St. Petersburg (St. Pete) in Pinellas County, Florida has been known as one the best destinations for vacation for both American and foreign tourists for many years. St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, which is about 2.7 million residents, and the fourth largest city in the state.

St Petersburg’s nickname is “The Sunshine City” because on average we receive about 360 days of sunshine. The city has been a major destination for retirement & health reasons as well as a vacation spot, especially for those from colder climates in the USA, Canada & Europe. Today the temperature is 72 degrees F, sunny with a slight breeze, not bad for February. So not only do I live in the Sunshine State but I also live in the Sunshine City.

Located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, St Pete is connected to mainland Florida and Tampa by  several bridges across Tampa Bay; and to Bradenton in the south by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The Gandy Bridge, opened in 1924, was the first causeway built across Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa.

In 1994 the residents of St Petersburg Beach voted to officially change its name to St Pete Beach. The photo I use on my blog, website, & other marketing materials of the pink & white chairs on the beach with the palm tree is one took on St Pete Beach a few years ago. I need to sit there more often.

A Brief History as found in Wikipedia 

St Petersburg Florida Peninsula, from Wikipedia

“The city was co-founded by John C. Williams, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, who purchased the land in 1876, and by Peter Demens, who was instrumental in bringing the terminus of a railroad there in 1888. St. Petersburg was incorporated on February 29, 1892, when it had a population of only some 300 people.

It was named after Saint Petersburg, Russia, where Peter Demens had spent half of his youth. A local legend says that John C. Williams and Peter Demens flipped a coin to see who would have the honor of naming the city.[5] Peter Demens won and named the city after his birthplace, while John C. Williams named the first hotel after his birthplace, Detroit (a hotel built by Demens[6]). The Detroit Hotel still exists downtown, but has been turned into a condominium. The oldest running hotels are the historic Pier Hotel, built in 1921, formally Hotel Cordova and The Heritage Hotel, built in 1926.

Philadelphia publisher F. A. Davis turned on St. Petersburg’s first electrical service in 1897 and its first trolley service in 1904.[7] The city’s first major industry was born in 1899 when Henry W. Hibbs, 1862–1942, a native of Newport, North Carolina, established his wholesale fish business at the end of the railroad pier, which extended out to the shipping channel. Within a year, Hibbs Fish Company was shipping more than a thousand pounds (454 kg) of fish each day.

1910 Central Avenue, Looking West,St Petersburg,FL

Dredging of a deeper shipping channel from 1906 to 1908 opened St. Petersburg to larger shipping. Further dredging improved the port facilities through the 1910s. By then the city’s population had quadrupled to 4,127.

In 1914, airplane service across Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg to Tampa and back was initiated, generally considered the first commercial airline. The company name was the St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line and the pilot was Tony Jannus, flying a Benoist XIV flying boat. The Tony Jannus Award is presented annually for outstanding achievement in the airline industry. Jannus Landing, a local music/entertainment venue on Central Avenue in downtown, is also named after him.” Wikipedia

I will continue to research & write more about St Pete, its neighborhoods & the general area in the next few months. Now I’m off to hold 2 Open Houses and then the Pinellas International Council is holding its first networking social of the year this evening. We are holding it in the Russian restaurant called St Petersburg Nights in St Pete Beach. There will be Russian & Russian-American business people, food, music, dancing, vodka tasting and friends of the Pinellas International Council. A good time for all is in store-work, fun & gorgeous weather! Ah, life is not too bad here in St Petersburg.

St Pete Beach, Florida photo by Annalisa Weller