The newly open St. Pete Pier offers a fun day trip for Brandon area residents.

By Kye Saunders

Located in downtown St. Petersburg, the opening of the much-anticipated St. Pete Pier couldn’t have come at a better time to provide an outdoor space for people of all ages.

The 26-acre park offers a chance to explore the beauty of Tampa Bay both on land and overlooking the water.

Stroll, bike, skate, dine and drink in comfort and ease while enjoying the sunset without having to make a reservation.

Upon my first visit to the Pier, I was struck by its ability to be a place to enjoy both nature and art.

The largest piece of art at home at St. Pete Pier is Janet Echelman’s newest permanent work, Bending Arc, is composed of 1,662,528 knots and 180 miles of twine. The aerial sculpture spans 424 feet and measures 72 feet at its tallest point.

A Tampa Bay native, Echelman’s work sways in the sea breeze and at night it is illuminated with purple and pink light, making the transition from day to night seamless and beautiful.

The actual pier itself spans into the water with plenty of viewing spots having outdoor seating at several dining spots, such as Driftwood Cafe, Pier Teaki and Teak.

As a Brandon native, I have visited St. Petersburg plenty of times for one purpose only: the beach. But now, the Pier is officially one of my favorite go-to spots in St. Petersburg.

Currently, St. Pete Pier does request that visitors wear a mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others.

To learn more and for directions, visit stpetepier.org.