If you’re a couple of sun-worshippers there’s no better place for your honeymoon than St. Petersburg, Florida. Nicknamed ‘The Sunshine City’, it enjoys on average 361 days of sunshine annually. Add a vibrant arts and culture scene, beaches, wildlife reserves, urban nightlife, and you have all the ingredients for a magical getaway. Clearwater too has some great beaches, music and waterfront entertainment.
St. Petersburg and Clearwater are famous for beaches with sugar-white sands, clear, warm waters, and incredible sunset views. St. Petersburg was named the #1 Beach in the US by TripAdvisor in 2021. St. Petersburg is located at the end of a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, about 10 miles southwest of Tampa.
St. Petersburg has always been a destination for sun-seekers, whether tourists or retirees. In the downtown area, you’ll find art galleries, craft stores and boutiques, and a variety of bars and restaurants. You’ll find a great variety of accommodations, many built right on the beach, so you’re never far from the water and spectacular views.
In case you were wondering, the name does have a connection to the city in Russia. Local legends confirm that Peter Demens, one of the city’s co-founders, won a coin toss to name the city and named it after St. Petersburg in Russia because he lived there in his childhood. His co-founder, John C. Williams, who lost the coin toss, was allowed to name the first hotel after his own hometown of Detroit.
About St. Petersburg
At a Glance
- With water on all three sides, St. Petersburg is made for watersports like paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, fishing and sailing. Average water temperature is 76F year round.
- The warm, clear waters are also perfect for snorkeling. Kayaking through the quiet waters of the mangroves and back bay is also a good way to go birdwatching and see the wildlife and marine life including dolphins and manatees.
- Fort de Soto Park along the southwest section of St. Petersburg has miles of unspoiled beach and wilderness areas. There a camping facilities within the park.
- Take a cruise to watch the dolphins in the bay, or just sit back on the beach and watch them frolicking right in front of you.
- Downtown St. Petersburg is very walkable, with museums, bars, shopping, restaurants, craft breweries and street art for a friendly urban experience. On Saturday mornings you’ll find a farmers market here with artisan and fresh farm produce stalls and food vendors. The crepes are especially recommended.
- The Salvador Dali Museum located on the waterfront downtown has the largest collection of the artist’s work in the US.
- The Chihuly Collection of the Morean Arts Center, both located on Central Avenue, hosts a collection of work by master glassblower Dale Chihuly. Watch a glassblowing demonstration and shop for a memento of your honeymoon trip.
- The St. Petersburg Pier has always been a star attraction downtown and the newest version is now open. The new St. Pete Pier sprawls over 26 acres and has views of Tampa Bay and biking, shopping swimming and dining.
- Take a guided tour of St. Petersburg street art, or explore it for yourself. The spontaneous creativity of the city is on display in the colorful murals you’ll find scattered around the different neighborhoods. The annual SHINE St. Pete festival celebrates this art and the artists.
- Clearwater is full of music, with nightly performances as people gather to watch the sunset at Pier 60. The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is held every year in October.
- Beach and waterfront dining choices mean that you don’t have go far to find delicious meals with seafood and Cuban and Spanish flavors. St. Pete beach bars are fun and unique places to hang out after a swim or snorkeling trip.
- Take a dolphin cruise from St. Petersburg and watch the playful creatures up really close.
- You can’t miss a visit to Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin. This quiet park has four miles of untouched beaches, a nature reserve and secluded swing seats facing the water to enjoy the view.
- Go beach camping at Anclote Key, where you can watch the herons and spoon bills, cook your dinner over a campfire, and spend the evening star gazing.
- Take an hour or two to walk through the Sunken Gardens, watch the parrots and the koi in their ponds, and take selfies with some happy flamingoes.
- Enjoy some of the fabulous Florida nightlife. Watch the sunset from a rooftop lounge, check out the music at a couple of bars, and dance the night away.
- GETTING THERE: The nearest major airport is Tampa International Airport (TPA), 10 miles across Tampa Bay from St. Pete. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) is served mostly by budget airlines and private charters.
- Amtrak and Greyhound bus service make stops in Tampa. If you’re driving, I-275 is the major highway connecting St. Pete to Tampa, Orlando and the east.
- GETTING AROUND: For downtown St. Petersburg, you can get taxis or the trolley service. A car will be helpful in getting around the area.
- WEATHER: The weather is perfect from March to May, with highs ranging from the 60s to 80s and abundant sunshine. June to November is hurricane season. The winter months are a little cooler, with temperatures from the mid 50s to 70s.
- WHEN TO GO: The period from March to May is peak season, with perfect weather and outdoor events.