5 No-Fail Excursions in Downtown St. Pete

The place we call home is considered only a vacation destination for many. We often have family or friends who come to visit us. We love to take them to do many of the fun things that this area has to offer. The only trouble is that often times we find ourselves only doing these things when we are entertaining. Why is that? Life happens. We get busy. If you’re anything like us, you say you’ll get out and explore a new area or venue, but don’t get around to it. Now’s your chance! Here are 5 no-fail excursions in Downtown St. Pete that are definitely worth checking out.

1. Sunken Gardens

This 100-year-old botanical garden is located about one mile north of downtown, in what is considered the Historic Northeast neighborhood of St. Pete. It is a beautiful tropical oasis that has mature plants from all over the world. According to its website, it is open for self-paced tours, but guided tours and other events are not available at this time. With 50,000 plants, there is a lot of nice shade and it is a great place to practice social distancing. A flock of flamingoes even call these gardens their home!

2. St. Pete Saturday Morning Market

The market has been around for close to two decades and is an awesome way to support many of our local farmers and artisans. It has two different locations; one for summer and one for winter. The summer location is currently open downtown in Williams Park and provides a bit more shade during the hottest months. They currently have many protocols in place to keep attendees safe while enjoying the market.

3. Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

What used to be the old bridge connecting the north and south sides of Tampa Bay is now the longest fishing pier in the world. It’s located about 10 minutes south of downtown St. Pete. One of the cool things about this pier is that once you pay your fishing fee of $4 per person (plus $4 entry fee per vehicle), you do NOT need a license to fish there. It’s open 24 hours a day and lighted at night. Many species of fish can be caught from the pier.

4. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Located less than 10 minutes south of downtown, this is a nature preserve with close to 250 acres of land and many unique ecosystems. It’s situated around the shore of Lake Maggiore. It’s hard to believe that this hidden gem is so close to downtown that you can actually get a beautiful view of it from the boardwalk. According to its website, the trails are currently open, but the nature center and other programs are not open at this time.

5. The Chihuly Collection

This art exhibit features the amazing glasswork of artist Dale Chihuly. I first saw his glass sculptures at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and have been in awe ever since. His work has been featured worldwide and we are so fortunate to be able to have a permanent collection of his work in our backyard!

What are some of your excursions in downtown St. Pete? Leave me a comment to let me know.

If you’re looking for other fun things to do with the family in Tampa Bay, take a look at our other articles.

Emily Draper
Emily grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She graduated from The University of Arizona with a degree in Business Administration, where her love affair with all-things desert began. She originally moved to Tampa in 2009 to be closer to her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Kyle. Together, they have two amazing (and amazingly strong-willed!) kids. Since starting a family, Emily has also lived in South Carolina and Metro Detroit, before returning to the Tampa area in 2017. In her spare time, Emily enjoys fitness, essential oils, reading, country music and anything crafty.

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