St. Petersburg – The Sunshine City
St. Petersburg, otherwise known as St. Pete or “The Burg” by locals, is one of Florida’s top destinations for fun, sun, culture, art, food, and sunshine. Dubbed the Sunshine City decades ago by a newspaper editor who was so confident in the region’s weather, he promised readers a free newspaper for any rainy day. The City lives up to its nickname most days, and for the rare day when the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy. If you’re headed to St. Pete for Pride weekend or an upcoming vacation, this in-depth St. Pete Gay Travel Guide will come in handy.
How Gay is St. Pete?
The Tampa Bay region, in general, is very LGBTQ-inclusive. But St. Pete takes the “rainbow cake” as the gayest side of the bay. St. Petersburg is home to a very large, and growing, LGBTQ community. The region has one of the largest LGBTQ populations in the state of Florida, if not the largest.
For LGBTQ locals, St. Pete offers a laid back vibe with tons to do and several places to connect with other like-minded LGBTQ people. What is most unique about this region of Florida is the diversity within the LGBTQ community. St. Pete is known for attracting lesbian retirees, but there is a growing population of gay men, transgender people and a younger nonbinary crowd!
The gay scene is never lacking in this town either. Drag shows, nonprofit fundraisers, and LGBTQ networking events pop up weekly.
St. Pete Pride is Florida’s largest LGBT Pride celebration. In 2021, the annual event will take place over four themed-weeks throughout June. Events will include “Outdoor Adventure Week,” “Family Week,” “Arts & Qulture,” and “Taste of PrideFest.” In the interest of wellness and safety many events will be ticketed and have capacity limits.
St. Pete Area Gayborhoods
St. Pete is home to numerous diverse neighborhoods and districts. No St. Pete Gay Travel Guide would be complete without info on some of the most happening areas around town:
Downtown St Pete
St. Pete is bordered by Tampa Bay on the east and it’s here that the glitz of Beach Drive, fronting the Bay, mingles with million-dollar yachts, high-end boutiques, glimmering high rise residences, and booming restaurants and clubs. The downtown area is also home to several world-class museums, restaurants, a municipal airport, and ferry service to nearby Tampa.
At the heart of St. Pete is Central Avenue. This retail and entertainment corridor spans the peninsula from the Bay on the east to the Gulf on the west. You can cruise along Central via car, or via bike (bring your own or rent a shared bike or scooter) and take advantage of the slow speed and bike lanes. Check out dozens of restaurants, clubs, breweries, shops, and more along this dynamic stretch of town.
The Grand Central District (31st Street to 16th Street) and the Edge District (16th Street to MLK (9th ) Street) are home to several LGBTQ-owned and supportive businesses. Central is also home to the Metro Inclusive LGBTQ Welcome Center. Although the Grand Central District is often referred to as the official St. Pete “Gayborhood,” you can now find rainbow flags and welcoming establishments all along Central Avenue.
Head southwest of St. Pete to the nearby charming and quirky town of Gulfport. Anything goes in this waterfront town where the motto is “If it’s too weird for Gulfport, it’s too weird.” Gulfport is an artsy enclave offering visitors a funky, beachy vibe. No two properties are alike and many private residences as well as shops and eateries feature unique artwork and a laid-back, welcoming energy. Everyone is welcome in Gulfport, and Sundays lend themselves to live music and super-friendly afternoon tea dances popular with the LGBTQ crowd.
The town of Gulfport has a very large LGBTQ population. In fact, one of the condo buildings in Gulfport was renamed the Edie Windsor Building due to the number of lesbians who reside there. Gulfport is also home to am award-winning LGBTQ Resource Center and hosts its own pride celebration at the end of May.
St Pete Beaches
While the crystal sand St. Pete area beaches don’t specifically have a gayborhood, all are welcoming and inclusive. Sunset Beach in Treasure Island is the designated “gay” beach, but it attracts a variety of locals, not just LGBTQ. Still, one other beach is worth mentioning.
Pass-A-Grille, the southernmost tip of St. Pete Beach, is home to a growing LGBTQ popouation, especially for ladies! This beach even has a lesbian-owned botique hotel. On a weekly basis, the LGBTQ locals gather for Wine Down Wednesdays, beach yoga, and Friday shuffleboard. The Hurricane is also a popular spot for LGTBQ “gaytherings.” And the regional Gay 5K has been hosted along this beach for several years.
Where to Stay in and Around St. Pete
All of the listed lodgings in our Saint Pete Gay Travel Guide are LGBTQ friendly. Unless otherwise indicated, children are welcome. Pets are welcome at many, but not all properties. Please verify when reserving.
Hotels & Resorts
Bilmar Beach Resort
106500 Gulf Boulevard, Treasure Island
The Bilmar Beach Resort has been welcoming visitors to the Gulf shore since 1961. The recently updated sprawling property offers a variety of amenities. Choose from gulf-front rooms, or studio apartments – all feature comfy pillow-top beds and amenities. When it comes to activities, enjoy the private beach, try out various water sports, or go for a dip in one of the properties heated pools.
The Bilmar is also known as a stellar event and wedding venue. They offer multiple event spaces and catering options for groups of all sizes.
