St. Petersburg, Florida, more commonly referred to as ‘St Pete’ not only draws visitors from all over the world looking for a slice of paradise but is whole heartedly adored by the locals lucky enough to call St. Pete home. St. Pete boasts an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, easy access to the calm waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a growing and vibrant arts scene! In fact, St. Pete has racked up a number of accolades and awards over the last decade. Those include being named “One of the Best Street Art Cities in the World” and “One of America’s Hottest Cities to Live and Visit” (The Huffington Post, 2016), as well as “The 25 Best Towns of 2017” (Outside magazine). So, let’s put on those running shoes and explore the city along a route that perfectly intertwines an extensive collection of street art, stunning bay views and of course – plenty of history on the “Sunshine City” of Florida!
Your tour begins at Demen’s Landing Park, a city greenspace and marina named for the founder of St. Petersburg. At Demen’s Landing you will learn all about how St. Pete came to be and the early history of the Pinellas peninsula before it was the bustling city we see today. From there, we will make our way over to the New St. Pete Pier (reopened in 2020) for the opportunity to take in those stunning bay views. The pier provides the perfect vantage point of Albert Whitted airport and a chance for your tour guide to share some fun facts on the history of aviation in St. Pete. We will run around the head of the pier and on our way back enjoy the view of the historic Vinoy hotel where you will learn about this grand hotel’s unusual origins and how it’s fared through the decades. As we leave the pier and run straight towards the Vinoy hotel, the finer details will come into focus to really show off that historic beauty!
We will then breeze along Beach Drive for your first glimpse of street art and take in the scene of tourists and locals alike out on the town. Before we leave the bayside area, you will have the chance to see a part of the course for the St. Pete Grand Prix, the city’s Indy 500 race as well as the stadium of the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Your guide will take you through the heart of lively downtown and will ultimately land in the Central Arts District, also known as the Edge District where the murals range from creative, abstract, fun, and silly to realistic works that incorporate history and politics. We’ll veer off the main road to hit some alleyways where the true gems of the street art scene are located. At the point you think you’ve taken a photo with every mural in the city, we’ll hop on the Pinellas trail to discover some of the largest murals in town. The trail will take us alongside Tropicana field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays and make way for a quick chat about this one-of-a-kind stadium.
The tour winds down with a solid jaunt along Central Avenue from the Edge District back towards the bayside high-rises that surrounded you at the beginning of the run. The stretch along Central Avenue shows off even more street art, additional creative photo ops, and a chance to see some of the best restaurants and breweries in town. St. Pete is very well known for ‘keeping things local’ and there’s no shortage of options when it comes to restaurants, coffee shops and breweries. If anything, there are so many amazing options that you’ll want some insight from your guide to make your decision a little easier. So let’s go check out downtown St. Pete and learn all about this popular destination and why it’s the perfect place for a running tour!