St. Petersburg Florida might not be as well known as Tampa, but this city across the bridge has a lot to offer. The St. Petersburg beach is the site of many water sports for visitors.
St Petersburg Beach FL water sports are a great way to fully enjoy everything that the coastal regions of west Florida's beaches have to offer. St. Petersburg is on the other side of the bay from Tampa, much in the same way that the Mississippi River separates St. Paul and Minneapolis. In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to refer to Tampa and St. Petersburg as twin cities in Florida. Since St Pete sits on the Gulf of Mexico, the beaches are going to be found there instead of in Tampa. Many locals and tourists alike love the St. Petersburg Florida beaches (often referred to simply as St Pete beaches by locals) because of the white sand, great beachfront activities and excellent water sports.
St. Petersburg Beach FL water sports offered include jet ski rental, kayaks, surfing, parasailing, sunset cruises, and also the practice of body surfing. The beaches start well north of St. Petersburg, stretching all the way down the coast throughout the city.
Dozens of miles of beachfront property begin north around Redington Beach, and stretch down to Madiera Beach, Sunset Beach, and even down to McPhereson Bayou. Each section of beach will have its own hotels, marinas, water sport rental sites and other localized attractions. However many of these beaches are still part of the larger St. Pete Beach.
While prices can vary from one area to another and it's always important to price shop, there are some general price ranges that apply to these St. Petersburg Beach FL water sports regardless if you're at Clearwater Beach and Indian Rocks Beach around the Clearwater Florida or Largo Florida area or down all the way to McPhereson Bayou. These price ranges are often even similar to those you can find further south around other popular Florida beach destinations like Longboat Key and Lido Key, which are around the Bradenton area. Generally speaking jet ski rental will be the most expensive while kayak rental the least expensive.
Jet ski rental is done on a per hour basis at most places, although occasionally you might find a rental place which will also offer deals on full day rentals. Jet ski rental will range from $50 an hour to $75 an hour depending on the rental place. This is a great way to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico and have a great beach experience. If you prefer to take your time and get in a little bit more exercise kayaks can be rented for $15 an hour for a single or $20 for a double. While renting a wave runner on St. Petersburg Beach is almost always a straight per hour affair, kayak rentals almost always have deals for renting in batches of 4 hours, 8 hours, or even more.
Parasailing is another common attraction that is a fantastic value for both locals and tourists. Depending on which rig you set up with, the cost can run from $45 to $75 a person. Some set ups charge based on the height you want to hit, which can commonly range from 600 feet off the ground all the way up to 1,200 feet. From that height you can see beaches for miles and miles away. On very clear days you may be able to see as far away as Sarasota. The beaches, the trees, the parks, and the cities look beautiful from the view that only parasailing can offer.
There are very limited areas where the surf is consistently strong enough for surfing, and you're certainly not going to find the type of waves that are common in Hawaii. Asking locals is the best way to get solid advice on where surfing might actually be possible. Body surfing is practiced by many locals and is a free water sport to practice on Saint Petersburg Florida Beach and is a good way to have fun while out on the beach and enjoying waves close to the shore.
Even after a day or several days of fun enjoying all the water sport options that St Pete Beach has to offer, there's still plenty to do on the beach and to see more of the surrounding area. The beach often has umbrellas and chairs for rent on the beach. The prices can range from $30-$50 a day and depending on the location might even include drink service. Different sections of the beach have very shallow shore area which can allow people to walk out 100 yards to even 200 yards out and the water will only be knee or thigh deep. Seeing the sunset with a drink in hand from 200 yards out in the water is a wonderful way to experience the beginning of evening. There are also plenty of sunset cruises that take advantage of the incredible sunsets by taking visitors out onto the water where they have a clear unobstructed view of when the sun begins disappearing on the horizon.
Another popular destination close to the St. Petersburg Beach is the Shell Key Shuttle. This is a popular and renowned eco-tour to the unspoiled Shell Key, which is a small barrier island that is just south of Pass-A-Grille and St. Petersburg Beach. To get there passengers take a 10 minute boat ride aboard a 49 passenger vessel inspected by the Coast Guard, and these same ships offer the previously mentioned sunset cruises on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Younger crowds or middle age visitors who still like to party like when they were young will want to visit the "Miracle Mile" after a long day enjoying St. Petersburg Beach FL water sports. The Miracle Mile refers to a mile stretch of famous St. Pete Beach that has one hotel and motel bar after another. Many of these bars have tables on the beach, outdoor settings, and even swimming pools and include over a dozen bars and grills. Some of these bars are long time institutions famous among locals and repeat visitors like the PCI Beach Bar at Postcard Inn (once known as the Swigwam), Harry's Beach Bar at Sirata Resort, and the famous bar The Undertow with its selection of over 150 different types of beer.
If you're going to be spending several days around the St. Pete Beach you will want to check out the various sections of the beach area like Treasure Island, Paradise Island, Isle of Capri, or Dolphin Village. The Salvador Dali Museum is located in St. Petersburg, and a trip wouldn't be complete without checking out the famous Fort De Soto Park. The St. Petersburg Pier is worth a look, and the Dolphin Village Plaza is where you can pick up any last second needs from a grocery store or the local Wal Green's.
Finally, John's Pass is a must visit when you're looking for a day of rest. John's Pass has a pier that includes small guided tour boats, as well as numerous outdoor restaurants with great views of the water. There are many locally owned shops, and the secret is to look for the shops surrounding the strip mall like the locally owned Spice and Tea Exchange. Free shuttle rides are available from any hotel along Gulf Boulevard to the Pass and back, the only request is to tip the driver. As you can see, when it comes to enjoying St. Petersburg Beach FL water sports you have many options, as well as a lot to do checking out all this city has to offer.