113 11th Avenue, Pass-A-Grille
Ease into cozy comfort at the Coconut Inn. This charming boutique property offers 11 units, including studios, and one and two-bedroom options. Take a dip in the sparkling blue pool or stroll just 150 steps to the Gulf! Enjoy amenities like complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, bicycles, beach towels, and more. When it’s time to relax, sink into the clean comfort of your beachy modern room and one of their new memory foam mattresses. Let Coconut Inn owner/manager Maggie Caruso and her welcoming team help you plan your visit, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a beachfront wedding.
Sirata Beach Resort
5300 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach
Plan your escape to the beachfront Sirata Beach Resort. Enjoy a variety of spacious and comfortable guest rooms facing the beautiful white sands and the Gulf of Mexico. Dine along the beach at one of the properties three restaurants. Soak your cares away in one of the resorts two pools, or the whirlpool. Many of the resort’s 382 rooms, including 170 one-bedroom suites, feature sitting areas, water views, and mini fridges.
Active visitors can stroll the miles of private, pristine beach, take a yoga class, or try out a variety of watersports including rental kayaks, and paddleboards. At day’s end sip along with the Sunset Spirits Reception as you relax at Rum Runner’s Tiki Bar. Young guests will have a blast with activities like crafts, table tennis, and scavenger hunts. This is resort life at its best.
The Hollander Hotel
421 4th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
The Hollander Hotel is a charming vintage property, updated with all the modern comforts in the heart of downtown St. Pete. The Hollander offers a variety of room types, including suites, and some with balconies overlooking the oasis-like swimming pool and sun deck. All guests enjoy free parking. Hop into town on the Hollander’s free shuttle.
Relaxation comes easy at the Hollander. Grab a drink and a meal at the hotel’s popular Tap Room Bar & Grill, offering indoor and outdoor dining and beverage options. Relax the day away and reserve a poolside cabana. Sit on the outside terrace and indulge in treats, including vegan options, from the Common Grounds coffee shop. Unwind with a weekend yoga session on the pool deck. Schedule treatments at the properties full-service Harmony Eco Spa for the ultimate getaway.
The Avalon Hotel
443 4th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
Art Deco meets mid-century mod at The Avalon the Hollander’s sister property. Comfort and style come together in this updated historic property. Choose from standard rooms, or suites, some with kitchenettes. Every evening guests can join in complimentary lobby happy hour. Avalon guests also enjoy all the amenities of the Hollander next door, including free parking and shuttle service around town.
Head to The Postcard Inn for fun in the sun and beyond. This stylish beachfront resort has everything for your Gulf coast getaway. Choose from 196 modern rooms with creative beachy, vintage-inspired vibe artwork and comfort.
Enjoy time throughout the beautiful property, relaxing in the gardens or floating in the largest heated pool on St. Pete Beach! Head out to the beach and take in the sun and sights from your cabana. Or enjoy a variety of recreational activities. Cruise around in the Gulf on a jet ski, kayak, or even a “Banana Boat” sunset tour!
Take a break from the sun with time in the hotel’s comfy coffee and snack shop. The outdoor bar makes for a great place to sip and take in the sights. On weekends groove to live music and entertainment.
Gay St. Pete Guest House
4505 5th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
St. Pete’s only dedicated gay bed and breakfast, Gay St. Pete Guest House, offers a casual tropical vibe in a central location. This clothing optional property offers six quaint rooms with private baths in an historic house. Take a dip in the clothing-optional heated pool or relax in the sauna or under a cabana. Enjoy complimentary daily continental breakfasts and beer/wine at happy hour.
FabStayz® Vacation Rentals
Looking to feel more at home during your St. Pete stay? Look no further than FabStayz. This LGBTQ-friendly vacation rental service specializes in inclusive accommodations. All property hosts are members of the LGBTQ community or supportive allies. Tampa Bay region properties include historic bungalows, beachfront apartments, vintage campers, and waterfront condos:
The Hello Dali Apartment
Historic Uptown, St. Petersburg
Get to the heart of it all in centrally-located Historic Uptown. Up to four guests can enjoy the artistic charm and amenities of the Hello Dali St. Petersburg apartment. You’re just steps away from all St. Pete has to offer including nearby restaurants, craft breweries, and bars. Or you can stay in and whip-up a snack in the fully-equipped kitchen, enjoy the quiet shared yard for relaxation or a barbecue. After your busy day, welcome sunset with a relaxing beverage on your private balcony.
The Beach Please Apartment
Upham Beach, St. Pete Beach
Hit the beach and call this delightful, fun, and funky two bedroom apartment home! The Beach Please can accommodate up to six guests. You’ll be just steps from popular Upham Beach and nearby restaurants and bars. This property has all the comforts of home, including a full kitchen, and a dining area, if you want to create home-cooked meals and new memories with your traveling companions. The vibe outside is just as beachy and inviting as the interior. Enjoy time in a hammock or hanging out at the shared picnic table. Kiddos are welcome to enjoy fun amenities like an enclosed yard with their own playhouse!
Oak Park Bungalow Home
Central St. Petersburg
Can’t decide between the beach or downtown? Split the difference and stay right in the middle at the Oak Park Bungalow! This charming three bedroom, two bathroom home is equal distance from all St. Petersburg and the beach have to offer. The property sleeps up-to six guests. Enjoy the feeling of being at home with your own private fenced yard. Cook meals in the fully-equipped kitchen and enjoy the lovely outdoor dining area and deck.
