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St. Petersburg, Florida

 

St. Petersburg, Florida is kind of like a treasure that hides in plain sight. Often overshadowed by nearby Tampa and Orlando, St. Petersburg is a vacation destination all by itself.

Do you like sun and sand? Then you'll be thrilled to know that St. Petersburg Beach is close at hand, with its white sand and warm, clear waters. There are other outdoor opportunities as well (as you'll shortly see).

The major Central Florida attractions aren't too far away, and one is even close by - Busch Gardens.

Need a place to stay? There are lots of St. Petersburg Florida hotels from which to choose, both in town and by the beach.

Ready? Let's take a closer look at St. Petersburg, starting with the great Florida outdoors.

St. Petersburg Beach and OutdoorsSt. Petersburg Florida

What's a Florida vacation without at least a visit to the beach? Even if the beach isn't quite your thing, the St. Petersburg beach is worth a look. Since it's on the Gulf of Mexico, the sands are rather soft and the water is usually calm and clear. While you can see breakers if there's a storm out in the Gulf, most of the time the waves are less than a foot (if there are any). The waters of the Gulf are also pretty shallow, so it makes for great swimming for all age groups.

If you're into boating, the area has a great many lakes, not to mention Tampa Bay itself. And if you like kayaking, there are rivers and springs a short drive away.

This is Florida, so naturally there are golfing opportunities galore; you won't have to go far at all time find a tee time.

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Florida outdoors in and around St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Florida Hotels

Where you stay in St. Pete depends on what you want to do and (of course) your budget. As you might guess, the closer to the beach you get, the more your nightly stay will be. On the other hand, perhaps you've come for the tours and attractions? Or, there's this as well -- some of the hotels and resorts are almost attractions in of themselves (like the TradeWinds Island Resort).

Before you book that hotel, do know that there are definite high and low seasons to the various areas of Florida. Winter is generally more expensive, as people from northern climates come down for sun and warmth. Summer can also be a bit pricey, if you're planning on staying on the beach. Spring and Fall tend to cost less. and the weather is wonderful then!

Nearby Attractions

If you love roller coasters, you will adore Busch Gardens (heck, you'll like it even if coasters aren't exactly your cup of tea). Personally, I think Busch Gardens is one of the more delightful attractions in the state, and I visit whenever I get the chance.

Further away, you'll find the major Central Florida attractions -- Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios. Hint -- Busch Gardens and Sea World are owed by the same company, so you get a big break on ticket prices if you buy a 2-park 2-day pass..

Want to stay in town? You'll find some tours, museums and points of interest nearby, like these:

  • Florida Orange Groves and Winery
  • Sunken Gardens
  • The Pier
  • Salvador Dali Museum

One tour that has really piqued my curiosity is a Segway tour of the downtown area, which includes stops at The Pier and the Salvador Dali museum. Sure beats walking!

Visit St. Petersburg

So, have I talked you into a visit to this little jewel by the bay? Getting here is easy, as you'll fly into Tampa International airport. But if you're not flying in, you'll likely get here from I-75 or State Road 19. From Orlando, you'll want to take I-4 west until you reach the Tampa area.

And if you're driving, you really do need to drive over the Sunshine Skyway bridge at least once.

Visit St. Petersburg, Florida and have a great vacation!

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