While Kenneth City, Florida, has a touch of urban flair and is technically a suburb of the city of St. Petersburg, the small population of the town means fewer crowds and less noise for visitors seeking a vacation in a smaller area while having easy access to a bigger city.
Situated near the ocean in Pinellas County, Kenneth City is said to be one of the best places to live in the state. For visitors, there’s much to see and do both in the city and in the surrounding area.
Bars, restaurants, and green spaces are numerous in the town, and many amusement parks and museums are situated in nearby areas. The downtown area of Kenneth City is where visitors can shop, eat, and relax with lovely views.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Kenneth City, Florida.
1. Sample Craft Beer at Rapp Brewing Company
Situated in nearby Seminole, the Rapp Brewing Company has something for every taste. Launched in 2012, the brewery features a wide range of hand-crafted and artisanal ales and lagers creatively brewed with traditional methods used in years gone by.
The friendly, interactive staff love to share their knowledge about craft beer with visitors, and the on-site tasting room has a laid-back atmosphere, where beer lovers come together to sample various creations and discuss their opinions.
Food trucks are located on-site almost every day of the week so that you can enjoy your favorite snacks with your brew.
2. James P. Ernst Park
Visitors of all ages who wish to spend a day outdoors while having fun and getting some exercise can find a wide range of activities and equipment for an active day at Ernst Park. The open green spaces and shaded areas provide a relaxing environment to spread out a blanket and read a good book or soak up some rays.
The park is home to Kenneth City’s biggest playground for children. Also on-site are an adult fitness area, tennis court, basketball court, softball field, splash pad, table tennis, lawn bowling area, and shuffleboard court. Picnic pavilions, one of which has a charging station, are located around the park, and the washrooms are open during the day.
3. The Museum of Fine Arts
The main objectives of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg are to educate visitors about the importance of art in culture and society, and inspire them through a wide range of artifacts and exhibits.
The museum is home to more than 14,000 items across a variety of permanent, rotating, and traveling exhibits. Items from ancient times right up to the present day, including Steuben Glass and French Impressionist artworks, are on display. There are also two beautiful inside gardens and a gallery with more than 10,000 images.
4. Sunken Gardens
The oldest living museum in nearby St. Petersburg is the stunning, 100-year old Sunken Gardens. This botanical garden offers visitors a peaceful escape from the noise and crowds of the city. While walking the paths through these gardens, you will see around 50,000 tropical plants, colorful flowers, and beautiful waterfalls. Guided tours of the gardens are available.
5. Mazzaro’s Italian Market
While many markets in the St. Petersburg area only take place during the weekends or at a certain time of year, the Mazzaro’s Italian Market happens every single day. It’s a place where you can wander through an energetic market atmosphere, take in all the delicious smells of traditional Italian fare, and even purchase a meal or snacks to take with you on the road.
Bread and pastries are freshly-baked every day, the sauces and pasta are homemade, the salami and condiments are brought in from Italy, and the coffee is roasted on-site. A wide variety of cheeses are available, and if you’re in the mood for a sandwich, you can have one custom-made right in front of you.
6. Weedon Island Preserve
Situated on 3,000 acres of land along Tampa Bay, the Weedon Island Preserve provides guests with the opportunity to spend a day outside while learning about the natural areas of the region and participating in a wide range of activities.
The preserve features a wide variety of marine and land-based ecosystems that are home to a number of plant and animal species. While the primary goal of the preserve is to protect this delicate habitat, it also encourages visitors to participate in outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, bird-watching, canoeing, and fishing.
The Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center is also on-site and features exhibits showcasing local artists and explaining the history of the area.
7. Thai Orchid Restaurant
Visitors looking for a cozy place to enjoy authentic Thai cuisine don’t need to look any further than Thai Orchid Restaurant. Friendly staff serve up delicious and expertly-prepared dishes using the freshest ingredients possible.
The prices are very reasonable, and there’s so much to choose from, including a varied lunch menu and a superb dinner menu with various entrees such as sauteed bamboo shoot and pepper steak. There is also an extensive sushi menu available.
8. Take in a Show at Mahaffey Theater
For an entertaining evening, check out the calendar of events for the Mahaffey Theater and book tickets to see a live performance. Whether it be a dance performance, stand-up comedy, a music concert, or a Broadway play, this beautiful theater in the downtown area of St. Petersburg is sure to have something of interest during your visit.
With 2,031 seats, private box seating, a grand ballroom, and stunning views of the waterfront, this world-class entertainment venue doesn’t disappoint.
9. Great Explorations Children’s Museum
There are many things for people of all ages to do in and around Kenneth City and the St. Petersburg area, but the Great Explorations Children’s Museum is a favorite among the younger set. As one of the state’s best children’s museums, it has many learning experiences rolled into one.
Children come into the museum to have fun, explore new ideas, discover new things, solve problems, and learn through hands-on experiences; they leave with new-found knowledge to carry into everyday life.
A number of exhibits are on hand to be explored, including an interactive kitchen, a mini-market, and a Critter Cave where children can view reptiles and amphibians. Various events are also held during the year.
10. Sawgrass Lake Park
Visitors can hike through one of the biggest maple swamps along the Gulf Coast at Sawgrass Lake Park. The 400 acres of pristine parkland are home to a wide variety of birds, including egrets, wood storks, and herons.
Along the mile-long boardwalk and half-mile-long walking trail, you may also see alligators and turtles, as they are plentiful in the area. An observation tower, picnic area, and bathrooms are also on site.
11. Explore Heritage Village
Visitors can learn all there is to know about Pinellas County with a visit to the Heritage Village in nearby Largo. This living history museum is comprised of 21 acres of old buildings that tell the story of the county’s history through the years.
There are 33 of these attractions, including historic houses, a general store, a church, schools, and a railroad station. The visitor center features some exhibits with artifacts and documents. The Shirley McPherson Native Plant Trail passes through a pine flatwoods area with various plants that were used by the pioneering people.
The on-site gift shop has a variety of books, toys, souvenirs, and crafts for sale.
12. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
Situated on the shoreline of Lake Maggiore, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is 245 acres of parkland, natural surroundings, unique woodland, and willow marsh ecosystems. These beautiful settings can be enjoyed during a hike along six miles of scenic boardwalks and hiking trails.
Along the way, you’ll see many species of birds and animals and a variety of trees and plants. A picnic area, playground, and gift shop are on-site, and camping facilities are available for overnight visits.
13. Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Holocaust Museum is dedicated to the millions of people who were killed during the Holocaust. The museum’s main goal is to educate the public about that event and to prevent history from repeating itself.
A permanent display showcases artifacts, photos, and original documents from that period, and there are two more galleries that house temporary displays from time to time. There’s also a large library dedicated to books about genocide and the Holocaust.
14. Morean Arts Center
Visitors to the renowned Morean Arts Center can view the works-of-art of many artists from around the local area, the country, and the world. This is done in an innovative way that brings education and appreciation to the importance of art in communities.
One of the permanent art compilations on-site is that of the celebrated artist Dale Chihuly.
15. Take an adventurous sightseeing tour with Doo’s Amazing Tours
Doo’s Amazing Tours has something for every taste and skill level when it comes to experiencing St. Petersburg in unique and fun ways. You can take a guided kayaking tour around Weedon Island and see mangrove tunnels and ancient burial grounds.
You can also opt for the paddleboarding experience and view dolphins and manatees along the way. More than 40 different species of birds can be observed on the Bird Island Sanctuary tour, and the segway tour introduces you to the history, culture, and lively atmosphere of the city.