What to do in and Around St. Pete
There is so much to do in St. Pete. If we created a list of EVERYTHING there is to explore, you wouldn’t have time to finish reading this Saint Pete Gay Travel Guide. So, we’ve highlighted several of our favorites. Many of these businesses have hosted events for or support regional and statewide LGBTQ organizations.
Arts & Culture
St. Pete is home to some of the best arts and culture in the state of Florida. People travel from around the world to visit our glass museums and the Dali Museum. But there is so much more to the art scene than meets the eye. Here are our top recommended stops in our Saint Pete Gay Travel Guide:
Morean Arts Center
Multiple Locations Throughout St. Petersburg
Get in touch with your artsy side at the Morean Arts Center. This community-based arts organization has been providing cultural access and experiences to the ‘Burg since 1917! Check out a variety of art forms at their venues throughout town.
The main Arts Center (719 Central Avenue) features exciting changing exhibits. Be sure to check-out the larger-than-life murals on the exterior of the buildings!
Across the street is the Chihuly Collection (720 Central Avenue). Lose yourself in the colorful expressions of the Chihuly Collection. Marvel at the works of International glass artist Dale Chihuly in a stunning space that was created just for them. Don’t miss a glass art demonstration in the Morean glass studio.
Explore the ceramic studios and creations at the Morean Center for Clay (420 22nd Street South) housed in the former Seaboard Freight Train Depot. Sign up for a class or two and make your own creations!
The Dali Museum
1 Dali Boulevard, St. Petersburg
Don’t dilly dally during your St. Pete visit – get to the Dali Museum! This state-of-the-art museum is dedicated to the works and story of artist Salvador Dali. The building and garden are almost as captivating as the art collection. Explore multiple galleries featuring creations from throughout Dali’s life and career. A separate gallery plays host to a variety of traveling, multi-media exhibits with works of other well-known artists. Insider Tip: Tickets do sell-out quickly. Reserve tickets online in advance of your trip. Check out their event schedule for programs like “Coffee with a Curator” and other fun.
The Imagine Museum of Contemporary Glass Art
1901 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
The Imagine Museum offers a world-class collection of contemporary American and International glass art. Explore the history of the studio glass art movement through over 500 breathtaking creations. The whole family is welcome to be captivated by the artworks that are paired beautifully with dramatic lighting and displays.
Insider Tip: Contact the museum to arrange a tour, including an option designed especially for young visitors.
The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art
150 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Get in touch with your inner cowpoke at The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art. The collection of American Western and wildlife art is second only to the stunning, modern galleries designed specially to house it all. The museum also features changing exhibits on a variety of themes, including animal conservation and the environment. Stroll among the artwork and artifacts, including Native American jewelry, while local musicians perform, or enjoy the show on the lobby stage while you sip wine or a craft beer from the museum’s café. Check the calendar for exhibit updates and the weekly live entertainment schedule.
Museum of Fine Arts
255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg
Enjoy the finer things in life, including fine art. St. Petersburg’s Museum of Fine Arts was established in 1965 to house outstanding pieces of art from around the world. The permanent collection includes art and decorative objects spanning almost 5,000 years. Highlights include masterpieces by Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keefe, and other well-known international artists. There’s also a stunning sculpture garden, a glass art gallery, and an impressive photographic collection. Changing exhibits feature a variety of styles and themes including ceramics, textiles, and guest works-on-loan from other collections. Don’t miss their “Coffee Talk” sessions when staff and curators provide behind-the-scenes insight on collection items and their creators. Their gift shop is a must for unique art-inspired souvenirs, including some by local artisans.
2622 Fairfield Avenue South, St. Petersburg
Check out the happenings of The Factory. This immersive arts venue offers opportunities to interact with art and the artists that create it! Explore the expansive studio spaces, watch artists at work, join a dance class, listen to open mic poetry, commission a short story created on-the-spot. And if you’re inspired by what you see you can even purchase your own art supplies from the Factory residents at Grounded Gallery.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss Art Walks with live art demos, music, and food trucks from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. the second Saturday of each month.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum
2240 9th Avenue South, St. Petersburg
In the heart of the Deuces Live District the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum pays homage to African American historian and civil rights activist Dr. Woodson. The vibrant museum gives voice to St. Pete’s African American community through local, regional, and national history and cultural expressions. The museum often plays host to fascinating public programs and live music.
Insider Tip: Just outside the museum, along 9th Avenue south, is St. Petersburg’s first official “Black Lives Matter” mural. The literal street art project was a labor of love created by a diverse group of local artists in 2020.
SHINE Mural Festival
Multiple Locations Throughout St. Petersburg
In St. Petersburg the sun shines on the arts. Particularly the dozens of creative and beautiful murals that adorn various structures around town. No Saint Pete Gay Travel Guide would be complete without mentioning our famous murals. We even have a few LGBTQ-themed ones, too!
Each year since 2015 the City has hosted the SHINE Mural Festival to revitalize the community, inspire dialogue, and unite the community. SHINE transforms the city into a world-class outdoor art gallery. Creations are the product of local, national, and international artists.
