About Downtown St Pete

Downtown St. Petersburg has no lack of gorgeous high rises, St. Petersburg’s downtown has been rated among the best in the South. The area’s beaches are a 10-mile (16 km) drive from downtown. Jutting a half mile into the bay was the St. Petersburg Pier, a major tourist attraction that offered various activities. “The Lens” design which was chosen by the International Design Competition Jury and accepted by City Council later had its contract terminated by a citywide election during the summer of 2013. Following this, the “Pier Park”was chosen out of the 16 new design teams that submitted work in late 2014 and in 2015 the Pier Park was set for construction in early 2017. Downtown also contains the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and a downtown branch of St. Petersburg College. The downtown perimeter includes several parks, most of which are waterfront or lakefront. Straub Park is nearly a half mile long, boasts a waterfront location, and is home of the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts MFAThe Renaissance Vinoy Hotel has a bayfront location, a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and an AAA Four-Diamond rating. It fronts Vinoy Park, which holds music festivals, including the Warped Tour. Nearby is the historic Tramor Cafeteria building which is now the Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg, a 15,000 square foot beer garden serving beer brewed in Munich Germanyusing recipes handed down by the Duke of Bavaria over 400 years ago. The city is connected via the Looper Trolley and now has Cross Bay Ferry service to and from the Downtown Riverwalk District of Tampa.

The Mahaffey Theater complex, the Morean Arts Center, dozens of other art galleries,Haslam’s BookstoreThe ColiseumPalladium Theatre, and Jannus Live are among the galleries and cultural venues featured downtown. Several prominent museums are located in the perimeter. Many of them have received notable accolades, including the Chihuly Collection presented by the Morean Arts Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Salvador Dali Museum, the Florida International Museum, the St. Petersburg Museum of History, and theFlorida Holocaust Museum. The city hosts many outdoor festivals throughout the year.

Most of the dining and nightlife can be found downtown on or near Central Avenue or Beach Drive along the waterfront. Venues include Jannus Live and the State Theatre. The active nightlife scene is credited to recent demographic and regulatory changes. In 2010, the city council voted to extend bar hours until 3 A.M., identical to cross-bay “rival” Tampa.

Tropicana Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, is located in the western part of downtown. Until 2008, the team played its spring training games at nearby Progress Energy Park, now Al Lang Stadium. This setup was unique, making St. Petersburg the first city that played host to its baseball team during spring training as well as the regular season since the 1919 Philadelphia Athletics.

St. Petersburg has the third-largest dedicated public waterfront park system in North America, with a waterfront park system that stretches 7 miles (11 km) and is used year round for public events, festivals and other activities. In the early 20th century, citizens and city leaders engaged in a long and boisterous debate over the future of the young city’s waterfront space, with one side advocating for commercial, port and industrial development and the other side advocating for a long-term commitment to parks and public access to the waterfront. The public access and park contingent won the debate when, on Christmas Eve 1909, the city announced the acquisition of the waterfront land that is encompassed by the waterfront park system.

The city is also becoming one of the largest destinations in Florida for kiteboarding with locations such as Fort De Soto Park & Pass-a-Grille.

The St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club was established in 1924 and gained attention as the “World’s Largest Shuffleboard Club” with 110 courts and over 5,000 members in the 1950s and 1960s.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Pinellas County
  3. St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce

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