Inside the New St. Pete Pier
Bigger and better than ever, the beautiful new St. Pete Pier boasts waterfront fun, sun, shopping, strolling, swimming, dining, locally-loved experiences, and much more – all under an hour’s drive from a handful of our Opal properties and just 10 miles from the Treasure Island Beach Resort.
“It’s more than just a pier. It’s an ex-pier-ience.” The newly renovated St. Pete Pier takes shape as a beautiful waterfront district complete with dining, recreation, entertainment, shopping, and culture. Limitless fun abounds, whether you’re a long-time resident or a first-time visitor. It even has its own tram system to make traversing the different sections even easier. Here we break down just what makes this pier second to none and a whole lot of fun.
Eat Your Heart Out
St. Pete Pier is home to six different dining options (not including the refreshment carts or the corn dogs available at the bait shop) that range from quick bites to high-end supping. Teak boasts floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the gulf along with mouthwatering seafood and pasta options. Pier Teaki’s rooftop location makes it the perfect option for sipping frozen rum drinks while watching the sunset over the city. Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro offers burgers and flatbreads alongside a menu of Florida-style seafood, while Doc Ford’s specializes in Caribbean cuisine and a killer rum list. For those looking for a quick snack, the Spa Beach Bistro serves up standards like pizza, chicken fingers, and French fries to-go, and the Driftwood Cafe at the end of the pier is known for its coffee, grab-and-go sandwiches, and flavorful gelato.
Stroll the Local Art Scene
St. Pete is known for its art scene, which is beautifully evidenced along the pier’s miles of art to admire. Think: Bright bird sculptures and locally inspired wall murals. Many may say the most exciting installation, though, is an intricate bending arc of suspended netting made by local artist Janet Echelman. While this piece is a sight to see during the day, it truly wows come sundown where the help of colorful lighting turns the formed fabric into the aurora borealis.
Peruse the Local Shops
The Marketplace is located right at the entrance of the district. When not in use, the area seems to be full of freestanding murals, but on Friday through Sunday, those murals open into kiosks. Local artists and artisans set up shop like an upscale bazarre along the water. You can expect to find everything from locally designed and crafted copper jewelry to home decor from around the world.
If you’re an active type, there is plenty to do right on the water. The entire 26-acre district is bike-able, and bike rentals are available just a block away from the pier through Coast Bike Share. Anglers cast off from the 3,065-foot-long pier while swimmers and sunbathers make use of the soft golden sands of Spa Beach. Families with young children will love the splash pad and the playground, which is divided into age-appropriate sections. For those visitors looking to get in their daily workout, keep an eye out for yoga and spin classes on the lawn.
Learn Something New (& Old)
The pier is located at the site of the hangar used for the first commercial flight ( tickets went for an astronomical $200 in 1914). To commemorate the spot, a life-size sculpture of a Benoist airboat with two passengers sits atop a granite wave. Just down the pier, the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center takes our attention from the air to the ocean. The center and its wet classrooms feature touch tanks, exhibits, and learning opportunities right on the beach.