Insider Tip: Learn more about the murals at your own pace with the PixelStix audio tour.
Looking for fun? While some venues are closed, many are open with limited capacity. So mask-up and check out these favorite entertainment stops on our Saint Pete Gay Travel Guide.
Great Explorations Children’s Museum
1925 4th Street North, St. Petersburg
Young visitors (up-to-age 17) and their adult companions will enjoy hours of fun at the Great Explorations Children’s Museum. This vibrant space features innovative hands-on learning through creative play and stimulating entertainment. The museum is happy to accommodate guests with autism and other sensory concerns. The gift shop has something for children of all ages (including young-at-heart adults!).
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
5223 Orient Road, Tampa
Get lucky at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Explore this sprawling 245,000 square-feet entertainment complex with eight bars, ten restaurants, and 5,00 slot machines. Try your hand at games like Blackjack, Baccarat, and poker, among others. Take a break from your winning streak to enjoy performances in a variety of lounges and concert venues. Unwind from all the action and reserve a poolside cabana. Indulge in treatments at the resort’s Rock Spa & Salon. Enjoy some retail therapy in the hotel and casino’s specialty shops.
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts
1010 North WC Macinnes Place, Tampa
The Stars Shine at the “The Straz.” Indeed, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts is a world-class venue. With three theatres it is the largest in the southeast. This stunning venue draws a wide-range of touring performers, Broadway style shows, and is home base to Opera Tampa and the Florida Orchestra.
Insider Tip: Plan to arrive early and enjoy a meal at one of the Straz Center’s three restaurants.
Explore the Outdoors
If you want true sun in the fun, no visit to St. Pete and Tampa Bay would be complete without time at one of the region’s beautiful Gulf beaches. There are many to choose from depending on your interests. If you’re in the mood for mellow sunbathing and sunset viewing or more active adventures including kayaking and parasailing, the beaches of St. Pete have it all! Explore all the beaches with a rental “Slingshot” from Beach Blast Rentals and cruise the roads in fun and style. Here we highlight some of the most popular LGBTQ beach destinations.
Southern End of St. Pete Beach
Head to the southern tip of St. Pete beach and find the hidden treasure of Pass-A-Grille. This quaint beachside town gets its unique name from early visitors and anglers who used, and would share, grills on the beach. Pass-A-Grille was designated a National Historic District in 1989. Whether you choose to fish or grill here or not, be sure to at least catch one of the beach’s spectacular sunsets. Live like a local and participate in the traditional community ringing of the sunset bell. Morning walks along Pass-A-Grille’s sugary sand offer a relaxing and less crowded experience.
3500 Pinellas Bayway South
Fort DeSoto is the St. Pete area’s largest beach. It offers three miles of pristine beaches and stunning views of the Gulf and the nearby Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Take a break from the sand and explore a variety of walking trails and remnants of historic structures. Try your luck fishing off the two piers, each with bait and food available for purchase. Bring your fur babies for time in the surf at their own dog beach! There are separate fenced play areas for large and small pups and a rinse station for after their fun in the surf and sand.
8000 West Gulf Boulevard
What’s in a name? Everything if you want to catch spectacular Gulf sunsets! Sunset Beach lives up to its name and more. Any time of the day you can enjoy this popular “unofficial” gay beach. This swath of sand was once home to a popular beachfront bar. While the bar is no more, Sunset Beach comes alive on Sunday afternoons, and even more during Pride events, with LGBT beachgoers. Just look for the rainbow flags and umbrellas off the Sunset Beach Scenic Boardwalk!
Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
1101 Country Club Way South, St. Petersburg
Immerse yourself in nature at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. You won’t believe you’re just outside downtown St. Pete as you explore this sprawling 245-acre natural area. Check out the natural habitats and tropical landscapes of this pristine wilderness. Stroll along miles of boardwalks through diverse ecosystems. Ride your bike along the nature trails. Visit with the resident raptors at their enclosures. Catch an educational program or join a specialized tour of the Preserve. Oh, and watch your step – alligators are known to sun themselves near boardwalks or on the shores of the Preserve’s Lake Maggiore!
St. Pete Pier
At the heart of St. Petersburg is the City’s pier. Originally built as part of a railway system to get citrus cargo to waiting ships, over the years the pier transitioned to a destination in its own right. There have been several versions of the pier over the decades. Check out the latest incarnation, designed to serve as a 26-acre gathering and recreational space for residents and visitors alike. Stroll along acres of green space and along the waterfront walkways for unparalleled views of the St. Pete Skyline, Tampa Bay. On clear days you can even spot neighboring Tampa in the distance.
The Pier is also home to the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center and multiple restaurants that are perfect for a relaxing bite or a leisurely meal. Evenings offer a totally different vibe when the pier’s huge permanent art installation comes to life, and light!
Insider Tip: Go for sunset – even though the sun sets further west, you’ll enjoy captivating cloudscapes as you sip a beverage from Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille or the upscale Teak on the pier’s fourth floor. Back at ground level enjoy casual fare from Spa Beach Bistro or the Driftwood Café.
St. Pete Shuffleboard Club
559 Mirror Lake Drive, St. Petersburg
The Sunshine City has been taking its shuffleboard seriously since 1924. At the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, with over 110 shuffleboard courts, this beautifully restored historic property the largest shuffleboard club in the world! Members are welcome to use the courts at any time, or to relax in the comfortable, air conditioned club house.
