St. Petersburg Outdoor Activities: Where to Enjoy Sunshine and Nature

Consistently ranked among the best beach destinations in the U.S., St. Petersburg offers a coastal playground suited for all adventures. Visitors can plan a vacation as action-packed or laid-back as they want – anytime of year. To get started, here are the top St. Petersburg outdoor activities.

Get Moving With These St. Petersburg Outdoor Activities

st petersburg beaches vacation

Photo: iTrip Vacations St. Petersburg Beaches

Visit the Beaches

The St. Petersburg area has more than 35 miles of beaches, and St. Pete Beach has earned top honors by TripAdvisor as the best beach in the U.S. But what makes them so special?

White sand, clear water and relaxed vibes beckon beach lovers to St. Pete. Visitors are welcome to plan exciting activities or simply relax and unwind. It’s easy to do both here. Popular beach activities include riding jet skis, parasailing, snorkeling, surfing and body-boarding.

Staying somewhere else? No problem. Explore other top-rated beaches at Honeymoon Island State Park, Caladesi Island State Park, Treasure Island Beach, Pass-A-Grille Beach and Sunset Beach.

tampa beach vacation ideas

Explore Parks

Many parks within St. Pete offer beach access. Others feature hiking trails, birding opportunities, tennis courts, athletic fields, skate areas, picnic tables, disc golf and dog-friendly amenities. In total, the area has 2,400 acres of parkland and more than 150 parks.

Sunken Gardens offers a quiet place to enjoy nature. It ranks among the top attractions in St. Petersburg, but also serves as the perfect place to escape from the daily grind. Visitors also enjoy Sawgrass Lake Park, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Vinoy Park, Flora Wiley and Maximo Park. View all dog parks near St. Pete.

Kayak Fort De Soto Park

In addition, Fort De Soto Park ranks is another popular place for St. Petersburg outdoor activities. It is one of the largest parks withing Pinellas County at 1,136 acres. The park encompasses five islands home to native plants, wildlife and ecosystems.

One of the best ways to see the area is by kayak. The park has 11 floating docks where guests can access the water. While paddling, guests may see loggerhead sea turtles, more than 300 species of birds and dolphins in the distance.

st petersburg outdoor activities fish

Fish the Gulf With Local Guides

Fishing ranks among the top St. Petersburg outdoor activities due to variety and experiences. Fishing enthusiasts can head into the Gulf of Mexico or Tampa Bay, or explore hidden backwaters known only to local anglers. Trips take place on boats of all sizes and accommodate all groups. For a personal adventure, contact Yachtfish, Ebb and Flow, St. Pete Beach Charters and Captain K’s, to name a few.

Those fishing in St. Petersburg should expect to catch a few types depending on the season. Redfish, tarpon, spotted sea trout and snook all greet anglers. For larger species, head into the Gulf and reel in grouper, blackfin tuna, and mahi mahi.

Ride Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail

Those who enjoy riding bicycles can’t miss Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail a.k.a. the Pinellas Trail. This trail serves as a linear connect from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. Plus, it’s multi-use so it’s easy to try a new activity. Ideas range from walking and jogging to skating. However, bike riding is the most popular.

When cycling Pinellas Trail, practice safety and respect outside surroundings. Riders should wear a helmet, cannot wear earphones, and must obey all traffic signs and speed limits.

st pete boats families

Boating and Sailing

The area also has several boating and sailing options. Marinas welcome boat owners to dock and explore the area, or book a guided tour with an expert captain.

Boats come in all shapes and sizes. A few places to start include St. Petersburg Sailing Center, St. Pete Yacht Club, Dolphin Racer, Speed Boat Adventures, Island Boat Adventures, Island Ferry, and Salt and Mist Sea Tours. All help visitors navigate the open waters and provide safety tips and information.

Play 40-plus Golf Courses

It’s no secret players come from all over the world to play Florida’s golf courses. The state’s warm climate, sunshine and natural beauty provide the perfect backdrop for championship courses. In addition, players find public, semi-private and private clubs.

The Clearwater-St. Petersburg area has dozens of top-rated golf courses that have hosted tournaments and golf legends. To start testing some options, head to St. Petersburg Country Club, Mainlands Golf Course, Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club, Vinoy Golf Club, and Largo Golf Course.

Not sure where to begin? Read a quick overview of the best St. Petersburg golf courses.

Take the next step and book a spacious vacation home in St. Petersburg, Madeira Beach or Treasure Island.