Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in St. Petersburg, FL

  • Published 2022/11/07

The bright and charming city of St. Petersburg, or “St. Pete” as locals call it, is a city in Pinellas County in Florida.

Enjoying an average of 361 days of clear, sunny skies each year, paired with a beautiful and glistening coastline, St. Petersburg is also called the “Sunshine City.”

The city is home to beautiful museums, world-class restaurants, award-winning beaches, and other amazing attractions.

It’s the perfect vacation getaway, so be sure to experience the best things it offers on your next visit.

Here are the best things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida:

Learn about Salvador Dali’s Legacy at the Dali Museum

Exterior of the Dali Museum

Mia2you /

The Dali Museum showcases the works of the legendary Salvador Dali, a Spanish artist known for his surrealist three-dimensional art pieces that evoke bizarre and striking imagery.

The museum is located in Downtown St. Petersburg, Dali Boulevard, and features an expertly curated exhibition of Salvador Dali’s work, aiming to preserve his art for future generations.

Interior of the Dali Museum

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You can take a self-guided audio tour for a full experience, which takes at least two hours.

Before you leave, don’t miss the outdoor Avant garden featuring sculptures inspired and incorporated with the local flora.

Sculpture at the Dali Museum

Michael Gordon /

Marvel at the Artworks of the Chihuly Collection

Exterior of the Chihuly Collection

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Start your trip at the famous Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center on Central Avenue, Southwest of Downtown St. Petersburg.

It’s home to artfully crafted sculptures of renowned artist Dale Chuy.

This specific art installation is special as the building is designed to complement the art.

Walk around, appreciate careful and thoughtful craftsmanship, and see cool glass art by Chihuly himself through a video presentation.

There’s also a glass-blowing demonstration from which you can further learn about the handiwork and how it’s made.

There are many museums and galleries in St. Pete, and the Chihuly Collection is a must-see.

Experience a Unique Mix of Nature and Art at the Duncan McClellan Gallery

The Duncan McClellan Gallery is a popular art gallery showcasing a variety of contemporary artworks by local and international glass artists.

It’s located on Emerson Avenue South, with 3,000 square feet of gallery areas and 5,000 square feet of outdoor courtyard.

Stop by the glass-blowing facility to watch demonstrations and see monthly rotating exhibits featuring artists with different styles.

Don’t forget to check out the massive outdoor lush garden area featuring beautiful glass sculptures and colorful exotic plants.

At Duncan McClellan Gallery, you can also purchase one of the unique glass art in stock to bring home a masterpiece.

Take a Stroll on the Lively Downtown St. Petersburg

Shops along Downtown St. Petersburg

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Bound by 5th Avenue, Beach Drive NE, Central Avenue, and 9th Street, the bustling Downtown has hundreds of historical buildings.

It is also home to many attractions, multiple restaurants and shops, and a beautiful waterfront.

Waterfront view from Downtown St. Petersburg

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Shop to your hearts’ content in the dazzling boutiques, try sumptuous dishes in the high-class restaurants, visit the museums, and enjoy magnificent views at the waterfront pier.

If you want to know what St. Pete is all about, stroll along Downtown St.

Aerial view of Downtown St. Petersburg's pier

Sean Pavone /

Enjoy the Beauty of Nature at the Sunken Gardens

Trail lined with flora at Sunken Gardens

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If you want to escape the loud and bustling city, visit the Sunken Gardens.

The Sunken Gardens is a four-acre botanical garden on 1825 4th Street North, in the Northeast Historic Old neighborhood in St. Pete.

The garden has been around for more than a century, which is evident in its canopies of massive trees and colorful flora and vegetation.

Flamingos at Sunken Gardens /

You can relax and watch the variety of animals—from birds like flamingoes and parrots to fishes such as koi.

Join a guided tour and learn about the attractions’ rich history and some facts about the animals and flora.

The Sunken Gardens is also an amazing venue for special events such as weddings, as the Garden Room venue overlooks the unique natural garden environment.

An exotic plant at Sunken Gardens /

Discover International Artworks at the Imagine Museum

The Imagine Museum is a beautiful contemporary gallery showcasing masterfully crafted glass art collected and made by over 240 artists, covering 20 countries.

It further enhances the visitor experience with more color, light, and motion.

The area is huge—it takes about two hours to go through each exhibit as each is intricate and beautiful; it’ll take a while for you to take your eyes off each one.

Join the educational, guided tours around the museum for an amazing and fun time with your family.

After you’re done, be sure to stop by the museum store and discover beautiful and glimmering jewelry and sculptures by renowned and up-and-coming artists.

Imagine Museum is located at Central Avenue.

Take a Walk at the Sawgrass Lake Park

Observation tower at Sawgrass Lake Park

Michael Gordon /

If you’re looking for an outdoor experience in St. Pete, look no further than Sawgrass Lake Park.

It’s a 400-acre park with an elevated boardwalk and an observation tower that hovers over one of the largest maple swamps on the Gulf Coast.

It is located on 35th Street North and offers opportunities to see local and rare wildlife in the Florida area such as ibis, herons, egrets, wood storks, turtles, and more.

Nature at Sawgrass Lake Park

Michael Gordon /

You can take a walk or even do your morning jog around the mile-long boardwalk and on the half-mile nature dirt trails, where you can see various animals on your way.

Sawgrass Lake Park has clean, fresh air and is fitted with restrooms, picnic areas, and even parking spaces at the entrance, so it’s a perfect place to go with your family.

Boardwalk trail at Sawgrass Lake Park

Michael Gordon /

Take a Peek into the Old Western Frontier Era at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

Exterior of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

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If you’re into western-themed stuff, you’ll have a grand time at The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

Thomas James founded this museum located on 150 Central Avenue, and it features thousands of art pieces from his personal collection.