Insider Tip: Friday Night Shuffle events offer free play and shuffleboard lessons from friendly volunteers. BYOB (but not in glass containers!) to enjoy friendly competition, live music, and food trucks while you shuffle along.
1825 4th Street North, St. Petersburg
Step back in time at Sunken Gardens. This unique botanical paradise was established over a century ago. You won’t believe the treasures nestled just off one of St. Pete’s main roads. The four-acre enclave feels much bigger as you meander along the paths covered by a lush tropical canopy. Admire over 50,000 plants and flowers. Feel the cool mist of waterfalls. Listen carefully to birds in the distance and marvel as you come upon a flamboyance of flamingos! Talk with the resident Kookaburra and other feathered-friends.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the gift shop for unique mementos. The gardens make for an amazing photo opps and a special event venue.
St. Pete Massage Therapy
1211 1st Avenue North
Get ready to relax in the serene oasis of St. Pete Massage Therapy. Revive your spirit and soothe your body with treatments such as Swedish or deep tissue massage. Board Certified massage therapist Jim Thomason also offers aromatherapy, cryotherapy, and medicupping to help you address your health concerns.
Where to Shop in St. Pete
If engaging in retail therapy is on your to-do list while visiting St. Pete you won’t be disappointed. The region has several popular shopping areas including downtown Gulfport, Beach Drive, and Central Avenue to name a few. Some of our favorite places to work-out our credit cards are listed here:
Atlas Body & Home
919 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Get a new look for your travels and beyond at Atlas Body & Home. What happens when two interior designers open a home furnishing store that expands into a clothing and accessories? The result is a delightful hub of fashion and fun on the cutting-edge of style (and St. Pete’s vibrant Edge District)! This men’s lifestyle boutique features home furnishings, curated goods, and the latest in hot clothing finds.
3115 Beach Boulevard South, Gulfport
Find your pride gear and more at the Beach Bazaar. This fun, eclectic shop is stocked with all sorts of fun and necessary items! Wander the aisles of vintage wares, novelty items, beach gear, and seashells to find souvenirs for everyone on your shopping list. Check out the creations by local artists, including hand-painted furnishings, jewelry, and clothing. The Bazaar is also an official contract post office so you can buy and mail your postcards all in the same shop! They also offer fax, copy, and notary services.
2435 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
From home decor and gifts to fabrics, furniture and wallpapers, Blue Cottage has everything needed to update your living space. This LGBT-owned home goods boutique and interior design company is located in Grand Central. Stop in for a special treasure to add a sparkle to your home.
3011 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Love treasure hunting? Then you’ll adore this antique store filled to the brim with artifacts, jewelry and unique items. Take your time exploring each nook and cranny of this popular treasure trove along Central Avenue. For a sneak peak, visit their online store for a preview of what’s inside.
Sip, Shop, Hooray
2053 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Step into Sip, Shop, Hooray for a beverage, great vibes, and a wonderful selection of merchandise. This women-owned boutique and bar serves-up delightful cocktails, thoughtful fashion, soulful music, and a strong sense of community. Stop by for the latest inclusive fashions, curated beverages, and live music.
Urban Burg Gifts
2253 Central Ave #101 Saint Petersburg, FL
If you need a gift for a loved one or a trinket for yourself, Urban Burg Gifts has it all. With so many interesting and unique items from which to choose, you could spend hours browsing the shelves in this gay-owned gift shop. The store offers a wide variety of gifts, including kitchen items, greeting cards, wine holders, spa items, wall decor and plenty of things to make you smile.
Woodfield Fine Art Gallery
2253 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Enter the welcoming and beautiful world of Woodfield Fine Art Gallery. Owner and curator Jim Woodfield has been showcasing local art since 2015. Explore the creations of over 45 regional artists in a variety of mediums, including some by Woodfield, a fine painter in his-own-right. Choose your favorites from stunning paintings, drawings, mixed media, sculptures, and more. There are styles and prices to appeal to every décor and budget. Insider Tip: Visit during an Art Walk to see the latest pieces and meet talented artists in person.
531 Central Avenue
ZaZoo’d is a staple of Central Avenue. This vibrant boutique is your one-stop-shop for eclectic and upscale home décor, whimsical housewares, and gift items. You’ll find something for everyone on your shopping list and maybe a treasure, or two, for yourself at this unique store.
Where to Dine in St. Pete
Baba on Central
2701 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
You’ll be transported to Greece in this neighborhood eatery. Located in the popular LGBTQ-dense Historic Kenwood, Baba on Central focuses on fresh ingredients with a classic family twist. The trendy space offers a laid back feel with high class flavor. Both indoor and outdoor dining is available. The restaurant also has an herb garden, cafe and bakery on site. The decor is centered around the evil eye talisman with murals from local artist Chad Mize.
Birch & Vine
340 Beach Drive Northeast, St. Petersburg
Experience the innovative global-inspired cuisine of Birch and Vine. This upscale eatery is located on the lower level of the boutique Birchwood hotel. Enjoy fresh seasonal fare for lunch or dinner, inside or out. Favorites include crab cakes, and smoked lamb chops. The extensive menu also has vegan and vegetarian options. Insider Tip: Before dinner take the elevator to the rooftop Canopy Lounge for a beverage and the spectacular views of downtown St. Pete and Tampa Bay.
