Having spent many of my summer vacations in this lovely city, I have learned many of the ins and outs of St. Petersburg. Not only is it an ideal location for rest and relaxation, but as someone who has vacationed here ever since the age of well, a baby, I have to say…it is a place that is close to my heart.
1. Go to Fort De Soto Beach
Many would say that a beach is a beach, but there’s something special about Fort De Soto. Not only have I found hundreds and hundreds of shells along this beach, but I have built many a sand castles too. It may not be the softest sand, say like, Destin beaches, but it truly is a beautiful beach. My family once found a seahorse bobbing up and down in the water…and it was pregnant! (Side Note: Male seahorses carry the babies…HA)
2. Visit The Pier
Looking much like an upside down pyramid, The Pier is a staple in St. Petersburg. Filled with shops and restaurants, this is a great place to have some excellent food, listen to great music, and look out onto the great Florida water. Many times we have eaten at the Columbia Restaurant before retreating to the top deck and kicking back with a daiquiri and warm breeze, all while listening to a steel drum band…you can’t beat it for a nice night out.
3. Go to the Don Cesar Hotel
Unfortunately, this hotel is a bit out of our price range, but it sure does make for a nice little visit. Drowning in the color of Pepto Bismol pink, this hotel has been a St. Pete attraction for quite a long time. For those of us who can’t afford the lavish stay, a nice jaunt through a few of the shops, a stroll along the pathways leading throughout the hotel, and a gorgeous view of the beach makes for a nice and memorable day.
4. Visit St. Pete Beach
This is just one of the other many beaches I have frequented during my many stays in Florida. Hundreds upon hundreds of photographs have been taken of me in my bathing suit (as a small child of course), building sand castles and splashing in the waves. In all fairness, I do believe this is a much nicer beach, however, if you’re looking for seashells, you’ll have better luck at Fort De Soto Beach.
5. Drive a short way to Busch Gardens in Tampa
This is by far one of my all-time favorite amusement parks in the country. I have done Universal Studios, Disneyworld, Epcot, MGM, Kentucky Kingdom, and many more, but this place is very special to me. Not only do you get the exhilarating rides, which include inverted roller coasters and all-time classics like the Kumba, but you get to see animals, visit the Crown Colony Restaurant (which is the ideal place to go after spending all day in the hot sun because it has AC), and one of our favorite places was Das Festhaus. Apparently, in 2004, it was transformed into ‘Desert Grill,’ but it used to be a German eatery and while you ate, you could watch German dance performances.
So, there you have my friends…my top 5 things to do in St. Petersburg. I have not been back in almost 10 years and it saddens me greatly. I hope to return soon and enjoy all of the great things that I have mentioned above, as well as a few new additions that St. Pete now has for its visitors. I must say, this place is not for everyone; however, it is a great place to stay and relax. Besides, you’re not very far from some excellent amusement parks.