Best Things to do in St Petersburg / Clearwater Florida (2024)

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If you like a getaway that mixes both the beach and a city feel with plenty of activities & restaurants- then a trip to St. Petersburg / Clearwater Florida is the perfect solution! Here are the best things to do in St Petersburg / Clearwater Florida for a fun weekend getaway.

Things to do in St Petersburg FL

Things to do in St. Petersburg Florida

Spend the day at St. Pete Beach

st pete beach florida
St. Pete Beach Florida

Can you say you went to St. Pete/ Clearwater without going to the beach? St. Pete Beach is recognized as America’s #1 Beach (rated by Tripadvisor in 2021). You can expect calm jewel-colored waters, soft white sands, and a spacious shoreline.

Along the beach, you can find chair rentals and beach bars.

To get the most of the beach, stay at one of the many beachfront hotels, like the Hilton Garden Inn for direct access- complete with beachfront lounge chairs and cabanas.

RelatedThe 15 Best Beaches in Florida to Visit this Year

Visit the St. Pete Pier

St. Pete Pier
St Pete Pier
View from St. Pete Pier 5th Floor

Just opened in July 2020, the St. Pete Pier went through a decade-long development to become an all-encompassing entertainment, leisure, and dining experience, as the Southeast’s largest waterfront playground.

This is not your typical pier, instead, you’ll find an urban beach area, children’s playground, pop-up marketplace, and modern dining options.

A great time to visit is during sunset, and if you like to catch the best views head to the 5th floor to Pier Teaki. Read more below.

Have a Cocktail at Pier Teaki

Pier Teaki

Located on the St. Pete Pier, a must-stop is Pier Teaki, a rooftop bar with a modern spin on a classic tiki bar. Order one of the specialty cocktails in the souvenir tiki cup and light bites. Plus, this is a great spot for sunset with unobstructed views of Downtown St. Pete.

View Menu here

Helicopter Tour of Clearwater Beach

Tampa Bay Aviation

1000 N Hercules Ave, Clearwater, FL 33765

To get the ultimate birdseye view of Clearwater Beach, take a helicopter tour! Tours are operated by Tampa Bay Aviation and provide a unique and memorable experience of the area. Your skilled guide will point out famous landmarks, islands, and general facts about Clearwater.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll spot dolphins, manatees, and other Florida wildlife.

Tour the Sunken Gardens

1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

Sunken Gardens St Pete

In the midst of the city, you can find a botanical paradise at the Sunken Gardens. These gardens have been around for over 100 years and is home to the oldest tropical plants in the region.

You’ll find over 50,000 tropical plants and flowers, cascading waterfalls, and a flock of 12 flamingos! This is the perfect activity to relax and unwind in nature- especially great for plant lovers!

Tickets: $15 Adults

Open: Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. & Sunday: Noon to 4:30 p.m.

Shop on Central Avenue, Downtown St. Pete

The best shops, restaurants, galleries, murals, and record shops are all located on Central Ave in Downtown St. Pete. Looking to do some shopping, this walkable street is a must!

Plus, if you’re into craft beers, you’ll find plenty of bars offering unique finds.

Shops to Check out:

  • Ashe Couture
  • Brutique
  • Za’Zoo’D

Try the Best Cuban Sandwich

Bodega Central Avenue

1180 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Bodega St Pete

A must-stop is Bodega, a casual Latin food walk-up restaurant that is a local favorite and has one of the best Cuban Sandwiches in America. In fact, Yahoo Food recognized it as one of the “20 Best Cubano Sandwiches in America

Dining here definitely needs to be on your list of things to do in St Petersburg and has indoor & outdoor seating available.

The menu includes Latin sandwich favorites, lunch platters, Latin sides, and fresh juices!

Fairgrounds St. Pete

800 28th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Just opened in September 2021, Fairgrounds is an art & technology choose-your-own-adventure immersive experience that celebrates weird, wacky, and wonderful Florida.

Inside you’ll find rooms made up from 60 local artists that celebrate Florida in immersive art spaces where you can engage in a world of art, play, and discovery. This is definitely a unique fun burning man-esque experience. Expect hot pink rooms, flamingos, and wacky Florida!

Tickets: $27 adults

Clear Kayak Tour with Get Up & Go

See most of Florida’s wildlife through an eco-guided Shell Key Preserve clear kayak tour with Get Up and Go!

