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Weekend in St. Petersburg, FL: Amazing Itinerary for St. Pete

Updated: Jan 6

St. Petersburg is a city on Florida's Gulf Coast, part of the Tampa Bay area. It's known for its pleasant weather (its nickname is Sunshine City), making it popular for those who love warm weather, boating, and beachgoing. Spending a weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida, offers a variety of activities, from exploring the vibrant arts scene to enjoying the beautiful beaches.


I recently got to go to St. Petersburg to celebrate my friend's bachelorette party, and we had so much fun! I think that it is the perfect spot for a girl's weekend or bachelorette party! No matter who you're going with, you'll have a blast!


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Getting to St. Pete


By Air


The nearest major airport to St. Petersburg is Tampa International Airport (TPA), approximately 20 miles away. From the airport, you can rent a car, take a shuttle, or use rideshare services to reach St. Petersburg. Another option is to fly directly into St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), which is about 13 miles away from downtown St. Petersburg. However, flights into PIE can be very pricey; it's up to you what works best for your budget!


By Car


If you're driving, St. Petersburg is accessible via major highways. Interstate 275 (I-275) runs through the city, providing a direct route from Tampa to St. Petersburg. If you're driving from Orlando, you can take Interstate 4 (I-4) west to connect to I-275 south.


By Bus


Greyhound and other bus services operate in the Tampa Bay area, providing a more economical option for travelers. The Greyhound station in Tampa is the primary bus terminal serving the region.


By Train


Amtrak does not have a station in St. Petersburg, but you can take an Amtrak train to Tampa's Union Station and then use other transportation options, such as buses or rideshares, to reach St. Petersburg.


Local Transportation


Once you're in St. Petersburg, you can use local transportation options like buses, rideshare services, and taxis to navigate within the city. Renting a car is also a convenient option if you plan to explore the broader Tampa Bay area.



Where to Stay in St. Pete


Near the Beach


The Saint Hotel: The Saint Hotel is a boutique haven that combines the laid-back barefoot ambiance of St. Pete Beach with the intriguingly artistic nature of the city that speaks to the senses. The Saint Hotel provides an individualized experience where you can lose yourself in the ultimate seaside paradise. If you want to chase the unique, this is the spot for you! (starting at $160)


The Don Cesar: Perched atop wind-swept dunes with expansive water views in every direction, the Don CeSar is a famous pink historic hotel right on the beach (pictured above). Since 1928, this monument to glamour and leisure has welcomed sun-seekers, luxury travelers, and some of America's most famous - and notorious - figures. You've probably seen photos of this iconic hotel when researching St. Pete.


Near Downtown


AC Hotel by Marriott St. Petersburg Downtown: Ideally located in the center of St Petersburg, you'll be able to walk to many main attractions and restaurants from this hotel. It's also less than 1 km from Spa Beach and a 9-minute walk from Chihuly Collection; the property provides a charming restaurant and a bar.


The Birchwood: This is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the heart of Downtown St. Pete! It has just 18 hotel rooms that are the perfect getaway for guests looking to enjoy the vibrant restaurants, bars, and art scene of the city. Their rooftop bar offers great views of the city!


The Cordova Inn (Previously The Pier Hotel): This hotel is located in historic downtown St Petersburg. Just like the other two options in this section, you can walk to all the main sites downtown. When you stay at The Cordova Inn, you’ll enjoy modern amenities merged with historic ambiance.



Friday Night


There's no better way to start a weekend in St. Pete than at TEAK! TEAK is located at the end of the pier and has fantastic views of downtown St. Pete and the bay. The views from the restaurant are unmatched, and after dinner, you can head upstairs to Peak Teaki, where there are great drinks and fire pits for a relaxing and fun-filled evening!


You should reserve a table on weekends at TEAK as they can get very busy. You also have to walk down the pier to get here, so be prepared for a 10ish minute walk after parking or getting dropped off.



Saturday - Explore St. Petersburg


Saturday, spend the day exploring downtown St. Petersburg. The vibrant and diverse vibe of downtown combines a laid-back coastal atmosphere with a thriving arts and cultural scene. Here's how to spend your Saturday during a weekend in St. Petersburg, FL.


Grab Coffee at Black Crow Coffee


Black Crow Coffee has two locations in St. Pete; both are covered in local art and records. The music and coffee here are exceptional! The Grand Central District location has a lovely courtyard right next to a fantastic local bookstore, Tombolo Books. It's a great place to start the day!


Head to a Museum


From there, spend your morning exploring one of the museums in downtown St. Pete. Both offer a unique experience and a great way to spend your morning.


Option 1: The Dali Museum


The Dali Museum has an extensive collection of Salvador Dali's works. The unique building itself is a work of art. It's located on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront by 5th Avenue Southeast, Bay Shore Drive, and Dan Wheldon Way.


The museum houses the largest collection of Dali's works outside of Europe, featuring over 2,400 pieces, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs. Notable works in the collection include "The Persistence of Memory," "The Hallucinogenic Toreador," and "The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus."


Gallery Admission includes access to the permanent collection, special exhibitions, Café, Store, and Avant-garden.  


Gallery Admission + Dalí Alive 360˚ includes all-day Gallery Admission plus timed access to the immersive digital experience.


Cost: $12 - $29, Dalí Alive 360˚ add on $15



Explore the Museum of Fine Arts, which features an impressive European, American, and pre-Columbian art collection. The museum is at 255 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, in the downtown area along the waterfront.


Notable pieces in the collection include works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, O'Keeffe, and others. The museum is particularly known for its extensive collection of works by artists associated with the Hudson River School, an American art movement of the 19th century.


