801 Pass a Grille Way
St. Pete Beach, FL

5 Things You Didn’t Know About St. Pete Beach

1) It’s called St. Pete Beach. This may seem simple enough but you would be surprised at both how many people get it wrong and how many wrong variations of the name exist.

It all goes back to 1957 when several towns joined forces to become St. Petersburg Beach. To avoid confusion with the more well-known city of Petersburg, residents voted in 1994 to change the town’s name to St. Pete Beach.

Unfortunately, the name change hasn’t had the desired effect. The original “St. Petersburg Beach” is sometimes used, as are “St. Pete’s Beach”, “Saint Pete Beach” and “St Petes Beach”.

I’ll admit that I find myself double-checking I’ve not written it incorrectly (doubly so in this article!). It feels somehow natural to want to include an “s” sound somewhere in the name.

Fortunately, its white, sandy beaches, ocean bars and 361 days of sunshine a year remain, whatever the town’s name is.

2) Maybe you did already know that St. Pete Beach is a tourist town, but you probably don’t know the numbers.

There are around 10,000 permanent residents who occupy just over 5,000 homes. Then there are an additional 3,000 vacation accommodations. In the peak tourist months (March, February and January, in that order), when most accommodations are fully booked up, that would mean close to 6,000 visitors.

That means over a third of people wandering the streets will be out-of-towners.

Interestingly, in less busy months, the ratio of visitor to local may not be so different. That’s because around 30% of permanent residents actually have primary addresses elsewhere and, likely, reside in St. Pete Beach during its warm winters. So, in the autumn there will be less tourists but also less permanent residents.

3) The local St. Pete Beach newspaper is called Paradise News. It’s not a hard task to work out the origin of the name and it treads a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

The architect Frank Lloyd distinguished hypocritical humility from honest arrogance. Working within this framework, Paradise News is a justified name for a St. Pete Beach newspaper. It may be slightly arrogant, but it’s mostly true.

It’s also, by all accounts, a very good read and does a great job of both publishing and supporting local events.

4) The town hosts a motorcycle festival - St. Pete Beach Bikefest.

Over 4 days in November, bikers congregate on the beautiful St. Pete Beaches for live music concerts, bar crawls, bike shows and games, poker runs and a custom bike expo.

Some of the events can be enjoyed for free by wandering around but many of the perks (including free beer on tap) require a festival package while participation in other events can be bought separately.

Part of the proceeds will go to the Athletes for Hearts charity which does incredible work supporting children with heart defects and their families.

5) The beaches. Okay, maybe you were certain of this, but you can’t know just how striking they are until you’ve set foot on the white, shimmering crystals.

In 2018, St. Pete Beach was voted the 7th best beach in the US by reviewers on TripAdvisor, no mean feat given the millions of reviewers and the competition it faces on both east and west coasts.

At the southern end of the town is Pass-a-Grille beach with its 4 mile continuous stretch along the Gulf of Mexico’s coast.

A day at the beach is often enough entertainment by itself, but there’s much more to do at the beach if you’re more the adventurous type. Take a ferry to one of the 8 island barriers that make up St. Pete Beach, swim with fish, go on a fishing trip with one of the area’s many fishing guides or - if you’re a watersports nut - go crazy: there’s kayaking, parasailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and paddle boarding.

Adjacent to the beach is a plethora of fine eateries, quirky shops and accommodations from luxury resorts to quaint and historic inns.

  • Central Marine Service
  • Yeti Coolers
  • Exteme Graphics
  • Merry Pier
  • Sea Critters Cafe
  • Silas Dent Steak House