It doesn’t need to be Tuesday to enjoy tacos from Casita Taqueria. If you are craving tacos, this is the place to go every day of the week! This community-centered Mexican restaurant, with several locations in the St Petersburg region, focuses on fresh and quality ingredients. All corn tortillas are made in-house, meats are slow-braised and fresh local produce is used when available. They are also known for hanging rainbow flags year round!
Cider Press Café
601 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Get your vegan fix at the Cider Press Café. This charming, eclectic eatery offers organic vegan fare that even non-vegans crave. Gluten-free diners will also find plenty of options. Favorites include the vegan “shrimp” and “chicken wings.” They also serve a nice selection of wines and craft beers. The friendly vibe and service add to the experience whether you dine indoors or out.
2930 Beach Boulevard S, Gulfport, FL 33707
If you’re craving vegan comfort food, then you’ll love this LGBTQ-friendly deli in Gulfport. The pastrami Reuben, Philly Cheesesteak, French Dip and chili dogs could fool any meat eater into thinking they’d died and gone to heaven like the dinosaurs. And the vegan baked goods are also worth the visit. Golden Dinosaurs offers several gluten free options, too.
Love Food Central
2057 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
Dear vegans, you’ll want to sink your teeth into the Awesome Burger at Love Food Central because it’s, well, AWESOME! This popular vegan deli has a variety of unique sandwiches, salads, baked goods and the best nut-butter based ice creams you’ll ever taste. And there is not denying this restaurant’s LOVE for all human beings. If you eat, you are welcome!
Let it Be Ice Cream
3127 Beach Boulevard, Gulfport
Entering Let it Be Ice Cream is like stepping back-in-time to the days when an iced cream cone could make the world a better place. This delightful vintage-inspired ice cream shop features small batch, homemade deliciousness. Order an “ice cream flight” to enjoy your old favorite flavors, and try some new ones! Indulge in serious treats like malts, shakes, sundaes, floats, and more.
600 5th Street South, St. Petersburg at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Book your reservation at The Library, pun intended. This elegant and unique eatery offers dining inside and out, also at their well-appointed bar. There’s even a pastry counter for teas, coffees, and baked goods throughout the day. Designed as a tribute to the George Peabody Library in Baltimore, St. Pete’s Library serves lunch and breakfast in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Research and Education Building. Enjoy the eclectic menu and indoor or open-air dining just a short stroll or drive from downtown.
400 6th Street South
Come and linger at St. Pete’s newest hot spot, Lingr. The Nordic and Asian-inspired menu by Top Chef contestant Jeffrey Jew is his first solo venture. The concept is an ode to his family heritage – combining the best culinary traditions of Norwegian and Chinese fare. Explore the sustainable and locally-sourced menu. Enjoy craft beers, cocktails, and an extensive wine list. The upscale-casual bar and restaurant is sure to become a place where friends gather and feel welcome.
300 Beach Drive Northeast, St. Petersburg
Head to Parkshore Grill for contemporary American fare at its finest. This upscale spot offers delightful food and service indoors and out for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy the extensive food and wine menus. Favorites include fresh seafood, steaks, and great views of the park and north yacht basin. Insider Tip: The lively bar serves food as well. Weekend brunch is decadent and worth the calories.
Mixers at Old Key West
2451 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL
A popular spot in the “gayborhood” for happy hour, Mixers at Old Key West also dishes up delicious grub! The restaurant is a grade above bar food with salads, burgers and full course dinners. They even have a handful of delicious desserts. Mixers at OKW also serves up entertainment all week long including Tuesday’s Florida folk music night, Thursday’s trivia night, and Friday’s live music. Insider Tip: Wednesday is $5 burger night with BOGO drinks. Gotta love Hump Day!
Punky’s Bar & Grill
3063 Central Avenue, St. Pete
Join the locals at Punky’s Bar & Grill. This LGBTQ-owned and operated neighborhood eatery features comfort staples like burgers, wings, and weekly specials. Punky’s has a wonderful tradition of supporting local causes with regular Tuesday night drag queen bingo events. They also offer a full roster of local music and entertainment.
Stella’s & Stella’s Sundries
2914 Beach Boulevard South, Gulfport
Step into Stella’s for a welcoming taste of home. This Gulfport staple has been serving-up tasty southern-inspired breakfasts and lunch since 2009. See for yourself why USA Today voted Stella’s among the top breakfasts in the Tampa Bay region. Check out Stella’s Sundries retail shop for funky housewares, souvenirs, and some of Stella’s most well-loved condiments. Insider Tip: Start your day right with the Bloody Mary sampler flight!
224 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg
This popular classic American restaurant in downtown St Pete is filled with old world flavors. The menu at Stillwater Tavern highlights both land and sea with a focus on unique flavors. While this restaurant isn’t LGBTQ-owned, it’s definitely LGBTQ-welcoming. The restaurant also has an expansive drink menu.
