St. Petersburg keeps making itself more attractive for people to come and spend a day, or even a week. Between downtown St. Pete on Tampa Bay to St. Pete Beach on the Gulf, this city has so much to see and experience. The latest addition is the new St Pete Pier which opened on July 6th after a delay due to the Coronavirus. This new pier, at a cost of $92 million, replaces the old pier and inverted pyramid building which was demolished in 2015.
The pier itself is 3,000 feet long. Well over a half of a mile. But if you don’t want to, or cannot walk that far, there are small, non-obtrusive trams that take you from the ample-sized parking lot out to the end of the pier called The Point (see 28). After spending just a few hours there on a rainy Saturday afternoon it was easy to realize that the designers had kept everyone in mind.
What to Do at the New St Pete Pier
Whether you walk, jog, rollerblade, or skateboard the length of the pier, you’ll find lots of ways to burn calories while getting some of the best views of Tampa Bay and downtown St. Pete. Additionally, if you want to head on up to the rooftop (26) out on The Point, you’ll get some stair climbing in as well. You can rent kayaks at Spa Beach (11) which is just to the north of the pier. And, the kids will have fun at the Splash Pad (13). Visit Explore St Pete Pier for availability as the Splash Pad was closed for maintenance when we were there.
It’s a pier so, of course, there’s fishing on the Fishing Deck (27) out on The Point. Bring your rod and reel. Gator Jim’s Tackle (26) has you covered for bait and additional tackle if needed. If you want to break from fishing, head up to the nearby Driftwood Café (26) for refreshments.
If being active isn’t on your agenda for the day you can go in the other direction. As mentioned, you can take the convenient tram all along the pier. Stop and relax on the Adirondack chairs throughout the pier area or over at Spa Beach (11). They even have large umbrellas on the Tilted Lawn (19) if you want to spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic. Spend some time at the Bending Arc (7) on your way out to The Point. It’s a bit hard to describe. It’s very cool to view during the day but our friends who were there at night shared that they just sat and watched the lights dance on it for quite some time.
If good food and drink are your way of relaxing, there are 5 spots you can do that. Stop at Fresco’s Waterfront (3) on your way in or out of the pier area. Spa Beach Bistro (12) is a place to get a bite on your way out to the pier’s end. Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille (21) will step up your dining experience. And, Pier Teaki (26) on the rooftop at The Point will give you some incredible views of Tampa Bay and downtown St Pete while you sip on your favorite adult beverage. Finally, down one level from Pier Teaki is Teak (26), the most upscale of the dining venues. For a review of all your eating options visit All 5 restaurants at the New St Pete Pier.
There are many opportunities to learn for young and old at the new St Pete Pier. Stop by Cultural Grove (15) and the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center (23). There is a small fee to enter the Discovery Center which has interactive exhibits, video presentations, and tours to educate on the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary. And, don’t forget the St. Petersburg Museum of History (4) located at the entrance to the pier.
Although the Coronavirus has prevented much of what is planned for entertainment, there will be over 75 events per year at the pier. As well, musicians and performers will be scattered about their pier for your entertainment pleasure. Visit StPetePier.org and register for their newsletter so you can up to date information about events at the new St Pete Pier.
On your way out to The Point or back from it, you'll be able to do some shopping to pick up a memory of your day at the new St Pete pier. The Marketplace (5) features Tampa Bay area small businesses. Each has its own small venue and sells a variety of items from specialty food to take home, to art, clothing, and accessories. For a list of vendors visit St Pete Pier Marketplace.
Come Hang Out in St Pete
The new St Pete Pier is just one more reason to come and hang out in St Petersburg. Also, check out the Dali Museum, Vinoy Park, and the entire downtown area. Head south to Fort De Soto (link) and over to St Pete Beach. Bring your bikes and ride the 40+ mile Pinellas Trail. There’s so much to do here you might not fit it all in and decide you need to stay longer.