Saint Petersburg Travel Guide

Explore the best attractions, food, lodging, culture, safety, and logistics of Saint Petersburg, including nearby destinations and excursions.

Introduction to Saint Petersburg

Located in Pinellas County within Tampa Bay Area on Florida’s west coast, Saint Petersburg is a popular destination for both residents and travelers. It offers many opportunities for outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, shopping, dining, and relaxation. With its scenic views, historical landmarks, museums, and beaches, Saint Petersburg is a must-visit destination in Florida. In this comprehensive tour guide, you’ll learn about the best places to visit, things to do, local culture, food and drink scene, lodging options, safety and health tips, and more.

List of Places to Visit in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg has a diverse and rich cultural heritage with many museums, historical landmarks, and natural attractions. Here are the top places to visit.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Saint Petersburg has several museums that showcase its history, art, and culture. Some of the must-visit museums include:

  • The Dalí Museum: This museum exhibits the works of the famous surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí.
  • St. Petersburg Museum of History: Learn about the history of Saint Petersburg through interactive exhibits, photographs, and artifacts.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: This museum has an impressive collection of over 20,000 artworks, including American, European, and Asian art.
  • Chihuly Collection: Featuring glass artworks by Dale Chihuly, this museum is a feast for the senses.
  • Florida Holocaust Museum: Learn about the history of the Holocaust and its impact on Florida.

Natural Attractions of Saint Petersburg: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Saint Petersburg has some of the best natural attractions in Florida. From beaches to parks, there’s so much to explore. Some of the must-visit natural attractions include:

  • Fort De Soto Park: This park has stunning beaches, campgrounds, picnic areas, and nature trails.
  • Weedon Island Preserve: Located on Tampa Bay, this nature preserve has over 3,000 acres of natural habitats, cultural history, and outdoor adventures.
  • Sunken Gardens: This botanical garden has over 50,000 tropical plants, including some that are over 100 years old.
  • Boyd Hill Nature Preserve: This nature preserve has diverse wildlife, nature trails, creeks, ponds, and scenic views.
  • Shell Key Preserve: This barrier island has pristine beaches, clear water, and nature trails.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg has many hiking and biking routes that offer scenic views and outdoor adventures. Here are some of the best routes:

  • Pinellas Trail: This 38-mile long trail runs through Pinellas County, including Saint Petersburg, and offers beautiful views of nature and urban areas.
  • Weedon Island Preserve Trail: This 4.7-mile trail loops through mangrove forests, saltwater marshes, and mudflats.
  • Fort De Soto Park Trail: This 7-mile trail offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, dunes, and beach.
  • Skyway Trail: This 10.5-mile trail runs across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and offers scenic views of Tampa Bay.

Best Things to Do in Saint Petersburg: Activities and Tours

Saint Petersburg offers many activities and tours for tourists of all ages. Whether you’re interested in art, history, nature, or food, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Saint Petersburg:

  • Visit the Salvador Dalí Museum
  • Go kayaking or paddleboarding at Weedon Island Preserve
  • Take a sunset cruise on Tampa Bay
  • Explore the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club
  • Visit the local farmers’ market
  • Take a food tour of the city
  • Attend a baseball game at Tropicana Field
  • Visit the famous Sunken Gardens
  • Take a ghost tour of the city

Week-Long Itinerary for Saint Petersburg

If you have a week to explore Saint Petersburg, here’s a sample itinerary:

Day Activity
1 Visit the Salvador Dalí Museum in the morning and have lunch at Café Gala. Take a sunset cruise in the evening.
2 Explore the waterfront and Vinoy Park in the morning. Visit the Chihuly Collection and the Museum of Fine Arts in the afternoon.
3 Visit the Florida Holocaust Museum and have lunch at the nearby Cassis American Brasserie. Explore Sunken Gardens in the afternoon.
4 Go kayaking or paddleboarding at Weedon Island Preserve in the morning. Have lunch at Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish. Attend a baseball game at Tropicana Field in the evening.
5 Take a food tour of the city and explore the local markets and cafés.
6 Visit Fort De Soto Park and spend the day at the beach. Have lunch at the park’s snack bar.
7 Take a ghost tour of the city in the evening and explore the local nightlife scene.

Food and Drink Scene of Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg has a vibrant food and drink scene that showcases its local culture and international influences. From seafood to Tex-Mex to Italian, there’s a wide range of cuisines to choose from.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Smoked fish dip: A local favorite made from smoked fish, mayo, and seasonings.
  • Cuban sandwich: A classic sandwich made with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread.
  • Grouper sandwich: A sandwich made with fried or grilled grouper, lettuce, tomato, and a tangy sauce on a bun.
  • Stone crab: A local delicacy that’s only available in season (October to May).
  • Key lime pie: A traditional Florida dessert made with lime juice, condensed milk, and graham cracker crust.
  • Hot dog with kraut: A classic street food that’s served at many festivals and food stands.

Local Beverages

  • Craft beer: Saint Petersburg has several local breweries, including Green Bench Brewing Company and Cycle Brewing.
  • Cuban coffee: A strong espresso made with sugar and served in a small cup.
  • Margarita: A popular cocktail made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.
  • Rum runner: A fruity and refreshing cocktail made with rum, blackberry brandy, banana liqueur, and grenadine.
  • Sweet tea: A refreshing cold drink made with black tea and sugar.

