Best Things to Do in St. Petersburg, Florida
May 9, 2022
From endless coastlines and thrilling attractions to incredible wildlife and all the food you could want, there’s no shortage of sights in Florida. If you’re visiting Florida, it’s a good idea to map out an itinerary ahead of time. To plan the perfect vacation, pick a spot that has it all. Find the best attractions, food, shows, beaches and shopping in St. Petersburg and create a show-stopping vacation you’ll never want to leave.
Know as “The Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg hosts an idyllic collection of outdoor activities, shopping, music, arts and food. Located right next to the coast, you can check out water tours, paddle trails, local art and much more during your stay. With some of the nation’s top-ranked beaches and over 1,000 festivals and special events each year, St. Pete is a breathtaking, gorgeous setting for any visitors looking to enjoy themselves.
The diverse wildlife and local culture create endless opportunities for entertainment and spectacle, while the year-round tropical weather means you’re always getting that famous Florida sunshine. Find your ideal St. Pete activities and check out everything the town offers. Take the stress out of organizing your trip with this guide to some of the most fun things to do in St. Pete, and start planning your dream vacation today.
Beaches Near St. Petersburg
Florida is known for its iconic beaches and bright sunshine. St. Petersburg has several sandy shores where you can kick your feet up for an idyllic, oceanfront scene. If you’re looking for a relaxing day in the water, choose one of these St. Pete beaches for the perfect day away:
- Spa Beach Park: Located by the St. Pete Pier, this beach has a beautiful view and recreational space for fun in the sun. Located right next to downtown, Spa Beach gives you access to all the food, shops and special events downtown has to offer.
- Fort Desoto: Though it’s a ways away from mainland St. Petersburg, Fort Desto boasts a 900-acre park with nature trails, picnic pavilions and gorgeous ocean views. With a historic fort, a dog beach and plentiful wildlife, this beach is an excellent getaway for any visitor. Fort Desoto is ideal for nature-lovers who want to explore the outdoors after relaxing on the sand.
- St. Pete Municipal Beach: Located on Treasure Island, St. Pete beach has volleyball courts, a playground and a snack bar for a fantastic all-day beach getaway. As a bonus, the beach is near the Treasure Island Water Slide, the world’s largest inflatable water slide at four stories tall, making this the perfect beach for any family.
- Maximo Beach: With a disc golf course, a boardwalk, nature trails and two beach playgrounds, Maximo Beach is an idyllic place to spend the day. In addition to a diverse beach experience, Maximo Beach is the largest of the city’s four archeological sites, with many signs posted educating parkgoers on the indigenous tribes that once lived in the area.
St. Pete beaches host a wide range of activities and sights for anyone looking to enjoy the surf — from relaxing getaways to city-side spots, St. Petersburg has it all. Check out the surrounding wildlife and shopping opportunities to find the perfect place for your vacation and enjoy some of the country’s best beaches.
Shopping Near St. Petersburg
For days off the shore and sand, try exploring St. Pete shopping. There’s no end to the discoveries you can make when walking along the streets, peeking into shops and stands for the perfect take-home find. With dozens of local vendors and artists, fun markets and entertaining stores, you’ll want to see all the vibrant shops St. Pete’s offers. Consider venturing through one of these locations on your trip:
- Saturday Morning Market: This colorful market brings together the best of the St. Pete community. On Saturdays, around 10,000 visitors stop by to enjoy the local tastes, art and live music. As the largest market in the Southeast, there are endless samples of artisan foods, crafts and vendors to browse when you visit St. Pete.
- Indie Flea Market: Another local and diverse market, the Indie Flea offers handmade and artisan goods to shoppers looking for fun, eclectic indie products and designs. Also featuring music, food and vintage collectors, this market is perfect for families and visitors of all ages.
- Central Avenue: This street shows off the brightest and most creative businesses in St. Pete. Year-round, visitors can shop local boutiques and galleries while tasting food from the local bars and restaurants. Downtown Central Ave. is especially known for its iconic food and shopping collection. Hit the shops after spending the day on the beach and unwind with some retail therapy.
- Grand Central District: Less “touristy” than some of downtown St. Petersburg, the Grand Central District is perfect for those who enjoy stepping off the beaten path. Check out the local antique stores or browse plant shops and brewpubs. You’re sure to make tons of unique discoveries while browsing local stores.
Spending time shopping lets you take a break from the sun to find untold hidden treasures among the local vendors and boutiques. Gems found in markets can become priceless mementos or quirky gifts. St. Petersburg’s rich, diverse selection of stores transforms any trip into a memorable shopping excursion.
St. Pete Museums
Along with picturesque beaches and a bustling shopping scene, St. Petersburg is rich with museums and art. Stay out of the sun and pop inside one of the many historic museums of St. Pete. Discover gorgeous artwork and the complex cultural offerings with these sights:
- Sunken Gardens: This living museum is bursting with tropical plant life. With over 50,000 tropical flowers and plants, waterfalls and even a flock of flamingos, the Sunken Gardens is a unique botanical attraction. Winding paths will take you through the lush greenery of the gardens as you view some of the oldest tropical plants in the area.