This tour will provide you with knowledge of local wildlife, marine life, and plant life, and get an up-close view of Florida’s natural mangroves. Plus, you might just spot a dolphin or manatee.

Tours operate during both the day and night and tickets can be purchased in advance online.

Grove Surf & Coffee

St. Pete Beach Restaurants

When you’re on St. Pete Beach, make your way to Grove Surf & Coffee for a nice cup of brew and tasty treats. Plus, there is a cute gift shop on site that sells everything from women’s, men’s, children’s, and home goods!

Where to Stay in St. Pete Florida

Hilton Garden Inn St. Pete Beach

6100 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

St Pete Beach Florida

Located right on St. Pete beach, the Hilton Garden Inn features colorful accents and chic fun tropical interiors. You’ll also find a pool, beach bar, and restaurant right on site. The location is perfect and makes a perfect home base for beach & downtown activities.

THE DON CESAR

3400 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

Don Cesar
Courtesy of VisitStPeteClearwater.com

Iconic 1920’s hotel also known as the legendary Pink Palace is another option. Located directly on the beach, the Don Cesar is a luxury option perfect for those who want to spend as much time at the beach!

@danaberez St Petersburg Guide. Top things to do in St. Pete / Clearwater FLORIDA #stpetersburgflorida ♬ Let Me Love You – DJ Snake

Getting Around St. Petersburg Florida

Do you need a Rental Car? The best way to get around St. Pete is to have a rental car, especially if you are staying at the beach and want to check out downtown St. Petersburg for restaurants, shops, and nightlife.

The drive from St. Pete Beach to Downtown St. Petersburg takes around 20-25 minutes, and rideshare might get pricy depending on how many trips you take back and forth.

Parking in Downtown St. Pete is easy to find. Parking Garages charge anywhere from $1 to $5

Where to eat: St. Petersburg Restaurants

Sauvignon Wine Locker & American Trattori

241 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

sauvignon wine locker

Located on the 200 Block of Central Ave, Sauvignon St. Pete sits above on the second floor overlooking this buzzy street filled with bars and restaurants.

Sauvignon features a small outdoor patio and cozy dining room with a seasonal menu with homemade pasta, grilled meats, salads, and a lengthy wine list. Be sure to ask about wine pairing with your meal.

Order: Some menu highlights include Sea Scallops, Heritage Chicken,  Lobster Mac & Cheese, and don’t skip the Panna Cotta dessert!

Social Roost

150 1st Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Inspired by global cuisine, Social Roost offers a variety of delicious made-from-scratch plates inspired by travel from around the world. The cocktail menu also has unique options like the Diplomat, a smokey cocktail that comes served in a smoked glass covering.

Order: Shrimp & Grits, DTSP Fried Chicken, Ricotta Toast

The interior is covered with a gold glitter wall, making it a perfect backdrop for photos!

More Restaurants to Check out: 

  • The Library: New American menu with brunch & craft cocktails in a trendy space with both indoor and outdoor seating.
  • Wild Child: Colorful bistro with craft cocktails and American favorites.
  • Stillwaters Tavern: Modern American restaurant with 20 beers & 2 cocktails on tap + full bar.
  • Mad Fish: Casual yet upscale restaurant serving the best fresh fish and aged steaks.

What to Pack for Florida

It might depend on when you are visiting Flordia, but you can assume that this beach packing list will cover your essentials. But these are some things you must pack for Florida.

FAQ: Where is St. Petersburg Florida

St. Petersburg is located just 35 minutes from Tampa, and 40 minutes south of Clearwater Florida, making it easily accessible to drive to.

You’ll find both beachfront and city life in St. Petersburg which mixes time to relax in the sun plus activities & dining in Downtown St. Pete.

Getting to St. Petersburg Florida

Fly: While St. Petersburg/ Clearwater has its own airport it mainly serves small regional planes. Your best bet is to fly into Tampa International Airport (TPA) for all major airlines.

Drive: Since St. Petersburg Florida is easily within reach from Florida, driving is a great way to get here. Plus, you’ll want a car to get around.

Heading to Florida? Check out these Florida posts:

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Hope you enjoyed this post & have new ideas for your trip!

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This post is in collaboration with Visit Florida. All opinions are my own.

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