St. Petersburg was incorporated in 1892 with just 300 citizens. The city grew rapidly with the opening of the Orange Belt Railway, which connected the shipping channel and local fishing industry to distant markets. Throughout the early 20th century, the waters at St. Petersburg became increasingly important for commercial and military use, and the channel was dredged to allow larger ships to port. Recreational boating became popular with the formation of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in 1909. By 1930, the yacht club began sponsoring races that reached Miami, Havana, Key West, and Nassau. St. Petersburg started to become recognized as a retirement destination during the 1940's and the population boomed to 238,000 residents in 1980 before slowing during the past two decades. Today, St. Petersburg attracts a younger demographic who prefer an urban lifestyle close to beaches, cultural activities, and nightlife. Learn more about St. Petersburg's history with the following links.
From Mid-May to Mid-October, St. Petersburg is humid and hot with an average high temperature of 90°F and almost daily thunderstorms in the afternoons. The storms are often followed by a clear, cooler and pleasant evening. Winter in St. Petersburg is dry and mild, with average highs in the 70's and average lows in the 50's. Get more local weather information using these links.
When visiting downtown St. Petersburg, the Looper Trolley and Central Avenue Trolley provide a convenient way to hop between destinations. For travel around St. Petersburg, neighboring Clearwater and across the bay to Tampa, The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority provides 40 service routes. Tampa International Airport provides year-round air passenger service to major destinations, and the smaller St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport provides seasonal service to smaller cities and towns.
St. Petersburg is an affordable city, with a cost of living that is 10% below the national average and housing prices that are 25% below the national average. Use these cost of living calculators to see how far your budget will go in St. Petersburg.
Public education in St. Petersburg is administered by the Pinellas County School District. The district covers a total of 142 institutions, including elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, alternative & exception education schools, adult/vocational schools, and charter schools. With more than 17,000 teachers, administrators and support staff, the district is also Pinellas County's largest employer.
The median price of a home in St. Petersburg is $128,000 with the most expensive homes found along Tampa Bay, and more affordable homes found inland. Compare your real estate opportunities in St. Petersburg with these links.
A variety of accommodations are available in St. Petersburg to fit any budget. The Birchwood is a recently renovated boutique hotel in the heart of downtown, just steps away from St. Petersburg's most popular museums. The Pier Hotel is a 1920's era stay that offers the uniqueness of a boutique hotel, a prime location, and exceptional value. Find your perfect place to stay using the following links.
The hot places to dine and entertain are gathered around Central Ave and Beach Drive in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. Bella Brava on Beach was named Best Italian Restaurant in the bay area, and one of the top 10 bay area restaurants by USA Today. If you stop at the Z Grille on 2nd Street for their weekend brunch, don't be surprised if you go back for dinner. The 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House is a local favorite with outdoor seating, a great view, and reasonable prices. Discover more great dining experiences using these links.
Sports enthusiasts will love St. Petersburg with pro football, baseball, hockey, and Grand Prix racing. If art is your scene, the Salvador Dali museum features its namesake's work and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts features an impressive collection of impressionism. If you love the water, you can take sailing lessons at the St. Petersburg Sailing Center, or learn to kite board with a certified trainer on some of the best beaches for kite surfing. Kids will love the Great Explorations Children's Museum and the Science and Technology Education Innovation Center. With 150 parks and 7 miles of waterfront, there is always a place to play in the sun. Discover more great things to do using these links.