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

Free Things To Do in St. Petersburg, FL

If you have extra time, Saturday Morning Market is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in St. Petersburg, FL
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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.

    The park is also one of the best places in St. Petersburg to visit the beach. The popular North Beach is recognizable by the large pirate ship playground near its entrance and the myriad of seashells and white sand dollars along its sands. At the waterfront, travelers can also rent a canoe or kayak and navigate the 2-mile paddling trail or try fishing. Recent visitors raved about everything there is to enjoy at the park, especially the lengthy dog beach.

  • #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.  

    St. Pete Beach is also brimming with top hotels and restaurants. Once you've settled in, venture out to the Corey Avenue district to enjoy funky specialty shops, galleries and eateries. PJ’s Oyster Bar is the place to visit for seafood dishes like snow crab legs, grouper and clam chowder. Steam and Chill Food Haven and Lounge is located nearby and also highly praised for its seafood and unique dishes. Recent travelers enjoyed the watermelon salad, shrimp and grits, and rutabaga fries.  

  • #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.

    Located in the Al Lang Field parking lot, the market is open from early October to late May every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A smaller summer market runs from June to August in Williams Park every Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Plenty of parking is available near the market: the South Core Garage across the street has more than 1,100 spaces with a $3 entry fee and the Baywalk Parking Garage two blocks north has more than 1,300 spaces and costs $1 for the first four hours. For more information on vendors and parking, visit the market's official website.     

  • #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.

    Recent travelers raved about kayaking the mangroves and bird-watching on the boardwalk. Fishing and picnicking are also popular activities at the preserve. The fishing pier and outlying oyster bars are ideal for catching sea trout, snook and sheepshead. And the four picnic areas and pavilion are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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