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Florida's historic St. Petersburg invites you to its vibrant downtown and gorgeous beaches. Once a sleepy coastal city where retirees congregated on green benches lining the streets, Tampa's neighboring town now draws entrepreneurs, painters, and travelers—from beach lovers to art aficionados. Retirees have a lot more fun too. Pete," " says Emily Elwyn, who relocated anyway, along with sc of other Gen-Xers and millennials who've helped invigorate this town.
A year resident, Elwyn now serves as president of the board of directors at Preserve the "Burg, a nonprofit that le city tours for locals and tourists every Saturday. From the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood, with its inviting bungalows, to the business center along the marina, where new additions and million-dollar condos are popping up, St. Petersburg feels both historic and emergent. Locals say the recent boom has centered along Beach Drive facing the bay and Central Avenue lined with galleries, bars, and boutiques. Gammage attributes the city's evolution to the arts community. For Gammage, it was the Morean Arts Center, where locals can take classes and tourists can watch glassblowing demos, that sparked many changes downtown.
She says that once the Morean ed Florida CraftArt on Central Avenue a few years back, the businesses, restaurants, and warehouses-turned-studios followed. Adding to the cachet of Central Avenue, the Morean's Chihuly Collection a trove of fantastical blown-glass creations by Dale Chihuly moved inside a new gallery deed to help the viewer appreciate every curl and spire.
The artist reportedly chose St. Petersburg because of its commitment to art and arts education. Gallery owner and multimedia artist Chad Mize even deed a popular T-shirt that proudly proclaims, in bold lettering, this city's place among the world's biggest cultural hubs: "Paris, London, Tokyo, St. Stroll past the murals that decorate refurbished buildings, some of which Mize painted after he moved to St.
Pete, attracted by its heritage and potential for growth. Like Central Avenue, Beach Drive has done its part to spur the city's renaissance. The Museum of Fine Arts , which anchors this thoroughfare with neoclassical grandeur, celebrated its 50th anniversary in Its hand-some interiors are reminiscent of a grand, old estate, one where there just happens to be a Monet hanging on the wall. It's one of his Houses of Parliament paintings, just in case you're wondering.
Only a few blocks away, a botanical wonderland that's called the Sunken Gardens hides right in the middle of downtown. This landscape—more than a century old—will lure you into a maze of paths through towering palms and past fountains of pink bougainvillea and manicured gardens. People come from all over the country to admire the fluttering tops of bamboo stalks that grow as tall as palm trees. Visitors can get so entranced with the plants that they might not have time to stop by one of St.
Enjoy the ambience as well as Tryst's frequently changing menu that promises fresh surprises every time you visit. Order a cocktail, and couples lounging beneath umbrellas at sidewalk tables. Try the Tryst: Deep Eddy vodka, muddled strawberry, raspberry, lemon, and elderflower liquor. Relax under the indoor twinkling light strands. They complement the illuminated facade of the Museum of Fine Arts, located just across the street, where banners highlight the current exhibit. It's a happening spot. Clusters of diners bustle by to meet friends at Tryst and other eateries, such as Red Mesa Cantina just a few blocks away; locals take their dogs out for nightly walks; and places like Ocean Blue Galleries stay open late into the evening.
Petersburg seems less like a typical resort town and more like a bayside neighborhood where visitors can take up residence and feel at home, if only for the weekend. Despite the city's charms, the sand and surf of St. Pete Beach will eventually lure you away. The flamingo-hued Don CeSar hotel, known as the Pink Palace, has been welcoming guests to this barrier island since the s.
On a perfect day—temps in the low 80s, no humidity, fluttering palms— it can be tough to find a parking spot on Gulf Way, which runs along the beachfront in the historic Pass-a-Grille neighborhood. The powder-soft white sand and turquoise-streaked water are worth enduring a momentary traffic jam.
Across from Eighth and Ninth Avenues, a happy, banana yellow hole-in-the-wall called Paradise Grille serves sunbathers from breakfast until dinnertime. It's flanked on Saturdays by the Suntan Art Mart, where you can find beach-themed creations and estate jewelry. Take a seat at the rooftop bar at Hurricane Seafood Restaurant for a seagull's view of the beach scene.
On the pastel-colored row of beachy Eighth Avenue shops, check out Bamboozle and Etc. This short street dead-ends into Merry Pier, with an old bait shop where you can book fishing charters. Hop on the shuttle to Shell Key, an undeveloped barrier island. After a minute boat ride, the captain will drop you off where you're free to snorkel, sunbathe, dolphin-watch, and collect shells until the shuttle picks you up a few hours later.
Order the espresso-rubbed beef tenderloin. Don't leave St. Pete without swinging back downtown for a drink along Central Avenue, which pulses with live music at a string of bars where tables spill onto the sidewalk. Check out The Mandarin Hide, a sophisticated speakeasy-style place, or head to Mastry's Bar, a local landmark.
They're both great spots to toast St. Petersburg while planning your return. The Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach. Opened in , The Don Cesar just celebrated its 90th anniversary but still feels updated, with a new lobby and room renovations completed over the past decade. Hollander Hotel, Downtown With its restaurant The Tap Room , a spa, and the stunning courtyard pool and terrace, this affordable gem is within walking distance of Beach Drive.
Avalon, Downtown The Hollander Hotel's sister property offers access to the Hollander's pool as well as complimentary Champagne and wine every evening. Miami-inspired colors meet Art Deco style in the refreshed guest rooms and a new restaurant called Paul's Landing. Petersburg, Florida. By Jennifer Chappell Smith. Save FB Tweet More. Sunken Gardens of St. Petersburg, FL. Pete is full of surprises, like the overyear-old Sunken Gardens. Chihuly Glass in St. Petersburg FL. Famed artist Dale Chihuly chose St. Pete for this collection.
Sunken Garden Flamingos in St. The Sunken Gardens are home to iconic Florida flamingos. Red Mesa in St. Red Mesa keeps it bold and fresh. The Don CeSar hotel has been welcoming guests since The Mandarin Hide in St. Petersburg, Fl. The Mandarin Hide Motto:. Pete has no shortage of cool hotels, including some classic coastal spots.
Avalon Hotel in St. Discover the chic style of the Avalon hotel downtown. Close in. All rights reserved. Close this dialog window View image.Need to St. Petersburg a
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