Across the bay from Tampa and just south of Clearwater is where you will find the city of St. Petersburg.
Known for offering the perfect combination of white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and all of the big city amenities that make life enjoyable, St. Petersburg is the perfect destination for anyone who wants a little bit of everything in their retirement lifestyle.
St. Petersburg History
The city of St. Petersburg was founded by John C. Williams and Peter Demens back in the late 1800s. Williams purchased the land that would become the city in 1875, and Demens brought the first railroad to town in 1888.
According to local legend, the two founders flipped a coin to determine who would choose a name for the new city. Demens won the coin toss and elected to name their city after his hometown in Russia. As a consolation prize, Williams was able to name the first hotel in town after his hometown of Detroit.
During the 1950s and 1960s, St. Petersburg saw a tremendous amount of growth after the construction of multiple bridges that made it much more accessible from the mainland.
St. Petersburg Lifestyle
With its role as one of the three major cities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area, the lifestyle in St. Pete offers the perfect combination of big city amenities and beautiful beaches. The local beaches here offer picture-perfect white sand and clear water and can be visited all year round.
Residents often start their beach-going fun at St. Pete Beach, but they also have the option to explore nearby Clearwater Beach, as well as some of the local islands like Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island. Then there are all of the great parks and preserves in the area like Sawgrass Lake Park, Vinoy Park, and Weedon Island Preserve.
St. Petersburg Culture
With its big city amenities, there is no shortage of culture to be found in St. Pete. You can spend days and days exploring local museums and galleries like The Dali Museum, Duncan McClellan Gallery, and the Florida Holocaust Museum.
There is also an astounding number of theaters throughout the city. Between the Freefall Theatre, Mahaffey Theater, American Stage Theatre Company, and The Palladium at St. Petersburg College, you can find a great performance almost any night of the week.
St. Petersburg Shopping
For your basic shopping needs in the St. Pete area, you can always drop by the Tyrone Square Mall, or venture out to the Countryside Mall in Clearwater. Other popular shopping spots include John’s Pass Boardwalk in Madeira Beach, as well as the adorable little boutiques that are sprinkled throughout the Central Arts District in St. Petersburg.
When it comes to high-end shopping, Sundial St. Pete is the place to be. This is where you will find all of your favorite stores like White House Black Market, Tommy Bahama, and more. There are also plenty of excellent restaurants here to complete your experience.
St. Petersburg Dining
Like any great city, there is a wide range of dining options to choose from in St. Petersburg. One of our favorites is Bodega, which serves Latin-inspired food made with only the freshest ingredients right in downtown St. Pete. This is the perfect place to grab a delicious Cuban sandwich on your way out to the beach.
Another amazing place to grab a quick sandwich is Mazzaro’s Italian Market. Here you will find all kinds of high-end Italian meats, as well as a fantastic bakery, homemade gelato, and freshly roasted coffee!
If you are looking for a classy spot for celebrating a special event, 1200 Chophouse has been dubbed a “carnivore’s paradise” by L. Reiley of the Tampa Bay Times. This is one of the best steak and seafood restaurants in all of Florida, and they also offer an impressive wine list to compliment those filets, chops, and lobster tails.
St. Petersburg Area Communities
Just across the bay from St. Petersburg is where you will find Southshore Bay.
Southshore Bay is a master-planned community located in Wimauma which is between Tampa and Bradenton, and right next to Sun City Center, FL.
There is a “family-friendly” part of Southshore Bay and there is also a 55+ part that consists of approximately 655 attached villas and single-family homes being built by Lennar.
Amenities here include a community clubhouse, a fitness center, an outdoor pool just for Southshore Bay active adult residents, tennis and pickleball courts, and more.
Southshore Bay offers villas and single-family homes that range in size from 1,396 to 2,775 square feet. Starting prices range from about $300k to $500k.
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Other nearby communities to consider include:
Rose Haven is a gated community in New Port Richey offering single-family homes in a park-like setting. The community offers a beautiful lakeside boardwalk, community pool and cabana, easy access to Starkey Wilderness Park, restaurants, and entertainment options.
Local semi-custom builder Vitale Homes offer floorplans that range in size from 1,655 to 2,732 sq.ft. of living area and start in the $400k's.
Valencia Del Sol’s convenient Tampa area location makes it easy to enjoy having fun in the sun along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Offering a robust and extraordinary 55+ lifestyle, Valencia del Sol caters to residents looking to socialize and stay physically active. Active adults will enjoy the 25,000 square-foot Clubhouse offering an array of resort-style amenities including a fitness center, grand social hall, a relaxing pool and spa, tennis and pickleball courts as well as a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. A full-time, on-site lifestyle director will be dedicated to organizing a wide variety of fun events, clubs and opportunities for making new friends all year-round.
This amazing community features a stunning selection of twin villas and single-family homes that provide the ultimate in 55+ living at an incredible value. Prices start in the $400k's.