- The Salvador Dali Museum: The Dali Museum is a surreal, expansive collection with over 2,400 of Dali’s works. Renowned for his surreal visuals and unparalleled creativity, Dali is a master of art whose works you need to experience in person. The museum hosts permanent and rotating exhibits to provide a unique, wonderful look at the art and life of Salvador Dali that is unmissable.
- Chihuly Collection: This collection features Dale Chihuly’s breathtaking glasswork in spaces designed specially to complement the individual pieces by the artist. View large-scale installations and stunning series work at this exceptional gallery.
- Museum of Fine Arts: This museum covers around 5,000 years of human civilization with unique objects, sculptures and photography. Along with viewing pieces from many famous artists, you can tour the museum’s sculpture garden and glass gallery. While there, eat at the cafe and even pause to learn about their rooftop apiary with over 120,000 bees.
- Mural tour: Four blocks of St. Petersburg are covered in gorgeous, eye-catching murals. Set up a guided walking tour or explore the street art on your own as you travel through the Central Arts District and view the incredible works St. Pete’s talented artists have created.
St. Petersburg is home to many museums and galleries, all highlighting the talent and craft of human artistry. Learn about the area’s rich history and enjoy the artistic spaces around the city to discover the local culture for yourself.
Music and Performances in St. Petersburg
If you’re looking for things to do in St. Pete’s at night, consider diving into the music and performance scene. Book a seat at a theater or music performance, check out live entertainment or even stop to listen to street artists as they play. There’s no shortage of lively shows, so come enjoy our talented professionals at one of these venues:
- The Mahaffey Theater: The Mahaffey offers a wide variety of performances, including orchestras, ballet, comedy and magic. With waterfront views and displays from renowned artists, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
- Jannus Live: Enjoy live music at this outdoor venue in downtown St. Pete. Purchase a ticket to Jannus Live and see one of the many mainstream and local artists on their schedule after spending the day at the beach or exploring local shops.
- Floridian Social Club: The Floridian is a live music space that combines the feel of Prohibition-era performance spaces with modern sound, food and dancing. In addition to music, they feature aerial, contortion, cabaret and other artistic acts guaranteed to entertain.
- Palladium Theater: The Palladium presents live jazz, blues, theater and comedy at an affordable price. Enjoy immersing yourself in talented entertainment while sitting in the Palladium’s historic venue.
After a day of exploration, come take in the musical side of St. Pete. Along with performance venues, St. Pete is home to many talented street performers and musicians. Walk along the St. Pete Pier or through Central Ave. and find hidden musical talent wherever you look. Discover the fantastic artists and performers visiting St. Petersburg and book a seat at a live event for the perfect end to your day.
Unique Activities in St. Pete
If you’re interested in the more unique things to do in St. Pete, there’s plenty for you to uncover. With so many shops and sites to see, there’s endless fun everywhere you look. If you’re looking for something unusual or want a different kind of fun, try out these activities for a fabulous, non-stop vacation:
- St. Pete Pier: The 26-acre St. Pete Pier is an attraction all on its own. The pier hosts a marketplace showcasing local vendors, playgrounds, a discovery center, restaurants and the St. Petersburg Museum of History, to name a few of the sites. In addition to these, the Pier displays public art and holds special events year-round, making this an essential stop on any St. Pete vacation. Take in the incredible Florida coastline and enjoy the gleaming blue waters from the end of the pier.
- LALA St. Pete: Looking for a unique spot to eat and have fun? LALA St. Pete is a restaurant and karaoke bar in the Grand Central District. With seven private karaoke rooms, French Mediterranean and American food, live music and an outdoor activity garden, LALA offers a new experience every night. Stop in for cocktails and food and stay for a spectacular night of karaoke and games with your friends.
- Helicopter tours: For visitors looking for thrills, try taking a helicopter tour. Soar above the city and wilderness with a bird’s-eye view of St. Petersburg. Helicopter tours provide guests with incredible views and exhilarating heights in a memorable, unique way.
- St. Pete Shuffleboard Club: Interested in a more quirky activity? Try out an evening at the world’s largest shuffleboard club. Non-members are welcome to enjoy one of their many shuffle events with this fun and funky sport.
- Escape rooms: Challenge yourself when you visit one of the several escape rooms in the area. Put your party to the test with puzzles, riddles and clues in a time-sensitive game. Can you manage to make it out without using hints? Test your problem-solving ability with these fun, engaging centers and push your skills to their limits.
- Fairgrounds St. Pete: Enjoy an immersive art and technology showcase with Fairgrounds St. Pete. Dive into local creators’ events, workshops and interactive art with this wacky, artist-made environment.
- Go-kart racing: If you want adrenaline-filled fun, try racing against friends and family on a go-kart track. Tampa Bay Grand Prix lets you race your party or the clock at speeds up to 50 miles per hour on their racing track.
