Not only is St. Pete/Clearwater the home of America’s best beaches but the destination has so much more to offer. From colorful events to new hotel openings and some incredible new attractions and exhibits, there is a whole host of extraordinary things to do in the region.
To make your holiday planning a little bit easier, we’ve rounded up the top events and attractions in the destination for the forthcoming year.
Five Reasons to Visit St.Pete/Clearwater this Year
The New St. Pete Pier – A Waterfront Playground for All Ages
The new $92m St. Pete Pier offers the Southeast’s largest waterfront attraction, with over 26 acres of activated space.
Surrounded by the warm Tampa Bay waters, the new St. Pete Pier brings entertainment, dining, shopping, and even an urban beach to the vibrant downtown St. Pete area. The Pier stays true to St. Pete’s artistic vibe by incorporating artworks and installations from local and international artists. It features five dining options, including two large restaurants; ‘Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille‘, serving up fresh local seafood, and ‘Teak’, a Florida-themed family-friendly spot, serving local seafood as well as vegan and gluten-free options.
As a city surrounded by water, environmental education is paramount to ensuring the area’s marine life thrives for years to come. As such, St. Pete Pier is also home to the Tampa Bay Discovery Centre. This is operated by Tampa Bay Watch and features interactive displays, presentations and tours designed to educate and inform visitors and locals alike.
The 20th Anniversary of St. Pete Pride
While the city always throws an incredible party for St. Pete Pride, this year’s event marks its 20th anniversary. It is sure to be bigger and better than ever before. Already, it is one of the biggest pride celebrations in the USA and the largest in Florida. With over 250,000 people expected to join in on the fun, this year’s festivities will take place throughout the month of June.
Showcasing the best of the city, the month-long celebrations will highlight the power and beauty of diversity with over-the-top parade floats, lavish costumes, incredible live performances, and a firework spectacular along St. Pete’s beautiful waterfront. If there has ever been a year St. Pete Pride is not to be missed, it’s 2022.
SHINE® Mural Festival
Now in its eighth year and taking place every October, the SHINE® Mural Festival shines a light on art in public spaces, using the walls and streets around St. Pete as canvases for experimental and bold works.
Showcasing the best of St. Pete’s vibrant and creative community, SHINE® is a world-class outdoor gallery featuring murals from local, national, and international artists. Since its debut, SHINE® and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance have created more than 100 murals to inspire communities and visitors alike. For arts and culture lovers, it’s certainly not one to miss.
Vibrant New Hotels
Last year saw two new hotel openings in St. Pete/Clearwater. The first was Hilton Garden Inn St. Pete Beach, providing a fabulous tropical retreat. Complete with 144 spacious and airy rooms, including six suites, the whimsical touches throughout the exterior showcase the work of local artists Alyssa Marie and Braden Everly of the Alyssa Marie Gallery.
Also new to the region is the Bellwether Beach Resort, which mixes vintage-Florida charm with a modern touch. The new hotel is complete with 156 bright and colourful rooms, including 16 spacious suites. With a retro-feel, the Bellwether is decorated with mid-century furnishings, vintage artworks and terrazzo tiles to set a nostalgic tone as soon as guests walk through the sprawling lobby that offers views across the Gulf of Mexico.
Revival of the Museum
From immersive art-meets-tech experiences to unique museums, those looking for a dose of culture will not be disappointed on a trip to St. Pete/Clearwater.
If it’s an escape from reality you’re after, then the brand-new Fairgrounds St. Pete in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District is a must-see. The 15,000 ft artist-made environment allows visitors to choose their own adventure, celebrating the “weird, wacky, and wonderful of Florida” with creativity and imagination.
Take a step back in time at the world’s only museum dedicated to the American Arts and Crafts Movement – opened in September 2021. The hotly anticipated Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) showcases over 2,000 remarkable examples of fine and decorative art produced between 1890-1930 when the arts and crafts movement swept the US.