If you’re dreaming of a walkable waterfront metropolis with artwork, tradition, historical past, and some ways to get exterior and get lively, it could not shock you to seek out that such a spot might be discovered throughout the real-life paradise of Florida—in a small metropolis that supposedly holds the Guinness World Record for “most consecutive days with sunshine” (768).
Tucked away on a peninsula on Florida’s Gulf coast, St. Petersburg appears to have one thing for everybody. There are outside cafés and eating places aplenty, dazzling galleries and museums, outside journey, and many outlets and leisure choices lining the town’s pedestrian-oriented streets. There’s no higher time for a go to than spring, when the climate is sunny however delicate and colourful flowers are in full bloom.
The power appears to shimmer right here, and the attractive views don’t damage, both.
Though it’s a vibrant trendy metropolis attracting many younger households, St. Pete can be house to greater than 100 years of historical past, giving it a little bit of intrigue and marvel. The story goes that, upon being based in 1888, the town was named St. Petersburg as the results of a coin toss between its two co-founders: one hailing from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and the opposite from Detroit. The Russian gained, however the Michigander not less than received to honor his hometown by naming the primary resort constructed within the metropolis after it. Several spots within the space have fascinating native lore, in case you’re curious sufficient to hunt it out.
To actually get a really feel for what makes St. Pete such an awesome vacation spot, begin with a cushty base (you possibly can’t beat a downtown bed-and-breakfast) and go from there. The metropolis is simple to stroll and beckons to be explored, so present up with a free plan and see the place the day takes you.
Where to Stay
The Birchwood is an actual native gem, a comfortable 18-room Spanish Mission-style constructing on St. Petersburg’s bustling and full of life waterfront. Originally constructed in 1924, right this moment The Birchwood is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Its location is unbeatable, each in the midst of and a respite from the liveliness under, and its lodging are luxurious but snug—the right keep in case you recognize historical past and the attraction of a boutique inn however nonetheless need to be within the coronary heart of the motion.
Restaurants, outlets, bars, and boutiques line this part of Beach Drive, however simply throughout the road is quiet Straub Park, shaded by huge oaks and majestic banyan timber. Beyond Straub Park is the nautical Tampa Bay, which twinkles by the timber within the morning because the solar, confusingly, rises over the water (St. Petersburg could also be on the west coast of Florida, however it’s on the japanese aspect of Tampa Bay’s Pinellas peninsula!). Regardless, the daybreak of a brand new day is a wonderful sight out of your bed room window within the morning, in case you’re fortunate sufficient to snag one in every of The Birchwood’s six eastern-facing suites; the inn has solely 18 rooms, so your odds are good.
Atop The Birchwood is The Canopy, one of many metropolis’s most occurring rooftop lounges, full with non-public cabanas, fireplace pits, and views of the bay. Also onsite is Birch & Vine, the place patrons can select between a positive eating room, open-air patio, or sidewalk café relying on their eating wants.
Inside the resort foyer is the Lantern Lane Lounge, constructed because the Lantern Lane Apartments in 1924; that is additionally the place a scorching breakfast is served to resort friends every morning in true bed-and-breakfast type. While the cereal choice, French toast, and egg sandwiches have been certainly scrumptious, any breakfast that features bottles of fresh-squeezed orange juice from Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co. as a part of the breakfast lineup is an computerized win from me.
Things to Do in St. Petersburg
At the second, many individuals are flocking to St. Petersburg for the Van Gogh Alive exhibit, which not too long ago prolonged its keep on the Dalí Museum to June 13. While it’s an fascinating attraction and the museum contributes eye-catching structure to the downtown skyline, there are various different issues to do in St. Petersburg, too.
A dwelling museum, the Sunken Gardens are greater than 100 years previous and positioned in a historic neighborhood of St. Petersburg; downtown there’s additionally the Museum of Fine Arts and the Mahaffey Theater, house of the Florida Orchestra. Of course, the Clearwater space additionally has award-winning sugar-sand seashores on the Gulf of Mexico—the truth is, St. Pete Beach was not too long ago voted the No. 1 seaside within the United States on TripAdvisor for the fourth time in six years—and Fort De Soto Park, a favourite for waterfront tenting. Nearby, there’s additionally Clearwater Marine Aquarium, house to the slippery stars of the “Dolphin Tale” motion pictures.
St. Pete is chock filled with museums, galleries, and murals, so there’s a lot to see and do—plus the town is legendary for its near-endless sunshine, so you will get exterior and discover the pedestrian-friendly streets and walkable waterfront all 12 months spherical.
Still, maybe probably the most thrilling latest improvement within the space is the brand new St. Pete Pier, which underwent an enormous decade-long, multimillion-dollar renovation, accomplished final summer season. Now 3,065 toes lengthy (don’t fear, there’s a tram to choose you up in case you want!), the primary attracts of this 26-acre leisure district are the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, pop-up market distributors, fishing, public artwork installations, and Doc Ford’s, an awesome spot for lunch or dinner when visiting St. Pete.
You can get pleasure from water views and a laid-back tropical environment as you savor recent fish and Florida-style flavors.
Our journey to St. Pete was fast, however not so fast that I missed out on having the perfect latte of my life at Bandit Coffee—we stopped by on our means out of city and I’m ceaselessly glad we did. Perhaps it’s as a result of I’m keen on florals, however the seasonal “bouquet latte”—a flower-inspired sip with notes of lemon, orange, English lavender, pink rose, heather, jasmine, and chamomile (order it calmly sweetened)—is the stuff of an iced-coffee drinker’s goals. And dream of it I’ll till my subsequent go to.
The creator was a visitor of The Birchwood.
Skye Sherman is a contract travel author based mostly in West Palm Beach, Fla. She covers information, transit, and worldwide locations for quite a lot of retailers. You can observe her adventures on Instagram and Twitter @skyesherman.