Swingers Patio Bar & Grill
2501 Central Avenue
Get ready to swing your cares away at Swingers Patio Bar & Grill. This new LGBTQ-owned swing-seating eatery and bar features a large patio for dining and relaxation. They offer a variety of creative cocktails in addition to beer and a nice wine selection. Enjoy happy hour Wednesdays through Fridays featuring half-off beer, wine, and select cocktails from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. When it’s time for dinner choose from salads, soups, flatbreads, tacos, curries, and more.
The Studio Public House Featuring Pom Pom’s Tea House
2950 Central Avenue
Settle-in at the Studio Public House for “grub, grain, vino, and vibes.” This funkadelic spot once housed a recording studio. Now, everyone is welcome to enjoy the space. The Studio offers a wide-variety of handcrafted teas, including custom blends served-up alongside delicious eats. Dine and sip among eclectic local artworks (available for purchase). Engage all your senses while you dig-into gourmet sandwiches and unique and house-made sides while you take-in live music Insider Tip: Check the Studio happenings listing for upcoming events including open mic nights and Tarot Card readings!
2462 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
For the best vegan baked goods in town, where dessert is the only thing on the menu, head to Vahalla Bakery. Owner Celine Duvoisin searches out the best ingredients to make sure that everything is egg-free and dairy-free, as well as Vegan-approved. All we can say is “YUM!”
Where to Sip & Socialize in St. Pete
Black Crow Coffee Co.
Two Locations in St. Petersburg
Take your choice of two delightful outposts of Black Crow Coffee. Make yourself at home in the Old Northeast location (722 2nd Street North) or the Grand Central location (2161 1st Avenue South). Each venue offers amazing fresh roasted coffee and delectable eats including vegan delights. Come for the coffee, stay for the welcoming, eclectic vibe. Feel even better about your visit as each location participates in zero-waste programs, down to the straws made of pasta, conscious recycling efforts, and composting program!
2355 Central Avenue, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33713
The newest additional to St. Pete gay nightlife is COCKtail. This high class bar with fancy drinks is the creation of local entrepreneur David Fischer, also owner of Zazoo’d and The Saint Speakeasy. The decor, theme and events all provide toungue-in-cheek, leaning toward risqué, humor and vibes, but all in good gay fun!
1055 4th Street South at the Community Oasis
Make your way to the home-away-from-home of the Community Café. This comfortable and safe space offers a full menu with plenty of veggie and vegan options. They are open for lunch until late for delicious eats, community, adult beverages, coffee, and just getting to hang with like-minded people. Make yourself at home in this inclusive and welcoming café.
The Dog Bar
2300 Central Avenue
A dog walks into a bar. No joke. Let your social life go to the dogs at The Dog Bar. Everyone is welcome at this friendly outdoor hangout – even humans without doggos are admitted too! Don’t worry if you didn’t bring your own pup – you’ll be entertained just watching the variety of friendly pooches play. Enjoy beverages from the full bar and a rotating selection of craft beers.
Know before you go: The Dog Bar is a membership dog park for dogs of all ages and sizes. Patrons must be 21 and over. Contact the management prior to your visit so you’ll know what documentation to bring for your dog to be able to frolic with new friends.
The Garage on Central
2729 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Pull into the Garage on Central for the great atmosphere and full bar. Enjoy their great happy hour and the welcoming vibe. Friendly staff and locals make the Garage a favorite hangout. Dance up-a-storm on select evenings when DJs spin music and play videos. Belt out a tune or two with Karaoke on Thursday and Saturday nights. Insider Tip: Saturday nights the Garage is smoke-free. Check their social media for fun events like themed drag performances and tea dances.
Grand Central Brewhouse
2340 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
“Built for the community, brewed with heart,” is the slogan of this new brewery on the outskirts of the Grant Central District. Grand Central Brewhouse is a thoughtfully designed brewery, taproom, beer garden, and event venue that offers world-class beer and a knowledgeable staff waiting to assist. Grand Central brews lagers, pale ales, IPAs, darker ales and sours.
Grassroots Kava House
957 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Open late hours, the Grassroots Kava House is a popular hangout spot for business owners, college students and locals who need a space to lounge outside of their walls. With two stories of seating and workspace, this is an ideal place to network, socialize and get work done. If you’re coming to St. Pete for fun, but need to slip a little business in, grab a Kava, Kratom, coffee or tea and get to work. They offer pastries too.
Gulfperk Coffee Bar
3107 Beach Boulevard South, Gulfport
Perk up your day with a visit to Gulfperk Coffee Bar. This welcoming, low-key coffee shop serves up friendliness, fantastic coffee, and light bites. Get a jolt from a variety of coffees, teas, and espresso drinks. Feed your soul and your tummy with a bagel, gourmet avocado toast, or a freshly-baked muffin. Gluten free options are also available. Come by for an after dinner coffee and relax on the outdoor patio and watch the world go by.
1110 Central Avenue, St. Pete
Everyone is welcome at Enigma (as long as they’re 21 and over!). There’s never a cover charge at this popular bar and club. Enigma has been serving cocktails and a friendly vibe for years. Rub elbows with locals during happy hour. Enjoy world-class drag shows, or show-off your own moves on Enigma’s lively dance floor, powered by top-notch DJs.
