Welcome to the St. Pete Pier!
From its earliest days in the late 1800s, St. Petersburg has had a love affair with piers. Blessed with a beautiful waterfront, the city has built, owned and managed public piers designed as come-one-come-all gathering places for residents and visitors alike.
Over the years, some of the city’s pier concepts have been more successful than others. But one thing seems beyond reproach: the new St. Pete Pier will be the city’s most sprawling, activity-abundant, fun-filled, fully inclusive pier yet.
The new St. Pete Pier differs from its predecessors in a fundamental way. It is not a long, narrow passageway over water that motorists and pedestrians use to get to Pier Point, where all the action will take place. Instead, the new facility is a full-on 26-acre attraction that extends in all directions. The Pier experience begins at the Gateway, immediately west of Bayshore Drive, and there will be several ways for visitors to make their way out to the Pier Point. Along the way, a variety of stops and attractions will offer activities for people of all ages.
It is everyone’s Pier, and a Pier that will have something for everyone. Families will be able to spend an entire day at the park — walking, biking, splashing, sightseeing, basking in the sunshine, cooling off in the shade, and more. Best of all, they can do it all without spending a cent if they choose. On the other hand, a couple could splurge on an upscale meal on the fourth floor of the Pier Point building as they take in the views of St. Pete’s glittering skyline. Seniors will be able to come for a leisurely stroll and a long, relaxing rest in an Adirondack chair. Joggers will be able to get their run in amid gorgeous scenery. Crowds will gather for concerts. Folks will arrive by boat and tie up at one of the docks. They will be able to rent a kayak and paddle out into Tampa Bay. That’s just a tiny sampling of the ways that people will be able to enjoy St. Pete’s newest central meeting place.
Unlike its precursors, the new St. Pete Pier has been built as a modular series of destinations, each one conveniently leading into the next, making for a cohesive adventure with new surprises at every stop. That means people will be able to plan an itinerary, choose their favorite landing spots, or just show up and explore.
The St. Pete Pier incorporates many of the best trends in modern urban living. It’s eminently walkable. A tram system will make it easy for people to get from place to place. The Pier has an educational component, the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, which teaches visitors about local marine life and ways to protect and maintain Tampa Bay waters. It features several large pieces of public art, headlined by Janet Echelman’s Bending Arc, a massive, billowing net sculpture that is sure to become one of the city’s signature images. The Pier is as much for people who thrive on non-stop activity as it is for those who want a place for solitary contemplation. Perfect for morning runs, afternoon sunbathing or evening strolls.
Most importantly, The St. Pete Pier is very much a part of the larger downtown St. Petersburg. The district will add a vital new attraction to an urban center that’s thriving and growing.
The new St. Pete Pier will be here soon. The only thing that’s missing is you.
It’s time to exPIERience the new St. Pete Pier! The Pier District and St. Pete Pier will be open to residents and visitors on Monday, July 6 at 5:00 PM. Details related to the safe opening of this 26-acre waterfront attraction will be provided soon.