St. Petersburg is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on the southwestern coast of Florida. It is the fourth largest city in the state, with an estimated population of 249,079.
Nicknamed "Florida’s Sunshine City," it enjoys a noteworthy average of 360 days of sunshine each year, and is known as a vacation destination for North American and European vacationers. Although once a popular retirement destination, St. Petersburg’s population has transitioned to a more youthful demographic in recent years.
St. Petersburg is rich in culture and diversity, and was recently named one of America’s most livable cities by the non-profit group Partners for Livable Communities. The city is home to several institutions of higher learning, including the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg College, Eckerd College and the Poynter Institute.
The city has a thriving arts community, including the Salvador Dalí Museum, which houses the largest collection of Dalí's in the world. There are also other various smaller art galleries and entertainment venues, especially in the Downtown area, which has seen a boom in development since the mid 1990s.
St. Petersburg is highly regarded for the quality of its pristine beaches. In 2005, Fort Desoto was rated the number one beach in America by the annual Dr. Beach rankings. TripAdvisor also has the beach ranked number one in the nation for 2008. The St. Petersburg Pier and the Downtown BayWalk are popular attractions that offer visitors and residents retail shopping, adventure activities, and both casual and fine dining restaurants.