interior – I particularly liked the flamingo mural above the bar.
I enjoyed several of Allelo’s signature dishes when I visited. First up was the beef tartare, which was mixed in front of us. Then we had some amazing Cauliflower charred, crispy and creamy. The cauliflower was charred, the cauliflower sauce underneath was creamy and the shaved cauliflower on top was crispy and wow!
Next was the octopus with melon, blueberry and chevre and then some outstanding Snapper Cruddo. A fantastic meal in a lovely location.
Along the Gulf Coast
St Petersburg and Clearwater are deservedly famous for their stunning beaches. I have written an entire article about those beautiful beaches (best beaches in St Petersburg) so in this article, I will focus on things to do that aren’t lying on beautiful beaches.
17. Go Shopping in Passe-A-Grille
My favourite area in St Petersburg was the charming Passe-A-Grille. The heart of Passe-A-Grille is the super cute 8th street. Head to Dody for great beach and apres beach gear. A Little Room for Art is a super cute small gallery featuring local artists.
And don’t miss visiting the Evander Preston Gallery on 8th Street. Evander Preston was an artist famed for his jewelry, brewing, food and art collection. I loved the unique jewelry that was for sale. The building in which the gallery is housed was where Preston lived. It is not generally open to the public, but sometimes visits can be arranged and the art collection is fascinating.
18. Watch the Sunset from the Berkeley Beach Club Rooftop Bar in Passe-A-Grille
Later in this article, you’ll see that I stayed at the Berkeley Beach Club in Passe-A-Grille and absolutely loved it. They have an awesome rooftop beach bar with fantastic gulf views. It is a fantastic place to watch the sunset in St Petersburg.
19. Have dinner at The Dewey in Passe-A-Grille
And why not add in a meal at The Dewey? This is Berkeley Beach Club’s much-lauded restaurant. Their menu is modern Florida and is particularly well known for its outstanding brunch.
20. Enjoy an over-the-top cocktail with a sunset view at Hurricane in Passe-A-Grille
This slightly over-the-top and very colorful seafood restaurant has been serving its signature Organic Partida Margarita for over 43 years. Grab your drink and head to one of the two rooftop bars and enjoy the sunset. This is also a good place to try a grouper sandwich, a specialty of the area.
21. Stretch on the beach
I’ve done yoga in my places in my travels but this was my first time vinyasa-ing on the beach and I loved it. Adding the sound of the water and the ocean breeze to my practice took it to another level. I did a sunrise beach yoga class in Passe-A-Grille with Ocean Fitness. If you have jet lag and are most likely to be up early (which I was) I highly recommend booking the sunrise class.
Ocean Fitness also offers sunset yoga and stand up paddleboard yoga classes and lessons. Kerry, the owner is fab. Super friendly and enthusiastic and happy to adjust the class to suit your level of experience and mood.
22. Cool down with an Iced Coffee at Indian Shores Coffee
Located on Gulf Boulevard just before Indian Shores beach (from the south), Indian Shores Coffee is a super cute cafe that serves excellent coffee. There is also a pleasant almost tropical outdoor seating area.
23. Sip a Pina Colada at Palm Pavillion
Palm Pavillion opened on Clearwater Beach in 1926 and has been serving up outstanding Pina Coladas and Grouper Sandwiches ever since. It has the best possible location on the edge of Clearwater Beach, try to get a table on the covered outdoor terrace.
The mood at Palm Pavillion is super relaxed and the food is fantastic – I enjoyed both deep fried grouper cheeks and the grouper sandwich (I like to be thorough). And there is live music at Palm Pavillion every day, rain or shine.
Pick up your glass bottomed kayak on Treasure Island beach and head out to the mangroves around Eleanor and St John’s Pass Islands. You might see dolphins and/or manatees. Beach chairs and snorkel masks are supplied.
NB: This is a do-it-yourself kayaking activity, not a tour.
No experience is necessary to try this paddle boarding tour. The experience kicks off with lessons (it is quite easy to get the hang of paddle boarding – it is all about practice). Head out to Coffee Pot Bayou and Bird Island. You’ll have the chance to see up to 30 different species of birds.
26. Take a Sunset Walk along St Pete’s beach
One of the nicest things about the beaches of St Petersburg is that they keep on going so you can walk for as long as you are comfortable. For me, the best time to walk along the beach is sunrise (when I am usually asleep :-)) and sunset. Kick off your walk about one hour before the sun is due to set and enjoy watching the light change as the sun drops.
27. Have a glass of wine at the Pink Palace
There is no missing the Don Cesar Hotel. It is perhaps St Petersburg’s most iconic landmark. The Pink Palace of Hotel Don Cesar is famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful beachfront location, and world-class amenities.
They also have a great bar with loads of outdoor seating. It is a great spot to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a sunset walk along St Pete’s beach.
28. Order the Key Lime Pie at Don Cesar
I also had a delicious dinner at Hotel Don Cesar but my gosh it is the key lime pie I dream of! The top layer was chewy gooey meringue rather than straight cream. The lime custard layer was perfection. And the entire dessert had a green white chocolate shell of sorts and was just amazing.
29. Go Shopping and meet the Pelicans at John’s Pass Village
There is a lot going on at John’s Pass Village. More than 100 shops, restaurants and bars, every type of water sport you can imagine, boat hire and pelicans. This is the place to go if you are looking for Florida souvenirs. I also bought a pair of hot pink shorts at John’s Pass, which I have worn frequently.
