St. Petersburg, which glimmers between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, is known for its warm weather and for holding the title of “most consecutive days with sunshine” at 768 days. Along with beautiful, award-winning beaches, St. Petersburg is a waterfront escape and perfect family getaway with so much to explore! Downtown St. Petersburg is the city’s heart, home to great shopping, restaurants, bars and attractions.
So read on and start planning your next trip — and if you need lodging, book a St. Petersburg vacation rental to save money and gain so much more space & privacy over a traditional hotel.
Top 7 St. Petersburg, FL Activities
The James Museum (150 Central Avenue)
In their own words: The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art opened in April 2018 and transports visitors through the rich and diverse heritage of the American West. Its more than 400 works of art evoke the spirit of a wide-open frontier and the beauty of life in the wild. The museum engages the community through a variety of programs and educational opportunities that bring our history and culture to life. Museum co-founders Tom and Mary James have created a vast artistic legacy — one populated by emerging artists and living legends and filled with tribal tradition and classical finesse. In building this splendid home for a part of their vast personal collection of Western and wildlife art, Tom and Mary have succeeded in their aim to share their vision and devotion to art with thousands of visitors.
Sea Salt (183 Second Ave North)
In their own words: Come enjoy chef Fabrizio Aielli’s fine-dining restaurant, featuring an 80-foot long raw bar, 20-foot-tall wine tower, Florida’s freshest seafood and 130 different salts from around the world.
The Chattaway (358 22nd Ave.)
In their own words: One of the best kept secrets in St Pete! – This restaurant has a beautiful outdoor oasis and a relaxing ambiance. Local music talent is featured several nights a week on a quaint little stage with an Old Florida tropical atmosphere! Firepits are lit on cooler nights adding to the beauty of this already unique setting. Award winning burgers are the all-time favorite with the locals here! One of the biggest surprises of all is a trip indoors to feel like you’re stepping off the boat into a genuine English Tea Room. This place is one you won’t soon forget! It’s been a part of the community in one form or another for over 90 years! And so the tradition continues…albeit with a bit of a British flair! The Chattaway is part of your community — a local institution in Old Town St. Petersburg. Stop by and see us if you’ve never been here before! We promise it will be an experience you’ll never forget!
Bodega (1120 Central Ave.)
In their own words: Inspired by the islands of Latin America and with love for the freshest ingredients, Chef George creates food people love. Nestled in the bustling Edge District, Bodega was destined for St. Petersburg. Through the perfect marriage of culinary creativity and an unapologetic appreciation for authenticity, the shack with a chalkboard menu and paper dinner boxes is a ‘come as you are‘ place to dine on award-winning cuisine. Local love for Bodega led to a larger, second location featuring a rum bar in Tampa‘s Seminole Heights. Bodega‘s commitment to fresh, made-to-order food is in every bite. Renowned for the Cuban sandwich, a relaxed ambience, and the fresh juice bar, the restaurant is a local favorite on both sides of Tampa Bay. With vegetarian, and vegan options, there‘s something for everyone at Bodega.
Bella Brava (204 Beach Drive NE)
In their own words: Our doors opened in 2005 with one thing in mind; Italian flavor! After traveling the hills of Tuscany and sampling the best cheeses, pastas, herbs, meats, seafood and pizzas in the world, we knew the heart of St. Petersburg – our beloved home – needed a restaurant that blends Italian cuisine with the modern bustle of a New World urban lifestyle. BellaBrava: New World Trattoria is where our vineyard-lined dreams have come alive! We are overjoyed that the community has embraced us as the Italian Trattoria of Downtown St. Pete since moving to Beach Drive in 2010. Less formal than a ristorante, the service is casual, the prices remain low, and the emphasis is on a steady clientele rather than haute cuisine. Old world flavor mingles with new world flair here. Whether sampling our seafood or our famous American burgers with a Tuscan twist, we are positive the whole family will find something delicious to savor! Our menu has a wide variety of pastas and antipasti, but we love to share our unique Woodstone ovens that cook the most delicious flatbreads, pizzas and calzones in the region. With a friendly staff, European-style outdoor seating, a large horseshoe-shaped bar and the longest happy hour on Beach Drive, we aim to make BellaBrava the most family-friendly dining location in St. Petersburg. Bring your kids to sample our flavorful meals, your coworkers to grab a refreshing cocktail, or your four-legged friends for wine outside and watch beautiful downtown St. Pete come to life.
