FIRST LOOK: The new St. Pete Pier
It’s here! You can officially check out the new St. Pete Pier and Pier District!
Fun fact! The Pier is actually one of the largest waterfront entertainment districts in the southeast. Comprised of 26 acres in St. Pete’s vibrant downtown. At the Pier, visitors can enjoy pop-up performances, public art installations and major events throughout the year.
The St. Pete Pier \ Pier District is unique when it comes to its design and landscape, but the first pier in St. Pete dates back to 1889 when the city had the “Railroad Pier”.
I had the privilege of being able to explore the new St. Pete Pier before it opened to the public and maaaaan are you in for a treat!
Let’s dive in : D
The Spa Beach
A true beach and naturalized shoreline. Spa Beach is easily accessible on foot from anywhere along St. Pete’s downtown waterfront. Beach volleyball and other activities are available and kayakers and paddle-boarders can launch from Spa Beach area too!
Where to eat
There’s TONS to choose from! Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro is walking distance to the Pier. Known for their seafood, steaks, burgers, and appetizers. They also offer Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille
This spot is a winner! After sightseeing the Pier, we ate at Doc Ford’s and let me tell you … The jumbo shrimp makes my southern heart so happy!
The 10,000-square-foot restaurant/bar serves authentic Florida fare and flavors from throughout the Caribbean Rim. Like their famous Yucatan shrimp, chicken wings, and flatbreads!
AMAZING WATER VIEWS! A rooftop classic tiki bar with a tropical atmosphere and craft tiki cocktails. You’ll find i at the top of the state-of-the-art building at The Point.
I walked into Teak and immediately said “this is such a great date night spot”. The views are incredible and the menu is chef curated, yum!
You’ll find it on the fourth floor at The Point. Its a modern waterfront restaurant, featuring a Florida-themed menu.
The Driftwood Cafe & Spa Beach Bistro
At street-level of the state-of-the-art building at The Point, Driftwood Cafe is a casual walkup spot offering ice cream, pizza and healthy snack options.
The Spa Beach Bistro is an inviting entry point to the St. Pete Pier that provides shade as well as a cafe for grab-and-go items for beachgoers.
You’ll love the Marketplace its past the Pier’s Gateway and features an array of independent vendors selling unique items in kiosks and has a solar roof structure that offers natural shade as you browse and meet the sellers.
Marketplace Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00 am- 6:00 pm
In addition to the Marketplace, the Pier will feature Pier Gear and Retail, a sundry shop located on level one of The Point as well as Gator Jim’s Tackle – a one-stop shop for all fishing needs.
Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center
The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center is great for everyone! I had a blast seeing the set up, learning about marine life and the environment. It’s informative and fun all in one.
Giving guests an upfront opportunity to learn about Tampa Bay’s ecosystem. The focal point of the exhibit hall is a centerpiece aquarium that shows the many of the species found in local waters.
You’ll also see touch tanks, interactive displays, and video presentations; it has nearly 1,000 square feet of classroom and event space.
St. Pete is hands down one of the most recognized cultural hubs in the Southeast, making downtown St. Pete the epicenter.
The St. Pete Pier and Pier District is no exception. Not only is the pier itself a work of art, it is also home to installations, like this one pictured above, from internationally renowned artists.
How to get around
The Pier District has three 12-passenger trams. The trams are ADA accessible and run continuously throughout the area. They do however make stops at the following locations: the entrance plaza, Pelican Lot, Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center and The Point. The St. Pete Pier’s large Pelican parking lot is just south of the Pavilion and Pier Plaza.
Outside the Pier complex, you’ll find metered street parking available, and several downtown parking garages within walking distance of The Pier.
The St. Pete Pier is also bicycle-friendly. The Coast Bike Share program has docking stations within the Pier District. Bike racks are available for personal bicycles as well. Not to mention, there’s 25 boat slips with metered docking on the south side of the Pelican Parking Lot.
In accordance with the city mask order and CDC guidelines the City has hand sanitizer stations set up along the pier. I also love that you’ll find electric vehicle charging stations and reduced personal car parking in an effort to reduce associated pollution by the bay.
Solar PV panels cover the market and the parking canopies to provide naturally sourced power.
LED lighting is established throughout the Pier District to keep costs down and reduce energy usage.
The St. Pete Pier at its highest point is 11 inches above sea level.
The Playground has natural products such as black locust wood for equipment, and recycled products.
I have no doubt in my mind that the new St.Pete Pier will be the “place to be” whether you want to go out by the water for fun, grab a bite to eat, or shop local, you can do it all!
PIER HOURS OF OPERATION
Opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes at 11:00 pm
- Mask and gloves were recommended and worn for protection of ones-self and others.