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Living a Beach Lifestyle in Saint Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg is a relaxed city on Florida's Tampa Bay. It is also a great beach town, with numerous beaches spread throughout the city.  St. Pete has been a classic retirement and tourist destination since the 1920's because of its winter warmth, great beaches, and ideal location on a peninsula in Tampa Bay.   There are at least 3 colleges in St. Pete - University of Florida St. Pete, St. Petersburg College, and Eckerd College (located on the waterfront on one of the most beautiful campus settings in the world). Whereas Tampa is more urban and Clearwater a bit more suburban, St. Pete offers a happy compromise in a very livable city. Many people agree that St. Pete has one of the nicest and most vital downtowns in Florida. St. Pete, with almost 300,000 people, is the 4th largest city in the state.

Where to Retire in Saint Petersburg and Home Prices

St. Pete, aka "The Sunshine City", has many interesting and historic neighborhoods. Some of those include Grand Central, historic Kenwood, Old Northeast, and Roser Park. Many of these desirable neighborhoods and are near the water. There are many active adult communities in St. Pete (see link at left). The National Association of Realtors pegs the median sale price to be $399,000 in the Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater area during the 4th quarter of 2022. Home insurance in this coastal city can be high, with most new homeowners forced into a state pool.

What Is Special about Saint Petersburg

St. Pete offers a pleasant lifestyle near the water with many diversions. There are many interesting neighborhoods and attractions. Having 3 colleges in town is a big plus. The St. Petersburg Pier is a big tourist attraction.  The Tampa Bay Rays have their home in St. Pete.

What Is Not Special about Saint Petersburg

Certain parts of St. Pete are high crime areas, particularly some of South St. Pete.

Climate and Physical Environment

St. Pete is located on a peninsula running along the southwest part of Tampa Bay. Clearwater is to the north and Tampa to the east. The western part of town is comprised of barrier islands facing the Gulf of Mexico.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Being home to 3 colleges helps the cultural scene in St. Petersburg.  It also has several interesting museums: the Salvador Dali Museum, the Holocaust Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Florida International Museum, and a Children's Museum. The Mahaffey Theatre Complex, the Arts Center, Palladium Theatre, and Jannus Center are just some of the cultural outlets. The St. Petersburg Pier always has something going on, and throughout the year many festivals are held. If that is not enough, a quick trip across the Bay will turn up many more events in Tampa.


Crime in Saint Petersburg is much higher than the national average, but differs greatly by neighborhood.

Medical Facilities

There are at least 3 hospitals in St. Pete and many more in nearby Tampa and Clearwater.  Medical specialists of every description abound.


Tampa International, a major airport, is close. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority provides bus service. A trolley runs through the downtown district. I 275 runs through St. Pete and connects to the mainland.  Overall, St. Petersburg is average in walkability  and above average for biking. The downtown neighborhoods are considered quite walkable.

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