Meet Me in St. Pete: Your Weekend City Guide
All the best places to eat, shop and explore in The Burg
Just a 30-minute drive south of Tampa, St. Petersburg occasionally gets overshadowed by the bustling historic neighborhood of Hyde Park or the white sands of Clearwater Beach. However, this West Coast beach town, fondly referred to by locals as The Burg, isn’t one to be missed thanks to its idyllic water, small-town charm, trendy eateries and shops, the historic Don CeSar and an $87-million-dollar renovation of the St. Pete Pier entertainment district.
Next time you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a spontaneous road trip without crossing the Florida border, consider heading toward the Gulf. We recently hopped over to check out the scene for ourselves. Here are a few of our favorite picks for what to see, eat, drink and experience in The Burg.
WHERE TO STAY
Known as the Pink Palace, this oceanfront resort was first opened in 1928 and has since gone on to become St. Pete’s most iconic hotel. Inspired by its glamourous history—past guests include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Al Capone and Franklin D. Roosevelt—the Don CeSar has recently completed phase two of a three-phase renovation project to maintain its timeless elegance. The property received an art-deco inspired facelift to their lobby bar; updated its boutiques; refreshed the guest corridors, meeting rooms, and pool decks; and totally revamped its award-winning restaurant, Maritana, along with their ice cream parlor, Uncle Andy’s. Later this summer, the 277 guestrooms will be redesigned so guests can stay in an airy, Florida-inspired space. Between all of its updates and the Don CeSar’s unparalleled beachfront, it’s the perfect spot for couples and families alike who are looking for a picturesque staycation.
3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL
COVID-19 update: The Don CeSar is open with complete services.
If you’re planning a trip with a big group of people, consider booking a reservation at FUSION Resort just north of St. Pete in Treasure Island. With only two- to three-bedroom suites available, it has ample accommodations overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
290 107th Ave., Treasure Island, FL
COVID-19 update: The FUSION Resort is fully reopened.
For apartment digs, reserve one of the six luxury units that make up The Berkley Beach Club in Pass-A-Grille that has views of the historic stretch of 8th Avenue, Boa Ciega Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
109 8th Ave., St. Pete Beach, FL
COVID-19 update: The Berkeley Beach Club is open.
WHERE TO EAT
Get a taste of Latin street food at this casual joint in the Edge District. Order at the window then chow down on one of their delectable pressed sandwiches, plates or salads on their outdoor patio deck. The perfect socially distanced meal.
1120 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: Bodega is open but encourages social distancing.
Just downstairs from The Berkeley Beach Club is this brunch, lunch and dinner spot, which serves up modern cuisine inspired by the Gulf Coast. Customers love their elevated take on beach bar favorites like tamarind orange chipotle glaze wings; the fried chicken sandwich with pimento and avocado lime aioli; and fish and chips served with a side of guava creole mustard slaw and hush puppies.
109 8th Ave., St. Pete Beach, FL
COVID-19 update: The Dewey Beach Bar & Grill is open for dine-in.
Italian food meets the Deep South at this hybrid eatery open for brunch and dinner. From skillet garlic knots to chicken fried parmesan to shrimp and grits with crispy pancetta, the menu is filled with creative combinations that’ll leave you feeling stuffed in the best way possible.
8300 4th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: Noble Crust is operating at 50% capacity. Curbside to-go and delivery services are still available.
WHERE TO DRINK
Anyone who loves sipping vino while discussing their favorite novel will be on board with this bookstore-meets-wine bar concept that recently opened in the downtown area. This female-owned business places an emphasis on highlighting diverse authors and even boasts a Russian literature section as a nod to the city’s founder, Peter Demens. Be on the lookout for the wine and book pairing they do each month.
17 6th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: Book + Bottle is operating at 50% capacity with social distancing and sanitation measures in place.
Whether you prefer a warm latte or a neat glass of whiskey, you’ll make yourself right at home inside this trendy Edge District bar that serves both.
1111 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: Intermezzo is operating at 50% capacity with reduced hours. Check out their Facebook page for regular updates on hours.
Sink into plush couches, soak in the waterfront views and sip under the stars at this rooftop lounge perched on The Birchwood inn overlooking Beach Drive.
340 Beach Drive North East, St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: The Canopy is open at full capacity but with safety measures like social distancing, face masks and increased sanitation.
WHAT TO DO
CHECK OUT THE ST. PETE PIER
After being in development for over a decade, the Southeast’s largest waterfront property is almost ready to welcome visitors. With a handful of dining options like Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill, an abundance of art installations, museums and an interactive marine discovery center, it’s a can’t miss.
800 2nd Ave. Northeast, St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: The opening of the St. Pete Pier has been delayed due to the virus. A new opening date has not yet been announced. Check their website for updates.
KAYAK THROUGH SHELL KEY PRESERVE
Paddle through thickets of mangroves in a clear-bottomed kayak beside the untouched sands of Shell Key. Be on the lookout for dolphins, manatees and a host of different birds such as great blue herons and pink roseate spoonbills commonly perched along the coast of the key.
Get Up & Go Kayaking, 1 Collany Road, Tierra Verde, FL
COVID-19 update: Get Up & Go Kayaking is operating as normal with increased sanitation measures.
EXPLORE THE ARTS
Between the Salvador Dalí Museum, the Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center, the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art and countless other fine art attractions, it’s easy to get your gallery fix in when your beach day gets rained out.
Salvador Dalí Museum, 1 Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: The Dalí Museum will reopen July 1 with updated hours and safety measures, including face mask requirements, reduced capacity, social distance markers, temperature checks, hand sanitizer stations, Plexiglas screen, increased disinfecting and touch-free payment.
The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center, 720 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: The Morean Arts Center is open with safety measures for a touch-free experience including face masks, social distancing and electrostatic fogging sanitizing.
The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, 150 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL
COVID-19 update: The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art reopens to members on June 11 and 12 and to the public on June 13 with regular hours but increased safety measures, including face masks, social distancing, temperature checks and regular sanitation.
HANG AT THE BEACH
What’s a trip to the Gulf Coast without a day at the beach? Soak up some sun at one of St. Pete’s many beaches such as St. Pete Beach, Shell Key, Madeira Beach, Pass-A-Grille Beach and Treasure Island.
Click here for more info
COVID-19 update: Public beaches are open again but following CDC guidelines is encouraged. Look here to learn more about what is open or not.
Photography courtesy of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater