Touted as the Southeast's largest waterfront playground, the St. Pete Pier District offers plenty to do - and also, plenty of ways to relax. Swim, stroll or read a book at Spa Beach. Walk, bike or rollerblade along the waterfront and enjoy great views of St. Pete's Municipal Marina and the city skyline. Peruse local goods at The Marketplace. Let the kids try for a big catch at the fishing deck, or spend time at the family playground and splash pad. There's even a totally cool tilted lawn that your little ones (and maybe you) are going to want to roll down.
Love waterfront dining? This is your place! The St. Pete Pier District offers several restaurants with expansive views of Tampa Bay. Choose authentic Florida flavors at Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille, dine on Fresco's outdoor deck, try casual fare at the Spa Beach Bistro, or have a special meal at Teak on the fourth floor of the Pier structure. Want to kick back in a classic tiki bar atmosphere? Head to Pier Teaki. And be sure to save room for ice cream at the Driftwood Cafe.
One of the most exciting attractions at the new St. Pete Pier is the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, which offers visitors a chance to learn up-close about the recovery and preservation of the Tampa Bay estuary, the largest in Florida. Inside the center's expansive glass walls and at an outdoor "wet classroom," guests will find plenty of interactive exhibits, live marine habitats, docent-led tours and video presentations. Kids will love this hands-on experience! Coming soon: a nature-focused boat tour.
World-renowned artist (and Tampa Bay native) Janet Echelman has created an enormous net sculpture called "Bending Arc" that moves gracefully with the wind. Nearly 430 feet wide and more than 75 feet high, "Bending Arc" required 180 miles of twine to create and is Echelman's largest permanent work thus far. Hint: Try lying underneath the sculpture to experience this billowing artwork in a unique way. The artwork is particularly dramatic at night. Elsewhere in the Pier District, visitors can enjoy more public art including a large mosaic by Xenobia Bailey.
If you're looking for a great momento of your visit, local artisans and vendors will sell St. Pete-made goods at shaded stalls and market-style tents. The Marketplace will initially have 17 vendors and will be open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
This little gem of a museum has been sharing local stories for almost 100 years - and you can find it on the north side of the Pier approach. Check out the St. Petersburg Museum of History's new exhibit, "Building the Sunshine City," view an extensive collection of baseball memorabilia, and see a replica of the historic Benoist aircraft that took the first commercial flight across the bay from St. Pete to Tampa.
Two parking lots are available for guests (the large Pelican lot is found south of the Pier Plaza and Pavilion, and the Dolphin lot is north of the Marketplace). Limited metered street parking is available near the Pier complex and there are several downtown parking garages within walking distance. In addition, there are trams to help move visitors around, with stops near the Pelican lot, the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center and at the Pier itself. As you explore, look for message boards with maps and other information.
The new St. Pete Pier District is a great place to spend the day!