City Profile: St. Petersburg

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

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St. Petersburg boasts a well-rounded destination with museums, beaches, outdoor activities, sporting events and more.

Miles of white beaches, stately palms, and the Gulf of Mexico's turquoise waters beckon visitors to sit back and soak in the pleasures of sun and sea. But with approximately 361 days a year of sunshine and an average temperature of 73 degrees, outdoor activities are impossible to resist. Sailing, fishing, jet skiing, snorkeling and scuba diving aren't considered exotic here; they're part of everyday life.

Back on land, championship golf courses and tennis courts are open year-round, and anglers will enjoy fishing from the state's longest fishing pier at the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

At Tropicana Field, the Tampa Bay  Rays baseball team play against teams such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox each year.

Nature is showcased at its most stunning in a multitude of parks and beaches. Fort De Soto Park, located on five islands, rates among the top ten beaches in the United States and is a popular spot for bird watching. Nature-related boat cruises led by trained experts allow visitors to explore the area's different ecological habitats.

Besides its lush natural beauty, downtown St. Pete is known as the arts hub of the Tampa Bay area. Indulge your passion for the arts as you stroll through exhibits of European, American, pre-Columbian and Far Eastern pieces at the Museum of Fine Arts, the most comprehensive museum on the west coast of Florida. Muse over the world's largest collection of the master's surrealist paintings in the Salvador Dali Museum. Or see world-class international exhibitions at the Florida International Museum. Treat your kids to the Great Explorations Children's Museum, where they can interact with exhibits that educate as they entertain. Year-round city festivals, theater, symphonies with the Florida Orchestra and performances by the Tampa Bay Opera round out a full cultural arts calendar.

Feast on everything from local seafood to international fare in settings rich with elegance or rustic charm. The Pier on St. Petersburg's waterfront is a popular marketplace with unique shops, restaurants and entertainment. Browse hundreds of antiques shops or visit the multitude of outlet malls and specialty shops in the area. An added bonus is the proximity to many other Florida attractions.

Just a few miles away are the laid-back beaches of St. Pete Beach and Clearwater, cultural events in Sarasota, professional sporting events and the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa. Orlando's world-famous attractions are less than 100 miles (161 km) away.

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