St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg, Florida is an international tourist destination with a vibrant arts community and some of the best beaches in the United States. "The Sunshine City," as it is sometimes called due to its many consecutive days of sunny weather, is also a popular retirement spot.

The city is located on the Tampa Bay Peninsula, with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the east. It's smaller and more subdued than its neighbor Tampa and has a population around 250,000.

Pier in St. Petersburg, FloridaThe city shares its name with the boyhood home of one of its founders, Peter Demens, who arranged in 1888 for an important railway terminus to be placed there. His co-founder, John C. Williams, purchased the land in 1876 and named the city's first hotel after his hometown of Detroit. The hotel survives today as condominiums.

Water sports such as boating and jet skiing are very popular in the area. The waterfront, with gorgeous views of Tampa Bay, is bustling with parks, shops, restaurants and museums, including the Dali Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, which is located within Straub Park. There is an IMAX theater downtown in the BayWalk shopping complex, and Grand Central, the part of town known for its artistic and LGBT communities, lies just to the west. The St. Petersburg Pier is another popular and lively area that includes fishing, boat rentals and an aquarium alongside shopping, dining and nightlife. Just on the edge and outside of the city, visitors can enjoy the undeveloped beaches and wilderness of such areas as Fort DeSoto Park.

The humid subtropical climate means that St. Petersburg is warm year-round. Summer is the rainy season. Even in January and February, the average low temperature does not fall below the 50s. Although tropical storms and hurricanes occur throughout the area, the town itself has not been struck by a hurricane since 1921.

The city can be reached by Amtrak or plane as well as by car. Two separate trolley lines run through the central part of the city, connecting many of the most popular destinations. The downtown area is also the starting point for the Pinellas Trail, a cycling and recreation trail which runs throughout the entire county.


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