30. Kiss a Crocodile at John’s Pass Village
Yes a real life crocodile can meet your lips at the Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center at John’s Pass. You’ll see all kinds of crocs and amphibians. And if you’re up for it, pay a bit extra and a small croc with a mouth taped shut will pretend to kiss you for the camera. I was up for doing this until I got there and saw it. I then chickened out. If you are braver than me do send a photo!
NB: After I visited, the Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center experienced a fire. They were able to save a large number of animals. As I write this article, they are closed. However, I believe they plan to re-open when they can, so please go along and support them.
31. Visit Fort De Soto Park
This park is home to a historic fort that dates back to the Spanish-American War and was used during World War II. You can take a self-guided tour of the fort and learn about its history and significance. Additionally, the park has beautiful beaches, nature trails, and camping facilities.
St Petersburg is a great place to see dolphins. On your dolphin tour you may also see manatees, rays and loads of other wildlife.
St Petersburg tends to put on a good sunset show almost every evening so why not try to enjoy it from every angle while you’re in town? This 2 1/2 hour sunset cruise starts from the St Pete Pier and sails to the picturesque Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Taking off from Madeira Beach, you’ll head out to the waters on a boat with a group and then take to the skies. The total experience lasts one hour and photo packages are available to capture the memories.
Other Fun St Petersburg Attractions
35. Get Up Close and Personal with Flamingoes at the Sunken Gardens
One of the best things I did in St Petersburg was visit the Sunken Gardens. These gardens began life as a sinkhole. In 1903, a local plumber purchased the land to drain the link and turn it into a glorious tropical garden.
Today the Sunken Gardens are home to over 50,000 tropical plants and flowers, including orchids, bromeliads, and bougainvillea. For me, seeing the flamingoes was the highlight. There were loads of flamingoes and it was possible to get quite close to them for photos (be aware they are rather smelly). This was the closest I have ever been to a flamingo and I was delighted!
The gardens are quite wild and beautiful – as is the sinkhole today! As you walk around the gardens, you will realise that you are heading down about 15 feet and to the original sinkhole – which is now a quite pretty pond of sorts.
The gardens are open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and on Sunday from 12 pm to 4:30 pm. Admission is $12 for adults.
36. Check out the trees at Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum
Gizela Kopsick Palm Arboretum is a park-based arboretum showcasing a wide variety of palms from across the globe. This 2-acre park was once a city miniature golf course. Today it is home to more than 500 palms and cycads representing some 150 species worldwide.
The arboretum is open every day from 7 am to 7 pm, and admission is free.
37. Be Immersed at Fairgrounds St Pete
Fairgrounds St. Pete offers an engaging indoor art space where visitors can shape their own experiences. This ever-evolving museum showcases diverse artworks, allowing patrons to immerse themselves in the storyline. As St Petersburg’s premiere venue for a blend of immersive art and technology, it celebrates Florida’s quirky and captivating essence.
When I visited, I experienced everything from a mega kaleidoscope to a room full of strawberry scents to a mermaid selfie opportunity to the Tampa skyline and best of all a giant prawn cocktail complete with a prawn-shaped disco ball. This is a great fun experience for all ages.
Where to Stay in St Petersburg
🌟Rating: 9/10 I 📍Location: Pass-A-Grille I 🏩View on Booking.com
I absolutely loved my stay at the gorgeous Berkeley Beach Club. Let’s start with its fantastic location on historic 8th Street in the oh-so-charming Pass-A-Grille neighborhood. As the hotel is literally on 8th street, everything you need, food and drink wise, is on your doorstep, and the beach is about a two-minute stroll away (Berkeley Beach Club will supply you with nice thick towels for beach time).
The rooms are small apartments beautifully styled with polished floorboards, high ceilings and a Scandinavian-style interior design theme. The fittings and fixtures are of good quality, so the room has a high-end but relaxed feel.
The kitchen is fantastic with a large fridge (water and icemaking in the door), hob, microwave, all the utensils you would need if you felt like cooking and a cute bar set up with stools. A small utility closet to the side includes a washer dryer, ironing table etc.
There are large screen TVs in the bedroom and in the living room. The living room has a large comfortable couch and armchairs. But perhaps best of all is the huge terrace area that comes off the living room.
The terrace comes with blue and white chairs, couches and tables. My terrace was perfectly positioned to enjoy watching the sunset over the beach. The terrace is shared with the rooms on either side, but plenty of room exists.
And there’s more! The Berkeley Beach Club has a great rooftop bar with even better views of the beach. Its restaurant, The Dewey, has received rave reviews and is worth a visit even if you’re not staying at this gorgeous boutique hotel (although why wouldn’t you be staying???).
🌟Rating: 8/10 I 📍Location: St Pete Beach I 🏩View on Booking.com
I had dinner and drinks at the wonderful pink Hotel Don CeSar and was impressed with its style – the recent renovation is clearly evident. I didn’t get to see any of the rooms, but I believe they have all been updated as well. It would be worth checking out their availability and prices if you are looking for somewhere a bit over the top.
Visit St Pete Clearwater covered all of my accommodation, food and drink, car hire and activities on this trip – thanks guys! I paid for my own flights and as always my opinions are my own. This article on best things to do in St Petersburg Florida contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission.