Last Updated on August 19, 2022 by Filip Poutintsev
Are you considering a move to St. Petersburg, FL? With the sunny Florida climate, countless stunning beaches, reasonable rents, and a thriving art scene, it might just be the best decision you ever make.
Known as the ‘Sunshine City,’ St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, sits on Florida’s Gulf Coast and is part of the Tampa Bay area. It has over 270,000 residents, making it the fifth most populous city in Florida.
However, while St. Petersburg has many benefits, nowhere is perfect. Before making a life-changing move, it is essential you do your research and understand the downsides as well. Read on for an honest look at the pros and cons of living in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Pros and cons of living in St. Petersburg, Florida at a glance
- Climate & beaches
- Vibrant arts scene
- Location to other cities
- Good renting options
- Exciting nightlife
- Summer humidity & bugs
- Traffic & public transport
- Cost of living
The pros of living in St. Petersburg, Florida
So what are the top benefits of living in St. Petersburg?
Climate and beaches
St. Petersburg’s climate is certainly a draw for those who love all-year heat. With hot summers and mild winters, you can expect the temperatures to float between 56°F and 89°F throughout the year.
With around 361 sunny days per year, the climate allows for people to pursue an outdoor lifestyle and make the most of the beautiful beaches on the doorstep. You will almost always be as close as 20 minutes from the beach. What a way to keep cool!
Some of the best beaches nearby where you can enjoy stunning nature include:
- St. Pete’s Beach
- St. Pete Pier
- Fort De Soto Park
You can also visit the stunning beaches in quieter neighboring cities just a short drive away. These are perfect for boogie boarding, tanning, and jet skiing.
Vibrant arts scene
In recent years with more young and diverse people moving into St. Pete’s, a vibrant arts scene has sprung up.
The 600+ murals that fill the streets make the city feel like a work of art. You can also find top-rate galleries and museums, some of which are housed in impressive architecture.
Some of the top museums include:
- The Dalí Museum
- James Museum
- Museum of Fine Arts
- Chihuly Collection of Glass Artwork
The town also throws many arts and culture festivals and events throughout the year. Enjoy the artistic vibes of the St. Petersburg Fine Art Festival, celebrate the colors of LGBTQI+ culture with the biggest Pride celebration in Florida, or sway to the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society Festival.
Location to other cities
St. Petersburg is part of Tampa Bay, an area along the Gulf of Mexico shore that holds three different cities. That means you have the option of visiting these neighboring towns at just an hour’s drive away.
Tampa is bigger than St. Petersburg, with lots of fun options to keep you entertained. From walking the long stretching riverside esplanade to visiting the shops and restaurants in the old marketplace, the Armature Works.
Clearwater is a more tranquil city where you can visit some fantastic beaches, do watersports, or get your mini-golf on.
Good renting options
There are many great opportunities for renting in St. Petersburg, FL. You can find affordable condos and other buildings, which allow you to test out the area before committing.
Real estate prices and taxes can be high, so many people like to take the more straightforward option of renting, especially with the increasingly young, dynamic population in the area.
According to Numbeo, the average price to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is $1,382.68 per month, and outside of the center, it is $992.06.
St. Pete’s nightlife is exciting and varied, making this town popular with millennials and young professionals. There is an accessible and walkable downtown area in a central spot with plenty of fun options for dining and drinks.
Whether you want to taste craft beers in a microbrewery, catch a cool live band, go bar hopping, or taste exciting cocktails, you will find it in St. Petersburg.
The cons of living in St. Petersburg, Florida
But living in St. Petersburg is undoubtedly not all sunshine and rainbows. We take an honest look at some of the not-so-desirable aspects of living in the city.
Like many beautiful cities in the state of Florida, the place can become crowded with tourists. Especially in the dry tourist season, which is from December to May.
While tourists bring life and a vital injection of business for local companies, they can also bring crowded beaches, trash, traffic, and a queue for your favorite restaurant.
The tourists may not be a problem for some and a deal-breaker for others.
Summer humidity & bugs
Even if you love St.Petersburg’s sunny weather, you might not be as big a fan of the summer humidity. Like most places in Florida, many find the wet summer heat to be oppressive and too much. You will certainly make good use of your air conditioner in this city. Florida also has a slightly heightened risk of storms and hurricanes.
The climate offers the perfect conditions for many critters and bugs. So, you may find yourself sharing your house with some uninvited companions if you are not careful. Bear this in mind if you prefer a cooler climate or can’t stand the idea of coming across mosquitos or cockroaches once in a while.
Excessive traffic is one of the biggest complaints from St. Petersburg, Florida residents. The city caters to cars, which is how most people choose to get around, especially as there are limited options for public transport.
With only a few highways for such a populated area (the 275, 75, I4), there is a significant amount of congestion. Rush hour is often so busy that locals choose to stay home entirely. Traffic only worsens during the tourist season as many people drive into the city to enjoy the beaches.
Lack of job opportunities
Finally, some local populations claim that there are limited options for jobs and career paths. Many work opportunities are in the service industry and can be low-paying, and there may be little room for progression.
If you are looking for jobs that require a degree or diploma, you may struggle to find many openings.
Things to consider for living in St. Petersburg, Florida
What else should you know before you move to St. Petersburg, Florida?
Is St. Petersburg, Florida, a good place to live?
St. Petersburg, FL, is considered a great place to live as it benefits from the warm Florida climate, outdoor lifestyle, nearby beaches, and a great nightlife and art scene. On the other hand, it does get humid summers, many tourists, and high traffic levels.
Is St. Petersburg, Florida, expensive to live?
Overall the cost of living in St. Petersburg is slightly cheaper than the U.S. average and cheaper than the Florida average. According to Best Places, based on a score of 100 for the U.S. average cost of living, St. Petersburg comes in a little cheaper, scoring 98.6, while Florida generally scores 102.8.
How Safe Is St. Petersburg, Florida?
St. Petersburg is not the safest city. According to Neighborhood Scout, it is safer than 12% of U.S. cities. The chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in St. Petersburg is 1 in 145, which is significantly higher than Florida’s average of 1 in 258.
So there you have the pros and cons of living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Are the climate, lifestyle, art, entertainment, and beaches enough to draw you in? Or do the tourists, traffic, humidity, and limited career choices put you off?
While Florida is still a retiree heaven, St. Petersburg attracts a more diverse and younger crowd than many cities. Therefore it is an excellent spot for both young and old. Does it tick the boxes for you?
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