St. Petersburg, Florida, more commonly known as ‘St. Pete’, draws visitors from all over the world who want to experience this slice of paradise along the gulf coast. With 361 days of sunshine a year and some of the best beaches in the world, it’s not surprising that people flock here to escape the harsh winters at home or just to experience that ‘Florida lifestyle’, if only for a few days. With a flat terrain, beautiful sunrises and sunsets and a collection of street art that can only be truly appreciated in person- St. Pete makes for the perfect city for running! So put on those running shoes and let’s discover it along this stunning route that perfectly intertwines awesome street art, stunning bay views and of course – plenty of history on the “Sunshine City” of Florida!
Starting out in the heart of downtown by the constantly photographed Sundial, we’ll quickly head to the water to get some of those views that everyone comes here to see. Passing by sailboats and fishermen, we’ll breeze through beautiful Vinoy Park and that bright pink Vinoy hotel (the only grand hotel downtown) that can be seen from just about anywhere downtown. From here, a quick jaunt through the Old Northeast district and all of its beautiful and historic homes takes us right back to the hustle and bustle of downtown where we really dive into the culture and history of this coastal city.
As our sightrun shifts from that old town along the water feel to a more urban/downtown vibe, you’ll quickly see what we mean when we say that the street art here is unmatched and almost overwhelming with so many different murals to discover. Your guide will take you through the heart of lively downtown to start and will ultimately land in the central arts district where everything from giant murals to dumpsters turned into art can be found. We’ll veer off the main road to hit some alleyways where the true gems of the street art scene are located. And just when you think you’ve taken a photo with every mural in the city, we’ll make our way back towards the water as we pass by Tropicana Field (home of our baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays) and Al Lang Stadium (home of our soccer team, the Tampa Bay Rowdies). Nearing the local airport by now, you’ll be sure to see lots of small planes taking off left and right as we approach the water, while your guide tells you the history of pilot Tony Jannus. From there, with two St. Pete must-sees just ahead of us, we’ll make our way to the Dali Museum and the Mahaffey Theatre before hitting my favorite view of the water at Albert Whitted Park. Following the water back to where we started, passing by Demens Landing and the Yacht Club, we’ll finish this run on a high as the bay breeze cools us back down.
As your running tour winds down and you’re ready to refuel with some local eats, be sure to ask your guide if you haven’t already for some local suggestions. 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 descision 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!