Dr. BBQ’s (1101 First Ave S)
In their own words: Ray Lampe, known to the world as “Dr. BBQ,” is stoking the fire on a new endeavor. With partners Suzanne and Roger Perry, owners of the Datz, Dough, and Roux restaurants in Tampa, Lampe brings a new class of dynamic, food-forward smoke-basted meats to Dr. BBQ in St. Petersburg’s thriving Edge District. Offering “new American barbeque” to the Tampa Bay area, the full-service restaurant sizzles with global flavors. Dr. BBQ created these exclusive new recipes by drawing on inspiration from his travels and the local tastes of St. Pete. And he’s mustered a fantastic team to make the magic. The bar features a remarkable selection of bourbons curated by an award-winning mixologist, along with a creative cocktail program, artisanal spirits, house-made cola, and local beers. The rustic industrial ambiance of the interior complements the cuisine and gives diners a number of seating options: from community tables to private booths to a couple of saddles, guests are welcome to relax and enjoy.
Empire Oyster (Multiple)
In their own words: As the team that created NEW YORK OYSTER WEEK, we have produced or co-produced well over 100 oyster-centric events since 2012. There is nothing we cannot invent, imagine or manage when it comes to raw bars and event production. We love the challenge of serving oysters and other Marine Cuisine™ in challenging weather or locations. And we always do so safely and graciously whether it was on a rooftop, luxury yacht, frozen lake, remote beach or your back yard. We’ll execute your vision or, if you need ideas, we’ll work together to create something special that meets your needs and goals.
Pinellas Ale House (1962 1st Avenue S)
In their own words: Pinellas Ale Works is an award-winning brewery, tap room, beer garden and private event space located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. As its initials would suggest, PAW is one of the most dog-friendly breweries in St. Pete with a dual mission of brewing doggone good beer and giving back to the community by hosting weekly and monthly events benefiting Pinellas County animal related charities.
The Lure (661 Central Avenue)
In their own words: We’ve created an experience as irresistible as our 600 block of Central Ave. location in vibrant downtown St. Pete. And extraordinary sushi is just the beginning. From mouthwatering tapas, tacos and flatbreads, to potent tikis to please even the most discerning cocktail aficionados, to award-winning local brews on tap, inspired offerings await. And did we mention billiards? The Lure is the kind of place we like to hang out at. A fun, friendly and laid-back atmosphere with five-star taste sensations and service. It reflects decades of restaurant experience, countless food-inspired travels and our passion for savoring every moment. .
Water Monkey (Multiple)
In their own words: Water Monkey provides professional services for everything related to stand up paddle boarding. Join us for a stand up paddle board lesson, rental or tour. Owned and operated by local and SUP Pro Chase Kosterlitz, we were the first stand up paddle board company in St. Pete! We pride ourselves on professional service and we are fully licensed and insured! At Water Monkey, we advocate a lifestyle dedicated to doing what you love, and loving what you do…. both in and out of the water. Get out on the beautiful waters in the Tampa/St. Pete/St. Pete Beach areas and take a stand up paddle board lesson.
Il Ritorno (449 Central Avenue)
In their own words: The name IL Ritorno translates to “The Return” in Italian… And marks the homecoming of Owner and Executive Chef, David Benstock. IL Ritorno creates modern Italian dishes for the discerning palate, introducing new and interesting flavor combinations that add elegance to a traditionally rustic cuisine.