Where to Stay in Saint Petersburg: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Saint Petersburg has several lodging options to meet every budget and preference. Here are some of the best options:

  • Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club: This luxury hotel offers stunning views of Tampa Bay and has a golf course, spa, and pool.
  • The Hollander: This boutique hotel has a vintage charm and offers comfortable rooms and a courtyard pool.
  • Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront: Located near many of the city’s attractions, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, a pool, and a restaurant.
  • La Veranda Bed & Breakfast: This Victorian-style bed and breakfast offers cozy rooms, a garden, and a delicious breakfast.
  • St. Pete International Hostel: This hostel offers affordable dorms and private rooms and a friendly atmosphere.

What to Buy in Saint Petersburg: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Saint Petersburg is home to several local shops and markets that offer unique souvenirs and products to take home. Here are some of the best options:

  • Sundial St. Pete: This shopping center has several boutique shops, including Lululemon, Jack Spade, and Happy Feet Plus.
  • The Saturday Morning Market: This open-air market offers fresh produce, gourmet foods, and handmade products from local vendors.
  • Gulfport Art Walk: This monthly event showcases the works of local artists, musicians, and performers.
  • Pass-a-Grille Boutique: This shop offers unique souvenirs, gifts, and beach accessories.

Local Culture and Customs of Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg has a relaxed and friendly culture that values family, community, and leisure. It’s common to see people walking, jogging, or biking on the streets or enjoying outdoor activities like fishing, boating, or beach volleyball. The city has a diverse population that includes people of different ethnicities, religions, and lifestyles. Respect for others and open-mindedness are highly valued in Saint Petersburg.

Best Time to Visit Saint Petersburg

The best time to visit Saint Petersburg is from November to April when the weather is mild and pleasant, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to do. The summer months (June to August) can be hot and humid, with frequent thunderstorms. September and October can be rainy and prone to hurricanes. However, if you’re looking for cheaper lodging rates, visiting Saint Petersburg in the off-season (May to October) is a good option.

Do’s and Don’ts of Saint Petersburg


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Be courteous to other people, drivers, and pedestrians.
  • Wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.
  • Try the local cuisine.
  • Take a ghost tour of the city.


  • Litter or damage the natural habitats.
  • Leave valuables in your car.
  • Swim in the water after dark or during thunderstorms.
  • Exceed the speed limit or ignore traffic signs.

Safety and Health

Safety in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is generally a safe city, but it’s important to take precautions to avoid theft, accidents, or other hazards. Here are some safety tips:

  • Keep your car doors locked and valuables out of sight.
  • Avoid isolated or sketchy areas, especially at night.
  • Stay alert when walking or biking and wear reflective clothing.
  • Follow the rules for water safety and avoid swimming in unauthorized areas.
  • Be aware of the risks of sunburn and heatstroke.

Health in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg has several hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies that offer quality healthcare services. However, it’s recommended to have travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses. Here are some health tips:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydration.
  • Use insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothing to protect from the sun.
  • Be aware of the risks of seafood allergies or poisoning.
  • Practice safe sex and use protection.

Getting to Saint Petersburg: Transportation Options and Logistics

Saint Petersburg is easily accessible by car, plane, or public transportation. Here are some transportation options:

Airports Near Saint Petersburg

  • St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE): 12 miles from downtown Saint Petersburg.
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA): 23 miles from downtown Saint Petersburg.

Bus Stations Near Saint Petersburg

  • Greyhound Station: Located at 610 22nd Street S, Saint Petersburg.
  • PSTA: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority offers local and regional bus services.

Other Options

  • Car rentals: Several car rental companies operate in Saint Petersburg, including Avis, Enterprise, and Budget.
  • Uber or Lyft: Ride-sharing services are available in Saint Petersburg.
  • Biking or walking: Saint Petersburg has many bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets.

How to Get Around in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a walkable and bike-friendly city, but it also has several transportation options to get around. Here are some options:

  • Public transportation: PSTA offers local and regional bus services.
  • Trolley: The Looper Trolley offers a fun and affordable way to explore downtown Saint Petersburg.
  • Car rental: Several car rental companies operate in Saint Petersburg, including Avis, Enterprise, and Budget.
  • Uber or Lyft: Ride-sharing services are available in Saint Petersburg.
  • Bike rentals: Several bike rental companies operate in Saint Petersburg, including Coast Bike Share and Pedego Electric Bikes.

Where to Go Next from Saint Petersburg: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Saint Petersburg is ideally located near several destinations and excursions that offer scenic views, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures. Here are some options:

  • Tampa Bay: Located just across the bay, Tampa offers many attractions, restaurants, and beaches.
  • Clearwater Beach: This popular beach destination has white sand beaches, restaurants, and shopping.
  • Orlando: Located two hours away, Orlando offers many theme parks, shopping outlets, and attractions.
  • Sarasota: This charming town has a rich cultural history, museums, gardens, and beaches.
  • Everglades National Park: Located four hours away, this national park offers nature trails, wildlife viewing, and swamp tours.


Saint Petersburg is a diverse and exciting destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in art, history, nature, food, or relaxation, Saint Petersburg has it all. With its stunning beaches, nature preserves, museums, and cultural landmarks, Saint Petersburg is a must-visit destination in Florida.