Lucky Star Lounge
2760 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Lucky Star Lounge is a small, neighborhood gay bar in St Petersburg, Florida. This local watering hole is favored for its cheap drinks and great service. Featuring colorful interiors and diner-style seating, Lucky Star Lounge has a Happy Hour all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Kava Bar
4685 28th Street North, St. Petersburg
Go to Mad Hatter’s Ethnobotanical Kava Bar for around-the-clock excitement. Everyone is welcome at this 24 hour tea and coffee bar. They serve all sorts of kava, kratom, boba teas, kombucha, smoothies, teas, yerba mate, and much more! Lounge on the outdoor patio and to indulge in the hookah experience or enjoy live entertainment. Grab a snack from the Fat Dawgz food truck or enjoy some sweet treats from Retro Oven Bakery.
13284 66th Street North, Largo
Quench your desire for dancing, fun, karaoke, and the occasional drag show at this happening spot. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the fun at this centrally located “straight friendly” bar. Enjoy their incredible drink specials and unique special events including drag bingo, guest celebrity bar tenders, and themed parties.
The Saint Speakeasy
49 24th Street North, St. Petersburg
Venture off-the-beaten-path to experience the seclusion and style of The Saint Speakeasy. Behind an unassuming façade this upscale lounge offers gorgeous ambiance, decadent cocktails, and delightful conversation. In true speakeasy style there’s a fun entrance process! The vibe of the Saint is relaxed and anyone 21 and over is welcome. However, cell phones and rowdy behavior are not.
Shaded Keg Pub
348 Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach
Stop into the Shaded Keg Pub after a day at the beach. This delightful bar offers a large selection of local wine and craft beer bar. Relax with daily drink specials, weekly events, live music, and gourmet tapas. Enjoy a diverse rotating menu and crowd at this welcoming pub where, as their slogan goes, “Pride is Always on Tap.”
Southside Coffee Brew Bar
3922 6th Street South
Unwind as you sip in the open-air space of Southside Coffee Brew Bar. This welcoming, lesbian-owned, community hub offers amazing coffee creations as well as kombucha, kratom, and organic teas. Indulge in local baked goods, decadent lattes, or a standard cup of Joe.
Getting to St. Pete
St. Petersburg is easily accessible via several airports, major roadways, boat, and even ferry service!
Fly the friendly skies to the region’s largest airport, Tampa International Airport – TPA (4100 George J. Bean Parkway, Tampa). is just 20 miles north of St. Pete and just six miles west of downtown Tampa. It’s an easy, scenic drive or rideshare (but allow for extra time during peak traffic hours). Tampa International has recently been upgraded and is served by over 20 major carriers and charter flight services. Rental cars, shuttle services, and ride sharing service is readily available.
Flying into St. Pete can be as easy as “PIE” when you fly into St. Pete Clearwater International Airport – PIE (14700 Terminal Boulevard, Clearwater). This small international commercial and military airport is just nine miles north of St. Pete. However, it’s currently served by just a few airlines. The trade-off is it makes for super easy access and parking. It’s also an easy place to pick up a rental car whether you’re fling in or not.
Head south of St. Pete to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport – SRQ (6000 Airport Circle, Sarasota). This mid-sized international airport is served by ten commercial airlines. Rental cars, shuttle services, public transportation, and ride shares are a cost-effective option for reaching the Sunshine City just north, over the landmark Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
If you’re traveling by private plane or charter Albert Whited Airport (107 8th Avenue SE, St. Petersburg) is in the heart of downtown St. Pete. You can get off the plane, walk across the tarmac, and be inside a nearby restaurant for happy hour within minutes!
St. Pete is a boater’s paradise. The region is surrounded by water on three sides! If you’re traveling to the area by boat, you’ve got plenty of marinas to choose from. They range from full amenities with hook-up service to docking for the day.
The St. Petersburg Municipal Marina (500 1st Avenue Southeast) is operated by the City of St. Petersburg. They offer a public boat launch and a transient dock as well as fuel for sale. Looking to dock your mega yacht? The Safe Harbor Harborage Marina (1110 3rd Street South) is the first, and only, full-service mega yacht port on the west coast of Florida. Guests can enjoy resort-style amenities including a pool and tiki hut exclusively for marina clients.
If you don’t have a boat of your own, you can still get the nautical vibe via the Cross Bay Ferry. This daily service takes visitors back-and-forth between St. Pete’s Vinoy Basin (375 Bayshore Drive Northeast) to Tampa’s Convention Center District (333 Franklin Street, Tampa). The voyage aboard the Provincetown II takes under an hour. With multiple trips back and forth daily, you can create your own itinerary for adventure.
Getting to the Sunshine City is a breeze. Head west from Florida’s east coast via Interstate-4 which will connect you to the Tampa Bay region and points west. From the North or South St. Pete is easily accessed via Interstate 75. Travelling from the north west? Take a laid back, old Florida road trip vibe via Highway 19 along the western edge of the state.
St. Pete Health and Safety
Covid-19 General Information
Guidelines vary throughout the region and change on a daily basis. Check with your hosts, or properties and businesses that you plan to visit for the latest information.
Plan Your St. Petersburg, Florida Visit
Florida’s Sunshine City has something for visitors of all interests. Whether your passion is arts and culture, or outdoor fun in-the-sun, St. Petersburg makes an ideal destination for creating new memories.
***Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.