St. Petersburg is well regarded for its beaches...
St. Petersburg Municipal Beach boasts 500 feet of sandy white shores. The beach also includes full shower and changing facilities, a snack bar, beach volleyball courts, and a beach wheelchair for handicapped beach goers. The beach recently won a Blue Wave Award from the Clean Beaches Council for the second consecutive year.
Ft. DeSoto Beach is located off of St. Petersburg's southern tip, and has been named the number one beach in the United States. Visitors can tour the five interconnected islands that comprise the park. Ft. DeSoto also includes a year-round county campground, miles of nature trails and paved fitness trails, 2.25 miles of canoe trails, an 800-foot boat launch with floating docks, fishing piers, picnic pavilions with grills, a concession stand and restroom and shower facilities.
Maximo Beach & Park includes three boat ramps, a nature boardwalk, two beach-side playgrounds, miles of bike and nature trails, and plenty of shade trees on a 70-acre archaeological site. Visitors can also enjoy a breathtaking view of Florida's famous Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay from the observation tower. The park also includes the "Tocobaga Disc Golf Course", a championship 18 hole course for Frisbee and other disc enthusiasts that winds through 47 wooded acres.
Downtown St. Petersburg's Spa and North Shore Beaches are two public beaches that offer white sandy beaches on the shores of Tampa Bay. At Spa Beach, visitors can relax in the sun or rent paddleboats, jet skis and other watercrafts. Spa Beach also hosts a number of events throughout the year. North Shore Beach includes a playground, an Olympic-caliber year round swimming pool, tennis courts, ample parking, and a beautiful palm arboretum for beachside picnics and afternoon strolls.
Egmont Key, a state preserve and island off the coast of St. Petersburg, is accessible by boat from one of the city's nine public boat ramps. The island features an 87-foot lighthouse, a 440-acre wildlife refuge, miles of magnificent beaches, and remnants of the 1906 Fort Dade from the Spanish American War.
The St. Petersburg Pier is a popular tourist attraction. It contains a small aquarium (The Pier Aquarium) open to the public, retail shopping, adventure activities, and dining, most notably the historic Columbia Restaurant. Various sightseeing boat rides are also offered.
The Pier Aquarium, founded in 1988, is a private, not-for-profit aquarium and community marine education center located at The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg . Three cylinder tanks in the first floor lobby are your first introduction to "Fresh Fish Theater" featuring live animals from Tampa Bay and around the world! You'll have the oppertunity to learn about threatened and protected species in Tampa Bay, the inhabitants of the eight aquarium tanks, and much more. There are many schedualed activites, including an afternoon fish feeding. The learning and the fun never ends at the Pier Aquarium.