The parks in St. Petersburg are resplendent marvels that offer locals that chance to observe the fantastic creatures of Florida, and educate themselves on their relationship to the natural world.
The 2022 ParkScore rankings are in and St. Pete has ranked No. 14 in the U.S. for park systems by the Trust for Public Land! The ParkScore index ranking is based on five characteristics: access, acreage, amenities, equity, and investment. According to The Trust for Public Land, 77% of residents live within a 10 minute walk to a park.
Approximately 14% of St. Petersburg city land is used for parks and recreation. The city itself scored 82% for park access equity, and 87% for investment.
I am an avid proponent of green space, and so I wanted to take this chance to celebrate the best spots for long strolls in the Sunshine City.
Let us know your favorite park in the comments! We’re always on the hunt for new parks to explore.
Top Local Parks Near St. Pete
701 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Pete
If you have nowhere to be and time to kill, we recommend taking a stroll through Vinoy Park. Walk down towards the water and have a seat on the sea wall. If you wait down there, you’re sure to see dolphins swimming through. There is a play area for kids and plenty of space to just relax and enjoy the waterfront view.
2042 Beach Dr. SE, St. Pete
Located in Old Southeast, Lassing Park is the perfect quiet gem to take a peaceful walk and unwind. It is the perfect spot for a picnic on the water because of the large field that overlooks the bay. The houses across the street are also charming and make this space perfect for a breath of fresh air with scenery all around.
Weedon Island offers the perfect shady walking trail. This park is perfect for those who like the view but aren’t necessarily adventurous because the walking paths are very clearly marked with these bridges. We recommend walking one of the trails and then sitting in the gazebo and looking for alligators. You can almost always find them hiding out in the lake.
Crescent Lake is the perfect walking place in the Crescent Lake Neighborhood area. With a sidewalk around the perimeter of the lake, you can walk side by side with the little ducklings. For the dog-owners out there, Crescent Lake also has a dog park area that is gated off and secure for your little buddy to run around for a bit.
Boyd Hill Preserve
1101 Country Club Way South, St. Pete
We love Boyd Hill Nature Preserve because it has options for everyone. The lake at the heart of the preserve, Lake Maggiore, is approximately 380 acres and supports a large local wildlife. My personal favorite spot is The Hammock. It’s a forested area that reminds me of what I imagined Terabithia to look like. If you don’t know what Terabithia is, I DEMAND that you go get Bridge to Terabithia from the library and read it after your walk in the park. You’ll understand later.
7400 25th St. N, St. Pete
Sawgrass Lake Park is one of the largest maple swamps on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The park has both a mile-long boardwalk and a half-mile dirt trail (Options!). If you look closely, you are sure to see herons, egrets, ibis, wood storks, alligators, and turtles along the canals and lakes.
13th Ave. NE. & North Shore Dr. NE, St. Pete
This park has over 11 acres of bike trails, walking paths, and scenic landscapes to explore. Located on the St. Pete waterfront, this park is always lively. You can almost always expect to run into s pick up game of soccer or kickball. If that’s too energetic for you, the good news is that there is plenty of space to find and call your own!
Pinellas Point Dr. S. & Sunshine Skyway Ln. S.
The views at Maximo Park are stellar, but what makes it stand out to us is the disc golf course. That’s right. There’s no better way to start a morning than with sunshine, a cool breeze and a few rounds of frisbee golf. Yes, you have to bring your own gear.
The 70-acre park also features playground, boat ramps, an Indian Midden site and paintings by artist Hermann Trappman.
Park Street & 38th Avenue N
The park is located in the Jungle Terrace neighborhood and offers a relaxing and serene area to enjoy with family and friends. You will also find picnic tables, a boardwalk, scenic views to watch the sunset, and a historic Indian midden.
Clam Bayou Nature Preserve
4099 34th Avenue South
Clam Bayou Nature Preserve is a great destination for avid kayakers or paddlers and nature enthusiast. It also offers recreation trails and the Blueways Trail System. You can connect to both the Skyway Trail and the Pinellas Trail on foot or by bike from here.
What’s your favorite place to walk around in St. Pete? Leave us a comment and let us know!
National Parks in Florida
Want to go beyond local parks? Here’s a list of National Parks in the Sunshine State:
Dry Tortugas National Park – Key West, FL
Big Cypress National Preserve – Ochopee, FL
Biscayne National Park – Miami, Key Biscayne & Homestead, FL
Canaveral National Seashore – Titusville and New Smyrna Beach, FL
Castillo De San Marcos National Monument – St. Augustine, FL
De Soto National Memorial – Bradenton, FL
Everglades National Park – Miami, Naples, and Homestead, FL
Fort Caroline National Memorial – the Timucuan Preserve; Jacksonville, FL
Fort Matanzas National Monument – St. Augustine, FL
Gulf Islands National Seashore – Gulf Breeze, Florida and Ocean Springs,
Mississippi , FL,MS
Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve – Jacksonville, FL