The St. Pete Pier finally opened this week! I have to say, I was certainly impressed! In fact, I must have said, “this is really impressive” about a hundred times! I’m so glad we decided to go as a family to check it out as it was beyond what we had envisioned. I mean, we’ve seen images of what to expect for many years now. So even after seeing renderings from way back when the designs were first shown to the public and voted on, to the decision made for this particular design to be constructed, through watching construction begin and continue from afar, to now, just days after the grand opening, well, our walk through the 26-acre waterfront park in person was worth the wait!
We ordered tickets for entry for the 9 am-12 pm time slot, which was perfect timing for our family visit. Not too hot and not too many people there right at 9 am. As we began our walk from the Museum of History, we immediately noticed how open the walk down to the pier has been made. It was wide-open space. The landscaping along the entire walk along the pier was absolutely gorgeous! There’s plenty of green space, plants, and trees everywhere, and many are marked to inform of names/species, which as I’ve grown older, I appreciate more. Kinda dorky, I know! Plus you’re surrounded by the serene blue waters of the bay on all sides. It was a beautiful sight to take in on our morning stroll.
The playground for children is almost hidden as you walk out. You can just see the top of a structure beyond a hill of trees and plants. You have to round a corner to get there and when you do, it screams, “Come play!” I’m sure older children were running to round the corner to see the playspace in full view. There are two play areas, one for ages 2-5; the other for 5-12. Our little one is still a bit too young for even the younger play area; though he liked exploring and picking up shells in the adjacent picnic areas.
We continued our walk towards the end of the pier and enjoyed walking along the little boardwalks that jut out closer to the bay. The dolphins diving in and out of the water as we walked made the views of the bay even more picturesque! We walked all the way to the end. Though we weren’t up for checking out the restaurants and bars at this time, it looks like a fun space to hang out! We looped back and stopped at the splash pads, which again, our son was a little too young for still. The noise of the water splashing up and down seemed to deter him right away! Many other kids were having a blast!
Overall, as we strolled on our leisurely walk of the new pier and took in the vastness of the space and the entirety of the project, we could envision coming back when Covid-19 has passed to enjoy the restaurants, bars, ice cream shops, food trucks, live music, Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Zone, and all the market vendors. It’s going to be a wonderful place to frequently visit, meet up with friends, and take in the beauty of the Tampa Bay right downtown in the city we love to call home, St Pete!