Option 3: Chihuly Collection


Go west on Central, and you’ll find Florida CraftArt (500 block), which features the work of the most talented local artists. Clustered together on the 700 block are Morean Arts Center, Morean Glass Studio, and the mesmerizing Chihuly Collection.



Lunch at Mangosteen


Mangosteen is a tropical Asian-inspired restaurant opening in a few weeks at 656 Central Avenue. It’s also a sweet-tasting exotic fruit originally from Southeast Asia. Mangosteen is delicious and offers a tropical vibe that St. Pete is known for with delicious Southeast Asian cuisine. The dishes are bigger than expected, so I recommend splitting an appetizer and dish with someone if you're there for lunch.


Mangosteen is located on Central Ave, where you'll spend your afternoon!



Explore Central Ave


Starting at the beautiful downtown waterfront and stretching west, Central Ave. is a unique street with vibrant boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and bars. Spot murals, shop for one-of-a-kind threads, and explore the heart of the local food and drink scene as you go.


When you stroll the shops of Central Ave., you’ll discover dozens of small, independent businesses offering wares you won’t find anywhere else – from chic clothing to handmade body care products to outsized statement pieces for your home. And in the Grand Central District, Imagine Museum features dreamy glass art (be sure to check out the mural on its east-facing wall!).



Dinner & Night Out


Option 1: Dinner in the Edge District


Have dinner in the EDGE District. The EDGE District is in the western part of downtown St. Petersburg, bordered by 16th Street to the west, 1st Avenue North to the north, 9th Street to the east, and 1st Avenue South to the south. The district also has a lively nightlife scene with bars, pubs, and entertainment venues, making it a popular destination for those looking to enjoy an evening out.


The EDGE District has various dining options, ranging from casual eateries to trendy restaurants. You can find everything from craft breweries and coffee shops to upscale dining experiences.


Here are a few places to consider for dinner before bar hopping:

  • Bovaro's (Italian)

  • Eataly (Italian, casual)

  • Hawkers (Asian)

  • Engine 9 (Burgers)


Option 2: Keep the Night Going on Central Ave.


Central Ave. is also home to plenty of dinner options, bars, and lounges in St. Pete. You'll notice them as you walk away from the water (West) on Central Ave. as they pop up more and more often.


I'd recommend starting the evening off at Concrete Jungle. This two story restaurant and cocktail lounge offers a Tulum inspired menu with fresh seafood and Mexican dishes/drinks. It's also cute and a great place to start your night off on Central Ave.


Here are a few bars I'd recommend on Central Ave:

  • Saigon Blond (divey)

  • Crafty Squirrel (dancing)

  • The Saint (cocktails)



Sunday: Beach Day


No visit to St. Pete is complete without a beach day! St. Pete Beach is renowned for its pristine, white sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. The warm waters and picturesque sunsets make it a favorite destination for beachgoers.


You can also consider many different water activities available in the St. Pete area. The water here is beautiful and well worth a day or more of time!


Water Activities


St. Pete Beach offers various water activities, including parasailing, jet skiing, paddleboarding, and dolphin-watching tours. Below are a few different options.


  • Cruise throughout Boca Ciega Bay for unforgettable views of this stunning area. Have the chance to get up close to playful dolphins while they are enjoying their natural environment. This is a group tour.

  • Explore the magnificent coastal ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico on this 3-hour private tour. Customized for your interests and the season, this tour may include birding, shelling, snorkeling, island hopping, marine biology, or a little of everything. This is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy your friends or family for less than the price of renting a boat without any stress.

  • Explore the magnificent coastal ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico on this 3-hour private tour. Customized for your interests and the season, this tour may include birding, shelling, snorkeling, island hopping, marine biology, or a little of everything. This is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy your friends or family for less than the price of renting a boat without any stress.

  • Join a private excursion from St. Pete and try to spot these marine mammals in their natural habitat as you explore Florida's Gulf Coast, an area many bottlenose dolphins call home. This private tour can be customized according to your and your group's wishes. Bottled water and fruit are also provided for all participants.



Beach Options


If you want a unique beach day in St. Pete, consider using The Cabana Club for your beach day setup! They offer a variety of unique and very cute beach setups that are perfect for a relaxing day at St. Pete Beach. They'll set up a variety of spots for you and take care of all the clean-up. Definitely recommend!


Below are some areas to consider for your beach day if you decide not to use The Cabana Club.


Don CeSar Hotel:

  • Known as the "Pink Palace," the Don CeSar is a historic and iconic luxury hotel on St. Pete Beach. It's a recognizable landmark with a distinctive pink facade, symbolizing the area since the 1920s. Even if you choose not to stay here, you can get a day pass through Resort Pass to enjoy the beach at the Don CeSar.

Upham Beach Park:

  • Upham Beach Park is a public beach area that offers a more tranquil setting compared to some of the busier stretches of St. Pete Beach. It has picnic areas, volleyball courts, and soft sand for sunbathing.

Pass-a-Grille Beach:

  • At the southern end of St. Pete Beach is the charming community of Pass-a-Grille, known for its laid-back vibe and the historic Pass-a-Grille Beach. This area has quaint shops, art galleries, and a historic district.

Shell Key Preserve:

  • Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby Shell Key Preserve, a pristine barrier island with natural habitats and opportunities for birdwatching. Boat tours are available for those looking to explore the preserve.



Sunset at the Beach


The best way to end a weekend in St. Pete is with a sunset on the beach. It's one of the most gorgeous ways to spend an evening and makes the perfect relaxing stop before heading home.






St. Pete provides a mix of relaxation and recreational opportunities, making it a popular destination for those seeking a fun getaway on Florida's Gulf Coast. Whether you're interested in water activities, exploring fun neighborhoods, or simply lounging on the beach, a weekend in St. Petersburg, FL, offers a diverse range of experiences.

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