Roughly speaking, you’ll repeatedly kick scoot in and around St. Petersburg’s Tampa Bay area because it is unbelievably pretty and, possibly more important, its terrain is level and its sidewalks are in perfect shape.
To give you an idea of a 7- to 10-mile round trip route via kick scooter, start just north of the Albert Whitted Airport at St. Petersburg’s world-class Salvador Dali Museum in Demens Landing Park on Tampa Bay.
Continue heading north through Straub Park, making a point to spend several hours scooting up and down The Pier, a 1.2 mile roundtrip stretch of smooth, level sidewalk that juts into Tampa Bay. There you’ll find ample parking, stunning bay scenery (including Pelicans galore), entertainment, and, in The Pier’s end-point recreation center, dining, from casual to fine.
After returning from The Pier, continue heading north to the coastal areas of adjoining Vinoy Park, North Shore Park, and Flora Wylle Park, where you’ll find plenty of places to relax, including a beach. Note that this is one of the few stretches of heavily trafficked areas I’ve seen that is given over to an equal number of pedestrians and human-powered vehicles (kick scooters, inline skates, bikes, and multi-person surreys).
At the end of Flora Wylle Park is the beginning of Coffee Pot Boulevard, fronted to the southwest by mansions and lush gardens, and the northeast by a Tampa Bay inlet. After traveling a half-mile on this street, consult a map as you have an option of crossing over the Shell Isle Boulevard Bridge into a maze of beautiful, foliage-fringed neighborhoods, or head back through neighborhoods with older mansions and more lush foliage. No matter which way you go, you’ll appreciate staying in the shade on a hot Florida day.
My husband, Phil, and I toured the lower St. Petersburg mansion area on a Xootr MG and a KickPed, which is manufactured exclusively for NYCeWheels in New York City. If it hadn’t been for our kick scooters, I’m sure we wouldn’t have seen as much as we did. Even though the day was hot, kick scooting produced a welcome breeze, especially when cruising.
Because nearby Beach Drive runs at an angle to traditional east-west streets, it is easy to head in the wrong direction when you leave Coffee Pot Boulevard, especially if you want to see mansions and gardens. Always carry a real (not “tourist”) map of the area (or cell phone map app) and make a point of noting the places you like best.
Return to where you started by heading south on Beach Drive. It runs into a classy hotel, shopping, and dining district featuring outdoor patios that easily accommodate travelers on wheels. No matter how nice an establishment looks, if you are on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that food and drink prices appear to be far lower in St. Petersburg than in New York City (where I’m from). These reasonable prices, plus sunny skies, stunning scenery, great sidewalks, and flat terrain make St. Petersburg, FL, a kick scooter paradise.