It's all about fun in the sun and sand in St. Petersburg


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WTHR) — If you're heading to St. Petersburg, Florida you have to check out the award-winning beaches.

Need a break from the beach? You can check out world-class museums and The Pier, a five-story dining and shopping complex.

St. Petersburg is also close to attractions in Orlando and even closer to the cultural and cosmopolitan attractions of Clearwater and Tampa.

Nickname: The Sunshine City

Population: 266,076 (2017 census)

Average Temperature: Winter -73; Spring - 86; Summer - 89; Fall - 78

Travel Tips:

  • Tampa International Airport (TPA) is 25 minutes north of downtown St. Petersburg and consistently ranked among the world's best airports, serving more than 16 million passengers each year. Southwest Airlines offers nonstop flights.
  • St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) is 15 minutes north of downtown, served by Allegiant Airlines (good luck with that) along with other commercial carriers, charters and private jets. Allegiant Airlines offers nonstop flights.
  • Albert Whitted Airport is a city-owned, public use airport in downtown for private aviation enthusiasts to fly-in for dining and entertainment.

Fun Facts:

  • The city averages some 361 days of sunshine each year and holds the Guinness World Record for most consecutive days of sunshine with 768 between Feb. 9, 1967 and March 17, 1969.
  • Local legend says the city's founders, John C. Williams and Peter Demens, flipped a coin to see who would get to name it. Demens won and chose St. Petersburg in honor of Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he'd spent half his youth. Williams named the first hotel after his birthplace, Detroit. The Detroit Hotel still exists downtown, but is now a condominium.
  • Today, it's known for summer fun, but during World War II it got a big boost from the military. The Coast Guard had a training base there and the Air Force used the city as their technical service training station. More than 100,000 servicemen came through, and the city says most returned after the war as tourists or even residents.

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