St. Petersburg, Florida features temperate weather, sugar-white beaches, access to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as plenty of family-friendly attractions. Many St. Petersburg vacation rentals are situated just minutes away from museums, access to water sports, fine restaurants, and shopping centers. Whether you choose to enjoy parasailing, riding on swimming horses, dolphin watching, or snorkeling in a restaurant’s aquarium, you’re going to have an unforgettable time in this Floridian city. Here’s a list of the top 15 things to do in St. Petersburg.
1. Explore the Dali Museum
The Dali Museum features oil paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and a large collection of documents that celebrate the life and work of Salvador Dali. Over 2,000 exhibits showcase every medium of Dali’s artistry, making it the largest such collection outside of Europe. The Morse family owned the collection from the 1940s until 1982, when they donated it to the community.
2. Ride the C Ponies Into the Ocean
When you book with C Ponies Beach Rides, a guide leads your hour-long horseback riding adventure of a lifetime. The horses walk along the white beach and about three feet into the ocean during most of your tour. When your guide finds the right spot to swim with your horse, your group ventures further into the ocean, where the horses swim along. All horses are saddled, and your guide points out sea creatures and takes photos that you can purchase later. Your guide can also record a video of you holding a starfish or finding shells.
3. Swim With the Fishes
At RumFish Grill, the exclusive experience of swimming with the fishes shows you what it’s like to snorkel in a 33,500-gallon aquarium before dinner. Swimmers wear bathing suits and shorts, and the guides provide the snorkeling equipment. The aquarium fills one wall of the dining room, providing a soothing and beautiful view, even if you choose not to swim.
4. Experience Parasailing
Suncoast Watersports lets you choose a 10- or 15-minute parasail flight available in single, double, or triple harness with no age requirements. The Adrenaline Junky Ride includes multiple dips and a maximum altitude drop toward the water before you’re shot back up to full height. The crew uses hydraulic equipment to smoothly and safely reel you off the flight deck and land you back onto the boat.
5. Join a Dolphin Cruise
Adventure Cruises specializes in providing dolphin-watching cruises, giving you the opportunity to watch dolphins playing in their natural habitat. As you enjoy watching the dolphins, the specially trained tour guides help you understand dolphin behaviors. Adventure 1, a catamaran with room for up to 42 passengers, features lots of shade and restroom facilities to make your cruise comfortable and fun.
6. Enjoy the Shell Key Shuttle Eco Tour
Some of the best shelling on the Gulf Coast is accessed via the Shell Key Shuttle. The shuttle gets you there and provides beach umbrellas and snorkeling gear. You get to spend your time shelling, snorkeling, swimming, picnicking, or exploring before returning on the shuttle boat.
7. Bounce and Play at the Floating Water Park
Tradewinds’ Water Park lets you make a big splash in the 15,750-square-foot inflatable water park afloat in the crystal blue Gulf. Splash, bounce, play, and lounge just 60 feet off the sugar-white shoreline. The Plunge Slide lets you plunge straight into the Gulf two at a time, and the Free Fall slide is a little smaller and features an enclosed splash zone. Splash mats and runways inspire lots of running and giggling for fun in the sun.
8. Get in on a Fishing Charter Expedition
Whatever you want your fishing trip to entail, several local charter fishing companies await to fulfill your angler’s dreams. Reel Water Charters can help you catch anything that swims in Tampa Bay, including redfish, trout, snook, flounder, and 100-pound tarpon. They provide licenses, fishing rods, tackle, bait, coolers, and ice. Gulfcoast Fishing enjoys tailoring trips around the age of children on board to accommodate their attention spans. The boat contains safety equipment to protect the kids and put the parents at ease.
9. Ride Along for a Beer Tasting and Tour
If you’re curious about the local breweries in the Tampa Bay area, Thirsty Pelican Tours gets you inside. Professional guides pick you up in luxury vehicles and drive you around in style to at least three breweries for tastings. Daily tour options include sightseeing and shows. The eight-hour day trip takes you to the northern limits of the Craft Beer Trail. You stop to see the famous Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs before heading back down the trail to visit more breweries.
10. Throw Down for a Few Laughs at Coconuts Comedy Club
Coconuts is a landmark that’s been on St. Pete Beach since 1986, making it the oldest comedy club in Florida. It’s designed with cabaret seating reminiscent of the original improv of the 1960s in Hell’s Kitchen near Times Square. Coconuts offers a full bar, appetizers, and sandwiches. Dress casually, unwind with cocktails, and a enjoy few good laughs.
11. Follow the Leader on a Jet Ski Tour
Blind Pass Boat and Jet Ski Rental jet ski tours explore local waters with a knowledgeable guide in the lead. Search for hidden islands, and look for dolphins along the way. Your guide sets the pace to the group’s needs in order to provide a great adventure for all ages. When booking your trip, you may make special requests regarding areas of interest and destinations.
12. Putter Around at Polynesian Putter Mini Golf
Established in the 1960s, Polynesian Putter is an old-style 18-hole miniature golf course that faces the Gulf of Mexico on a strip of beach west of St. Petersburg. As you play, you have to maneuver through various tropical and jungle-themed hazards. The distinctive Easter Island-type moai and a huge, colorful coiled snake out front near the highway help make this a nostalgic and popular attraction.
13. Get Away From It All in the Beach Escape Game
The Beach Escape Game is the interactive room escape challenge located right on St. Pete Beach. Each of the four rooms features themes designed to present exciting adventures for your family. You get one hour to work together, solve puzzles, and crack codes to escape the room. Try to outwit a hillbilly honky-tonk owner, search for a lost treasure, find a lottery ticket, or prevent a prison break.
14. Chill or Thrill With Allen’s Aquatic Adventures
Tubing is a favorite activity with Allen’s Aquatic Adventures. The boat captain takes little kids on a slow, easy ride and shows adventure-seekers the thrills of a fast and exciting ride. Or, choose other water sports, including wakeboarding, water skiing, and kneeboarding. Allen’s offers snorkeling at Egmont Key, island-hopping tours, and sunset cruises. Pick and choose the experiences you want based on how much time you want to spend on the water.
15. Spend a Day at Merry Pier
The historic Merry Pier is one of the oldest local attractions, located in Pass-A-Grille, a neighborhood at the southern end of St. Pete Beach. The pier features a full-service bait and tackle shop, a store, a fish market, and charter boats. You can fish right off the pier for flounder, snook, redfish, mackerel, and others. Get everything you need for picnicking, fishing, and spending a day at the pier.
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