St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE)

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE)

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Airports & Local Transportation

Getting around St. Pete-Clearwater is easy with this comprehensive guide to transportation. Find helpful information about major airports, public transit, rideshare, bike rentals and more – plus learn which communities have the most walkable downtowns.


An aerial shot of the St. Pete-Clearwater international airport PIE
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Have a peek at PIE's webcam, refreshed every 60 seconds. When you fly into PIE, you'll discover that great things are happening here.

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Airports Serving St. Pete-Clearwater

The St. Pete-Clearwater area is served by two major airports: St. Petersburg-Clearwater International (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). Both offer many non-stop flights from cities across the nation to the Gulf Coast.

Find details on how to get from local airports to your hotel on the Transportation FAQs page, or dive deep into more local airport information for St. Pete-Clearwater.

 

Gateway Expressway & I-275 Transportation News

The biggest transportation news in the area is that the Gateway Expressway is now open! This is the culmination of a $595 million road construction project that took several years, creating two elevated toll roads to reduce traffic congestion in the area.

I-275 is now connected with U.S. 19 via tolled expressway SR 690. And I-275 now connects with the Bayside Bridge via tolled expressway SR 686A. There's also an option to access a westbound airport bypass road for PIE from tolled expressway SR 686A.

The new toll roads are four lanes and run both westbound and eastbound (with the exception of the airport bypass road, which is westbound only). Entry points and exit points are limited on the toll roads.

Tolls will range from 28 cents to 86 cents.

I-275 has also been improved in several areas by adding tolled express lanes (one lane in each direction). The express lanes run from south of Gandy Boulevard to busy 4th Street North in St. Pete.

Want to get a better sense of the new roads before driving them? Check out the Florida Department of Transportation's Drive-Thru Animation Videos. Find additional details and a map on the FDOT website.

 

Driving Information for St. Pete-Clearwater

Driving around the city of St. Pete is easy. Roads generally follow a numerical grid system, with avenues running east-west and streets running north-south. For example, Sunken Gardens in St. Pete is located at 1825 4th Street North. This means it is located on 4th Street North at 18th Avenue North. Other communities in the area vary in terms of how roads are named (some are numerical, others are not).

 

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Transportation in St. Pete

The SunRunner

The SunRunner is Tampa Bay’s very first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, offering a train-like transit line that connects downtown St. Pete to South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach.

 

Downtown Looper

Hop aboard the bright red-and-yellow Downtown Looper for a free trip connecting you to all the major museums and attractions in downtown St. Pete. The schedule operates Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and runs every 15-20 minutes.

 

Cross Bay Ferry

This seasonal high-speed ferry between downtown St. Pete and Tampa runs from November through May. Check the website for up-to-date information on the ferry schedule

 

Coast Bike Share St. Pete

If you’d rather bike around town, check out Coast Bike Share. You’ll find many convenient bike “hubs” to pick up or return a bike throughout St. Pete. Simply register using the mobile app. Next, enter your account number and PIN on the bike’s keypad. You’ll soon be ready to ride. (Don’t forget to return your bike.) 

 

Electric Scooters

Another popular way to get around are electric scooters, which are available throughout downtown as well as the Edge District and Grand Central. The concept is similar to the bike share: Rent yours through sharing apps such as VeoRide – and be sure to read the rules before you get scootin’. 

 

Transportation in St. Pete Beach

Central Avenue Looper

The Central Avenue Trolley route offers round-trip services from Bay Shore Drive to St. Pete Beach/Pass-a-Grille. Check the website for operating hours and fares. Seniors and passengers with disabilities ride at a discounted rate.  

 

Suncoast Beach Trolley

Explore St. Pete/Clearwater’s beach communities stretching from Clearwater Beach to Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, St. Pete Beach and Pass-a-Grille. You can board the trolley at the Park Street Terminal in Downtown Clearwater, or at any trolley stop along the beachfront route. Trolleys run every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. and every 30 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight. Check the website for updated information and ticket fares. Children ages 8 or younger can ride for free with an adult.

 

Rideshare

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are easy and affordable ways to travel around town. Download the apps ahead of time so you’re all set to request your ride when you arrive in St. Pete/Clearwater.

 

Parking in St. Pete/Clearwater

Parking access and cost varies depending on where you are in the area. St. Pete, for example, has several parking garages that offer easy access to the downtown area. If you decide to use street parking, you’ll find that many downtown St. Pete streets have metered parking; the easiest way to use the meters is to download the ParkMobile app on your phone, but you can also use a credit card or coins to pay. Find more information on parking in downtown St. Pete.

Similar to St. Pete, you’ll find that some parking is metered in downtown Clearwater – you may pay by coin, credit card or the ParkMobile app. Downtown Clearwater also has parking garages and paid parking lots available. Find more Clearwater parking information.

Parking is free throughout the cities of Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Safety Harbor so grab any spot you find. Near the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, expect to pay at a parking lot.

If you want to find a parking spot near one of our beautiful beaches, check out our guide to beach parking.

 

Walkable Communities

Walking is one of the best ways to enjoy sightseeing and sunshine in St. Pete/Clearwater! Here are some walkable areas to explore:

Tarpon Springs

Located at the northern end of the St. Pete/Clearwater area, Tarpon Springs showcases Greek culture with many historical and architectural treasures. Visit Dodecanese Boulevard for the famous Sponge Docks district and authentic Greek cuisine at Mykonos or Hellas. Stroll Tarpon Avenue, the area’s main street, which features many restaurants and shops.

 

Palm Harbor

Tiny downtown Palm Harbor is a nostalgic throwback to a simpler time. Check out 11th Street between Nebraska Avenue and Florida Avenue for your pick of local restaurants, watering holes and shops. Fireside Pizza Cafe is a friendly little spot with inside and patio dining (bring your pup). Check out the Thirsty Marlin for a tiki bar atmosphere with live music several days a week.

 

Dunedin

Enjoy Dunedin’s small town charm as you stroll through its delightful Main Street. Take a walk or bike ride along the Pinellas Trail. Stop at family-owned restaurants (many are dog-friendly, such as Skip’s Bar & Grill) and check out the quaint shops. Or meet new friends and enjoy a cold beer at one of the nine craft breweries within a one-mile radius.

 

St. Pete

One of Florida’s best cities to explore on foot, St. Pete is full of fun local flavor. Discover funky Central Avenue with its many street murals, indie cafes and shops. Upscale Beach Drive, the glistening St. Pete waterfront and the St. Pete Pier District are perfect places to take a stroll. 

 

Pass-a-Grille

Charming Pass-a-Grille is close to the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay and offers eclectic stores and restaurants. Check out the quaint Historic District, with shops such as Dody Boutique, carrying stylish beachwear and swimwear. And be sure to have a drink and a grouper sandwich at The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant, a local landmark.

 

Gulfport

Check out Gulfport’s waterfront restaurants and pubs along Shore Boulevard South, as well as on the main thoroughfare, Beach Boulevard, for charming dining, gallery and shopping. This colorful little town is chockfull of events, too. Don’t miss the annual GeckoFest.

 

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