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8 Best Things To Do In St. Petersburg (Florida)

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things to do in St. Petersburg

A stunning city located in the Tampa Bay Area, St. Petersburg is often referred to as “The Sunshine City.”

This crowded city is capable of almost everything, as seen by its reputation as a retirement destination for affluent seniors, a cool site of dynamic contemporary art and culture, and a refuge of white beaches and turquoise oceans. There is almost nothing that this city cannot achieve.

The city set a new record in the Guinness Book of World Records when between 1967 and 1969 it had 768 days in a row with clear skies and bright sunlight.

When people go to St. Petersburg, they will be blown away first and foremost by the city’s thriving artistic community.

Some of the local attractions include beautiful hands-on educational museums, natural attractions, and live entertainment places. Trendy art museums and displays make up a significant portion of the local attractions.

In general, you have a wide variety of options available to you, and there are even more fun things to do within a short distance of the city, which makes day excursions and weekend vacations possible.

The following is a list of the 32 most enjoyable and exciting things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida.


Sunken Gardens

Lincoln's Sunken Garden

The Sunken Gardens include a total area of four acres in St. Petersburg.

The deep verdancy, winding paths through the vegetation, and spacious courtyards give the impression that it is much bigger than its actual size, despite the fact that it is just moderately large.

The gardens are home to more than 50,000 different kinds of tropical plants, many of which are the oldest specimens of their species in the nation.

The Sunken Gardens have been there for more than a century, and their history is a fascinating topic to learn about.

Mr. George Turner, Sr., a plumber from Florida, made the acquisition of a piece of property in old St. Petersburg in 1903. At the time, there were only 1,500 people living in the area.

Turner, who had a passion for gardening, was aware that the four-acre lake that was located on the parcel of property would most likely contain exceptionally good soil at its base.

He made the decision to utilize his expertise in plumbing to entirely drain the lake, which is something that would almost certainly never be done today because of the possible damage to the ecosystem.

After the 15-foot-deep lake was drained, Turner started planting citrus trees and vegetables. Over the course of time, he added additional plants and a few paths until the garden became quite famous and became one of the early attractions in St. Petersburg.

Even though it was in danger of falling into disrepair by the 1970s, in 1998 the city saved it by designating it as a municipal historic site.

Today, the Sunken Gardens are considered one of the most romantic things to do in St. Pete, and as a result, they get a significant number of visitors every year.

Specialized gardens, such as the Cactus Garden, which is home to a population of tortoises, the Butterfly Courtyard, a Japanese Garden, and an Orchid Arbor, provide a wealth of sights to see as you wander about the grounds.

You will also get the opportunity to see a flock of pink flamingos, ponds full of koi, and a variety of exotic species.


Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg, FL

In the event that you are looking for things to do in the downtown area of St. Petersburg, Florida, the local Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best sites to go to if you are an art enthusiast.

It is a spectacular display of 4,500 years of creative innovation, and it is conveniently located in the middle of the city area.

It was established in 1896, and ever since its inception, its primary goals have been to encourage and instruct artists while also highlighting achievements in the field of art.

The Museum of Fine Arts is home to a significant number of important works of art.

There are paintings by Renoir and Monet, as well as an internal sculpture garden, a gallery displaying Stueben glass, various pre-Columbian items, some French impressionist paintings, and an exhibition of 10,000 photographs and papers.

There are almost 14,000 pieces at the museum, and that number does not include the creations that are shown in the institution’s sporadic touring displays.


Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

You can’t go wrong with Boyd Hill Nature Preserve as a holiday destination if you’re seeking some of the top locations to go on vacation in the world.

The Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg, Florida, which has won several accolades, encompasses an area of 245 acres and offers a wide variety of activities.

There are a total of six kilometers of paths and boardwalks that will steal your breath away with their breathtakingly beautiful natural scenery.

This hideaway can be found right on the beaches of Lake Maggiore, and it has an abundance of greenery in the shape of broad-leaved woods, sand pines, turkey oaks, and wiregrass, all of which hearken back to landscapes that are several millennia old.

The Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is home to a diverse range of interesting habitats, including pine Flatwoods, scrub sand paths, and swamp forests, all of which may be explored.

Willow marshes are another kind of wetland that may be found across the world. Here, beautiful orange and black viceroy butterflies can be seen dancing in large groups.

You may see all the preserve has to offer by going on one of the preserve’s guided excursions.

The Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is located on the Great Florida Birding Trail, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers who are interested in seeing birds and other animals.

In addition, there are facilities for camping, outdoor activities, picnicking, and shelter, and there are playgrounds for children to enjoy right on the premises.


Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Washington DC 2011: United States Botanic Garden

The Great Explorations Children’s Museum is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and entertaining activities and places for tourists to take their families to St. Petersburg.

It is the premier educational facility in the state, and it provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for children to enjoy the many hands-on exhibits and interactive experiences that are available to them. These experiences will encourage them to think critically, learn new things, and make new discoveries.

At the Great Explorations Children’s Museum, there are a variety of engaging activities that kids can participate in while having fun. Some of these activities include the Pet Vet, in which they may get knowledge about how to care for animals, and the Mini Market, in which they can “shop.”

The BellaBrava Pizza Kitchen teaches children about the inner workings of kitchens while allowing them to create their very own miniature pizzas out of various sculpting materials.

It provides children with the opportunity to create a variety of buildings, and it also provides them with the opportunity to get up and personal with amphibians and reptiles in the Critter Cave.

However, that’s not the end of it!

Longo’s Cove is a play structure inspired by the sea that comes complete with its own supplementary play area decorated in a beach motif.

Kids may get an education on how to be safe in the event of a fire at a firehouse.

The likes of art studios, theatres, jungle gyms, climbing areas, and touring exhibitions all provide children with a variety of extra opportunities to have fun while also acquiring new skills.

This is a wonderful place for youngsters less than ten years old!


Florida Holocaust Museum

Florida Holocaust Museum

With a total area of 27,000 square feet, the Florida Holocaust Museum is not only one of the most interesting places to visit in Florida but also the largest museum of its type in the whole United States.

If you are interested in history and are looking for things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida, this is one of the top places you should visit.

This sad location is home to one of the few surviving Nazi boxcars, which you are able to see in its original setting.

At the Florida Holocaust Museum, the exhibit titled “History, Heritage, and Hope” is considered to be the primary attraction.

It encompasses the whole of the first floor of the museum and offers explanations and insights into the happenings of the Holocaust in a way that is both simple to comprehend and emotionally touching.

You will witness movies, images, and artifacts that explain life before World War II, the rise of Hitler, and the optimistic aftermath of the horrors of the Holocaust. These topics will be discussed in relation to the time period.

The museum places a significant amount of attention on teaching visitors about contemporary concerns related to human rights.

It is possible to be overwhelmed while trying to take in all of this knowledge at once; nevertheless, the displays are extremely well-presented, allowing a seamless flow as you go from room to room.

In addition to that, the Holocaust and genocide section of the largest library in the southeast of the United States may be found here.


St. Pete Pier

St Pete Pier Closeup

Even though it is one of the newest attractions in the region, St. Pete Pier has quickly established itself as one of the most popular destinations.

It extends over a distance of 3,000 feet. It encompasses an astounding 26 acres, making it a wonderful place for strolling and offering a wide variety of activities, venues for entertainment, opportunities to eat, and a pleasant evening.

A tram can take you anywhere you need to go, making it simple to go between both ends of the station.

The Benoist Airboat sculpture, which was created by Nick Ervinck, the Bending Arc, which was created by Janet Echlement, and Olnetopia, which was created by Nick Ervinck are just a few examples of the many pieces of public art that can be seen on St. Pete Pier.

You may go fishing at the end of the pier, where there is also an outdoor waterpark called Splash Pad, or you can rest in one of the numerous green spots that are accessible.

