St. Petersburg, Florida Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Sunning itself on a
peninsula between Florida’s Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico is the city of St Petersburg. In the 1960s St Pete
registered 768 consecutive days of sunshine, setting a world record it still maintains today, earning it the nickname, Sunshine City. St Pete has long been viewed as a destination for retirees dreaming of warmer tomorrows. But more recently, a younger crew has moved in, intent on getting their share of sunshine, today. A fresh, creative energy
is making its mark all over St Pete, especially, on the city’s walls. St Pete’s downtown has
fast become one of the world’s mural hot spots. Download the interactive map, join a guided art walk, or just keep turning corners
and let the artwork take you by surprise. Soaking up all that color under
the Florida sun can be thirsty work, but luckily there’s a place
to rehydrate around every corner. Pull up a seat at one of St Pete’s many watering holes, and share refreshing ales
and conversation with fellow beer lovers. And then, keep walking, because
there are over 70 incredible murals to discover. And if you see a piece you love, just type in the tag to see
even more of the artist’s work online. Once you’ve had your mind bent by St Pete’s murals, head inside, to the Dali Museum, and explore the surreal works
by one of the greatest mind-benders of all time. At the Chihuly Collection, have your mind prised open a little more by the American godfather of glass sculpture. Then head on over to the
Morean Arts Center and feel the heat as master blowers push this
centuries-old craft toward new horizons. St Petersburg has become
something of a center for glass sculpture since this art form
exploded onto the scene in the 1960s. At the Imagine Museum, experience the newest wave
of glass expression from around the globe. If you like your art a little more old school, check out the Museum of Fine Arts,
which houses treasures spanning 5000 years. Or step from Central Avenue into the
sandstone canyon of The James Museum, which brings the Old West to the East Coast. Of course, Florida’s greatest creator is the sun, whose warm rays bring out
not just the best in us, but in nature too. A short walk north from
St Pete’s downtown are the Sunken Gardens, one of Florida’s horticultural jewels. While just a fifteen-minute
drive further north is Sawgrass Park, where a mile-long boardwalk crosses one of the largest Maple Swamps on the Gulf Coast. But leave your towel
in the car, this is no place for swimming! When it is time to hit
the water, you don’t have to travel far. St Pete’s Gulf Coast is paralleled by a
30-mile chain of sandy barrier islands, each connected to the mainland by bridges. And it’s here, just a ten-mile
ride from downtown St Petersburg, that you’ll find some of the best beaches in America. Cool off in the waters of St Pete’s Beach, whose pure sands are caressed
by the same tides as Cancun and Havana. For something quieter, head south to Fort De Soto Park, a nature sanctuary spread across five island keys. Explore the ramparts of the
100-year-old fort, where according to historians, the fiercest foes the garrisons
ever faced were the resident mosquitoes! Follow St Pete’s barrier islands north, to Clearwater, whose warm shallow waters and kid-friendly vibes have long made it a favourite with families. Stop by the Clearwater Aquarium, and meet folks dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured marine reptiles and mammals. Then head to the marina and sign up for a tour to see these incredible sea creatures in the wild. But there’s more to Clearwater
than just its brilliant clear water, the city itself offers plenty of ways to cool your heels when you need a break from the hot sands. Things are even more chilled-out
right next door, in the city of Dunedin. With an absence of chain
stores and an abundance of bike trails, the living here is easy… especially when a cool ale
from Florida’s oldest microbrewery is close at hand. Whether it’s a sharing a craft beer with locals…. leaving your footsteps
on the ever-changing canvas of the sands…. or watching the sun splash
its evening mural across the sky, St Petersburg and its
neighbours have mastered the art of living. And that, as we all know, is the best art of all.

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