St. Petersburg, FL Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Florida
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Courtesy of Debbie Friley Photography/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg, FL

"The Sunshine City" offers a great mix of cultural and outdoorsy attractions, ranging from the renowned Dalí Museum to Fort De Soto Park to The Mahaffey Theater. Baseball fans can catch a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field and visitors in search of unique finds can frequent the Saturday Morning Market. With a plethora of events and a lively downtown area, there's never a shortage of things to do in St. Petersburg.  

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 30, 2017

  • #1
    Fort De Soto Park
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    #1 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Beaches, Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sports, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sports, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Spanning five small islands, the 1,136-acre Fort De Soto Park lies at the mouth of Tampa Bay and attracts more than 2.7 million visitors a year. The park features 7 miles of waterfront, two fishing piers, a 4-mile hiking and skating trail, picnic and camping grounds and a historic fort. Climb the stairs of the fort for a breathtaking view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, one of the world's longest cable-stayed concrete bridges. Then, stop by the Quartermaster Museum to learn more about the fort through historic photographs and Spanish-American War artifacts.

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  • #2
    St. Pete Beach
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    #2 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    St. Pete Beach is a barrier island community just west of St. Petersburg and home to a large swath of award-winning beaches. Pass-a-Grille Beach is a long undeveloped stretch of public beach, perfect for a variety of water sports, including parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Recent visitors raved about St. Pete Beach, noting the soft, white sand, terrific maintenance and warm Gulf of Mexico waters.  

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  • #3
    Dalí Museum
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    #3 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The waterfront Dalí Museum holds the largest collection of Salvador Dalí's works outside of Spain. The building is just as impressive as the masterpieces displayed inside. One of the architectural elements is called the "Glass Enigma" — it's composed of 1,062 glass triangles that are visible from the outside. On the inside, a free-standing spiral staircase dominates the entrance. Architect Yann Weymouth had the staircase tested for strength by having two rugby teams dance on it to disco music. The museum also features a labyrinth and the Fountain of Youth.

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  • #4
    Saturday Morning Market
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    #4 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The market is held every week in downtown St. Petersburg and is the perfect place to buy fresh produce and a gift or two. Choose from more than 15 different international cuisine types of ready-to-eat food, whether it's Jamaican patties or Irish pies. Live music plays in the center and performers like balloon artists and magicians are scattered throughout. Recent visitors found the market the best place to be on a Saturday, and many especially enjoyed the social experience.

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  • #5
    The Mahaffey Theater
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    #5 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, The Mahaffey Theater is a cultural jewel that seats up to 2,031 visitors. Top-quality national and international artists, such as the renowned Florida Orchestra, grace the theater’s stage. The chock-full calendar includes everything from the Clifford the Big Red Dog musical to the Shut Up and Laugh comedy event. Recent concertgoers raved about the seats at the theater, finding them all, including the least expensive ones, to be fantastic in terms of views and acoustics.

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  • #6
    Tropicana Field
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    #6 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Museums, Sightseeing, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located a few blocks from downtown St. Petersburg, Tropicana Field is the only professional sports facility that features a tank full of cownose rays. Thanks to a partnership with the Florida Aquarium, visitors can touch, feed and interact with more than 30 stingrays throughout a game. The dome-covered baseball stadium also features the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame. Admission is free to fans attending Tampa Bay Rays home games. And if you’d rather explore the facilities than attend a game, check the schedule and take a 90-minute tour. Highlights include the field, dugout, press box, tank and museum. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children.   

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  • #7
    Weedon Island Preserve
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    #7 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Sports, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Sports, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Weedon Island Preserve spans 3,190 acres and comprises aquatic and upland ecosystems. Visitors can take a variety of guided hikes, walk the boardwalks through tidal flats and mangrove forests and fish on the pier. Located deep within the preserve, the Cultural and Natural History Center features an exhibit gallery called "Connecting People and Place" that encourages visitors to reconnect with the environment through 6,000 square feet of interactive exhibits. The center also offers interpretive hikes, workshops and other programs. The hours are Thursday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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  • #8
    Sunken Gardens
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    #8 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This 4-acre attraction in downtown St. Petersburg features more than 50,000 tropical plants as well as a variety of exotic birds. Paved pathways make it easy to explore the botanical garden. Enter through a fountain plaza and follow the trail to the orchid arbor and the Growing Stone, a fossilized limestone rock. Other highlights further along the trail include the Japanese garden, Wishing Well and Wedding Lawn.

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  • #9
    Chihuly Collection
    View all Photos
    #9 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located on the waterfront, the permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly is displayed in a 10,000-square-foot building on Beach Drive. The entrance is dominated by the iconic 20-foot sculpture of cerise-colored rocks and the inside is brimming with intricate glass works. Pieces showcased in the building that are particular highlights include "Persians," "Tumbleweeds" and "Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier."

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  • #10
    Museum of Fine Arts
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    #10 in St. Petersburg, FL
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Discover 4,500 years of civilization in the Museum of Fine Arts, located in the heart of downtown. Highlights include masterpieces from Monet and Renoir, a sculpture garden and a Steuben glass gallery. The traveling exhibits and events, such as the Smartly Dressed Fashion Show and Stuffed Animal Night, make multiple visits to the museum worthwhile.

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