The revitalized and reconstructed St. Pete Pier reopened in July of 2020 to much anticipation. It’s been a long time coming, but Pinellas County residents and the Tampa Bay community are rejoicing with the new amenities available at the Pier. Situated along the waters of Tampa Bay, the Pier is ideal for picnicking, biking, relaxing, waterfront dining and so much more. Check it out on your next date night with our list of the best ways to do date night at the St. Pete Pier.
If you didn’t know, the Pier offers a variety of dinning options from fast casual to semi fancy. Whether you enjoy eating from a hot dog stand or getting dressed up to dine out and catch the beautiful sunset, the Pier has you covered.
Doc Ford’s is a popular date night location amongst the locals. Their Yucatan Shrimp is a fan favorite from the menu, and you just can’t beat the waterfront views from any seat in the house, whether indoors or outdoors. Get there early to grab a seat to catch the sunset. You won’t be disappointed.
Pier Teaki is one of the highlights of visiting the Pier. It’s a rooftop bar with breathtaking views overlooking downtown St. Pete. It’s a must see, so definitely have your camera ready to capture some beautiful moments. The menu includes a selection of bar bites and signature cocktails. This is also a great place to bring out of town guests as the views of St. Pete are top notch! Please keep it mind that after 8pm, it’s 21+ only.
Teak (not to be confused with Pier Teaki) can be found on the 4th level. Come dressed to impress and enjoy an elevated dining experience. The seafood selection is top notch and has rave reviews. It’s also a great place to host a large family gathering or corporate dinner.
Spa Beach Bistro is the Pier’s outdoor casual dining cafe located near the playground and splash pad. Enjoy pizza, chicken tenders, fries and ice cream. If you enjoy pizza but follow a vegan diet they have options for you too! I really like that they are easily accessible to a large part of the Pier. Plus, there are a lot of kid-friendly options if you’re bringing the kids along. This is also a good spot to pick up picnic provisions.
Other dining options are Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro, which great for outdoor dining and weekend brunch, and Driftwood Cafe for snacks and ice cream.
Find more details and view menus here.
If you’re planning to make date night a family outing, the St. Pete Pier is home to an amazing playground! They really had kids in mind when they built the Glazer Family Playground. I like that it has two parts, one for the younger kids and one for the older children. Climbing up and down the designated play areas and using the slides are two of my children’s favorite thing to do at this playground. Be prepared for your kids to put up a fight when it’s time to leave. Kiddos will also love Discovery Watch.
The Pier also has a splash pad area and a beach. Yup, there’s a beach at the St. Pete Pier! Bring your swimsuits and towels because getting wet and cooling off after a hot florida day is a must. You can also launch your own kayaks and paddle boards from this area. Pack a picnic to make it a complete date.
And, if you’re wondering can you fish at the Pier, the answer is yes! There are designated fishing spots toward the back of the Pier. If you’re not prepared, Gator Jim’s Bait & Tackle will take care of you with fishing gear for rent and purchase.
Shop + Stroll
Did you know the St. Pete Pier has a weekend market? It’s home to local businessowners sharing their crafs and other passion products with you. It’s such a great feeling interacting face to face with the business owners during the market. It makes for a more personal shopping experience. The market is open from 10am – 6pm Fridays – Sundays.
For a totally free date, just head to the Pier to walk, rollerblade or bike along the water. The St. Pete Pier features a continuous sidewalk plus a shady boardwalk landscaped with native plants. The eco-friendly Bioswale and picnic area offers green space and shade for setting up a romantic picnic.
Want to sip on an adult beverage while strolling? Take your drink to-go in a Pier-approved cup from one of the eateries.
One of the most unique aspects of the St. Pete Pier is the artwork. Stroll over to the Bending Arc, an impressive aerial sculpture that’s more than 400 feet wide and up to 72 feet tall at it’s highest point. Fun fact: it’s completely made of lightweight fiber. Other works include a huge colorful mosaic comprised of crocheted mandalas and several sculptures.
Know Before You Go
Admission to the Pier is free, but parking is not. Metered parking is available in two designated lots for $2 – $2.50 per hour for the first 4 hours. Download the ParkMobile app before you go which makes it super easy to pay for a spot once you arrive.
The St. Pete Pier is dog-friendly (but make sure your dog is on a leash) and bike-friendly.
Hours are daily from 30 minutes before sunset to 11pm.
I hope this list helps you enjoy all of the great things St. Pete Pier has to offer and helps you explore and play outside more!
PS: The St. Pete Pier is conveniently located within walking distance of The Dalí, Vinoy Park and tons of restaurants and breweries along Beach Drive and Central Ave. Extend your date by checking out these nearby spots.
Feature image credit: Kiva Williams