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Named for the home of Peter Demes, a Russian immigrant who built the Orange Belt Railway through fledging settlements on the southern end of the Pinellas peninsula, St. Petersburg is a vibrant city with a downtown that’s a pleasure to traverse on foot. Careful planning went into the residential and business districts, dating back to 1911, resulting in aesthetically pleasing historic districts and a grand chain of parks shaded by ancient oaks and ficus trees separating the orderly city blocks of the business district from the waterfront. Opened in 1926, the elegant Vinoy Hotel holds a commanding view of the bay. St. Petersburg is a city of ...

Named for the home of Peter Demes, a Russian immigrant who built the Orange Belt Railway through fledging settlements on the southern end of the Pinellas peninsula, St. Petersburg is a vibrant city with a downtown that’s a pleasure to traverse on foot. Careful planning went into the residential and business districts, dating back to 1911, resulting in aesthetically pleasing historic districts and a grand chain of parks shaded by ancient oaks and ficus trees separating the orderly city blocks of the business district from the waterfront. Opened in 1926, the elegant Vinoy Hotel holds a commanding view of the bay. St. Petersburg is a city of the arts, boasting two major art museums — the Salvador Dali Museum, with the master’s greatest works; and the Museum of Fine Arts, with Cezanne, Renoir, and O’Keeffe among their extensive holdings. In the clusters of galleries along Beach Drive and Central Avenue, The Arts Center of St. Petersburg most notable among them, you’ll find artists in working studios producing masterpieces in glass, clay, and acrylics. The Coliseum, a venue for special events, showcases the fine architecture of the 1920s Florida boom, and was seen as the ballroom in the movie “Cocoon.” The Albert Whitted Municipal Airport was the site of the first commercial air flight in 1914, the birth of commercial aviation well documented at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. The 34-mile Pinellas Trail, a destination for bicyclists, connects St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tarpon Springs.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year-round