A vibrant pink and purple sunset over the Saint Pete Waterfront District.

St. Pete Waterfront District at sunset

The Waterfront Museum District

As if St. Pete’s sparkling downtown waterfront wasn’t picturesque enough, this part of the city is packed with murals, museums and restaurants serving "Insta-worthy" dishes. Then, there’s the string of gorgeous parks that line Tampa Bay.  

The jaw-dropping Salvador Dalí Museum marks the southern end of the Waterfront Museum District. Next door is the Mahaffey Theater, a stunning venue that brings national acts to town, as well as the resident Florida Orchestra. Nearby, Al Lang Stadium is where the Tampa Bay Rowdies play – its parking lot doubles as the location for the super-popular Saturday Morning Market from October to April. The Palladium offers everything from opera to burlesque to blues bands.

Museums to Visit

It's no surprise that exploring unique museums tops the list of things to do in this district, and you'll have plenty to choose from. See surrealist art by one of the world's most recognized artists at the Salvador Dalí Museum, as well as impressive traveling exhibits.

Learn about St. Pete's beginnings at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, including the city's connection to America's favorite pastime (don't miss the exhibit of 4,800 autographed baseballs). Here, you can also see a replica of the aircraft that completed the world's first commercial flight from St. Pete to Tampa in 1914.

St. Pete/Clearwater's newest museum is the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, the only museum in the world solely dedicated to the work of artisans in post-industrial America from roughly 1900 to 1916.

The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg offers stunning collections spanning millennia. If you're visiting in March, be sure to check out the southern end of the property, where an enormous kapok tree bursts with fiery red blossoms (adventurous kids will be tempted to climb the tree any time of year). On the northwest side of the property, you’ll find sprawling banyan trees – the perfect backdrop for a selfie or family portrait. (Pro tip: Relax with a cup of coffee and a delicious pastry at Cafe Clementine, a waterfront artisanal bakery at the museum; you don't even have to be a museum guest to stop by.)

The James Museum offers an impressive collection of western and wildlife art, and hosts a lively calendar of talks and other special events.

Just outside the Waterfront Museum District proper, you'll find poignant and important exhibits at the Florida Holocaust Museum

Dining, Shopping and Where to Stay

Parallel to the waterfront is Beach Drive, a strollable boulevard that’s home to some of the most celebrated restaurants in town – all with outdoor seating reminiscent of Europe, such as Cassis and Stillwaters Tavern. The bars here are sophisticated but not stuffy, so you’ll have no problem if you stroll up to Tryst, Flute & Dram or the rooftop lounge The Canopy in your flip-flops. 

Some of the best shopping in town lines Beach Drive, and you’ll find even more at the nearby Sundial

Gorgeous places to stay here include the boutique hotel, the Birchwood Inn, and the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg, a bright-pink grand dame resort that first opened in 1925. History buffs will want to reserve a guided tour and lunch at the Vinoy (tip: you don't need to be a hotel guest to take the tour).


Explore the Waterfront Museum District

You'll find St. Pete's Waterfront Museum District from Beach Drive to 3rd St. and from 7th Avenue South to 7th Avenue North. You can easily explore the district on foot, bikescooter or trolley. If you're traveling by car, there are several downtown parking garages, as well as metered street parking. Some of the residential streets have free on-street parking.

Check out some of the unique attractions and businesses in the Waterfront Museum District on our map, below!