Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Bay City: A Visit to St. Petersburg

Followers and Readers, I apologize for my nearly nonexistant comments on blogs this week! I have been in St. Petersburg, Florida for work. As I've mentioned, I do have the opportunity to travel to some pretty cool places (IMHO). While I've heard some disparaging comments about St. Pete, I happen to love it.

If you're wondering about the name- it does have ties to St. Petersburg Russia (birthplace of Peter Demens, who built the railway)- as well as Detroit, Michigan (home of General John Williams, who envisioned the city as a resort town). Baseball became quite significant to the city in 1914, when the St. Louis Browns moved their Spring Training to the city. In the early 20s, St. Pete was recognized as a great vacation spot, allowing for the growth of the hotel industry. The crash in 1929 created tough economic times in 1930s. In the next decade, growth returned with the War and US Coast Guard Station. St. Petersburg became a retirement desination area beginning in the 1960s, and continues to be known as a retiree spot today.

I tend to stay on the bay side (as the hotel there fits within my travel budget). And, how can you NOT have a great day when it starts out with a run along the bay (or beach), with the sun shining, a breeze blowing, and beautiful boats to view?

Within walking distance of my hotel is Central Avenue and restaurant row (I think that's what it's called).

Bella Brava

Central Ave, St.

Apologies for my terrible picture quality- but note the second-level spaces. The architectural style varies a good bit and some spots are prettier than others- but this is exactly the type of small-town place in which I'd love to live. I can envision a great apartment with fabulous deck space and the convenience of popping in to various restaurants for dinner.

There are several other great spots along the water. Below is Frescos, but I think it may be closed?

It helps that there is a lot of greenspace surrounding the downtown area.

Little parks galore...

Spa beach (on the bay side)

Realty Photos

St. Pete also has numerous museums, including Salvador Dali Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Florida International Museum.

Speaking of art, St. Petersburg has fantastic architecture with a vast array of styles. To me, it also serves as a reminder that there IS history in Florida with several buildings included in the US National Registrar of Historical Places.

Check out this cool building- public restrooms near the marina!

Of course, there is some "modern" architecture. I adore the mediterranean(?) influence here.

St. Petersburg, FL : St Petersburg Yahct Club Downtown Waterfront

city data

Mediterranean Revival Snell Arcade built during the "roaring 20s"

Historic Vinoy Hotel (now a Marriott property)

Dennis Hotel

Art Deco (you might even think you're on the East Coast of Florida in South Beach.... )

Similarly, there are numerous housing archictural styles, ranging from Arts and Crafts, Georgian, to Spanish/Mediterranean.

I love all the bungalows ...

FL Architect Fan

Though these are pretty nice too... and for sale!

This one is a bit of a surprise, here! Love it.

FL Architect Fan

And of course, we can't forget the stadium.

Tropicana Field

Women's Running Magazine is hosting its first St. Petersburg Women's Half Marathon and 5K this November- benefiting (at least in part) Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I've participated in the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco for several years and think I'd like to give this one a shot.



  1. Oh such memories.
    I grew up going to St Pete for family vacations.
    It is a lovely area.
    Thanks for the pictures I haven't been there in some time.
    (I have also been fortunate enough to go to St Petersburg Russia)

  2. Perhaps you might like this site.

  3. I just had no idea! I love the bungalow - it reminds me of my Virginia Highlands days.

  4. Other than being flat an very "wawm" in the summer (and I'm not saying they're problems), what's the problem? Tampa, St.Pete have everything, then add the water and the beaches. I presume most folks never think about these places when they think Florida. I've had 4 truly great visits there.

  5. It's been a few years since I was in St. Pete, but your post was great. What can I say? I love Florida.

  6. Looks like a wonderful spot to visit ~

    Thanks for sharing some of your photos!
    One of my favorite things to do when
    visiting a new area is to drive or walk,
    and check out the local homes.

    The beaches, the stadium are incredible!

  7. Great post! I feel as if I just went on a mini-vacation to St. Pete. Have so much fun on your trip! Are you going to Kauai or Hawaii or both? You will have an amazing time and feel free to email me if you would like any tips or to bounce ideas. Enjoy!

  8. I've never been there but I've heard great things. Thanks for the tour. Your photos are great.

  9. I love those houses!!! great pics! hope you have a great weekend! = )

  10. Such lovely houses - thank you for the photos of this great place. Leigh

  11. My in-laws live near St. Pete, and it is a lovely little place! Don't forget about the great Salvador Dali museum!

  12. Looks like a beautiful place - gives me itchy feet to travel! Tracey xx

  13. Oh very fun! We have spent lots of time in St Pete growing up-we always have family there. We are quite partial to the Don Cesar which I always think of as the cornerstone of St Pete. The half marathon in St Pete sounds like a lot of fun!!

  14. What a great job that you get to travel! Looks like a fun and beautiful place to be!

  15. Some seriously beautiful architecture here !! x

  16. Best early, fast, easy and a great retirement for life is free in Florida.
    Marry a working spouse and file for divorce; ask for permanent alimony by income deduction for life. Must never work and request a need to keep that lifestyle. No-fault law will set you for life. Your ex can not quit or will be incarcerated, plus ex will be court ordered to pay all your court and legal expenses. Do a good financial affidavit and claim a mental illness. Marry for money, you can get love anywhere.

  17. St. Petersburg FL is a little hidden gem. It is quaint, local, beachy and eclectic. It is full of life! We love everything about St. Pete from all the beautiful architecture to the relaxing local vibes!


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