12 beautiful places in St. Petersburg locals rave about

Situated along the serene shores of the Gulf Coast, St. Petersburg, stands as one of the most picturesque cities in the United States. Renowned for its coastal charm, St. Petersburg boasts pristine sandy beaches, vibrant parks, and a host of unique locations cherished by both residents and visitors alike.

For those eager to uncover the city’s hidden gems and stunning locales, look no further. We’ve connected with locals to unveil their favorite beautiful places in St. Petersburg. Whether you’ve recently settled into a home St. Petersburg, FL, are contemplating an apartment in the heart of the city, or simply seeking what it’s like to live in the Sunshine City, this curated list is your guide to the scenic wonders that define St. Petersburg’s beauty.

1. Beach Drive

“One of our all-time favorite places to dine, shop, and socialize is the recently renovated Beach Drive in downtown St Pete,” shares local luxury wedding planners, Table 6 Productions. “Take a waterfront stroll and explore restaurants, local boutiques and a lively nightlife. A few of our faves are AlleloCassisCoastal Soul Boutique and Sweet Diva Chocolates. Within a mere 3-block radius, all your essentials are conveniently at your fingertips. Plus, just minutes away, discover the recently renovated iconic Vinoy Resort & Golf Club showcasing a multi-million dollar transformation.”

2. Nearby beaches

“The beauty of St. Petersburg can be found anywhere near the water,” explains Bridgette Bello, CEO and publisher of Tampa Bay Business and Wealth Magazine, in St. Petersburg, FL. “While St. Petersburg proper doesn’t have beaches, there are award-winning beaches minutes from the city limits, such as St. Pete BeachTreasure Island, and Pass-a-Grille. Whether you are in a building in downtown St. Pete with a view of The Pier and the Bay, or driving back over to Pinellas from Sarasota or Tampa, the water views, especially during sunset, are breathtaking.” 

3. Morean Arts Center

Known for its commitment to fostering artistic endeavors, the Morean Arts Center is a haven for both local and visiting artists alike. With a diverse range of exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs, the Morean Arts Center invites everyone to immerse themselves in a world where innovation and imagination converge. The iconic Chihuly Collection, housed within the center, showcases the mesmerizing glass artistry of Dale Chihuly, adding an extra layer of visual delight. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling inspired by the well-curated exhibitions, eager to try out a new medium after seeing a master at the craft on display.

4. The Floridian Social Club

The Floridian Social Club, a recently renovated 1920’s entertainment venue is one of the most glam places on Central Avenue, downtown,” says founder of LocalShops1 business organization, Ester Venouziou. “The art deco-styled building features live jazz, aerial performances, burlesque shows, and some of the prettiest cocktails around. It’s also available for private parties, and last year we had a big party for my company’s 15th anniversary.”

5. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Ester Venouziou also highlights Boyd Hill Nature Preserve as a place to check out. “St. Pete is known for its parks, and one of the prettiest is Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. Boyd Hill features 6 miles of boardwalks and trails over 245 acres, much of it along a massive lake. Boyd Hill is a great place to really recharge and connect with nature, whether you’re going for just a couple of hours or camping out overnight.”

6. The Chattaway

The Chattaway is one of St. Pete’s longest-running family-owned restaurants, opened in the early 1950s,” shares Ester Venouziou. “They have seating indoors in their tea room, filled with vintage décor and old-time British charm; and outdoors in a beautiful patio with garden-style tables, string lights, koi ponds, fire pits, and a rustic stage featuring local musicians. Drop by for a burger, or make a reservation for the complete afternoon-tea experience.”

7. Fort DeSoto Park

Real estate photographer Bear Karry Productions explains why Fort DeSoto Park, a pinnacle of natural beauty and historical landmarks in Florida, is their favorite beautiful place in St. Petersburg, FL. “This is my local favorite and is celebrated for its less commercialized, pristine beaches – ranked among the best beaches in Florida – featuring soft white sands and crystal-clear waters. Beyond its shores, Fort DeSoto offers rich historical narratives, extensive hiking trails, and diverse wildlife, making it a must-visit for outdoor activities in St. Petersburg. Experience a unique, all-encompassing adventure at this historical and natural landmark.”

8. North Shore Park and Vinoy Resort & Golf Club

“When I’m feeling like a relaxing afternoon, I love to head to Vinoy and North Shore Park located just north of Downtown St. Petersburg,” explains AB3 Visuals (@ab3visuals), local aerial, real estate, and commercial photographer. “You can have a picnic with friends, string up a hammock between some palms and watch the passerby. All with scenic views of Downtown St. Pete and the St. Pete Pier.  The cherry on top is when we get to photograph the beautiful craftsman style homes in the bordering Historic Old Northeast neighborhood.”  

9. Upham Beach

“As a family photographer, I love photographing sessions at Upham Beach because of its unique features,” says wedding photographer Kimberly Mitchell with Portrayable Photography. “We can shoot with the dunes and SeaOats, the rock by the water and get some stunning sunset photos. The diverse scenery fuels my creativity, making each session a truly rewarding and enjoyable experience for both my clients and me.”

10. St. Pete Pier

St. Pete Pier stands as an iconic waterfront destination in St. Petersburg, Florida, offering a delightful blend of recreation, dining, and scenic beauty. Overlooking the sparkling waters of Tampa Bay, the pier boasts a stunning architectural design and a vibrant atmosphere. Visitors can stroll along the picturesque waterfront, enjoy panoramic views of the bay, and engage in a variety of activities such as fishing, boating, and even paddleboarding. The pier is dotted with enticing shops, eateries, and entertainment options, making it a perfect spot for both locals and tourists to unwind.

11. Chihuly Collection

“Little delights me more than small forests of vibrant glass swirling from floor to ceiling with every color imaginable,” explains June Bunch, Special Events Coordinator at Morean Arts Center, displaying works from local, national, and international artists. “I go to Chihuly to escape from the mundane and surround myself with large-scale chandeliers that feel like a carnival. I imagine how quickly and technically each piece was formed and am able to see it happen in real time at their Morean Glass Studio live glass demonstrations, which makes for a real full-circle treat.”

12. Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg is a botanical oasis that enchants visitors with its lush greenery and vibrant floral displays. Nestled in the heart of the city, this historic garden features meticulously landscaped grounds, meandering pathways, and a diverse collection of tropical plants and exotic blooms. The garden’s centerpiece is a serene sunken pool, surrounded by colorful flora, creating a tranquil and picturesque setting. Visitors can explore themed gardens, including the butterfly garden and the Japanese garden, where the beauty of nature unfolds in every corner. 

Beautiful places in St. Petersburg: Finals thoughts

The Sunshine City is a stunning coastal city. These 12 beautiful places in St. Petersburg, FL are just a small glimpse of the natural beauty that this area has to offer. The iconic waterfront, the serene Sunken Gardens, and the enchanting Dali Museum, these are just a few of the must-visit locations. As you explore this charming beach town, be sure to take the time to discover even more hidden gems and make lasting memories.

NOTE: This story was originally published on Redfin and was shared to TBBW with permission to publish.

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