Take a tour with their professional guides and learn more about the huge collection of American art with American West frontier themes and Native American and daily life imagery.

Entrance to the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

Felix Mizioznikov /

With its over 500 modern and historical pieces and exhibitions that vary from statues to paintings, you’ll take about two hours to go through all of them.

When you’re done, be sure to visit their cafe and their jewelry room!

Visit the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art to reinvigorate your American pioneering spirit.

Taste Award-Winning Wine at the Florida Orange Groves and Winery

The Florida Orange Groves and Winery crafts original tropical fruit wines with over 43 varieties.

Located at Pasadena Avenue, the Florida Orange Groves and Winery is a family-owned and operated tropical fruit winery dating back to the 1970s.

They offer wine tasting daily and guided tours around the winery that will teach you how their wine is mixed and made.

Visit their comfortable and cozy bar, where you can sit and unwind with tasty wines.

With its over 43 award-winning, gluten-free tropical fruit wine options, you’re sure to find one you’ll love.

If you’re looking for a place to have exotic and fruity wine, the Florida Orange Groves and Winery is the place for you.

Learn Powerful Stories at the Florida Holocaust Museum

Exterior of the Florida Holocaust Museum

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The Florida Holocaust Museum showcases stories and art related to the Holocaust.

The museum is situated at Fifth Street South of St. Pete and was established in 1992.

Here you can see and learn about haunting art and the history of the Holocaust, emphasizing actual stories of survivors.

On the ground floor, you can see historical accounts of genocides throughout history worldwide.

Building sign of the Florida Holocaust Museum

EQRoy /

On the second floor, you’ll see exhibitions of the artist and survivor Samuel Bak featuring thought-provoking pieces.

Finally, on the third floor, there are artful wood carvings and ceramic tile paintings based on photos of Holocaust victims.

Visit Florida Holocaust Museum for an emotional museum experience.

Take a Scenic Tram Tour at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

A lake at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

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The Boyd Hill Nature Preserve offers a special outdoor nature experience at the heart of St. Pete, providing nature activities for families.

This 245-acre park at South of St. Petersburg at the shores of Lake Maggiore features over six miles of nature trails and boardwalks through multitudes of habitats.

Visit the Lake Maggiore Environmental Education Center in the area to learn more about the preserve and the trails in the park.

You’ll be able to take a hike through various ecosystems—pine Flatwoods, willow marsh, hardwood hammocks, swamp woodlands, sand pine scrub, and of course, lakeshore; you’ll see plenty of wildlife in the area as well.

You can also take their signature hour-long tram tour that goes through most of the park, which is a perfect educational and relaxing experience for the family.

Shop and Relax at the Tyrone Square Mall

End your St. Petersburg trip with a convenient shopping experience at the Tyrone Square Mall.

The Tyron Square Mall is a gorgeous shopping mall that has been popular among locals for 50 years.

It is located on 22nd Avenue North, just a few miles away from the stunning Gulf Beaches.

This is a perfect place to be with family—check out specialty shops, try out all the food stalls at the food court or at the restaurants, watch movies at the cinema, or bring the kids to the soft play area near the entrance.

Relax under the Palm Trees at Vinoy Park

The grounds of Vinoy Park

Calmuziclover, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a good place to relax or have fun in the Downtown St. Petersburg area, visit Vinoy Park.

Vinoy Park is a beautiful waterfront park on the coast of Downtown St. Petersburg, offering spacious green areas where you can relax under the shade and have fun with friends and family.

You can take a stroll through the park and admire the beautiful views of Downtown city or the bay.

View of the bay from Vinoy Park

Calmuziclover, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It also hosts yearly events, so watch out for upcoming activities!

There are plenty of restaurants and shops in the area, as well as places nearby that offer e-bike and segway tours for you.

Go Kayaking at the Weedon Island Preserve

Aerial view of Weedon Island Preserve

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The Weedon Island Preserve is a nature preserve right on the western shore of Tampa Bay.

Located at Weedon Drive Northeast, the 3,190-acre preserve features aquatic ecosystems and habitats such as mangrove forests, maritime hammock, and pine/scrubby Flatwoods, making it home to a variety of local aquatic and non-aquatic wildlife.

It offers outdoor experiences like nature hikes on its trails and a delightful four-mile kayak route through mangroves.

The waters of Weedon Island Preserve

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You can also visit their educational Visitors Center to learn more about the area, the activities you can do, and the preserve’s rich history.

If you want a break from the bustling city of St. Pete, visit the Weedon Island Preserve, as it’s the perfect place to walk around and be with nature.

Boardwalk at Weedon Island Preserve

Christopher P /

Take the Kids to the Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Exterior of Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a place of discovery and fun for kids, look no further than the Great Explorations Children’s Museum.

The Great Explorations Children’s Museum is a 23,000-square-foot children’s museum and the nation’s first licensed preschool.

It offers enriching experiences and activities for kids to enjoy and learn, with large exhibits separated into large rooms focused on sound, sight, and touch.

Your kids will have many different things to do and enjoy, with exhibits encouraging them to discover and learn through different senses.

Among the most notable exhibits is the “Touch Tunnel,” a completely dark path that encourages kids to explore and navigate using only their sense of touch.

There’s also a scrap metal T-rex in the parking lot, which is a delight for kids who love dinosaurs.

The Children’s Museum is just a minute’s walk from the Sunken Gardens and is located at 4th Street North.

Final Thoughts

St. Petersburg has a surprising amount of galleries and museums showcasing culture and skills from all around the world, most notably the glass sculptures.

There are also beautiful nature parks and preserves for outdoor activities or if you want to take a break from the bustling downtown.

Check out these best things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida, for your itinerary for your next trip!

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