Local twins: In 1994, voters renamed what was then St. Petersburg Beach to St. Pete Beach -- not to shorten everything like text speak, but because the city of St. Petersburg to the east just had too similar of a name.
St. Pete Beach, Florida's just over 9,000 residents live on Long Key, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Three bridges carry people in and out of town, to Treasure Island, South Pasadena and the Bayway Isles section of St. Petersburg. While 80% of residents drive private automobiles to work, at least commute times are short: average time on the road is 15 minutes. Knowing that you don't even have to put up with a long commute to live right by the beach? Priceless.
Moving to St. Pete Beach
While there are often seasonal vacancies in a beach town, St. Pete Beach is a coveted location and you might have a lot of competition for just the right place. Make sure you're prepared for the competition and allow yourself at least a month to find home rentals here. Look in the local newspaper, online, and by walking or driving the streets of this community to find 1-bedroom apartments, 2-bedroom apartments for rent or studio apartments.
City Center: Close to shops and entertainment, this suburban neighborhood is right on the beach and offers a mix of owners and renters in properties from apartment complexes to small- and medium-size single-family homes.
Pass A Grille Way / 31st Avenue: This coastal area has homes built between 1940 and 1969, as well as newer properties built between 1970 and 1999. Suburban in density, there are single-family homes, small apartment complexes and some high-rise units in the area.
Living in St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach is all white powdery sand, warm aquamarine gulf waters and palm trees. Sounds like a dream, right? Less than an hour from Tampa, St. Pete Beach includes a solid entertainment district in the downtown Corey Avenue area, with bars, cafes, galleries and boutique shops that draw locals and tourists. Elsewhere in town is the Pass a Grille Historic District, with lovely turn-of-the-century buildings, and the pretty pink Don Cesar Beach resort at the southern end of the beach front.
Everyone knows the Don Cesar because it looks like a big pink castle. In 1924, Thomas Rowe purchased 80 acres, hired architect Henry Dupont to design the hotel, and oversaw a landmark blend of both Moorish and Mediterranean architectural style. F. Scott Fitzgerald once stayed here, and the hotel was an icon of the Jazz Era. More recently, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers filmed a music video here.