|St. Petersburg is located at the base of the Tampa Bay peninsula in Pinellas County, Florida, and enjoys a more subdued social atmosphere than its larger cousin, Tampa. With water on three sides of the city, St. Pete is a superb location for fishing, sailing, and wandering beaches. St. Petersburg was founded by John C. Williams from Detroit, Michigan, who purchased the land in 1876. The town began with the help of Peter Demens, who was instrumental in bringing a railroad connection there in 1888. St. Petersburg was named after the Saint Petersburg in Russia, the birthplace of Peter Demens. A local legend says that John C. Williams and Peter Demens flipped a coin to see who would have the honor of naming the city. Peter Demens won and named the city after his birthplace, while John C. Williams named the first hotel after his birthplace, Detroit. The Detroit Hotel still exists downtown. |
• Sunken Gardens. A lush oasis of plant life in the heart of St. Petersburg. The garden offers a maze of paths through dense vegetation, with the lowest point in the garden at least 15 feet below street level. It was originally a lake drained by a plumber who charged nickels to enter, but became a roadside attraction for many years until falling into disrepair. In 1999 the city of St. Petersburg bought the property and began restorations. The Great Explorations Hands On Museum now inhabits a building on the property also.
• Fort DeSoto Park. A grand stretch of beaches and wilderness at the southwest edge of St. Petersburg. Named for the historic Fort DeSoto, the park offers fishing, camping, recreation areas, and several miles of undeveloped beach area.
• Don CeSar Hotel. This majestic pink colossus radiates gold as the sun sets over the Gulf. Once used as a R&R hospital during World War II, this high-scale resort offers boutiques, an ice-cream shop, and beautiful beach access along Gulf Blvd. in St. Pete Beach.
• Florida Holocaust Museum.
• Salvador Dali Museum. From huge canvases to portraits of the Spanish artist, this museum hosts the largest collection of Dali artwork in the world.
• Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Tropicana Field. This baseball team plays home games in St. Petersburg. Tickets are between $5-$175. Tickets are widely available for all games.
• Circus McGurkis. "A celebration of love, community and the power of nonviolence to change the world." Sponsored by the Quakers, this distinctly local event has been celebrated for over 30 years. Circus McGurkis is held the last Saturday of October, bringing together social and political activists, local businesses, and members of the community in a bazaar-like atmosphere of peace and friendship.
• Art Walk in Gulfport. Held 6-9pm on the first Friday of each month in Gulfport along Beach Blvd. Local artists show and sell their wares, with refreshments and dining for the community.
• Times Festival of Reading. A celebration of reading hosted at Eckerd College annually in November. Acclaimed authors, journalists, and critics join in panels and give talks while children enjoy theater, storytelling, and games.
• First Friday. On the first Friday of every month there is a Street party on Central Ave. from 2nd to 3rd St. 5:30 to 10 p.m. It is free and usually has live music.
• Monthly Gallery Walk. Second Saturday of every month. Extended evening hours at participating galleries throughout downtown, 5:30 to 9 p.m. See and acquire some of the area's finest art; meet gallery owners and artists.
• Jannus Landing. Built in 1888 Jannus Landing is the oldest outdoor concert venue in Florida. Some of the largest bands come to play the small venue because of its unique look and feel.
• Schools. There are a variety of available schools to suit families new to the area. Part of the Pinellas County School System, Saint Petersburg hosts a number of "Magnet Schools" which focus on a specific technical vocation. For example, Lakewood High School located in south Saint Petersburg offers the CAT Program. The CAT program offers a rigorous four-year curriculum which emphasizes advanced mathematics and science, computer applications and programming, multimedia and television production. Other academic alternatives for your child are private institutions. In Northeast Saint Petersburg, Shorecrest Preparatory School boasts a recently renovated campus with new state-of-the-art facilities, class sizes of 20 students, and an academic curriculum devoted to college preparation.
• Community College. Also, Saint Petersburg offers post high school education with Saint Petersburg College as the largest community college in the area with several branch locations. They offer a wide variety of programs for students straight out of high school or adults wanting to come back to school. They offer many two year degrees including A.S., A.A. and A.A.S. They also offer certification programs.
• Universities. There are also four year institutions in the Saint Petersburg area. Although centrally located in the heart of Tampa Bay, University of South Florida has branch locations in the Pinellas County Area including one located in downtown Saint Petersburg. University of South Florida offers many programs including the social sciences, business, natural sciences, and engineering. Also, University of South Florida offers long distance courses through television and web-based correspondence. A private four year institution alternative is Eckerd College located in the southern most part of Saint Petersburg near the Skyway bridge.
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St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), USA3000 Air with service to Cleveland, Chicago (O'Hare), Newark, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
Hooters Air with service to Allentown, PA and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA. CANJET service to Moncton, New Brunswick, Halifax, Nova Scotia, St. John's, Newfoundland and Toronto, Ontario
Primary consumer destinations include The Pier and Baywalk downtown and Tyrone Square Mall in the Gulfport area.