By JP Chartier
So you find yourself in St. Petersburg, Florida and you’re looking for something fun to do, but you’re running short on cash. Well I’m going to help you out, listed below are 8 really fun things to do for FREE in St. Pete.
First A Little About St. Pete:
The “Burg” as its known by the locals is Florida’s fifth largest city with 250,000 people and 61 sq. miles of land. With an average of 361 days a year of sunshine, the city has earned the nickname of the “Sunshine City,” in fact, it holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine – a stretch of 768 days beginning in 1967.
8 Fun Things to do in St. Pete for FREE!
Party at the “Get Downtown First Friday” Block Party Event – Every first Friday of the month St. Pete closes off a section of downtown between 2nd and 3rd St. South on Central Ave for a block party event. There is live jazz music, food, drinks and vendors stretched out along Central Ave. between the hours of 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm. The event is organized by the Breakfast Optimist Club of St. Petersburg and is a safe and entertaining way to spend the evening.
Hang out at a beach within city limits – Not a lot of people know that St. Pete has two beaches within city limits, white sand, water and fun can be found at Spa Beach and at North Shore Beach, both are walking distance from downtown.
Take a bike ride or a walk along a scenic trail – St. Pete has two great bike/walking trails. The North Bay Trail snakes its way along the Tampa Bay and gives visitors spectacular shoreline views. And the Pinellas Trail, or the Fred Marquis Trail as it’s properly called, begins in downtown St. Pete and ends up 38 miles later in Tarpon Springs. Check out my article on the North Bay Trail here.
Take in some art at the “Art Walk” - Downtown St. Petersburg galleries along Beach Dr. and Central Ave. hold a special once a month meet and greet with local artists called the “Art Walk.” Artists will discuss their artwork and galleries extend their hours (5:30 pm-8:30 pm) on the 2nd Saturday of the month. See a complete list of galleries here.
Read a book at one of the beautiful parks along the water downtown - Situated along the water of the Tampa Bay and located close to downtown are several family-friendly parks where you can relax with the family while enjoying a lunch, or to just sit back and read a few chapters with a wonderful sea-breeze and sunshine.
People watch on Beach Dr. after dark – Beach Dr. is an interesting place, there are a multitude of shops, restaurants and galleries to choose from, or to just window shop. Grab a beverage, grab a bench, then sit back and take in the action! St. Pete’s nightlife is hoppin, there are open air restaurants and cafe’s stretched along the 7-miles of shoreline.
Take a stroll down Central Ave – Central Ave. slices through downtown St. Pete and ends up near the coastline of the Tampa Bay. There are a multitude of shops, restaurants and galleries to choose from in the downtown area, however, there is also a section of Central Ave. (further west) called the “Grand Central District” and it can be found between 16th and 31st St. This area is a thriving community for artists and home décor type shops, including an abundance of antique shops.
Take a short hike at the Sawgrass Lake Park – This wonderful 400 acre park gives visitors a taste of the wilderness even though it’s located in the most densely populated county in the state of Florida. The park offers incredible trees, abundant wildlife sightings and even a chance glance at an alligator while hiking the one mile long wooden walkway which transverses the largest maple swamp on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The Sawgrass Lake Park is located at 7400 25th St. N. and is a great way to spend some quality family-time and learn about the wildlife in the area at the education center at the same time. During bird migrations the park becomes a popular spot for birders, and is listed as one of the premier birding sites in Florida.
St. Petersburg is full of excitement and interesting things to do, and not all of it requires money. From the bustling waterfront entertainment district to the beautiful wind swept parks, St. Pete has something for everyone!
Hi my name is JP Chartier and I write for Gutter Pup Adventures.com where you can expect to read well-written and entertaining articles about the people and places that often get overlooked at many popular vacation destinations around the world. You will also find articles on camping, hiking, kayaking and several other popular vacation activities here too.
My goal is to seek out the hidden ‘gems’ for you and bring them alive through my writing and photographs, so your next trip or vacation will be a much more rewarding and fulfilling experience.