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 Demographics
At the time of the 2010 census, there were a total of 244,769 people making their homes in St. Petersburg. In 2015, it was estimated that the number of residents had grown to just over 257,000.
As far as Baby Boomers go in St. Petersburg, approximately 26% of the 129,401 households in town are occupied by someone 65 or older.
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 not 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 Westfield 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, Lululemon, and Tommy Bahama. 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 on the go 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 fresh 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.
The Villages of Citrus Hills is located just under two hours north of the city. Here you will find an astounding number of housing options and some of the best amenities available today.
Boomers who choose to retire in St. Petersburg are people who want the best of both worlds. They enjoy the luxuries that come with city life, but they are also drawn to the peaceful beauty of a relaxing day at the beach. If you find yourself equally drawn to both, then this might be the perfect place for you.