Sink back into soft sand that’s white as snow, and soak up the rays in a place that holds the Guinness World Record for most consecutive days of pure, unadulterated, blissful sunshine. With temperatures that are set to seduce pretty much all year round, and a vibe that’s alluring to couples and families alike, St Petersburg Beach (St. Pete to its friends) is a winner on all fronts. Small wonder that holidays to St Petersburg Beach Florida regularly top the polls of favourite US holiday destinations.
One of the things you’ll love most about St Pete is it’s atmosphere – the feeling of people just getting on and doing what they love best. There’s high-octane watersports fans whooping it up out on the water; families picnicking on the silken sands; fishermen casting their rods from the pier; and paddlers in kayaks and canoes bobbing gently amongst the waves. In the manner of a true all-round-resort, there’s something for everyone.
If it’s a quieter time you’re after, then sipping a soda at Pass-a-Grille Beach, watching the boats going in and out of the channel might do the trick. Or you can head off to Fort de Soto Park, where sugar-white sands snake among the remains of a ruined fort, and explore the mangrove swamps. Holidays to St Petersburg Beach Florida have plenty to offer culture vultures too, with the Salvador Dali Museum and the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum acting as a magnet for visitors year after year.
Back at the beach, the fun continues. If it’s deep sea fishing you’re after, plenty of trips head out from the pier every day. Boat fans can choose between dolphin spotting or evening cruises where the sunset provides the backdrop. And sun worshippers can simply lie back and be thankful that they came to the place they call ‘Sunshine City’.
In Downtown St Petersburg is the Dali Museum, housing the mammoth collection of Salvador Dali’s friend A. Reynolds Morse. So if you’re intrigued by world-renowned works of Surrealism like Eggs on a Plate Without a Plate, this is a must-see. The fact that the largest collection of Dali’s work outside Spain is to be found in Florida is surreal in itself!
Spread over five small islands where a ruined American-Spanish War-era castle looms large out of the sands, this is somewhere you’ll want to come back to. Here are just a few of the highlights: hiking and skating trails; a kids’ playground (as if the fort wasn’t enough!); kayaking through mangrove channels; pristine beaches; I could go on…
Take the short ferry trip over to unspoilt Shell Island, a sanctuary for nesting, migrating and wintering birds. Relax on the spotless white sand and let your mind drift, while the waves lap at your toes; or stroll along the shoreline, searching for beautiful shells to collect and dolphins at play out in the water.
There are some spectacular golf courses in and around St Petersburg, so you’ll have no excuse for letting your swing lose its mojo. The Mangrove Bay Golf Course is one of the top fifty municipal courses in the US, and you can even rent a set of clubs to get you round.
You can ride the Suncoast Beach Trolley all the way from Pass-a-Grille in the south up to the beautiful beaches of Clearwater. The bus travels along Gulf Boulevard, with panoramic views over the ocean, and stops at a multitude of places along the way. It’s the perfect way to explore this stunning area.