Tuesday, March 13, 2018

St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg is the second-largest city in the Tampa Bay area, after Tampa, and part of the metropolitan area of Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg.  St Petersburg was founded in 1888, by General John Williams, who purchased 2500 acres (1012 hectares) on Tampa Bay in 1875.  In 1888, the Orange Belt Railway initiated service to the area and visitors started to stream in.  St. Petersburg has an average of 361 days of sunshine a year and holds the Guiness World Record for the longest stretch of sunny days, 768 of them.

I start my St. Petersburg visit on Central Avenue, a neighborhood of art shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars.

 Central Avenue

And, I immediately run across whimsical art decorating the area.

 Art on Central Avenue

At the waterfront, there is a mixture of old and new, with construction of high rise residential buildings with views of Tampa Bay towering over beautiful historical structures.

Old and new

On Tampa Bay, the waterfront is full of parks and piers for fishing, sailing, boating, swimming, and generally relaxing and having fun.

 Waterfront parks

Signs in the parks describe seven of the piers, opened between 1889 (built as a terminus for the Orange Belt Railway) and 1973 (built to house restaurants, snack bars, miniature golf, and an aquarium).

 Piers of St. Petersburg

Several museums are scattered along the waterfront, including the Salvador Dali Museum, the St.  Petersburg Museum of History, and the Museum of Fine Arts.  Random sculptures and works of art are located in the parks to delight visitors as we run across them.

 Sculpture along the waterfront

Heading away from the waterfront, I find the Locale Market, a culinary experience created by Chefs Michael Mina and Don Pintabona.  The market has fabulous shop areas for all the  major food groups and tempting meals to enjoy on the spot or take home and groceries to take with you.

 Locale Market

A few blocks away from the water, there is more of the old St. Petersburg architecture, including the old post office built in 1916 as the nation's first open-air postal office, with post office boxes outside and deliver bicycles ready to go.

 Great architecture, especially the post office

 PO boxes, postal delivery vehicles

A little further down Central from the water, the arts district flourishes and I wander into a hotshop where one can blow glass or purchase glassware already blown by artists.


All along Central Avenue, there are murals painted on the buildings, decorating the city and the neighborhoods.

 Murals along Central Avenue

St. Petersburg has it all, a beautiful waterfront, a thriving artist community, a vibrant entertainment district, and weather that can't be beat!

No comments:

Post a Comment