Participate in all of the weird and wonderful options available in St. Petersburg. You can engage with all sorts of artistic and interactive spaces while relaxing with friends or vacationing with family. Consider adding a unique activity to your itinerary to spice up your vacation and ensure your trip is a memorable one.
Wildlife and Aquariums
St. Petersburg is home to several wildlife preserves for all the nature lovers looking to see incredible animals and plant life. Travel through acres of trails, recreational spaces and paddling routes when visiting these natural spaces. If you’re interested in wildlife, try one of these spots:
- Weedon Island Preserve: Located on Tampa Bay, this 3,190-acre preserve contains an educational center, guided hikes and tours, boardwalks and trials and a 45-foot-tall observation tower. View mangrove forests and tidal flats from the boardwalk loops and look out at the preserve and the city of St. Pete from the preserve’s tower. Fish off the fishing pier and check out the 1,100-year-old canoe in the welcome center when you experience this nature sanctuary.
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium: While not a park or preserve, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Tampa is a beautiful, educational destination for people of all ages. Try a boat tour, meet rescued animals and discover creatures from the deep at this stunning aquarium. The aquarium was previously home to Winter, the famous dolphin whose story was filmed on-site at the aquarium for the movie “Dolphin Tale.” Learn more about Winter and other marine life when you visit this aquarium.
- Abercrombie Park: This lush waterfront park has a boardwalk and picnic tables, perfect for visitors looking to watch the sunset or relax and enjoy the local wildlife. Abercrombie Park is also one of the area’s historic sites, with a Native American midden, a mound where shells, bones and other cast-offs were disposed.
- Sawgrass Lake Park: With a mile-long boardwalk and a half-mile dirt trail, Sawgrass Lake Park lets visitors tour one of the largest maple swamps on Florida’s Gulf Coast. View storks, turtles and alligators relaxing along the canals and lakes, and climb the observation tower to look out over one of the most densely populated counties in Florida. You can also hang out at the picnic shelter with friends and watch butterflies, birds and other creatures in their natural habitats.
Florida is teeming with vibrant greenery and gorgeous wildlife. St. Pete’s Blueway trails are the perfect way to paddle through natural habitats. Take paddleboards, kayaks and canoes down these floating trails and view the local flora and fauna firsthand from the water. For any fans of wildlife, St. Pete has plenty of locations and preserves that are guaranteed to impress.
For the sports fanatics on vacation, St. Petersburg is home to professional teams and recreational facilities alike. If you love sports, there are plenty of quality players to watch. View some of these local teams and races while in St. Pete:
- Tampa Bay Rays: If you love baseball, stop by the air-conditioned Tropicana Field and watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the competition. While you’re there, visit the Ted Williams Museum & Hitters Hall of Fame to learn more about baseball’s best hitters or hang out with some cownose rays in the field’s touch tank.
- Tampa Bay Rowdies: Fans of soccer should watch a Tampa Bay Rowdies match at the Al Lang Stadium. The stadium is located right by the downtown waterfront, so you can enjoy a game before heading to the beach or hitting the town for a night of fun, food and friends.
- Spring training: For even more sports team excitement, catch some spring training sessions near St. Pete. Watch the Toronto Blue Jays in nearby Dunedin or the Philidelphia Phillies at BayCare Park in Clearwater. Florida is a hotspot for spring training, so set up a road trip after visiting St. Pete to catch all the exciting sports action.
- Golf: Along with sports teams, St. Pete is a popular golfing location. There are many club courses and local spots where you can play, with large, imaginative designs to keep games fresh and exciting. North from St. Pete is the Innisbrook, where PGA Tour championships are hosted. Test your golfing skills with the many premium courses in the area.
Whatever your sport of choice, St. Petersburg and the surrounding cities have it all. Bring your whole family to a game and cheer for your favorite teams together. Drive to one of our golf courses and spend the day on the green. Enjoy food, fast-paced action and competition at the sporting events nearby, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Endless Fun and Excitement at St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Pete boasts a lively, diverse scene with activities for adventure-seekers, sports fans, art lovers and anyone looking to kick back and have a good time. Choose from dozens of shops, events and sights to build the getaway of a lifetime. Whether you’re just visiting St. Pete or you’re a local looking for something new, you want experiences you can’t get anywhere else. At LALA St. Pete, we have the cocktails, karaoke, food and fun you need to create an unforgettable night out.
LALA’s incredible French Mediterranian and American-style menu has something for everyone, while our curated selection of liquors, cocktails and craft beer are unmatched in taste and presentation. Out with friends? Book one of seven themed, private karaoke rooms and let your inner superstar shine. Come hang out at our shared Activity Garden and enjoy Grand Central Brew’s craft beer as you play games, attend an impromptu movie showing or relax to some live music.
Looking for a unique night out? Drop in and eat, drink and sing with LALA for a night to remember. Make a reservation today and get the party started. If you’re interested in booking a private party room or one of our event spaces, contact us to rent a space for your private event and enjoy our distinctive, luxury experience.