St. Pete has a dynamic culture and renaissance spirt that is contagious once you step foot here, believe me, it happened to us 8 years ago! Fresh out of Grad School and seeking a new career, my wife and I left Western NY to start anew and establish our roots in Florida. We had frequently visited family in Naples and have toured the state a few times, however, never really knew much about St Pete. We did a quick google and found a lot of info about how this area was predominantly for the elderly or retirees. Let me be clear, this may have been true 20 years ago but is NOT the case now! Millennials are moving to St Pete in droves and they’re bringing that creative ethos with them. The arts district is booming, with world renowned muralists calling St Pete home, and this is just scratching the surface! So, we’ve put together a list of these must do things that will truly help you capture the essence and culture of this magnificent City!
The St Pete Pier – The newly reconstructed pier is a world class piece of architecture. If
you have ever visited NYC’s High Line Park, or Chicago Navy Pier, then this will surely
impress. Be sure to walk to the end and grab a drink at Teak Restaurant which provides
a beautiful vista of the St Pete skyline.
Shell Key Nature Preserve – This is a local hotspot that not many tourists know about.
Shell Key is an 1,800-acre nature preserve and barrier island that is home to turtle
nesting grounds, manatees, dolphins, and shorebirds. The absolute best way to see Shell
Key is to take our 2-hour Native eSUP Adventure tour that gives you a one-of-a-kind
nature experience. We’ll stop at a remote beach with crystal clear water and, yes, plenty
Craft Breweries – If you like a crafty libation then you’re in luck, St Pete is loaded with
great craft brew hangouts. Our personal favorite is 3 Daughters, not only are their drinks
great but they have a ton of activities there. They’re also conveniently located in the
Arts Warehouse District which makes them a great conclusion to a day venturing around
artists studios. They have great food options and frequently have live music.
Jannus Live – Catch a show at this cool outdoor music venue in the heart of the
downtown district. Check out their schedule for tickets to a wide variety of indie music
Food – Let’s face it there are a ton of options here to write about but here are a few of
our local favorites around the downtown area. Red Mesa is probably the most iconic for
both locals and tourists but it’s well worth the visit, and their margaritas are delish!!
pint. The Birchwood for a romantic dinner or check out their rooftop bar called The Canopy. You could also venture out to the end of the pier to have a nice rooftop dinner
at Teak restaurant. If you’re looking for a local experience to watch the sunset, grab a
drink at Caddy’s and watch the sun slowly disappear into the Gulf.
Dali Museum – Located near downtown this museum is iconic to St Pete. Check out their
permanent exhibition of Surrealist Artist Salvador Dali and their visiting exhibits as well.
One of our cherished traditions is grabbing a bite from their café and sipping an espresso while sitting outside in the Dali sculpture garden. Honestly, you’d think you
were in a quaint European seaside town!
Black Crow Coffee – If you’re looking for a perfect morning pick me up then be sure to
head over to BCC! They have two locations; both are amazing and won’t disappoint.
These are quintessentially local coffee shops that we frequent almost on the daily!