The Ultimate Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in St. Petersburg, FL

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Wondering about the best neighborhoods in St Petersburg FL?

If you’re thinking about buying real estate in Florida, St Petersburg is a great city to choose. The city has boomed in recent years with a younger population and a number of successful startup companies. It has an innovative, creative culture plus the quaint charm that many bigger cities lack. But which neighborhood is right for you?

You might have heard stories about bad areas of St Petersburg FL, but the reality is that the good areas far outweigh the bad. Keep reading to learn about the top neighborhoods you should invest in or visit!

1. Downtown

Downtown is an obvious choice in many cities, but downtown St Pete offers a particularly nice blend of city vibes and laidback beach culture.

Many people buying homes in St Pete seek to be as close to downtown as they can. Since so many people have now recognized that this city has a lot of potential for growth, the downtown area is booming with construction. Developers from across the country are already staking their downtown claim.

This downtown revival started in about 2013, and it hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. New restaurants and bars, including a craft beer scene, flank the new townhomes and condos in the area, making this an exciting part of town if you love nightlife.

Some people would compare downtown St Pete to a small European city. You’ll find restaurants with sidewalk seating, walking trails through gorgeous parks on the waterfront, markets, art shows, and a variety of festivals.

And you’ll be surprised to learn that downtown is just a single square mile – especially once you see everything it has to offer!

Downtown itself has a few different areas to choose from when it comes to real estate. Beach Drive is considered the first choice area, but other parts of downtown are much more affordable. You’ll also have more appreciation potential if you buy property a mile or less away from Beach Drive. Learn more here about Beach Drive developments.

In fact, some real estate experts actually advise buying on the outskirts of downtown. You’ll save money now, and potentially make more if you decide to sell later on.

2. Old Northeast

The Old Northeast neighborhood features old-world charm with lovely historic homes. You’ll see gorgeous architecture, large front porches, and brick streets under ancient oak trees in this neighborhood. Even better, it’s not far from the waterfront.

This is the right part of St Pete to buy in if the community is important to you. The neighborhood has a genuine, social, community feel. You’ll find neighborhood events, holiday decorations, and block parties in the Old Northeast. It’s also just next to downtown – you can walk there for nightlife, and then return home to your peaceful neighborhood.

If you want to be near downtown but want more space than a condo can afford, consider a home here. You don’t have to go downtown for everything, either: Old Northeast has its own tavern, coffee shop, and pizza place, all on the same strip.

3. Snell Isle

If modern luxury matters to you, then Snell Isle is one of the best neighborhoods in St Petersburg FL to live in. This is the part of town where you’ll find spacious yards, custom pools, and high-end cars on the road.

Although the homes in the Old Northeast are beautiful and historic, they also require more work to maintain than a Snell Isle home. Snell Isle is a neighborhood with status – the homes are impressive, rather than quaint.

However, you should also know that most of Snell Isle is considered a flood zone. If you decide to buy here, the mortgage lender will ask you to take out a flood insurance policy. The insurance is rated depending on your elevation relative to sea level. The higher you are above sea level, the less you’ll pay for insurance.

Snell Isle is where you’ll find the Vinoy Golf Club, a beautiful 18-hole course that has its own bar, restaurant, and clubhouse pool. The architecture of the club itself is a unique sight. Perry Snell designed the club, which was built in 1925. The design is inspired by a mosque, as you’ll see in the keyhole arches and onion-shaped domes.

4. Kenwood

If 1920s bungalow homes are more your speed, you’ll definitely want to check out the neighborhood of Kenwood. Most of the homes here are from the ’20s but have been restored and renovated for modern living.

For a long time, Kenwood was known as one of the bad areas of St Petersburg Florida. Its decline began in the ’50s, and the revitalization didn’t start until the ’90s.

St Pete’s gay community pioneered the neighborhood’s revitalization, and you’ll still find a large gay population in this thriving neighborhood today. The neighborhood is trendy, but still charming, with a powerful sense of community.

If you like the social values of the Old Northeast, you’ll also be happy in Kenwood. Kenwood is also a bit farther from downtown, so the homes there are more affordable.

Even though you can’t walk to downtown, you can walk to the Grand Central District from Kenwood. This area is like a smaller, more laidback downtown: it sports microbreweries, restaurants, art stores, and more.

5. Old Southeast

The Old Southeast part of town is divided into three main neighborhoods: Old Southeast, Driftwood, and Tropical Shores.

Although Old Southeast is under a mile from downtown, it hasn’t yet become as expensive as Old Northeast. This is a good place to find a deal that’s sure to appreciate well in the coming years. You’ll also find a couple of markets, restaurants, and other hang-out spots here.

Head to Tropical Shores for newer homes that are on the waterfront. You can get waterfront property here for much less than in Snell Isle. Driftwood is a gorgeous, heavily wooded area where homes rarely go up for sale, and if they do, they get snapped up quickly.

How to Choose the Best Neighborhoods in St Petersburg FL

The best neighborhoods in St Petersburg FL really depend on what you’re looking for. The city offers a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from – there’s really something for everyone.

Even if you don’t plan to buy property, you’ll still love visiting all these unique parts of the city. Looking for more travel ideas? Check out our guide to Rome’s must-see attractions here.

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