St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg has been listed on Livability.com’s “Top 100 Most Livable Cities in America” for 2014! It has been named one of America’s most livable communities, much thanks to its parks and recreational amenities, a focus on the arts community, a vibrant downtown and active neighborhood associations.  It is also known for its world-famed, nearby beaches and a blessed climate where the sun shines some 360 days each year.

Pinellas Largest City
St. Petersburg’s 244,769 residents (according to the 2010 U.S. Census) live in more than 100 communities.  To say there is something for everyone in St. Pete is not an exaggeration.  You could choose a Craftsman-style bungalow in friendly Historic Kenwood or a Mediterranean villa estate on Snell Isle.  Find a restored Colonial Revival along the tree-shaded streets of Old Northeast, or a more contemporary home along the famed “Pink Streets” of Pinellas Point, a luxury high-rise condo overlooking the downtown waterfront, or a rehabbed 1920s Tudor in charming Crescent Lake.

A Vibrant City Center
Downtown is a magnet to residents and visitors alike, with its phenomenal shopping and dining offerings, art galleries, antique shops and cultural and recreational facilities, including the Museum of Fine Arts.

Endless To Do List
tropicanafieldSt. Pete residents tend to be quite active in their own communities, but have plenty of reason to get out and about.  Saturday morning at the outdoor market is a popular spot, in fact one of the nation’s largest of its kind. You may choose a night out on the town with live theater and find dining or maybe an afternoon with a glimpse of rare wildlife at Boyd Hill Nature Park. You can spend an afternoon with the kids at Great Explorations, an interactive museum, maybe followed by an evening of theater at American Stage, the Bay area’s oldest professional theater company. You can enjoy a stroll through a waterfront art festival or maybe attend a Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball game at Tropicana Field nearby.

dali2No where else
St. Pete folks are especially proud of The Salvador Dali Museum, the world’s largest collection of Dali Art outside of Spain. Visible from downtown is the beautiful Sunshine Skyway Bridge, at 4.1 miles long and 19 stories high, the largest cable suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

Green Space
St. Pete is also one of Florida’s greenest cities with 2,300 acres of public land dedicated to parks and recreation areas across 137 city parks.  Jewels include historic the Weedon Island Preserve, with a canoe trail taking you through a tunnel of native mangroves, and a portion of the Pinellas Trail.

“What strikes me about our town is that in spite of lots of new construction, condos, office buildings, even a professional baseball stadium, St. Pete still feels like a small town. And with its many old buildings still preserved its evident the city has a rich history and didn’t just spring up in the last few years. Finally, I love the way our downtown waterfront has been preserved as it for the most part it is open and free for everyone to enjoy.” Pat Mason, 40-year resident.

Factoids:

Population: 244,769 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 60.9 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: Museum of Fine Arts, Saturday morning market, Boyd Hill Nature Park, American Stage, St. Petersburg Pier, Great Explorations, Tampa Bay Rays, The Salvador Dali Museum, Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Sunken Gardens

sunkengardensMany of Florida’s once famous tourist destinations have disappeared. Fortunately, Sunken Gardens near downtown St. Petersburg has been preserved. A historical treasure, Sunken Gardens is one of few remaining examples of a typical 1930s Florida attraction. The park is a botanical wonder with more than 50,000 tropical plants, trees and flowers.

sunken_gardens_2Great Explorations, the popular children’s hands-on museum, has recently taken up residence in the Mediterranean Revival building next door. But the main draw will always be the bromeliads, orchids, hibiscus, water lilies, royal palms and bougainvilleas, the waterfalls, flamingoes and butterfly garden, the peaceful green beauty this urban oasis provides to visitors from around the world. The amazing size of many of the specimens is a testament to the age of the attraction, where most of the plants originally were planted over 100 years ago!

sunken_gardens_3Considered one of the finest botanical gardens in the United States, Sunken Gardens is historic, exotic, tropical, and lush … and it’s only in Pinellas.

Salvador Dalí Museum

dali_1Melting clock faces. Nightmarish landscapes. Whimsical creatures. Love him or hate him, you can’t be neutral about Dalí.

The city of St. Petersburg scored a phenomenal art coup in the late 1970s when it secured the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dalí outside his native Spain — the 20th Century’s most famous surrealist painter and self-promoter extraordinaire.

dali_2In addition to 96 oil paintings, some over 14 feet tall, the extraordinary collection includes over 100 watercolors and drawings and some 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures and objects d’art. To keep the museum fresh for locals who enjoy repeat visits, curators periodically rotate the collection and bring in special exhibitions on a regular basis.

dali_3Since the Salvador Dalí Museum officially opened to the public on March 10, 1982, millions of visitors from around the world have been drawn to this spectacular cultural masterpiece. The Michelin Guide gave the Salvador Dalí Museum the only three-star rating on Florida’s west coast.

The Salvador Dalí Museum is a world-class art gem.  And, it’s only in Pinellas.

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

grandprix_5Once a year street racing becomes legal in downtown St. Petersburg. Well, at least for some. In April of each year many of the walkable and pleasantly urban streets of downtown St. Petersburg become an Indy Car race track. The twists and turns and sharp corners became the first non-oval track where the super-fast monster racers made famous at the Indianapolis 500 compete.

grandprix_6Actually, the Indy Car Race is only one day of a three-day event. The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a unique city speed-fest. Indy “Lights” and four classes of American LeMans cars also compete. If racing is not your thing, concerts, air shows, and kids’ activities abound. The annual event is scheduled for April since that’s prime time for perfect weather in Florida.

For the excitement and drama of city street racing you’ll need to come to the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and you’ll find that only in Pinellas.