If you plan to take a road trip out of town, St. Petersburg is a great option that is only 95 miles from Orlando. Pack up for a day-trip adventure and put one of these 10 free and cheap things to do on your itinerary. Whether it’s going to a beach, a sunset festival, an art museum, or a sponge factory, St. Petersburg has plenty of free and cheap things to do. Here are 10 family fun adventures you can enjoy in and nearby St. Petersburg, while on a budget.
1. Sunsets at Pier 60
Celebrate the sunset, 365 days a year, at Sunsets at Pier 60. The celebration begins two hours before sunset and continues for two hours after sunset. The event features live entertainment, live music, the work of crafters and movies. Scheduled movies and live music is only available on the weekends. The daily festival is located at 1 Causeway, Clearwater, FL 33767.
2. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
With five distinct eco-systems, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is an astonishing natural habitat with miles of trails. At the preserve you can enjoy Lake Maggiore Island, willow marsh, swamp woodlands, pine flatwoods, sand scrub trail, pioneer settlement and an environmental studies area. The preserve is located at 1101 Country Club Way South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705 and the entrance fee is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children. For more information and preserve hours, call 727-893-7326.
3. Morean Arts Center
Enjoy a free visit to the Morean Art Center. The gallery offers rotating exhibits, classes, child learning experiences, and a workshop with art work from local artist. The museum is open, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is located at 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. For more information, call 727-822-7872
4. Pass-a-Grille Beach
If you’re looking for something a little more remote, Pass-a-Grille Beach is a four mile long, undeveloped, public beach. If you happen to get a little hungry or want to do some window shopping, on Eighth Avenue you will find small galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Pass-a-Grille Beach is part of St. Pete Beach, voted TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Beach in the U.S. and No. 5 in the world in 2012, but begins where Gulf Boulevard passes the Loews Don CeSar Hotel.
5. Fort De Soto Park
If you’re looking for a place to admire bird life, sea life, wild life and plant life, Fort De Soto Park has it all. The park offers the greatest diversity of systems just about anywhere. The park consists of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands which are home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and native plants. Fort De Soto Park is located at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774. Admission to the park is $5. For more information, call 727-582-2100.
The Spongeorama’s Sponge Factory has the world’s largest selection of natural sea sponges. If you walk along Dodecanese Boulevard, you will find docked sponge boats, shops selling sea sponges and Greek cuisine. Learn the history of the sponge industry at Spongeorama’s world famous museum. The museum offers a movie that will teach you what a sponge is and where it comes from. The museum and movie are both free. The sponge factory is located at 510 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, FL, 34689. For more information, call 727-943-2164.
7. St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral
If you’re into architecture, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, built in 1943, replaced a smaller structure built in 1907 by Greek settlers. The current church is decorated after St. Sofia’s in Constantinople and is an example of New Byzantine architecture. You can find Grecian marble, stained glass and detailed icons inside. The cathedral is located at 36 N. Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Spring, FL 34689. For more information, call 727-937-3540.
8. Heritage Village
If you’re looking to take a walk through history, the Pinellas County Heritage Village, home to some of Pinellas County’s most historic buildings, is a 21-acre living history museum. The museum features 28 structures dating back to the mid-19th century. Enjoy demonstrations and hands-on activities such as pioneer cooking, blacksmithing, and traditional fiber arts. The Pinellas County Heritage Village is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday’s from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Its located at 11909 125th Street N. Largo, FL 33774. Admission is free. For more information, call 727-582-2123.
9. Florida Botanical Gardens
Bring the family to spend the day at The Florida Botanical Gardens, which showcases flora, fauna, and natural resources in motivational surroundings to promote environmentally friendly techniques. There is also a nature trail, a children’s trail, art in the garden, wildlife, a gift shop, and boardwalks and bridges. The Florida Botanical Gardens is located at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774. The Gardens are open daily from 7 a.m. until sunset. Admission is free. For more information, call 727-582-2100.
10. Sawgrass Lake Park
Walk through one of the largest maple swamps on the Gulf Coast at Sawgrass Lake Park. The park offers a mile long boardwalk and a half-mile dirt trail where you can see birds, butterflies, plants and wildlife. If you’re into birding, thousands of birds migrate through the park during the fall and spring. According to the Great Florida Birding Trail and the National Audubon Society, the park is one of the premier birding sites in Florida. The park is located at 7400 25th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33702. For more information, call 727-582-2100.
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