With its perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, St. Petersburg is not only one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in Florida, but in the whole of the United States! So, it’s no surprise that many LGBT folks find themselves moving to Florida’s Sunshine City.
So, whether you’re looking to potentially move or just looking to visit, here are some of the LGBT-friendly neighborhoods that you shouldn’t miss in St. Petersburg!
What Makes St. Petersburg LGBT-Friendly?
St. Petersburg has consistently gotten perfect scores on the Municipal Equality Index since 2014, which scores cities and municipalities across the US on the inclusivity and nondiscriminatory nature of its laws and services. But beyond the paperwork and policies, St. Petersburg really does have a thriving LGBT community – in fact, potentially the largest LGBT population in Florida!
St. Petersburg is also home to Florida’s largest Pride celebration. St. Pete Pride is more than just a parade – events include performances by queer icons, parties, and family days! If you’re looking for an all-out celebration of Pride, St. Petersburg is definitely the place to be.
There are plenty of LGBT-owned establishments around St. Petersburg, but if you’re looking for a safe space and don’t know where to start, St. Petersburg has an LGBT Welcome Center that has resources and activities for all ages, as well as an artist boutique and coffee shop you can relax in!
St. Petersburg’s Gayborhoods
While the whole city of St. Petersburg is LGBT-friendly, there are neighborhoods known for being LGBT enclaves. Here are some of the gay-friendliest neighborhoods in St. Petersburg:
Grand Central District
With the gorgeous Progressive Pride mural at the intersection of Central Avenue and 25th Street, the Grand Central District is definitely the historical LGBT-friendly center of St. Petersburg. The first St. Pete Pride parade and festival were first held here way back in 2003, and it continues to be part of the city’s month-long Pride celebration.
With the motto “this is where the locals go”, going around Grand Central District will certainly make you feel like a local. The neighborhood is easily accessible by public transportation, and it’s also pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. For e-bike users, there are chargers available around the district, and rental bicycles and scooters are also available.
There are lots of locally-owned establishments (many of them LGBT-owned) to enjoy, from restaurants to galleries.
Historic Kenwood started out as St. Petersburg’s first suburb in 1912, built for year-round residents as opposed to the more tourist clientele of downtown. Many homes in this area were built from the 1920s to the 1950s, giving this neighborhood a charming vintage vibe.
Artists would feel right at home in Historic Kenwood as they have their very own Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood that brings together the neighborhood’s artists and puts up events for everyone to enjoy!
Historic Old Northeast
Another historic neighborhood is the Historic Old Northeast, which is the oldest neighborhood in St. Petersburg, having been built in 1911. The neighborhood takes great pride in its beautiful buildings and homes, taking great care to preserve these and the spaces around them.
Located by Tampa Bay, this neighborhood boasts a beautiful waterfront where you can spend the day relaxing. If you’re seeking a bit more action, you can easily pop over to nearby downtown!
Downtown St. Petersburg
Now the city’s central business district, it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, there was barely anything happening in downtown St. Petersburg. The area is now chock-full of new construction – apartments, townhomes, condos, and commercial buildings are all being built all around downtown’s available space.
There’s plenty to do in downtown St. Petersburg, from perusing museums to seeing the latest films – there are also almost weekly happenings by the waterfront so you definitely won’t be bored! Ditch your car, because downtown ‘Burg is very pedestrian-friendly and you can enjoy it more on foot.
The EDGE District
Recently revitalized, the EDGE District went from a bunch of boarded-up storefronts to a hip and happening neighborhood full of bars and boutiques. An extremely walkable neighborhood, it’s much better to leave your car and discover its hidden gems on foot.
There are tons of murals that bring color and life into the EDGE’s buildings, so keep your camera handy as you walk around. Keep your eyes peeled for the Inner Visions mural by artist Mikael B. along 1st Avenue, which features crisp geometric shapes juxtaposed with fluid forms, and an untitled mural by Stephen Palladino along MLK Street featuring colorful characters alongside thought-provoking phrases!
Just southwest of St. Petersburg is Gulfport, a small beach town located on the Boca Ciega Bay. This quirky town’s motto is “Keep Gulfport Weird” – so, you definitely won’t be bored here! With its willingness to embrace what’s unique and different, it’s no surprise that there’s a thriving LGBT community that has settled here.
Gulfport is known for its eclectic artists, writers, musicians, and other creatives, which you can definitely see and feel as you walk through the town – no two houses or buildings are alike, and there are tons of shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants to give you a taste of a local’s life.
At the southernmost tip of St. Petersburg is Pass-A-Grille, a historic neighborhood that has maintained its relaxed, old Florida beach town vibe. It’s a quick 20-minute drive from downtown St. Petersburg, making it a great option for a quick beachy getaway.
It’s no surprise that there are tons of water activities to choose from when you’re in Pass-A-Grille, whether it’s paddleboarding, fishing, or driving a speedboat. If you’re looking to just lounge on the beach and look out for some dolphins, you can rent a cabana, umbrella, and lounge chairs along the beach.
Feel The Warmth Of The Sunshine City
Wherever you find yourself in St. Petersburg, you can be sure to find a warm and LGBT-friendly place to fit right in! Hopefully, this article has helped you narrow down the many options you have when visiting the Sunshine City, and we hope you enjoy your stay!
**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.