With Downtown St. Petersburg clearly visible, Vinoy Park is ideally situated to relax in the ocean breezes and enjoy its entertainment scene. Listen to live music by the sea from acts featuring local and international talent. April’s Tampa Bay Blues Festival is a highlight. The 12-acre (5-hectare) park is big enough to lay down a blanket and not feel crowded.
The park got its name from the nearby landmark Vinoy Park Hotel that was built in 1925 overlooking the bay. Look for this expansive building with its Mediterranean Revival style. During its earlier years of operation, it has accommodated political figures and celebrities, such as actor James Stewart, author Ernest Hemingway and Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. It’s now named the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club.
The park is close to a number of attractions that you may want to include in your day along the bay. In the nearby Central Arts District is the Chihuly Collection of glassworks created by contemporary artist Dale Chihuly. The building itself has been created around its art contents. Start your tour of this unique permanent exhibition at the door with the artist’s 20-foot-tall (6-meter) dark pink glass rocks creation.
The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is also within walking distance of Vinoy Park. Its collections and exhibitions provide views of the art world including portrait and landscape paintings, sculptures and even furniture.
Purchase an item from the museum’s store and stop at the café. Finish your park day at one of a number of quality restaurants in the area.
Plan a day of varied activities at Vinoy Park. Whatever you plan to do here, allow enough time to enjoy nature. Numerous bird species, dolphins and manatees live in or near this magnificent environment.
Note that the park opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes late in the evening.