St. Petersburg

Search

Rating


flickr:3507420914

About

St. Petersburg (often shortened to St. Pete) is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States long known as a vacation destination for both American and foreign tourists. As of 2008, the population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau is 245,314, making St. Petersburg the fourth largest city in the state of Florida and the largest city in Florida that is not a county seat[citation needed]. Although the city of Clearwater is the county seat of Pinellas County, all county services are available through county offices in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, which is composed of roughly 2.7 million residents, making it the second largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the state.

The city is commonly referred to by locals as "St. Pete"; neighboring St. Pete Beach, Florida formally shortened its name in 1994 after a vote by its residents.
The city is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to mainland Florida to the north; with the city of Tampa to the east by causeways and bridges across Tampa Bay; and to Bradenton in the south by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (Interstate 275), which traverses the mouth of the bay. It is also served by Interstates 175 and 375, which branch off I-275 into the southern and northern areas of downtown respectively. The Gandy Bridge, conceived by George Gandy and opened in 1924, was the first causeway to be built across Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa cities without a circuitous 43-mile (69 km) trip around the Bay through Oldsmar.

With a purported average of some 360 days of sunshine each year, it is nicknamed "The Sunshine City." For that reason, the city has long been a popular retirement destination, especially for those in the United States from colder Northern climates. This reputation earned the city the derisive nickname of "God's waiting room". However, in recent years the population has shifted in a more youthful direction.

The city has a children's museum (Great Explorations), Museum of Fine Arts, a History Museum (which has a full-size replica of the Benoist seaplane and is located near the approximate spot by the St. Petersburg Pier where the first flight took place), a Holocaust Museum, and the Salvador Dalí Museum, which houses the largest collection of Dalí's outside of Europe, including a number of famous and large-scale paintings such as The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. There are also various other smaller art galleries and entertainment venues, especially in the downtown area, which has seen a boom in development since the mid 1990s; these include: The Mahaffey Theater complex, American Stage (an equity regional theater), The Coliseum, and Palladium Theatre, and The Midtown Royal Theater, The Arts Center, and the Florida Craftsmen Gallery.

The St. Petersburg Pier is a popular tourist attraction. It contains a small aquarium open to the public, retail shopping, adventure activities, and both casual and fine dining restaurants. Various sightseeing boat rides are also offered. The Bounty II, a replica of HMS Bounty that was used in the 1962 MGM movie starring Marlon Brando was permanently docked near the Pier for many years until the ship was sold to Ted Turner in 1986. The Bounty II, however, still makes St. Petersburg its winter home. In 2010, the St. Petersburg City Council voted to demolish and rebuilt the pier within two years.

Downtown is the location of the BayWalk shopping complex which contains an IMAX Muvico 20 screen movie theater, as well as many chain restaurants and retail shops, catering to more of a middle and upper class audience. Baywalk is also a nightlife destination although it is less well attended than the block surrounding Jannus Landing, just south of BayWalk. Central Avenue, from the Yacht Club east to 8th Street, is also both more vibrant and "organic" than BayWalk with the exception of a couple underdeveloped blocks. Restaurants serving ethnic and domestic culinary specialties can be found throughout the downtown area. Every Saturday morning, from October to May, the downtown area hosts a farmers market in the parking area of Al Lang Field (aka Progress Energy Park). Local vendors sell the fruits of their labors (whether edible or decorative) alongside artists of all kinds including live music. As of 2010, Baywalk is virtually deserted, with only Muvico remaining to anchor the complex.

Due west of downtown on Central is a district called Grand Central which is contained within Historic Kenwood. It is known for its artistic community, LGBT presence and hosting of the annual St. Pete Pride parade. Like its name implies, Old Northeast is adjacent to downtown from the northeast. It is known for its historic status and eclectic architecture. Roser Park is another historic district, located just south of downtown. It is known for its stately architecture and somewhat dubiously for its proximity to the "South Side." Together, these areas comprise the urban core of St. Petersburg.

North of downtown is Great Explorations, The Children's Museum, an interactive museum featuring a Children's Village with giant pretend stores, Fire House and Pet Vet Clinic, and preschool, science, music, art, and water exhibits. The museum is located next to Sunken Gardens. 4th Street as a whole, from Downtown up to Gandy Boulevard, is home to many restaurants and bars running the gamut from fast food to haute cuisine. This area is called the "Garden District", although as of 2010 this name is not widely in use.

Boyd Hill Nature Park located on Lake Maggiore is a 245-acre (0.99 km2) preserve where you can see many of the endangered plants and rare wildlife of Tampa Bay. There is a bird exhibit which houses bald eagles, owls, hawks, and other species.
St. Petersburg is well regarded for its beaches. In 2005, Fort Desoto was rated the number one beach in America by the annual Dr. Beach rankings. TripAdvisor also has the beach ranked number one in the nation for 2008. Also noted for its arts community, St. Petersburg regularly places top 25 in the nation among arts destinations. Recently, St. Petersburg has become known and regarded as one of America's most livable cities.

URL

http://www.stpete.org

Map


View Larger Map

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License