One of the best ways to explore St. Petersburg is by water, and it's not a surprise. With its superb location between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, St. Pete (as it's also known) is home to a wide variety of water activities and tours. Whether you have a need for speed (boating) or are looking for a relaxing paddle, there's something for just about everyone in St. Pete.
Perhaps one of the most relaxing ways to explore St. Petersburg is with a paddle in your hand. Take a kayak tour of Weedon Island, a beatiful preserve that was once inhabited by Seminole Indians, and silently slip between the mangroves. If standing is more your speed, consider a stand up paddleboard (SUP) tour of St. Petersburg's North Shore Beach or Coffee Pot Bayou. Not only is SUPing a great way to navigate the waters while working your core, but it's also a great way to get up close and personal with dolphins and manatees.
Gaze over the water from the shores of St. Pete and you'll see a bounty of boats: speed boats, sail boats, catamarans, dinghies and more. Whether you prefer motorized or wind-powered transportation, you'll find a tour that will suit your aquatic imaginings. The calm waters of Tampa Bay are ideal for learning to sail; the St. Petersburg Sailing Center at downtown's municipal marina offers sailing lessons, as do several private companies. Take a lesson--qualifying for the World Cup doesn't come overnight. With a speed boat tour of Tampa Bay, you're the captain and navigator from the beginning. While you drive your own boat, another follows behind with an instructor; the two-way communication system ensures a smooth ride.
Other Aquatic Accoutrements
Of course, there are multiple ways to play in the waves. For a smaller water craft, consider renting a jet ski to speed along the water. Sail-based adrenaline sports like kite surfing and parasailing are another fun way to explore the bay or gulf sides of St. Petersburg; there are multiple companies that give instruction to beginners. Skim boarding is easy to pick up without lessons or, if you're interested in surfing, St. Pete has one of the few stretches of breaks that you can surf on the Gulf Coast of Florida. If you're more interested in catching dinner than catching waves, never fear--the waters along St. Pete's 260 miles of shoreline are full of grouper, mullet and sheepshead and are attainable through a deep sea fishing charter. Additionally, fishing piers are located at and around the city marina, old Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Fort DeSoto Park.