On the pier, there are six different restaurants, so you may enjoy your meal while gazing out at the lake.

There is Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro, which is perfect for a laid-back meal with friends or family, the Spa Beach Bistro, which serves light fare, and Teak, which is ideal for an elegant meal.


The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

Sad Painting of hunting buffalo by train the government provided ammo James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art St. Petersburg Florida

In 2018, a fresh new addition to the bustling cultural scene of downtown St. Petersburg was made in the form of the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

For art lovers and those who are interested in seeing unusual exhibits, it is one of the top things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida, and it is highly recommended.

Mary and Tom James, whose private collection of over 400 paintings is now on exhibit, gave the museum its name.

The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art is not your average museum by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s an immersive experience that’s meant to totally evoke the notions and ideas that the pieces on show are trying to convey.

The whole of the ground floor has been meticulously crafted to give the impression that it is set in a canyon. It has acute angles that spiral around corners, a breathtaking man-made waterfall, and walls made of sandstone.

The museum’s architecture continues to be impressive on the uppermost level of the building.

Thematically distinct galleries are differentiated from one another via the use of colors that are typical of Western art.

It is an experience that cannot be duplicated in any way, shape, or form.

However, what kinds of displays can visitors expect to see at The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art?

To begin, the introduction gallery has a theme revolving around sand, and it is packed with sculptures depicting a variety of historical characters as well as paintings of landscapes. Additionally, it has an orientation theatre.

After that, you will go to the Early West gallery, which is decorated in a rust motif and has, among other artists, the works of Remington and Russell.

From there, go to the Native Life exhibit, which has a blue and grey color scheme and provides information on the lifestyles of Native American peoples throughout the 1800s.

After passing through that area, you will be able to travel to the Native Artists exhibit, which has a rich gold motif and features a variety of indigenous works that diverge from the conventional ceremonial, bead, and mask productions.

Paintings by Earl Biss may be found in this space, as can a collection of jewelry made by Native Americans housed in the Jewel Box.

There is much more beyond that, including a gallery with a brilliant sienna tone called Frontier, a gallery with a moss green theme called Wildlife, and a final gallery with a sand theme called New West Gallery which has works by Warhol.

There are also cutting-edge works of pop, contemporary, and cubist art that unashamedly tackle the connection between the government of the country and the indigenous populations.


Imagine Museum

To the Art Museum

The Imagine Museum is an exciting venue that spans 36,000 square feet and is devoted to displaying works of modern glass art.

The museum showcases more than 500 studio glass works at a time from its collection of 1,500 pieces, which includes works going back to the 1960s as well as the more contemporary masterpieces of today. The museum is packed with things to see because of its extensive collection.

When it comes to the studio glass movement in Florida, you won’t find any museum that comes close to matching the extent of this one.

This is where the Trish Joy Collection is shown in all of its splendor on a revolving basis, and it is really a sight to see.

You may also go through other collections, such as the installation of 1,000 Buddhas or the pioneering works of Labino and Littleton.

Imagine Museum provides visitors with the opportunity to take one of three complimentary tours.

The first one is called “Journey of the Imagination,” and it’s a one-of-a-kind augmented reality experience that incorporates many forms of media to teach and enlighten participants.

The second book, titled Introduction to Studio Glass, offers an in-depth look at the history of the studio glass movement.

The evolution of glass art in Europe is discussed in detail in the third chapter, which is headed “Introduction to International Studio Glass.”

Each tour is around half an hour long, and in addition to being one of the best free things to do in St. Pete, they are all offered!


Get Started on Your St. Petersburg, Florida Vacation Planning Today!

St. Petersburg is a bright and cheery location, with plenty of sunlight, a dynamic culture, and plenty of natural places that include preserves, gardens, parks, and beaches, where one may relax and enjoy the outdoors.

No matter what kinds of activities you like the most, you’ll have no trouble finding plenty of options in St. Pete that are a good fit for you!

Happy travels!