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You know we love the Tampa Bay area, and for good reason. There are so many beautiful places and awesome things to do in Tampa Bay. And now the greatness of Tampa Bay, and St. Pete specifically, is even more official! Forbes recently released its annual list of the top places to travel in the United States, and St. Pete was one of only 20 destinations to make the cut!

Forbes Names St. Pete Florida One of the Best Places to Visit

The honor places St. Pete in the company of renowned locales such as Portland (both Maine and Oregon), Puerto Rico, Niagara Falls, Savannah, and Vail, Colorado. We love a good vacation, and those destinations sure are worth a visit. But let’s talk about why our very own St. Pete, Florida made the cut!

What makes St. Pete so great?

You can jump over to our ultimate dates ideas in St. Pete, or keep reading for a list of reasons why Forbes selected St. Pete as one of the best destinations to visit.

The city was recognized for its thriving arts scene, LGBTQ+ friendly environment, and lively nightlife. St. Pete is one of the only cities in Florida that boasts a walkable downtown area and a beautiful beach within easy reach. Terry Ward, a Florida-based travel writer whose work appears in CNN, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and the Washington Post, among other publications, gave the city’s review.

According to Terry Ward, “St. Pete presents one of Florida’s best mixes of a cool and lively urban downtown with beautiful beaches right nearby. The town is known for its art scene – from the murals everywhere to Salvador Dali and Renaissance masterworks in museums – but it remains delightfully casual and approachable at every level, too.”

Pete has 35 miles of continuous coastline, including some of Florida’s top-rated beaches, and a thriving arts and culture scene. The Dalí Museum features unique and innovative exhibits that offer immersive experiences for all types of travelers and is a must-visit destination. Visitors also appreciate the city’s LGBTQ+ haven, which is the site of Florida’s largest Pride parade each year.

A Day Date at The Dalí Museum - Date night ideas in Tampa Bay
The Dalí Museum – Image credit: Stephanie Patterson


Moreover, the new St. Pete Pier has become a popular gathering place throughout the year, featuring a pop-up roller rink, fishermen casting their lines, and a rooftop tiki bar with breathtaking views of downtown and Tampa Bay. When it comes to enjoying St. Pete’s 361 days of sunshine each year, visitors can explore the 75-mile Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail Loop, which is being completed this year with a 6.7-mile addition. This multi-use pathway stretches from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete and offers connections to coastal communities along the way.

Tropical Drinks at Pier Teaki St. Pete include a tall bright yellow tiki mug with a mermaid scene on it, and light pink colored frozen rose wine drink, sitting on a dark wood table in the foreground and the outdoor bar in the background
Tropical Drinks at Pier Teaki St. Pete


Pete is truly a unique and vibrant city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a beachgoer, or simply looking for a place to unwind, this city has it all. In addition to the accolades mentioned, St. Pete also has numerous other attractions that visitors can explore.

Here are a few more reasons to add St. Pete to your date night list or travel itinerary:

  • St. Pete is home to some of the best craft breweries in Florida. The city has a thriving beer scene! Explore a variety of breweries, from small and cozy to large and bustling.
  • From fresh seafood to international cuisine, St. Pete has a diverse selection of restaurants and eateries that cater to all tastes and budgets.
  • If you’re a nature lover, you’ll enjoy the many parks and green spaces in St. Pete. Explore Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and the Weedon Island Preserve, which offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking.
  • For history buffs, St. Pete has a rich and fascinating past. Visitors can explore historic sites such as the St. Petersburg Museum of History and the Holocaust Museum, or take a stroll through the city’s many historic neighborhoods, such as Old Northeast and Historic Kenwood.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, St. Pete is a destination that should not be missed! Here’s the full story from Forbes.

Explore more St. Pete:

Featured image by Gagliardi Photography